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Reflecting the darker angels of their nature, a new Mirror Universe Star Trek comic series from IDW Publishing starring The Next Generation gang is beaming into comic shops on Sep. 8, timed to the 55th anniversary of Star Trek's historic 1966 debut on network TV — and SYFY WIRE has a special page breakdown preview to share.
With Trekkies of a certain age naturally drawn to Star Trek: The Next Generation as their favorite, fans are bound to leap aboard this bold project where Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his intrepid crew are finally getting a proper Mirror Universe treatment.
Penned by Star Trek comic writers Scott and David Tipton, Star Trek: The Mirror War is a year-long event that sees Captain Picard's angrier reflection yearning for power. Artist Carlo Nieto (Star Trek: Year Five) delivers the striking illustrations, with colors via DC Alonso and letters by Neil Uyetake. This series appears in the wake of IDW's June 8 TPB release of its earlier TNG Mirror Universe tales, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Universe Collection.
It all kicks off next week with the prelude issue, Star Trek: The Mirror War #0, which showcases a brand new story of "Mirror Picard" as he's ordered to Earth to face the ire of his Terran emperor. The plotline effortlessly weaves threads from previous Mirror Universe adventures as a method of introducing the duality concept to newbies and remind veteran Trekkies of the plot device's history.
Then IDW's main series launches in October with issues #1-8 and four interwoven tie-in specials, each one spotlighting a different "Next Generation" cast member. December's spin-off focuses on the charismatic android, Data. As it unfolds, the entire 13-chapter saga charts the dark-tinted Picard's journey of conquest across the vast Mirror Universe, stoking the simmering hostilities of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.
Writers Scott and David Tipton are thrilled to return to the Mirror Universe, teasing that Picard's ambitions are grander than ever, and nothing short of the throne itself will satisfy him. Check out their thoughts on the creative process in the first five pages below:
Scott Tipton: We deliberately made a choice to open things up with an action sequence, rather than a kind of slower summary of what’s been happening since the last time we saw Mirror Picard and crew. Partly because that’s a better way to get readers into the story, but also because we wanted to express the feeling that they haven’t just been sitting on their hands all this time.
David Tipton: Another motivation behind this sequence was to reinforce that notion that so much about the Mirror Universe is centered on money and profit, the acquisition of wealth and resources. It’s a big motivator here in a way that it never is in traditional Star Trek, which is so focused on Gene Roddenberry’s idea of a futuristic utopia. This focus on Mirror Universe materialism goes all the way back to the original TOS episode, “Mirror, Mirror,” and we’ll see it coming up time and again throughout our series.
ST: You’ll notice that Data is absent here. Because Data is for all intents and purposes the only member of our cast with superpowers, it’s tempting to send him off on every away mission. We kept him off stage here not only so we could introduce our new crewman Gomez, but also so that we could better show him later having difficulties with the absence of Barclay, which was what a lot of this issue was about.
DT: Also, Data is so valuable to Picard as an asset that there has to be some consideration about whether sending him off on the considerably dangerous ones is worth the risk.
ST: The crew’s EVA suits here are intentionally designed to resemble the models seen in Star Trek: First Contact, just with a slight Mirror Universe tweak here and there courtesy of our artist Carlos Nieto.
DT: Jonathan Frakes’ Will Riker is almost always so composed and confident; it’s very rare to see him truly panicked or at a loss. For this moment of panic as he’s hanging on for dear life, we were inspired by the TNG episode “Skin of Evil,” when Riker gets absorbed by the sentient tar blob Armus.
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DT: The Mirror Universe version of Picard is much more prone to fits of anger in front of the crew, as seen here when he throws his helmet at the deck in frustration, something you’d never see the far more composed Prime Universe Jean-Luc Picard do.
ST: A tip of the hat here to our artist for this issue Carlos Nieto, who very subtly shows the expanse of our cast of characters, bringing the away team on the bridge while at the same time bringing Data, Troi and Dr. Crusher into frame. With a cast as big as ours, Carlos always has so much to consider in terms of keeping everyone both where they should be and in a place where the reader can appreciate them, and he makes it look easy.
Star Trek: The Mirror War #0 (Sep. 8) is offered with several cover variants, including Cover A by series artist Carlos Nieto, Cover B by Ejiwa "Edge" Ebenebe, and a Retailer Incentive edition by Bex Glendining. Beginning with issue #1, J.K. Woodward provides cover artwork for every issue.