TrekInk: Review – Crew #1 + Previews for New Series

The last TrekInk column was about number a three, but this is about Number One. In addition to “Countdown” #3, this week IDW released issue #1 of John Byrne’s "Crew", which features the character "Number One" — oh, and the birth of the USS Enterprise.



With this six-issue series, John Byrne is fully given his due as, for all intents and purposes, the flagship writer for IDW’s Star Trek line. His last two series featured his name on the cover, underneath the IDW logo. Now, it’s right on the cover overtop of the Star Trek logo, which is the one used on the classic TV series opening credit. As per usual with a John Byrne Star Trek book, he is responsible for both the story and the art.

Given the chance to play with more Original Series characters in his little sandbox, John Byrne has decided to focus on one of those terribly underutilized characters from the show. In fact, she was so underused, that she only appeared in one episode, the first pilot ("The Cage"), before being unceremoniously dumped by the network executives. After all, we couldn’t show a woman in a position of power now, could we?

I swear, this could be the starting plot point from one of those classic beach movies Elvis used to make… (click to enlarge)

The story starts off simply by introducing us to a few young and energetic cadets, waiting for their assignment to begin. We get to walk through what could be the typical happenings for a new crewmember aboard a new starship, and check out the brand new NX-0002, a ship to be christened the USS Enterprise. During the course of the shakedown cruise, a few strange things happen, some intrigue, and some of our favorite villains make an appearance. Of course, Number One, not yet named that, is called upon to save the day.

It’s a classic conceit in movies, comics, books, and so forth that the young main character has to step in to save the ship, but seeing that this is the story of that main character and how she moved into such a position of power on board Christopher Pike’s Enterprise, it’s easily overlooked in favor of the story itself. Byrne shows that Number One is confident in her abilities, quick on her feet, and somewhat of a nerd, especially with a quote from later in the book shown below. The plot of the story is relatively straightforward, with no really unusual twists and turns, but it does serve as an excellent reintroduction to the character, and interests us in the rest of the story.

Isn’t this just the girl of most Star Trek geek’s dreams? (click to enlarge)

Byrne’s art is somewhat unique. He has an interesting, and, to some, an unusual way or portraying faces to the point that they are almost exaggerated caricatures. This exaggeration tends to only apply to those characters created by him, but also serve to display emotions and reactions, something that is difficult in the comic medium. His capture of starships, on the other hand, is striking. The cover of the issue features our first glimpse of the NX-0002, even though it is only seen in silhouette form, but the opening vista on the title page of the issue looks like something out of Star Trek The Motion Picture. Not a bit of space on the page is wasted. As I’ve commented before in my reviews of Byrne’s material, he has been working in this industry long enough that he has not only garnered his own unique style, but he has found ways to use space on the page by shifting borders and overlapping panels that brings a sense of movement to the story.

One clever conceit in this issue, and something Byrne has commented on previously, is that the main character is never named. There are moments when her name could come out, but each time, it is cleverly avoided or cut off. One moment that I hope is returned to comes on the last page of the issue, in the third last panel. Byrne’s past Trek stories for IDW have been, for the most part, self-contained, so I’m interested to see how references from each of the issues in this six issue storyline will play out into each other.

In short, if you’re a fan of the original Trek, especially the original pilot episode, "The Cage," this story should take you back to those days. It has promise to make an interesting story, taking us up to the opening scenes of that episode, just as the "Mirror Images" series did with "Mirror, Mirror," and the new "Countdown" series is doing with the Star Trek movie. It’s a storyline with a known conclusion, but as J. Michael Straczynski once stated about his Babylon 5 show, sometimes it’s more about how you get there than where you’re ultimately going.

Regular and dealer incentive cover for "Crew #1"
(click to enlarge)


John Byrne’s Crew #1 is now available at comic stores and at, you can also pre-order the next two issues.










(cvr 1)

(cvr 2)







Next week, March 25th, features the release of three Star Trek comics from IDW.

