TrekInk: Review – Mirror Images #2 & #3

How buff can Kirk be in the mirror universe? Is it true that Picard shaved his head at an early age? Does Jack Crusher die in every parallel universe, or only these two? Just how virile is Sulu? All these questions and more… not exactly answered ahead in our review if the latest two issues of ‘Star Trek Mirror Images’!


Mirror Images #2
Picking up where the first issue left off, with Pike interrogating McCoy trying to suss out Kirk’s motivations and plans. Well, the motivations are clear, but how he expects to carry them out, not so much. The Tiptons continue to pull characters into the plots, this time showing the integral part that Scotty has to play in Kirk’s charade. We also see something of a follow-up to their Orion Slave Girl "Alien Spotlight" issue, in the form of a nice triptych of girls ready to fawn over Sulu. The plot points come fast and heavy as both Pike and Kirk try to beat each other to the punches, and we see the germination of a major thread from the Mirror, Mirror episode.

The brothers continue to draw on inspirations from the Original Series episode, writing their prequel story to fill in most of the gaps, leaving some open bits here and there… thus far. The plots hatched by the characters come across as a bit convoluted sometimes, but when they play out in the end, they have a very simple feel to them, and as we all know, the simpler the plan, the more likely it is to succeed. As noted, more characters are being introduced to the story, with Sulu making his appearance in this issue, and promises of Uhura in the next issue of the story.

Pike looks for a new meal alternative… (click to enlarge)

As is usual for Star Trek comics written by Scott and David Tipton, David Messina provides the artwork. Like the first issue, and every other Trek issue he has done to date, his mix of photo realistic and the classic comic book look does justice to the words on the page and the script behind it. His starships are also relatively simple but effective, but the really fantastic look is given to the space backgrounds, especially when the Enterprise encounters the Orion vessel. The star field behind the ship looks like something you might actually see out in space.

I’m not certain how much of that space look is due to Ilaria Traversi’s colors, but like the previous issue, she has managed to give an alien feel to Star Trek, one that is much darker and nastier. The background tones are uniformly darker and greyer than those seen in their last series, Intelligence Gathering. Her use of shadows is also excellent, often hiding faces from view, just like the plans the characters hold close to their chest. This issue picks up nicely from the previous and builds on that story. I’m looking forward to seeing how these events play out to reach the conclusion we all remember from the episode.

The Enterprise encounters a Orion vessel floating in a blue space river…
(click to enlarge)

Mirror Images #3
The third issue in the series doesn’t pick up where the last one left off, but instead jumps forward some seventy years to the time when a young Jean-Luc Picard served aboard the ISS Starbreaker (the mirror universe equivalent of the USS Stargazer). This is a time when the Empire is beginning to show cracks and weaknesses as the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance begins to grow in strength. A time previously visited in Michael Jan Friedman’s “Stargazer: Three”, this story appears to compliment that book fairly well. Unfortunately, at the same time, the basic setting seems to contradict the recently published “The Sorrows of Empire” by David Mack in the “Glass Empires” collection, which seems to suggest that the Empire was replaced by the Terran Republic in the early 2290s and that a complete collapse followed within a couple of years.

Those nitpicks aside, jumping away from the main plotline seems to be a bit of a strange decision, and it is not obvious how the plot of this “interlude” even relates to the main story, other than also taking place in the miror universe. Despite all of that, this is a solid story that shows us the end of the story and then takes us back in time an hour to tell the tale of how things led to Picard’s knife being planted in the middle of Captain Solek’s back. The story flows well and draws from the mirror universe setup that we saw in the Deep Space Nine episodes crossing over. The Cardassians are interested in prisoners and the Klingons in killing outright, and our characters react accordingly, trying to figure out what is best for them.

Encountering the Alliace… almost like meeting the future in-laws… (click to enlarge)

Messina and Traversi continue to amaze with the way they work together so well on the art. There is a palpable softening on a few panels that show a character starting to fold under the pressure he is put under, and at the same time, shows the lighting around him very well. My only real complaint is that there appears to be several instances of haloing about character’s heads, this is most evident in an image of Picard at the bottom of page 7 and around Morales at the top of page 6 and Solek in the final panel on the same page. I can understand the desire to show where a characters head begins and ends, but I still find it a bit distracting. Perhaps the problem is in the extreme use of very dark colors in this issue.

Overall, this story stands together well and tells the tale of Picard being put into a position to take control of his destiny aboard the Starbreaker in a way that is convincing in the mirror universe. It’s a fairly straight forward story, but allows the artists to really let loose on some space battle scenes. The best is the way in which Picard manages to deal with the situation in the end – a bit of clever writing that harkens back to a classic Next Generation episode and something that allows the artists to really show their stuff and present some striking panels.

