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Tag Archive: Scott Tipton


Of course there’s a new Star Trek television series coming our way this year, but a new comic book series is going to knock your socks off in the interim.  Star Trek produces some of the best tie-in stories of any franchise.  Every now and then we witness a story that we wish we were watching on television or at the movies, and that next great story is IDW Publishing’s limited comic book series Star Trek: The Next Generation–Mirror Broken.  For the first time ever the crew of the Enterprise-D gets to play in the world of daggers, sashes, and deception in the evil Terran Empire instead of the idyllic Federation, already seen by the crews of the original Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek Enterprise. 

Only three issues in and the next issue can’t get here soon enough.  Brothers David and Scott Tipton (who touched on the NextGen Mirror universe in IDW Publishing’s 2008 Mirror Images series) return to Star Trek comics to script a dark, parallel timeline fans never got to see in seven seasons of the TV series (although we were treated to plenty great alternate universe shows in episodes like “Parallels” and “A Few Good Things…” and even a Mirror-like universe in one of the series best episodes, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”).  Known already for his beautiful illustrations in the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover miniseries Assimilation², the IDW adaptation of Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever, and the covers of the Star Trek/Green Lantern crossover miniseries, artist J.K. Woodward now brings his jaw-dropping photo-real paintings to Mirror Broken–providing poster-worthy interior artwork for every page of the series.  Woodward not only gives us our first look at the ships and places in the new Mirror universe, he created the look of each character for the franchise.

The first issue of the mini-series is actually an introduction to the new Mirror universe in IDW’s Free Comic Book Day issue from this past May.  Readers learn all the subtle, and not-so-subtle, changes in the alternate universe via Lieutenant Barclay, played in the series by Dwight Schultz.  We see not only a different view of Starfleet, but Barclay himself is a changed man, having fought his way up the ranks.  Fan favorite Tasha Yar, played by Denise Crosby in the series, is woven into the story as well.  The main cast is fleshed out in the first and second numbered issues: a ruthless Captain Jean-Luc Picard, a tough Commander Will Riker, and Counselor–now Inquisitor–Troi, who is not just a Mirror pin-up beauty but a sharp and manipulative power center as Picard’s main confidante.  Lieutenant LaForge is still the go-to engineering whiz and Commander Data is still trying to know what it’s like to be human, only in a world of skewed objectives and uncertain loyalties.  And everyone looks believably like the original actors (updated with Woodward’s blend of Michael Westmore make-up, of course).

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fcbd-woodward-tng-mirror-2017

Space… The Final Frontier.  These are the voyages of the I.S.S. Enterprise.  Its continuing mission: to conquer strange new worlds, to enslave new life and new civilizations… to boldly go where no one has gone before.

First there was “Mirror, Mirror” in the original Star Trek.  Then there was Deep Space Nine’s “Crossover,” “Through the Looking Glass,” “Shattered Mirror,” “Resurrection,” and “The Emperor’s New Cloak.”  Then “In a Mirror, Darkly” on Enterprise.  The closest we got in Star Trek Voyager was seeing Kes’s evil side in “Warlord,” or the Voyager crew depicted as cutthroat villains in “Living Witness.”   But what about Star Trek: The Next Generation?  With all the episodes playing off of the original series, how did the writers miss an opportunity for mirror versions of Picard, Riker, Worf, Data, Crusher, Troi, LaForge, and Yar?