  • Andrew Steven Harris’ final issue of "The Last Generation" where Jean-Luc Picard and his resistance attempt to travel back in time to liberate Earth from the Klingons.
  • Ty Templeton’s "Mission’s End" begins a five issue series which tells the story of the final mission of the original Enterprise. Apparently, we are going to learn why Spock and McCoy retire from Starfleet, and be told how and why Kirk takes a promotion to Admiral.
  • The first issue of the second "Alien Spotlight" volume is coming out with Stuart Moore’s spotlight on Tribbles. This story features the introduction of Tribbles to the rest of the galaxy, leading to the original Trouble With Tribbles story. Why do the Klingons hate Tribbles so much anyhow?

Five preview pages from each of these books are available at Comics Continuum along with the two main covers of each issues.

Previews of next week’s IDW Star Trek comics at ComicsContinuum

Pre-order next week’s comics from

Last Generation

Missions End

Alien Spotlight:




Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Cool to see #1 in actions and her name was v……..

the bit on transwarp didnt make much sense, but I guess the people writing these arent theoretical physicists

Spell check alert on the article’s title! ;)

neat comics,, I’ll have to read afew,, it might pass the time faster to


At this point, I am willing to entertain new directions for Trek — every which way.

At every moment of growth, of which this is one, there will be riotous displays of possibilities, not all of which will appeal to everyone.


The proliferation of Trek comics of late is absolutely wonderful – and a little overwhelming!!

I still haven’t read Assignment Earth of Mirror Images (although the trade paperbacks are right here on my desk) but these new ones sound fabulous!

IDW won me over with Klingons: Blood Will Tell – the best Trek comics run ever (ok, some of the Peter David stuff is a close second.)

This was a great Issue #1 I felt it was a great Homage to
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry!
Great tone and action set up by Mr. Byrne, and it was awesome.!

Okay, this is me again asking for the twelve millionth time: Does anyone know if Number One — my favorite of all Trek characters — makes an appearance in ST09?

If anyone, i.e. John Byrne is reading this, Number One/Pike’s Enterprise has spiked nacelles.

Huge gaffe. Better fix it.

#9 that aint the only gaffe… in the missions end thing it had a female captain during the early kirk days with gary mitchell and kelso…but it explicitly said no female captains in turnabout intruder…

ANTHONY…;lease ask whoever you must to PLEASE make the Last Generation series available as iTunes iPhone apps like the Countdown series is!

sorry…typo…i meant Please ask…

10, I think that the phraseology was, “in your world of starship captains” (or similar) in dialogue by Dr. Janice Lester, which has been rationalized to mean that it’s Kirk’s personal world, not Starfleet, that does not have females in command.

John Byrne is the man I remeber he did a drawing of Kahn for DC comics Star Trek Encyclopedia years ago and at the time I thought he had to do a Trek comic book and now finally he is doing some great Trek stuff.

@11 I agree whole heartedly love the comics on my iphone


Captain Erika Hernandez, Commanding Officer of the Columbia, NX-02. Close to a century before this issue.

How could the Enterprise be an experimental ship? It wasn’t even the class ship…

#9: “If anyone, i.e. John Byrne is reading this, Number One/Pike’s Enterprise has spiked nacelles”

She has, though the cover doesn’t show it. However during the story the Enterprise is shown with spiked nacelles. Not just that, the interiors of the ship have a lot of interesting details, like the captain’s chair is shown in the same level as the helm console, not elevated like in the Kirk era.

About the spiked nacelles thing: Anyone know exactly what function the spikes served?

Also, I’ve asked this before: Does anyone know either a canonical or retconned reason that the aft appearance of the TOS Enterprise’s nacelles went from vents to spheres?

Anyone ever wonder why Pikes 2nd in command as well as Picards were both called Number One? I think the answer is quite simple. Both were first officers and so they used the nickname number one. Anyone agree?

#15…erika hernandez=22nd century + pre-Federation Starfleet…big difference


You’re right, they’d de-evolve in regard to sexism.

