Q’apla: IDW Talks About Klingon Comic and Future Trek Comics

IDW Publishing are jumping into the nostalgia for the Kirk era with new comic series from the days when men were men and Klingons were ridgeless.  This April sees the start of a five issue comic titled ‘Star Trek: Klingons – Blood Will Tell.’  Each issue will relate to a Klingon-centric episode and show the Klingon point of view. The first issue will be related to the episode "Errand of Mercy", with subsequent issues dealing with  "Trouble with Tribbles," "A Private Little War," "Day of The Dove" and even "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." IDW promises that fans will never look at their favorite Klingon episodes the same after the reading the comics. "There is more to the Klingons than meets the eye and that’s what we wanted to get to in these comics," says IDW Editor Dan Taylor. 

Delving deeper and taking it farther
The Klingon books, written by Scott and David Tipton with art by David Messina, show how Trek’s new comic licensee IDW are willing to delve deeper into both characters and into Trek lore. According to Taylor IDW’s next Star Trek comic will go beyond the end of the Original Series and be a virtual ‘4th season’ for TOS. After that he says they may take a closer look at some other TOS aliens such as the Orions or Romulans and give them the same treatment as the Klingons, but probably for one or two issues each.

The Kirk era will certainly get attention from IDW, but fans of the multifarious versions of Star Trek will also see comic adventures. IDW already have a Next Generation series with one issue out now and the 2nd issue due shortly. As for the other shows Taylor tells TrekMovie.com that his favorite Trek show is Deep Space Nine and he hopes to see that in a comic. He also mentioned that taking a look at Enterprise would be a great idea because that is the only Star Trek show not yet featured with comics. IDW is also discussing the possibilities of comics for Star Trek XI (IDW recently announced a series of comic ‘prequels’ to the upcoming Transformers Movie). While these differing versions are not yet approved, it appears that IDW is considering presenting a variety of Star Trek adventures.

Star Trek comic books are available from IDW or your local comic book store. Collectors should not that IDW are doing each of the Trek comics with cover variants. The Klingon series will have 3 covers (two shown above…click to enlarge) A third cover will actually be in the Klingon language! ComicBookResources has some more info and some preview pages from the Klingon series.


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I wish that there were such things as “canon” comics and novels.

I regularly purchase these things, but I often don’t invest in the story because it ends up being false.

i never understood the obsession over so called canon
how can the enjoyment of any good story be ‘false’. And comics are especially notorious for having contradicting continuity anyway.

if you like it, you like it…who cares if CBS Paramount wave the canon wand over it…just pretend it is

People that respect Canon are not “obsessed”.

…and for the record, I purchased a subscription to the Trek comics from IDW.

…yep, it amazes me how people can get all twisted over what’s “canon” or “non-cannon” in a fictional universe!! Unless you have some vested interest in writing a story and really feel the need for it to tie in somehow, who cares? Hell, the original series call Vulcans “Vulcanians”…so which is canon…Vulcan ir Vulcanian? Spock smiles and shows emotion, in the early episodes…but is a cold fish by season 3..so which is the real Spock? The episodes are full of stuff like this…sure it’s fun to speculate at times and try and come up with some answers, but in the end, if it really bugs you so much that it prevents you from enjoying a good tale, then is the obsession really worth it? This new series of comics from the Klingon perspective really sounds interesting….but so help me, if they turn the wonderfully devious, back stabbing Kor into an honor filled warrior I’ll never buy another issue. In the original series it was the Romulans who had the honor…not the Klingons. Klingons were the bad guys we loved to hate….leave 24th century Klingons in the 24th century…please!

“Hell, the original series call Vulcans “Vulcanians”…so which is canon…Vulcan ir Vulcanian?”

Actually, it was Harry Mudd who called Spock a Vulcanian. We’re talkin’ ’bout Harry Mudd — ’nuff said.

“Spock smiles and shows emotion, in the early episodes…but is a cold fish by season 3..so which is the real Spock?”

Well, Spock later fails the Kolinahr in The Motion Picture. Also in that film, he laughs, he cries.

In The Final Frontier, he is embarassed by the prospect of Kirk hugging him.

And in The Undiscovered Country, he angrily slaps the phaser out of Valeris’s hands.

Which is the real Spock?

I agree with most of the comments re: canon. While it’s fun to have a big fictional universe that is internally consistent, it can sometimes get in the way of a good story. It can be disappointing if “canon” Trek writers ignore “non-canon” Trek stories, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of the “non-canon” stories if they’re good. For my money, John M. Ford’s “The Final Reflection” is the best Klingon story, ever, regardless of what was done with the Klingons in later iterations of Trek. Obsessive focus on “canon” can really drain the life out of a good tale, and I’ve grown tired of such esoteric nitpicking in my later years.