Dynamic writing duo Scott Tipton and David Tipton and stellar artist J.K. Woodward are making up for the gap with a new IDW Publishing series coming later this year: Star Trek: The Next Generation–Mirror Broken.  But first, everyone will be able to go to their local comic book shop this May 6 for the annual Free Comic Book Day to get their own free prequel issue for the series.  After the break below is a preview featuring fan-favorite character Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, the sometimes bumbling, sometimes awkward, sometimes outright genius Starfleet engineer from both NextGen and Star Trek Voyager.  But first, how incredible are these original painted images of the cover of the FCBD issue?  Star Trek fans already know J.K. Woodward, the multi-year borg.com “Best of the Year” artist from his past work on Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who–Assimilation², Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever, and the Star Trek 50 Years, 50 Artists art exhibition.

mirror-data-woodward    troi

According to early solicitations, the Star Trek: The Next Generation miniseries, Mirror Broken will reveal the Mirror Universe like never before:  Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the I.S.S. Stargazer will stop at nothing to get his hands on the Terran Empire’s newest starship, the Enterprise-D.

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Star Trek Apes cover

Scott and David Tipton have done it again.  They’re back with a new Star Trek series, but this time it’s a mash-up with Planet of the Apes.  And Issue #1 explains how it all comes together, and we’ve got a preview below.  Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive, Issue #1, is now available at comic book stores everywhere from IDW Publishing.

Finally we get to see Sulu and Uhura on an away mission together, donning Klingon disguises.  It’s the classic Trek–images by Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff of George Takei and Nichelle Nichols as opposed to the reboot actors John Cho and Zoe Saldana.  Yet the circumstances and action are updated and modern–storytelling like you’d see in the reboot series.  It works–great, in fact.

Trek Apes cover

So how does the starship Enterprise (the original, not the bloody A, B, C, or D) find its way into a universe where apes rule Earth’s future?  You’ll have to pick up Issue #1 to find out.  Meanwhile, check out this preview, courtesy of IDW Publishing, after the break.

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Gal Gadot Wonder Woman SDCC 2014 reveal

More big news emerged from San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.  A new comic book series for Haven and Galaxy Quest… a sneak peek at Arrow Season 3, a Star Trek crossover with Planet of the Apes… details and art from Marvel’s new line of Star Wars comic books…  new actors to star in Marvel’s Ant-man… more content from Avengers 2… and new giant monster movies are coming soon from Legendary Pictures.

But the biggest news that almost “broke the Internet” was from DC Entertainment: the first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and her new costume from the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  It’s a nice Cliff Chiang-inspired pose for the Amazon warrior.  So we now have three images of the DC Comics trinity:

Trinity Dawn of Justice

We’ve got a pretty dark superhero movie in our future.

The next big news came from a Marvel Comics panel–the creative line-up for Star Wars comic books under Disney:

Marvel Star Wars 1 Cassaday cover art

Marvel Comics announced that January 2015 will see the first of Marvel taking over the Star Wars comic book line from Dark Horse with three initial series.  Kansas City’s Jason Aaron will write and John Cassaday will serve as artist on a series taking place just after A New Hope, where the original 1978 Marvel Comics line began and the current main Dark Horse title takes place.  Above is the cover art by Cassaday for Issue #1.

Star Wars Darth Vader Granov cover SDCC 2014

A series beginning in February 2015 will follow Darth Vader after his TIE Fighter is knocked away by Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, to be created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca.

Star Wars Princess Leia Marvel Dodson cover art SDCC 2014

And March 2015 will see a series following Princess Leia after the destruction of the Death Star, from writer Mark Waid, artist Terry Dodson, and colorist Rachel Dodson.

Here are four pages of early stage art for the main Star Wars series:

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star trek city edge forever ellison idw cover juan ortiz

Hands down J.K. Woodward is the best artist to ever take on Star Trek in the comic book medium.  His Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² was a stunning visual journey, and that series, reviewed here at borg.com, showcased Woodward’s superb painted panels and contained an imaginative story by David and Scott Tipton.  Tipton, Tipton, and Woodward are back this week with the long-titled Star Trek:  Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay, a five-issue limited series beginning tomorrow.  For borg.com readers we have a nine-page preview of the issue below after the break, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

The Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the “100 Best TV Episodes of All Time”) as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but what made it to television was a far cry from the original teleplay by noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison.  Ellison’s original teleplay won both the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.