I don’t think that she, or any other female captain, was stripped of her rank in 2161.

#19 It has to do with the fact that Gene Roddenberry recycled a lot of ideas from The Cage and Phase 2, repackaged of course, for TNG. Picard/Pike (look up the name history, you’ll be suprised)

#19 & 22…

The expression “Number One” is old British Naval slang used to refer to as executive officer. Roddenberry used this in “The Cage,” abandoned it in the original series (probably because it didn’t seem to fit the Kirk/Spock relationship), and revived it again for TNG.

“she only appeared in one episode, the first pilot (“The Cage”), before being unceremoniously dumped by the network executives. After all, we couldn’t show a woman in a position of power now, could we?”

That’s a myth perpetuated by Gene, according to Herb Solow and Bob Justman (see their book, “Inside Star Trek: The Real Story”). NBC executives had no problem with either the character or gender of Number One: It was Majel, as an actress, they weren’t crazy about. Unfortunately for Gene, the actress happened to be his girlfriend, and he had to tell her something that wasn’t going to upset her. So he came up with this story that the network was dead-set against the idea of a woman in a position of power, and that story has become accepted Trek lore.

People can nitpick Byrne’s work to find every single flaw.

I think this issue is an absolute work of beauty. From the artwork to the dialogue (which is superb for the limited page space of the comics medium) to the character development, to the efforts to capture the TOS era, John Byrne and IDW went above and beyond with a phenomenal product yet again.

Byrne’s previous work on Assignment: Earth, plus the Romulan-focused comics are among some of the best Trek comics ever produced, imho. And Crew follows that tradition.

– Byrne does a phenomenal job of capturing Majel Barrett-Roddenberry’s likeness.
– I love that Number One’s real name isn’t evoked.
– The “nerd” quality is evident, although not in a bad way.
– Her intensity, her drive is phenomenal. I love her engineering focus and abilities.
– It’s understandable how she rises to become Pike’s Number One. I WISH we could see the character, if briefly, in the upcoming movie. (“My Number One is on temporary assignment elsewhere” or ?) Or perhaps the U.S.S. Kelvin timeline changes keep her from never reporting to Pike or the Enterprise. :(
– The coloring is terrific, too.

Bottom line: BUY this issue. BUY the other Crew issues. They’re excellent!

I think a cameo with Jennifer Garner as Number One would be awesome!

#25 — oooohhh… Call it a fanboy dream come true. That would be awesome, considering past comments by her about wanting a cameo, if possible.

#24: You’ve sold me. I really enjoyed Byrne’s “Assignment: Earth” comics, so based on that and your praise, I’m off to Ye Merrye Comycks Shoppe.

I enjoy many of these comic adventures when i can afford to get them .

@#10 – There are many inconsitancies throughout the canon of Star Trek , if your upset about a female captain in TOS era , I guess you need to disavow the Captain of the Saratoga in ST. IV The Voyage Home ;)

Some comments on the covers…

The nacelles on Missions End issue 1, with Spock, Kirk and Mitchell in WNMHGB uniforms, sport the spikes…

The illustration on Crew 3 is funny, with all those bodies dangling in the ship’s outline. The nacelles look kind of wobbly, with all those hands in there…

and the outline on Crew number 2 is not the 1701…

Move views of Crew #1 here. Yep, she has the spikes :)

I love Number One! Gotta have this comic!

Always thought she deserved her own command of a Constitution.

Well, now that we know she’s got ‘the spikes,’ as someone asked up top, what’s the point? (runs and hides)


come on, AJ…
you know that these spikes were for the pre-twirling of the hydrogen molecules, so that more fuel could be sucked up by the bussards…

Does the upcoming Mission’s End comic mean that there won’t be any more Year Four comics?


I always saw them as bayonets.

Kirk: “Mr. Mitchell…Ram the Klingons with our spikes!”

Mitchell: “Are you serious?”

Kirk: “That’s an order, Mister! Why do you think we have them?”