And it’s spelled Qapla’ (with the glottal stop after the second “a”), not Q’apla. :) [Cranston runs and hides]

It’s been a long time since I heard anybody else mention The Final Reflection. When I hear John M Ford had died in 2006 I got it out and read it again. It’s a great science fiction novel and fit really well with the Trek Universe as it was known at the time it was published. It’s too bad the TNG producers didn’t pick up his line and follow it for the Klingons.

He had an interesting explanation for the different Klingons (developed for the RPG). The human-like Klingons had Human DNA grafts to produce “Fusions”. That’s more or less what was eventually revealed in Enterprise. So his theory anticipated the “canon” explanation by about 20 years!

I’m definitely on board for any new TOS comics.

I am of the type that emotionally invests in a book or serial. When I read a story on trek I often find I prefer the book and many times, how the author developed the characters. But, with Trek, it is different.

I don’t look at it as a framework from which people can take a character and run with it…I see it has “history.”

There was one novel I got for Christmas where Kirk and Decker go on a mission together prior to Doomsday. It was great, but it was like reading historical fiction.

These are the issues a new Trek movie set during TOS will face.

#8 re: The Final Reflection. I was shocked when I heard of Ford’s death last year too. I haven’t reread TFR yet (I think my copy is in a box in my parents’ house), but I have many strong memories of both the story and the world it built, which I can’t say about a single other Trek novel that I read 20+ years ago. It really had an impact on me and my fellow Trek oficionados in those pre-TNG days — “tokhe straav” even became our epithet of choice for a while in high school. (Yes, we were that geeky).

“Actually, it was Harry Mudd who called Spock a Vulcanian. We’re talkin’ ’bout Harry Mudd — ’nuff said.”

In the grandest nitpicking tradition, I must point out that Kirk made a reference to the “Vulcanian expedition” in Court Martial.

I always found the Ford and FASA Klingons to be the most imaginative.

11 you beat me to that one, lets face faces Trek has holes in continuity big enough to fly a fleet of Galaxy class starships through, but then again I don’t really care. Its a TV show people, not real life. To misquote JMS when asked by a fan how long it takes for a ship to fly from B5 to where ever he said it take as long as required to suit the story [ not exactly what he said but you get the point]. Another good example was in Galaxy Quest, the point is whatever writers write and then airs is what becomes canon even if it screws up previous canon.

Interesting cover art- however it does look like someone took out photoshop tools and manipulated promotional shots to make a collage. Nifty, but I sense some amount of cheating here.

Anytime I see serious debate and discussion about Star Trek “canon” I really want to cringe. All this
talk about “canon” is so unimportant and takes much of the fun out of these discussons….

Yes, I understand the need for continuity, as regards to a believable storyline, but why do people take the subject of “canon” to such ridiculous extremes?

I think discussions about Star Trek canon would make alot more sense IF the original source of the TV series and movies was a science fiction novel, or series of books. Then people could debate how the movies and series differed from the original ideas and concepts of the author.

But Star Trek was never based on a book, and there is no “Star Trek Bible” that writers or movie directors consult to make sure they were keeping with so called established canon. Star Trek has been evolving every since TOS, and since they have been making it up along the way, I’m not at all suprised there are many inconsistencies between the movies and series.

It’s obvious to me that even Rodenberry didn’t worry too much about consistency during the production of Star Trek TOS. If he did, there wouldn’t have been so many mistakes and unexplained changes during the original three year run.

I think Anthony P. was right when he said that many fans are obsessive about the subject. The bottom line is this..what is or isn’t “canon” is just one person’s opinions, nothing more and nothing less.

As for any inconsistencies and mistakes in TOS or any of the movies…They are just part of the history of the franchise now, and don’t, in any way, take away from my enjoyment of Star Trek.

Mike :o

Obsession with ‘canon’ is a mental cul-de-sac. It’s the sort of thing that stops you watching Star Trek, so you can read books about the Star Trek Chronology in greater detail. Star Trek is about the emotion of experiencing not reading anal episode guides!

All we have (grr!!!!!) is a selection of works by many different people and an allegation that Roddenberry stopped considering the cartoons ‘canon’ (God! I hate that word!) in the 1980s, although his lawyer might’ve been behind that, as Mr Roddenberry was so ill!

