Back at Comic Con in July IDW announced plans to do a prequel comic book series linked to the new Star Trek movie. The first details on that series (due to kick off January 2009) were sent out this week to comics dealers and TrekMovie has more exclusive information (and spoilers) on what appears to be the first official piece of merchandising related to the new movie.
Star Trek: Countdown
The title of the new comic prequel series is "Star Trek: Countdown." It is being written by
Mike Johnson and Tim Jones based on a story by Star Trek director JJ Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The series will run four issues, with the first coming out in January 2009 and one more issue in each of the next three months (with the final issue and a trade paperback collection in April). The Trek team are all fans of comics and have done many comic tie-ins to previous projects. This project is something they are paying close attention to, right down to picking the writers. Both Johnson and Jones have worked with Orci and Kurtzman in the past and Johnson has also been writing Superman/Batman comics for DC. The artwork is being done by Italian artist David Messina who has been working for IDW on a number of Trek comics, including the latest "Mirror Images" series, where his work has garnered rave reviews.
How do you do a prequel to a prequel? – [SPOILERS]
One may wonder how you do a prequel comic to a movie which is itself a prequel and origin story for The Original Series. The official description of “Star Trek: Countdown” states it will cover ‘the origin of Nero, the mysterious Romulan who will ultimately threaten the survival of the entire universe.’ In a way, this comic book prequel evidences why the new Star Trek team has been resistant to labeling their film as a straight up prequel. As revealed recently, the plot of the film involves Nero traveling back in time to the era before the Original Series. This Comic Book prequel, which is said to ‘take us right up to the movie,’ is primarily set in the time before Nero goes back in time, specifically the Next Generation era after Star Trek Nemesis. The main characters for the prequel will not be the young TOS crew but Nero and the elder Spock (and possibly familiar characters from the TNG era). Explaining to TrekMovie why the comic series is important, Roberto Orci said:
["Star Trek: Countdown"] is about how you connect the Next Generation era to our continuity, inspired by when we last saw Mr. Spock in "Unification"
Even if you are not a fan of Comics in general it seems that this Comic series will be a must have for anyone who wants the full experience of the new Star Trek movie, especially TNG fans who want to see how that era ties into it all. Something that will surely spark debate is whether or not the comics will be considered canon. With the involvement of Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman, it seems reasonable that it would be, or as close to it as comics can get. And this series may not be the end of the ‘extended universe’ of comics related to the new movie. Orci says they have already sketched out additional ideas, but are focusing on these first four issues for now. So hopefully we will see additional tie-ins in 2009.
Starts in January – can pre-order the TPB now
Issue #1 (of 4) of “Star Trek: Countdown” hits comic shops January 2009 (and TrekMovie will report when it can be pre-ordered online). The "Star Trek: Countdown" trade paperback (which will compile all four issues) is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It costs $12.23 and comes out on April 29th.
UPDATE: Messina on Countdown
Artist David Messina has made a comment (below) on this book:
I can assure you that we all (IDW and Bad Robots) are at work in order to be faithfull to the spirit of StarTrek!
…and believe me, you can’t imagine how huge and picky is our “pre-production” work for this book !
Mike and Tim are great Star Trek fans, while even if I’m not a Trek’s guy, I’m a really great lover of Sci-Fi…
I really hope that you’ll like our book, we are at work on it with great passion…