JK Woodward Enterprise from City on the Edge of Forever

The new IDW Publishing comic book mini-series, produced under the guidance of Ellison, now brings the classic story to fans like they haven’t seen it before.  Issue #1 is a blast.  Woodward’s visuals are eye-popping as usual, and the story presents its own parallel universe for those familiar with the classic TV episode.  Yeoman Rand never looked better!

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City on the Edge of Forever from IDW Publishing JK Woodward

Fans of the original Star Trek series may be excited to see the original script for Harlan Ellison’s award-winning teleplay to the classic episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” will soon be adapted into comic book form.  It will be a director’s cut of sorts, as Ellison has been vocal over the years that his original vision was better than what ended up on the screen, modified by Gene Roddenberry and at least four other writers.  Ellison published the complete script and notes in his 1996 book about the episode’s “evisceration.   Nearly fifty years later Ellison won’t let his anger rest, having filed a lawsuit in 2009 that was later settled.  Ellison is back yet again, and now fans will get to see his original work in visual form, produced by a Star Trek creative dream team.

Scott Tipton and David Tipton will adapt the Ellison teleplay to the comic script, and powerhouse Star Trek/Doctor Who Assimilation² painter/artist J.K. Woodward will provide the artwork for the story.  Juan Ortiz, whose Star Trek work we’ve reviewed here previously at borg.com, will provide the cover art in his own unique retro style.

Juan Ortiz City on the Edge of Forever poster

Trek fans really couldn’t ask for more, although considering fans count the episode among the most revered and well-crafted of the series, it may not be many fans’ first choice for an episode that could stand to be redone, or undone  for that matter (cough cough “And the Children Shall Lead,” (ahem) “The Way to Eden”, (ahem) “Spock’s Brain”).

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By C.J. Bunce

You can spend your weekend at Comic-Con wandering the exhibit floor looking for mass market collectibles, talking with dealers of original art, talking with writers and artists of current and classic comic books, attend panels and see comic and other creators, TV and movie stars and get the low-down on coming projects, go offsite for parties and studio and publisher events–the biggest problem is doing all you want when there is nowhere close to enough time to do it in.  If you’re in for only a few days, you really have to pick up your pace and narrow down what you want to see.  Since I spent a whole day in panels and did not stay for the entire weekend, any encounters I had with creators and studio celebrities were pretty much based on happenstance this year.  Many creators are now friends, others I gawk at like everyone else from afar.  So who did I see?

First of all, in panels I saw the cast of Community, Firefly, and the new series Arrow, including guys I’d love to talk in person someday–Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel from Bones, and the guy you may know as Bud from Married with Children, David Faustino, who is doing voice work now for Nickelodeon, and he voiced the character Mako as part of the Legends of Korra panel.  As I mentioned earlier in the week, waiting in line allowed me to meet and get a photo with Joss Whedon.

The Soup host Joel McHale, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, former Angel star David Boreanaz and Korra’s David Faustino really stood out as funny guys in these panels–surprisingly quick-witted people who got the crowd cheering with everything they said.

I saw the main cast of the Syfy Channel series Haven during their signing session.  They really looked like they were having a good time–like they really get along with each other.  Also signing in the Sails Pavilion were Richard Anderson, who was the classic character Oscar Goldman from one of borg.com’s favorite borg shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cindy Morgan from the original Tron and Caddyshack.  I hoped to run into Bruce Boxleitner, JK Woodward and Scott and David Tipton but my panel schedule caused me to miss meeting them.

On the exhibit floor I watched Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) talk with fans and sign autographs.

Arnold Schwartzenegger was coming into the hall and I staked out a photo op location but his handlers moved him out of the hall so I missed seeing him.

As a Star Trek fan, I was very happy to finally meet and have a nice conversation with Brent Spiner.  He was a great guy who was as nice in person as you’d hope him to be from years of watching his lovable character Data.  I also had a brief chat at day’s end with Levar Burton, also a friendly guy, signing photos of Geordi LaForge for fans.  I’d met Marina Sirtis before so I didn’t chat with her this round, but she was also signing Counselor Deanna Troi photos in the hall.