Watch Star Trek, enjoy its spin-offs, build your own history in your own mind. Stop worrying about whether stories are official or not.

The nacelle caps look all wrong.

What if “Vulcanian” is a reference to something else, like calling a human a Terran or Earther? Somethings are like that in real life, calling the Soviets the Russians when they were in fact more than just Russia and person who calls them the Soviets now even though the Soviet Union is disolved.

I’m big on mitigating the small things, but I find it frustrating that well written works never make it “in.”

That is why the whol ething erks me.

People talk about ‘Argentines’ and ‘Argentinians’. ‘Vulcan’ and ‘Vulcanian’ are simply slightly different words to describe the inhabitants of Vulcan! I don’t have a problem with both being used.

I think in this side of Paradise, Elias Sandoval refers to Spock as a Vulcanian.

I have never seen a Star Trek comic that I really liked. They never seem to capture the style of the show.

I used to like the ‘Fotonovels’ that came out in the late 70s…with the actual scenes from the show used.

I’m anal enough that I like to read reference books on Trek, and I like to look for internal inconsistencies in Trek…and The Andy Griffith Show, for that matter. But canon is whatever you’d like it to be. With something as large as the Star Trek universe, it’s nigh on impossible to keep it all straight anyhow. I consider TOS to be canon. I consider the various spin-off series to be fairly consistent unto themselves, but not necessarily consistent with TOS — almost like the later Treks happened in a close but parallel universe. Please don’t shoot me for this minority viewpoint on the canonicity of the later Treks (esp. “Enterprise”). It’s just a personal preference.

I try not to sweat about it too much, but there are niggling inconsistencies that do irritate me, and pull me out of what could be a seemlessly enjoyable experience. When there are so many fans who’ve learnt Trek lore as assiduously as they have, would it be so bad to make sure that Khan’s entourage are the right age in The Wrath of Khan, or that Klingon ships aren’t referred to as Birds of Prey?

As for comics and novels, I don’t consider them canon, but if they’re well-done, I don’t see why a reader couldn’t consider it to have happened. However, I suppose if some other writer makes a reference to something in a novel which only a relative handful of fans have read, but upon which the plot of his movie script hangs — that could be a problem.

Which leads me to ask: when Trek novels were being cranked out regularly back in the 80s and 90s (I only read 3 or 4 of them, if that), were they all consistent with one another? Was there a continuity ombudsman at Pocket Books that made sure they all jibed with each other?

The longwinded Scott B. out.

Scott — not that you’re actually wrong on either point… but, if it makes the viewing any easier…
Take a good look at the only one of Khan’s entourage who gets to speak (the other genetically superior supermen have apparently been struck dumb.) He’s way older in close-ups, despite his overall Beachboy appearance.

Bird of Prey may have come from the brief and fiery alliance of Klingons and Romulans. That’s even alluded to in The Enterprise Incident.

I agree, there’s a lot of blurring over the years. That’s to be expected. I find it VERY glaring in prequels, when people seem to know stuff they can’t have learned yet. (Much of Enterprise suffered from this.) I hope XI is VERY VERY careful about prequelitis.

Scott — Paramount did indeed (and still does, I believe) review all novels before they are published to check againt major flaws in canon and continuity. I’m sure there’s a bunch of little stuff they miss, but the books are vetted before publication.

re: 22 Scott
“When there are so many fans who’ve learnt Trek lore as assiduously as they have, would it be so bad to make sure that Khan’s entourage are the right age in The Wrath of Khan, or that Klingon ships aren’t referred to as Birds of Prey?”

Those are two things that bugged me as well.

And I also have a lot of books on the Andy Griffith Show.

As I youngster I figured there were plenty of logical explanations for the age of Khan’s entourage.

Examples include . . .

1: They were the children of the crew of the Botany Bay, who grew up faster as a consequence of their genetic engineering.

2: They aged at a different rate because they were genetically engineered. Khan was engineered earlier than them.

3: (stretching it!) The Botany Bay crew are genetically engineered and periodically slough off their outer skin, revealing younger versions. Khan is a differently-engineered being from them or hasn’t sloughed off his skin yet, unless he’s covering his hand up because the process has actually started there!

A little imagination allows you to develop all sorts of ideas. That’s why I hate the ‘convenience continuity’ so common in most spin-off novels!

Nicholas Meyer said, when Khan’s glove was discussed, that it’s the unexplained elements that get people thinking and talking. You can guarantee that ‘The Secret of Khan’s Glove’ would have been one of the mysteries ruined by ‘Justice League of Star Trek!’

