Exclusive Details On Star Trek Movie Prequel Comic Book Series

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.

No cover preview, but here is the new logo art sent to comics dealers


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…

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To quote Bender, “Neat!”

Soooo… not a movie adapt… merely a new story…

Ye’ know, tha’ chattie room on this webby-site be better than any funny book…

Well, except tha’ 1960 through 1980 Spidery-man and Irony-Man funny books… Ye’ remember Irony-Man?… he had a cool suit o’ armour that could do anythin’ at all and then suddenly a bloke wit’ refrigerator magnets defeated him… such irony… he could do whatever an iron can, get out wrinkles, crease yer pants, burn down yer house, squash some ants… look out! Here comes tha’ Irony Man…. but he got tha’ last laugh as Downey, Jr. took up tha’ suit and killed Tron right good…

Sorry- just wantin’ ta’ pump up tha’ posts fur this thread…


1. Or to quote Borat: “Wa wa WEE wah!”

Gotta reclaim my childhood love of comics.

Hope we see Riker and the crew of the Titan in there somehow!

nifty thrifty

Can’t wait! Too bad we have to wait until the end of April.


What an excellent idea… coming from the Supreme Court… to adopt the new view that the “expanded universe” of Trek should be canonical. This is like Coto to the second power. All they need to do next is bring him in for a TOS-era non-Enterprise television series to go along side the JJ sequence of Enterprise movies… Tie-ins galore.

Something to tide us over. I wonder if these comics would have come regardless if the film had debuted in December.

Connecting TNG with the new film? Very very cool. I love David Messina’s artwork on all the past IDW Trek comics and I’m sure it’ll be stellar in COUNTDOWN as well.

Generally, I don’t pick up Star Trek comics because all the Marvel and DC books don’t leave much room in the budget, but I’ll be making time for this for sure.

Oh I’m happy about this!

Just to clarify: You get the ENTIRE “Star Trek: Countdown” story for just over $12?! Is that true? If so, this is a DEFINITE buy for me. Greatly looking forward to it.

Thanks for the explanation, Anthony. I haven’t bought Trek comics for over a decade, so I’m not familiar with how they work anymore.

Superman Returns had a prequal comic book series as well before it was out in theaters….hmmm.

The font used in the logo art seems kinda… plain, compared to the TOS, TNG and DS9 fonts. Such a pity.

Hey Anthony. Di i detect a small spoiler for the new movie. DO we see spock in the Tng era. Hmmm. Sounds like a possible Spoiler for the new movie.

@ 18

I don’t know. I kind of like the font. Sleek, simple, and cool. Kind of like everything else we’ve seen about the movie so far.

Just noticed that is looks as if they incorporated a bit of Earth into the Delta Shield logo — like the side of the planet with the sun behind it. My eyes could just be playing tricks on me… but it they really did do that, that is very, very cool.

I’ll buy it after May of 09.

18. Petey…

Take a look at that font, and the font used in the credits of “The Cage”… both are relatively unremarkable, but similar. Hmmm.. methinks our boys are more into this whole Trek thing than some are giving credits…

It is ain’t on screen, it ain’t canon.

But what about the Star Trek: The Animated Series?

What about the new practically all comics on DVD item?

Well, I guess everything is canon.

Except the novels. Unless I can somehow project those written words onto my television set, then it’s CANON!

As Jack Bauer would say. Dammit!

23. Jorg Sacul –
18. Petey…

JJ also uses similarly simple, sleek clean fonts on the logos for Lost and Fringe. In terms of opening title cards for tv shows I really like this approach. Opening sequences for all the post-TOS Trek series have been overly long behemoths — imagine if the actors’ names were run during the 1st scene like on Lost or Heroes and the title card was just a brief 2-second thing. That leaves more time in the hour for story. Not much extra time, but a little — and a lot can be accomplished in a few seconds on tv.

Yeah, I’m already thinking about Trek’s hopefully inevitable return to television.


What the hell happened to movie logos nowadays? Whatever happened to the likes of the original STAR WARS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, ROBOCOP, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE… to name any number of great genre flicks with eye-catching logos?