Why is it that the Cardassians always have to insist on boarding you? The Klingons will just shoot and be done with it… (click to enlarge)

I’ve definitely got mixed feelings about this series at the moment. The bits based on the original series are very strong and tell what is shaping up to be an excellent story, but the jump forward to Picard’s time on the ISS Starbreaker takes me right out of the story. It’s a good story, but seems out of place. There are two issues left in this series, and I’m hoping that one or the other will have some plot reason why we jumped forward and saw this timeline, but I’m not entirely certain that will be the case… I guess that we’ll just have to wait and see.

Star Trek Mirror Images #2 & #3 are in comic shops now.

MI #2 & #3 covers (click to enlarge)

Crew Preview
John Byrne recently showed off an unpainted preview of a two page panel from "Crew" his 2009 ‘shakedown cruise’ series set in the Pike era.

"Crew" preview

New Trade Paperbacks Reminder
Remember, over the last week, the “Best of Peter David” and “New Frontier” trade paperbacks began shipping. (Note that Amazon has the end of October listed for the New Frontier book, but that it should be available now in most comic shops.)

New Peter David Trade Paperbacks
…Available at Amazon

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These look like fun.

Just watched a bunch of parallel universe episodes via the Alternate Realities DVD collection. These add such interesting dimension to the Star Trek Sage (not to mention the opportunity for some unique story lines). Love it all!

All five two and the CC…….WAIT A MINUTE!

Why the heck is the “Nemesis” Picard doing on that cover?! I’ll have someone’s pride for dinner! Get this cover out of Trek property!

Interesting that they made young Picard look like Schinzon on the cover. Appropriate I guess because he’s supposed to be a clone but I was still a little surprised.

I had to assume, after Nemesis, Picard had his head shaved at the Academy (maybe as some tradition for new cadets) after we saw that bald photo of him p(layed by Shinzon actor Tom Hardy) in cadet uniform — even though we saw a young Picard in “Tapestry” having just graduated but with a full head of hair.

Of course, it’s entirely possible Picard, like Patrick Stewart, was simply balding by the time he was in the Academy (and that him with the hair is just him wearing a wig). It’s my guess that’s where the writers were going with for Shinzon’s look.

Don’t forget we saw an older Picard with hair in Beverly’s flashback on Jack Crushers funeral…

Don’t even mention/Regard anything that happened in Nemesis as Canon, its so unbelievably bad..

Um…it’s the mirror universe. Not the mainstream universe, so Picard could have shaved his head anytime. Just throwing that out there. This is the first time I’ve actually been interested in a Star Trek comic…sounds pretty cool.

I’m enjoying Mirror Images. However, I found the TNG interlude to be quite unnecessary. Really looking forward to John Byrne’s “Crew” series.

defenitely think tying all the mirror episodes together with a 200+/- year spanning tv series or movie(s) would be a nice idea…
… and cant people grow or cut their hair in the “future”, or starfleet?

great drawing for ‘the crew’, too bad these arent online, i’m not the sort who would ever walk into a comic book store.

could the cardassians have a less interesting, ungainly looking fleet of boxes to fly around in?

no cure for baldness in the 24th century?

the future is bleak, indeed!

In a mirror universe, I am really into comic books.

For some strange reason, the whole thing just passed me by in this universe. Maybe they just weren’t very good during those key formative years when I should have been interested. And I don’t remember a single person in school being into comic books, either.

I was born in 1968, if that means anything.

“i’m not the sort who would ever walk into a comic book store.”

I’m going to try to interpret that in as non-snobby a light as possible.

Well. I like them and i think that the mirror Universe can be a lot of fun. Would love to see the mirror from the 22nd century with the now I.S.S Defiant and how hoshi Sato took over. Long live the Terran Empire.

“great drawing for ‘the crew’, too bad these arent online, i’m not the sort who would ever walk into a comic book store.”


Mongo wonder what it is with Star Trek captain and hair discussion? Shatner/Kirk hair or toop? Sisko have hair then bald and not captain entire time anyway. Janeway have hair up. Janeway have hair down. Picard bald as cadet. Picard have hair as cadet.

Mongo think it legacy of Gene Roddenberry not seem familiar with comb.

(Mongo kidz cuz Mongo think funny)

The nitpicks about issue 3 seem silly:
You can shave your head and it will grow back…
Two actors played young Picard, so they decided to use Tom hardy version instead of the Marcus Nash version..
Besides, it’s more than a few years after he graduated…

I think Mirror Images is one of the best glimpses of that Universe, better than “Glass Empires” and the Picard issue was the best. I hope we see more of Picard and the Starbreaker.

JWW, drop your concerns and come on in. Harvey Pekar, Chrris Ware, Charles Burns, (etc etc) all have something to say to you!

@ #12

In response to that question, Gene Rodenberry reportedly said “they wouldn’t care.”


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