Earlier this year I reviewed Table Top, a new, fun Web series hosted by Wil Wheaton with the Geek and Sundry creators.  I met him near a Starbucks and shared my feedback with him on his show.  We talked about some of the games and he graciously introduced me to his wife and friends.

Wheaton is truly “one of us” and a really personable guy.  Of everyone at the Con, he is probably my first pick of someone you’d like to wander the Con halls and chat with.  Another show host, Blair Butler was attending the Con from the popular genre cable channel G4.

Of the comic book realm, I met Cat Skaggs, a well-known comic book artist who was signing cover prints to Smallville Season 11 #1 and she sketched a great Green Arrow bust for me.

I also met Neal Adams–a comic book legend who created the look of the Silver Age Green Arrow and I finally was able to add one of his sketches to my folio.  Neal was sketching non-stop for fans just like the newer, younger artists in Artist Alley–a real “working artist” even after all these years.

I ran into my friend Freddie Williams II also, and he also was busy sketching for fans throughout the Con and selling original art from his various DC Comics series.

David Petersen, known best for his Mouse Guard work, was working on commissions for attendees and selling shirts and art at his booth in Artist Alley.  I also lucked into getting a sketch from him and enjoyed talking with his wife, who manned the booth when he was doing signings elsewhere.

I ran into Frank Cho again this year and he said he is still expecting to get Guns & Dinos out soon.  He was selling a great pin-up calendar featuring Brandy and the Liberty Meadows gang.  More on that in future posts.  A nominee for the Eisner in two categories this year, Rachel Rising creator Terry Moore was busy talking with fans.

As with last year, Jim Lee could be found at several panels and signing throughout Comic-Con.

As with Freddie Williams, I met up with several folks from back in the Midwest.  I ran into artist Ande Parks and met his wife, while hanging with Sean and William from Elite Comics and Chris Jackson who runs Planet Comicon.  Parks was chatting with his frequent cover artist Francesco Francavilla, this year’s Eisner cover artist of the year winner, and someone we have talked about here at borg.com all year long for his great cover art.  I ran into Star Trek author Kevin Dilmore twice on the exhibit floor–my third year seeing Kevin at the Con.  It’s crazy how you can be in your hometown and never run into anyone, and then fly to San Diego and see so many people from back home.

Review by C.J. Bunce

The first issue of Assimilation² was a nearly perfect read for fans of both Doctor Who and Star Trek.  As we reviewed here a few weeks ago, Issue #1’s introductory story focused on the 11th Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory.  For fans of Star Trek who felt a little left out in Issue #1, Issue #2 was sure to satisfy your craving for more Picard & Co.  In fact, Issue #2 is so well crafted you will feel as if this story is a long-lost episode of the TV series.

I’ve read a number of versions of Star Trek translated to comic books over the years.  The biggest problem I encounter as a reader is with a writer fully understanding the characters enough to not only repeat words the main characters said in the original iteration of the show (which always seems to land with a thud), but to be able to understand the characters to a level of writing entirely new dialogue in the manner of those characters.  In the Star Trek comic book universe this may be the first time someone nailed it.

It helps that JK Woodward’s painted panels look almost photo-real, almost like I am wearing a pair of eyeglasses or looking through a window and viewing the old TV series.  It’s a strange effect, but I love it.

Like many Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, the story of Picard’s ship begins with an away mission that isn’t really the focus of the story.  Here Commander Riker leads Data and Worf to a planet of amphibious lifeforms and rare minerals being collected by a Starfleet-based team.  (The local captain actually looks a bit like the actor Cheech Marin in his mature years!).  Upon returning, on a whim, Picard asks his team to ready the holodeck as a new Dixon Hill holonovel is available.

