More TOS & TNG + New Frontier, Mirror Universe & Gary Seven!
In 2007 IDW ended a six year drought in Star Trek comic books. Last week IDW announced a new TNG comic series to debut in January and today the company announced an aggressive slate of four additional series to premiere over the following 5 months. These include a TOS ‘Year 4’ series written by D.C. Fontana, a New Frontier series written by Peter David, a Gary Seven ‘Assignment Earth’ series by comic legend John Byrne plus a series set in the mirror universe. There are also plans afoot for an adaptation for the new Star Trek movie later in the year.
IDW ramping up Star Trek production
IDW are calling the four new series of Trek comics (following the TNG release in January) ‘Star Trek: Second Stage’ and each book will have a special ‘Second Stage’ logo (see below). IDW Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall notes “In the first year, we took the IDW starship on its shakedown cruise. For 2008, we’re taking the storytelling beyond the Final Frontier.” 2008 is of course Star Trek’s big comeback with the new movie coming out in December. IDW which already have some series running over from 2007 will be moving up to a total of 4 issues per month. "This will really be an epic year for Star Trek, and we want to make sure our books do justice to the scope of it all,” says IDW Star Trek editor Andrew Steven Harris.
Below are the official synopses and cover/promo artwork from the five new series:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Intelligence Gathering (January) [note: not part of ‘Second Stage’]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D will return with five new journeys as told by the hit team that created Klingons: Blood Will Tell-writers (and brothers) Scott and David Tipton, and artist David Messina. The new miniseries Intelligence Gathering promises to feel like a slice of the hit series in its prime, reading like "lost" episodes that fans never saw.
Set toward the end of the show’s fifth season, Intelligence Gathering from IDW Publishing examine as yet unexplored sides of the Star Trek: Next Generation characters who meant the most to fans. There’s plenty of action and suspense as the familiar crew faces both old adversaries and new threats-all in self-contained stories that are connected by a broader, unfolding plot.
Kicking off the series is an issue that revolves around one of the Federation’s mission-critical facilities-a four-dimensional database that amasses all Federation data storage but is beginning to act erratically. Has it become sentient? And must the Federation shut it down? [CLICK TO SEE PREVIEW AT IDW]
Star Trek: New Frontier (March)
New York Times Best-Selling novelist Peter David, author of the first Star Trek series designed exclusively for print, celebrates the 10th anniversary of the New Frontier saga with its first-ever comic book series. The five-part epic, debuting in March with artist Stephen Thompson (Beneath the Valley of Rage), features all-new stories and the official continuation of the runaway hit novels by Pocket Books.
In "Turnaround," the most dangerous experimental vessel in the galaxy—a prototype time ship—has vanished, and it appears that the man who stole it is none other than Starfleet Admiral Edward Jellico. Only Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the Excalibur have a hope of finding him before the ship, intended purely for scientific exploration, is used to disrupt the space-time continuum.
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment (April)
D.C. Fontana, who started her career as Gene Roddenberry’s assistant during the Original Series, went on to write some of Star Trek’s most memorable episodes, including ground-breaking episodes of that first series, as well as the pilot for Star Trek: The Next Generation®, and contributions to the Star Trek animated series and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®. Now Fontana adds Star Trek comic books to her literary legacy, continuing IDW’s successful Star Trek Year Four saga with co-writer Derek Chester (Star Trek: Legacy) and longtime Star Trek artist Gordon Purcell. Fan-favorite illustrators The Sharp Brothers will also contribute special covers for the five-part series, which debuts in April.
The Star Trek Year Four series has chronicled the untold fourth year of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s legendary five-year mission, depicted for just three seasons on the original Star Trek show. For The Enterprise Experiment, Fontana and Chester craft a sequel to Fontana’s celebrated Star Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident," in which Kirk famously posed as a Romulan to capture a new state-of-the-art cloaking device.
In this all-new story, Federation efforts to fully adapt the cloaking device to Starfleet ships leads to an experiment gone awry, trapping Kirk and Spock on an Enterprise out of phase with space itself. At the same time, Romulan forces close in on the starship, intent on claiming revenge for their stolen technology. Later chapters in the series will provide a sequel to the first two issues, as the Klingon™ Empire—with its own agenda—suddenly enters the fray.
Star Trek: Assignment Earth (May)
Comics icon John Byrne provides a prequel to the SECOND STAGE titles with the February finale of IDW’s Alien Spotlight series in an issue showcasing the Romulans, the writer/artist’s first-ever illustrated Star Trek story in a decades-spanning career [CLICK TO SEE PREVIEW AT IDW]. But in May, Byrne will unveil his first full-blown Star Trek comic series, the five-part, time-jumping Star Trek: Assignment Earth.
The original TV episode "Assignment Earth" had been the Season Two finale for the Star Trek series. It introduced the cryptic character Gary Seven and was intended by Gene Roddenberry as the pilot for a spin-off series that never came to pass. Now, however, Byrne will bring Roddenberry’s dream to life, delivering the spin-off 40 years after it would have debuted. The series tells the tale of the interstellar time traveler and his Earth-born assistant as they covertly confront threats to the past so that they can save Star Trek’s future.
Byrne will both write and draw the series, which steps one year forward with each installment, beginning with 1968, the year that the original "Assignment Earth" episode aired.
Star Trek Mirror Images (June)
The Mirror Universe remains one of the most popular themes in Star Trek canon, and IDW will travel through the looking glass with Star Trek: Mirror Images, written by IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall together with Scott & David Tipton, brothers have become the new breakout stars of Star Trek comics writing with hit series like Klingons: Blood Will Tell. The new four-part epic launches in June, teaming the brothers once again with Klingons artist David Messina.
In Mirror Images, Ryall and the Tiptons recount twin tales: the rise of the mirror James Kirk to the command of the ISS Enterprise as he plots to unseat Captain Christopher Pike, as well as the story of Enterprise crew members whose counterparts were not prominently featured in the original "Mirror, Mirror" episode—McCoy, Scotty and Uhura, who use their unique positions on the ship to advance their own ambitious agendas.
Star Trek movie adaptation and more later in the year
The latest announcement from IDW is focused on the first half of 2008, but it should come as no surprise that they are thinking of doing an adaptation for the new Star Trek movie as well for later in the year. IDW have a lot of experience doing movie adaptations. Just this year they did adaptations for Paramount’s Transformers and Beowulf. With Transformers IDW did both a straight adaptation series as well as a prequel series. TrekMovie.com has learned they may try and do the same for the Trek movie, but details are still being worked out. In a recent interview with Roddenberry.com, IDW artist Joe Corroney talked about meeting with director J.J. Abrams to talk about the comic tie-ins.
In addition, IDW plan on more Trek comics for the second half of 2008, but so far the only one they have announced is a second Mirror Images series, spotlighting The Next Generation crew written by IDW Star Trek editor Andrew Steven Harris and screenwriter George Strayton (Xena, Dragonlance).
Credits for above artwork:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Intelligence Gathering — Joe Corroney
New Frontier: Art — Stephen Thompson
Year Four: Art — The Sharp Brothers; Colors — Leonard O’Grady
Assignment Earth: Art — John Byrne; Colors — Leonard O’Grady (promo only, not final cover)
Mirror Universe: Art — Joe Corroney (promo only, not final cover)