Whoever came up with the new logo for STAR TREK obviously came from the same school that gave us the yawn-inducing, ho-hum movie logos of the TNG movies, SUPERMAN RETURNS, BATMAN BEGINS, SPIDER-MAN, etc. As in… block letters. Yay.

This is the NEW “Star Trek” folks… please create a zippier logo than that thing above. That is all.

Ha Ha!

Nero travels back to the era before the original series. He changes the timeline which explains why everything looks different. See, I told you, an alternate timeline reality. I wonder how that will effect all the stories of the original series?

@ 27:

Are you serious? I don’t mean to sound rude, I’m honestly curious. Do you actually believe that this will be an “alternate timeline” story? Because, everything I’ve read from the interviews indicates otherwise. This is more of an origin story than anything. And an alternate timeline would NOT explain how the characters came together, because none of it would have really happened in the “normal” universe.

Besides, I don’t think that’s exactly a non-Trekkie friendly plot line. Nor do I think many Trek fans would enjoy that type of film.

I seriously doubt that this is going to be a film set in an alternate timeline.

As for the “canonicity” of the comics, I have to think that they would be canon, or VERY close to it. At least along the lines of the same thing that used to apply to Franz Joseph’s Starfleet Technical Manual. since these comics are approved by the writers of the film to explain the origins of their characters, and set up the film itself, I don’t see how they couldn’t be canon.

I think Paramount, or at least someone involved in the creation of the comics should officially declare them to be canon.

Sweeeeet. So our X-mas wait has only been extended into January. Still can’t wait.

that is so cool. I hope they find a way for Picard to make an apperance in these comic books. oooooh maybe Picard helps Spock get his timeship! Wouldn’t that be sweet!!!

#8 Daoud

I agree, if the movie does well, then they should tie in with a TV series set in the TOS era with the same aesthetic but on a ship other than the Enterprise. Maybe throw in some cameos from some of the movie cast members now and then if the story called for it. Plus, they can reference some of the adventures the Enterprise has been having (aka, actual TOS episodes) to help make the film and TV series feel more cohesive with the overall canon.

Out grew comics decades ago, but this sounds interesting.

I’m definitely buying this comic, but does anyone else but me think the logo is “Heroes” rip-off! Just replace the arrowhead with a sphere and we’re looking at the Heroes logo.

I hope this Countdown is better than the last one…

Too much information for two days….

….must get drunk…


Countdown to Ultimate Star Trek, err,
All-Star Star Trek, umm,
Star Trek: Zero.

I guess it all depends on the prequels story.

Star Trek – The Rebooted Generation

IDW has already done a fantastic job with the Year Four stuff. I know I’m jumping the gun, but a sequel Star Trek involving their fifth and final year before the Enterprise is decommissioned would be an interesting story no one has tackled either.

#28 Vorus

You make a good point. Though it is possible for part of the film to be in an alternate timeline (or at the least for the timeline to change somewhat but remain the same timeline) depending on what the effect of Nero’s attack on the USS Kelvin is (if there is an effect).

I also agree that these comics should be declared canon. I wouldn’t normally support comics being canon but considering the nature of the comics and Mr. Abrams’s, Mr. Orci’s, and Mr. Kurtzman’s involvement, I make an exception and I sincerely hope TPTB make it official.

Well, this certainly sounds interesting. Since the TNG era is my favorite era, connecting it to the new film sounds like an excellent idea. That said, it should prove interesting to see how that continuity and the books continuity compare. Just so long as the Romulan Empire isn’t destroyed or occupied or became exactly like Vulcan I’ll be happy. I like the Romulans about as much as I like the Klingons and I hope they keep that Romanesque culture. Anyway, this project sounds interesting and I’ll probably wait until the Trade Paperback comes out.

Any info on variants, Anthony?

It ties together the TNG era to the new continuity? Damit! You’ve instantly found a way to make me buy it! *shakes fist*

#26 – I sort of agree with you but you might be jumping the gun a little. This is the comic book logo apparently, not the movie logo itself.