As for the novels, I’m pretty sure there was a modicum of internal consistency between the various books in the early days, but increasing numbers of series and movies that have contradicted them means many of the books can’t help but contradict one another.

In many ways the best thing a story set earlier in the timeline can do is not show anything of import: just tell a good story!!!

Re: #14… and photoshop “cheating…”

I don’t get it…. would you have them cut out the photos and glue them onto the paper for the collage? Photoshop is how it’s done now. It’s not cheating, it’s professional graphics.

Re:#14 again….

My mistake…. I was thinking the STR promotional poster, not the comic, if that’s what you are referring to. The mixed news reports make it hard to know what one is talking about in the talkback comments!

But the cover is obviously based on photos. But I do think they are re-drawn from them for that.

And the second issue, is jut as obviously real photos add onto art.

So, on that your statement is correct. Kind of reminds me of what they used to do on the old Gold Key covers sometimes!

Re: Photoshop cheating. As a professional illustrator, I have to defend the artist on the above cover. I can attest that it’s perfectly acceptable to use photo reference to create art. I’d bet my wrist that the second cover up there is hand-drawn, inked art, probably traced using a light box, from various photos. The color is done in Photoshop, or a similar program. The “art” comes in when the illustrator picks and chooses which details to use, which to discard, and organizes the images into a pleasing design, as the one who did the above image did.

For reasons that I guess I can understand, most people think unless an artist can pull an image out of his head without looking at anything, it’s cheating. Michelangelo (and just about every other naturalistic artist ever) used models from which to do his great frescoes and sculptures. Norman Rockwell used copious photo reference in order to pull off his masterful illustrations. There’s no shame in using reference.

I’ve heard comic book artists say that one should shoot his own reference, but sometimes that’s impossible. Certainly one can’t shoot his own pictures of a young Shatner in order to create a comic book page.

That cover is a really nicely designed piece, and the drawing is excellent. Shatner’s is an extremely difficult likeness to pull off, even when tracing from a good photo.

Scott B. out.

Thanks CmdrR, Stanky and Dom, for following up on my comments above — I’m not used to getting responses!

There are all kinds of fun explanations one can come up with to resolve continuity “gaffes,” and I’ve played the game myself. I think the point I was trying to make is that when I watched the various Trek movies for the first time, I was sort of “thrown out” of the viewing experience by things that didn’t mesh with my fanboy encyclopedia of knowledge I walked into the theater with. When Khan recognizes Chekov (probably the biggest continuity blip in “Wrath”), I sort of had to spend a moment or two readjusting my knowledge. I’m not saying it was a disaster to have Chekov rather than, say, Sulu, in that scene, but it did yank me out of a great, tense moment in the movie.

I guess I’m gently arguing that it wouldn’t harm anything to let someone with a deep knowledge of the show vet the movie scripts and offer alternatives to things which contradict “canon” — alternatives that won’t mess with the storytelling, but will help keep viewers like me from having too many of those “yanked-out” moments. The Klingon bird of prey is a good example. Would the ship have been any less cool if it had been called a Klingon destroyer or corvette or gunship?

Boy, I sound like some cranky old fart of a Trek fan. Sorry! I’m really more of a “to each his own” kinda guy! Really!

Scott B. out.

The only time my undies got bunched over “canon” was the first season or so of “Enterprise”, when there was a lot of speculation that Misters Berman and Braga were going to take the opportunity presented by their Temporal Cold War to essentially write aspects of the original series out of its own history. I make no bones in saying that the original series is the one that rings my chimes the most, and the idea of it being pushed even further out of its own internal history pissed me off. But beyond that, I really don’t care, and once it became clear that the most recent series was a doomed enterprise, that ceased to matter to me anyway. As far as comics, novels, whatever goes, if its good, I like it. If it isn’t good, then it doesn’t matter. Whether or not its ‘canon’ is really irrelevent. The one area of the ‘canon argument’ where I can sympathize with people is when it comes to the “relaunches” that the novels are doing with DS9 and the other series. There’s very little chance of any of those properties seeing live action “if its on screen it counts” continuations, so I can understand fans wanting to read about what “really” happened to their heroes with some sense that what their reading “counts”, as opposed to be the fancy of a novelist that will be contradicted in the next or subsequent novels.

Hi Scott.

The Chekov thing never really bugged me. It’s made clear on several occasions via dialogue in TOS that Chekov was on board the Enterprise during season one, just not seen.

One example, IIRC, is Kirk’s second use of the Corbomite bluff!