We’ve seen the Star Trek crew encounter sentient or near sentient beings in the holodeck before.  We’ve met Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty, who actually stepped out of the holodeck.  In Star Trek Voyager we met a small Irish town that became so enmeshed with the crew they seemed like series regulars.  Here, the encounter is classic Enterprise-D stuff.  Riker could not be written and drawn better.  Data is perfectly drawn.  Holodeck episodes were often the best and certainly the most fun for stories–“The Big Goodbye”–the episode that introduced us to the holodeck, won a Peabody Award.  Dwight Schultz’s Barclay character had a stand-out performance as a Starfleet engineer with holodeck addiction in the episode “Hollow Pursuits.”  The emergency medical hologram doctor in Star Trek Voyager had his own best performance falling for a valkyrie named Freya in the holonovel of Beowulf in the episode “Heroes and Demons.”  Like I said before, they just nailed it with this story.  They did so to the point that they even included an obligatory buddy Pinocchio-esque conversation between Data and Geordi that easily would have been in the series (I know some folks like this stuff but it got monotonous in the series… but I say “enough already with the android self-reflection plots”).

One thing yet to be addressed is whether writers Scott and David Tipton will have Captain Picard consider the Doctor as a Q or not.  I’ve never been a big fan of the Q characters but am interested to see if this ever is an issue.  Of course, Picard and the Doctor only meet up with Cybermen and The Borg at the end of this issue.  The big face off, I expect, is coming in Issue #3, which will not be released soon enough for this reader.  The cover for Issue #3 features Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from the TV series era, so I am expecting some time travel.

Be on the lookout–one of my favorite secondary Star Trek characters has a cameo in Issue #2–none other than Susie Plaxson’s Dr. Selar makes an appearance with Doctor Beverly Crusher and Nurse Ogawa.  (Hopefully the amphibious lifeforms will end up back on the Enterprise-D at some point–maybe in the heard of but not seen null gravity ward?).  And there’s a really nice sweeping view of the Enterprise-D appearing right where it would after a commercial break.

Two issues in and it remains my nominee for Best Team-Up Series ever.  Bravo!

Review by C.J. Bunce

Waiting and waiting for IDW Publishing’s extraordinary crossover of Star Trek and Doctor Who, Assimilation², I actually missed the release and finally picked up my copy, which was already in its second printing.  Everything seems to go to second printing these days because it’s a pretty predictable task for the distributor to know how much of what will sell based on comic store orders.  Still–an initial sell-out and in-demand second printing reflects the big fan bases out there that are Star Trek and Doctor Who, the Trekkies and the Whovians, as stated on our member badges.

If you love the current Matt Smith and Amy Pond Doctor Who, you will love Assimilation².  If you are a Trekkie, Issue #1 will have you adding Issue #2 to your comic book pull list.

To get it right, any adaptation of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who must have his banter right.  It must show Amy Pond as curious and inquisitive and hesitant.  It must show husband Rory as protective and cautious.  And it must break out of the comics page with a crazy opening action sequence, closing out some prior grand, epic, historic adventure.  And include the ludicrous blue phone box called the TARDIS and those evil, stilted cyborgs called the Cybermen.

Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  And… check.

This is the crossover to rival all crossovers.  Believe the hype.  And it is pretty much perfect.  Actually I’d call it perfect but I’m sure there is something not perfect and I am just ecstatic they got it so right–I guess they have two of the big three genre franchises and adding a Star Wars element may just cause the world to explode.  Someone who gets Trek and Who?  They’re writers Scott Tipton, David Tipton and Tony Lee and artist J.K. Woodward.

Let’s start with the writing.  First, since this is an ongoing series focusing on Doctor Who’s 11th Doctor and Star Trek: The Next Generation, there will be a lot to cover, and so Issue #1 features only minimal Next Generation content.   But where the Doctor will meet Lieutenant Commander Data and Commander Riker is one of the best lead-ins/cliffhangers to a next issue I have seen in years.  If you have seen the Emmy Award winning Next Generation episode “The Big Goodbye” you’ll have an idea of what I am talking about.