This is great news. One thing Trek lags far behind Star Wars in is a (relatively) consistent Expanded Universe for games, novels, comics, etc. Though Trek has had a very wide range of materials, so this is understandable, especially in the early years.

It would be nice if this movie could also begin to kick off some kind of established EU that could be kept track of and adhered to. With the recent novels having a pretty close continuity, as well as Star Trek Online on the way, maybe its time Trek opened up its own official EU.

But then again, trying to incorporate all the stuff from the past would be…………well……yeah…. Of course Lucasfilm actually has one guy whose sole job it is to keep track of and integrate everything together, which would be hard for Trek since there’s no “Roddenberryfilm Ltd.” to have master control over all of Trek past, present and future.

I do wish they’d use the original series type face – they did start to use but it seems to have been dropped.

I wonder if this will be the logo used for the movie as well. I bet it will.

Aaargh, I go on holiday for a week, only to come back to find that ‘the-powers-that-be’ have decided to issue a landslide of revealing stuff in the last few days, without us all having to wait till next month’s new trailer!!

I haven’t had a chance to read everyone’s opinions yet, but I know some will be delighted about *everything*, while some will be not so impressed…. Will be interested to catch up on that…. In the meantime, I’d like to add a couple of things of my own. –

Firstly, about this comic introduction thing – Could be a very interesting primer for the main event, or it could reveal too much in advance….either way, I truly hope that the typeface used in the logo above is *not* going to be the official one for this Movie. I really would have liked to have seen the excellent, iconic, forward slanting font used in the TOS series, but updated somehow, perhaps with some kind of approaching or receding movement. Despite the TOS-looking font that was seen on the early teaser posters, if this plain lettering is going to be the J.J.’s introduction to the Movie, then that is a change for the worse I reckon.

Onto the recent reveals –

If that shot of a portion of the ‘Bridge’ does indeed show how it looks overall by the *end* of this Movie, then it is a poor substitute for the overall aestetic of the original series one. Although I wasn’t expecting to the exact colour-scheme and layout of the TOS series, I got a shock to see something approaching a sterile iStore / Sony Centre / with it’s rows of dressing room bulbs…. I suspected long ago that we might get a bigger, brighter, whiter look overall, although I hoped I was wrong, but I expected things to have a bit more of a WOW! factor if they did. This portion that was shown did not give me that feeling, and is not the Kind of technology that I expected from a 23rd Century-set Movie with the budget we know this thing has…. To be honest, barring the vibrant colour-scheme, I think the overall look of the original series Bridge looks more futuristic than what was on show in that portion! I hope that is not the actual ‘final* version by the Movie’s end, but it seems to have been confirmed as being the one from the ‘Enterprise’.

I’m reasonably happy with the final uniforms, but they do seem out of kilter in such a different-looking Bridge, and I don’t like the silver braid / badges instead of the gold….unless there is a reason for this….

Why is the parting on Bone’s hair on the RIGHT?

SFX shots look amazing though!

don’t wanna be bothered with picking up the 4 issues (like I did with the Superman Returns prequels..the day I spent going from comic store to comic store trying to track down one of the issues is a day id sooner forget….as the day wore on and I got more and more upset and not being able to track it down there came a point when I asked myself ‘how did I get like this..?’ ) ..

also don’t wanna read them and have them spoil anything to do with the story so I’ll order the trade paperback and keep it closed till after I seen the film…

other stuff i’ll pick up – the Making of book (gotta be one as they still do them), the comic adaptaion, offical magazine (like those ones Starlog did of the original movies), the novel (even though i hate reading stuff without pictures lol), soundtrack (an absolute friggin MUST!!) and maybe the poster (as i have the previous 10 and hope to one day have them all up on the wall)…what else?…oh yeah and the dvd (not Blu Ray..i aint rebuying all my dvds as Blu Ray!)

doubt i’ll bother with model kits and action figures now…im over 30

“also don’t wanna read them and have them spoil anything to do with the story so I’ll order the trade paperback and keep it closed till after I seen the film…”

The purpose of the comics though are intended to be read *before* the movie though.