The series opens with a visit to a place Star Trek: The Motion Picture fans, and specifically fans of the Deltan named Ilia, will find a refreshing place to start–Delta IV.  Bombarded by The Borg of Next Generation, Voyager, and First Contact fame, a Federation officer realizes they have partnered with another cyborg entity, and unlike past visits from The Borg, these borg aren’t just assimilating, they are annihilating.  A Cybermen partnership with The Borg?  Perfect.

Next we land smack dab in the middle of an ancient Egyptian adventure with rip-roaring action, the Doctor, Amy, Rory, a pharaoh, and an alien visitor.  Team Tipton and Lee do exactly what they need to and get the personalities and banter just right.  They leave for their next adventure, which will pick up in a very familiar place for Next Generation fans in Issue #2.  And look for a few “Easter eggs.”  Bravo!

Now to artist J.K. Woodward.  If you’re going to have a breakout work this is the place to do it, and I will go so far as to say his work on Issue #1 rivals Alex Ross’s painted art in his Uncle Sam series.  It may even be better than the paint work on Ross’s Marvels series.  It’s not as detailed to be sure, but his renderings of actors gives us more than enough to let us slide right back into watching old Next Generation episodes and the next season of Doctor Who.  Woodward also does something you don’t see every day–action sequences in a completely painted tale that are beautiful and interesting.  His Delta IV looks how you might have imagined it.  His 1940s era San Francisco seems so, so familiar you’ll feel like you’ve been there before.

Tipton, Tipton, Lee and Woodward make it look easy.  But if you’ve read a lot of genre property spin-offs, you know that Star Wars writers cannot get away from having Luke and Han repeat ad nauseam “I have a bad feeling about this.”  Look for none of that in Assimilation² Issue #1.   These guys got it right.  Let’s hope these guys keep up the momentum in Issue #2 and the rest of the series.

By C.J. Bunce

There be SPOILERS here…

Let it be known that we here at borg.com will never pass up an opportunity to talk about borgs, from wherever they may originate, be it the 1960s or 1970s or 1980s or even the 2010s, or some future century.  As filming wraps next week in San Francisco for the next Star Trek movie, the release of the new Trek/Doctor Who crossover is getting closer.  And borgs from two franchises and several time periods will finally collide.

Just as we previewed the covers for the coming Issue #1 and Issue #2 of the IDW Publishing mash-up series with the long title, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation,² the comic industry Previews catalog published the cover to Issue #3 this week.  And it doesn’t take much of a discerning eye to notice some cool… cosmic anomalies:

If you can get past the smirk-inducing, albeit true to the original series, belly button shot of Captain James T. Kirk (cleverly included by artist Elena Casagrande), there is something amiss here… this is a Next Generation spin-off series, right?  And isn’t that the fourth Doctor?  And isn’t that the older version of the borg Cybermen?  What’s going on here?

It turns out that the Writers Tipton have some tricks up their sleeves for us, in the realm of some time travel between the 24th century of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise-D and the 23rd century of Captain Kirk’s original Enterprise (“with no bloody A, B, C, or D,” as Scotty would say), including an appearance by the shuttle Galileo (currently rotting somewhere in a yard in Ohio, if recent reports are accurate).  And a visit from the Fourth Doctor, to boot.  That’s a lot to bring together, but we Trekkiewhovians (WhovaTrekians???) are up for it.

And there’s one more bit of fun–color art for an alternate cover for Issue #1 by artist Tony Lee:

And this adds one more twist to the fun, with an appearance by The Borg from Star Trek Voyager, specifically Seven of Nine before she was separated from the Collective.

This is a further variant, a retailer edition signed by artist Tony Lee, available only from UK comics retailer Forbidden Planet:

Can’t wait?  Issue #1 will be released May 30, 2012.

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