Mitchell: “I always thought it was an “erect nipples” thing.

Kelso: “Me, too sir.”

Spock: “Captain! If we ram the Klingons with our nacelles! We risk destroying them! The nacelles, I mean!”

Kirk: “Keep your voice down, Spock. Do we have any other weapons aboard?”

Mitchell: “We have phase cannons and photonic torpedoes. By the way, the Klingons went into warp 3 minutes ago.”

AJ, as far as I know, Starfleet Command considered the ramming option impractical, due to the neccessary saucer-separation maneuver…
So the spikes were removed before Kirks 5 year mission ensued.


thorsten: But mirror universe Starfleet kept the spikes! Why?


Intendant Kira made me promise to keep my mouth shut…


Lucky you! The fact you’re not dead means you must be pleasing the Intendant. For now…

…and this on a thread for a comic I haven’t read. Is this the same John Byrne that did the “Iron Fist” (and many other) comics for Marvel in the ’70s?

Oh cool, winter is coming up and I need something to keep my fireplace going.

Ha ha, in the first comics preview the Excelsior magically turns into the Enterprise-B one panel later.

happybirthdaywilliam… shatner

I just bought this issue. IT IS AWESOME. Totally captures the style and flavour of the Pike years with a hint of the new movie, like the bigger, wider shuttlecraft. If you’re worried about too many drastic changes in the new film, then pick up this issue. There’s enough old school designs to satiate the old fan’s soul. Mr. Byrne did a stellar turn on issue #1. Number One about Number One!

She only appeared in one episode, the first pilot (“The Cage”), before being unceremoniously dumped by the network executives. After all, we couldn’t show a woman in a position of power now, could we?

Wrong. The character of Number One was not axed from Star Trek because she was a woman in power. She was axed because the NBC execs didn’t want Roddenberry’s mistress playing one of the leads. See STAR TREK: THE REAL STORY by Herb Solow & Robeert Justman for the full story.


Ah, haven’t seen that book. Just repeatedly read the story, so took it on good faith as the truth.

Now, strictly speaking, that was still the case… just that Gene was the network exec, and then the second bit is more a personal comment than anything. ;)


See #23. :)

#10—“in the missions end thing it had a female captain during the early kirk days with gary mitchell and kelso…but it explicitly said no female captains in turnabout intruder…”

Actually, Janice Lester is the one who said that, and I—for one—took that as her way of putting the blame for her position in the Universe anywhere but her own shoulders.

“Your world of starship captains doesn’t admit women” is a statement by a paranoid individual. But even if you give any credence to her words reflecting reality, you must also take into account the meaning of the term “starship”, as used in TOS to describe the class of vessel to which ships like the Enterprise, the Defiant, etc. belonged.

As evidenced in “Bread And Circuses”, there is a distinction between a “starship” and just any old ship. It could simply be that there had not yet been a woman in command of a ship of that class, and Lester–true to character, perceived that as predjudice of the part of Starfleet Command.

That–to me–makes far more sense than simply accepting the words of a deranged and paranoid character as the ‘gospel’ of Starfleet policy, despite the obvious stupidity behind her suggestion.

Why would Starfleet allow a female to serve as second-in-command if it would not allow one to be Captain? Nonsense.

“and the outline on Crew number 2 is not the 1701…”
Each issue of Crew takes place on a different ship throughout Number One’s career.

The issue was awesome! Like another poster, ever since Byrne did some artwork in the DC Trek Who’s Who, I wished he’d do some full on Trek work. As time passed I figured it’d just be one of those things I’d wish for but never see. So I finally got my wish in spades with the Romulan specials, A:E and now Crew.

I always thought it’d be cool, but even less probable, if he did some Cage era stuff. So this series is doubly awesome! After he did his Lost Generation (Marvel) and Superman \ Batman Generations (DC), I thought it’d be cool if he utilized that same format with a Trek mini.

Maybe follow the family of the navigator from BoT from the Rom Wars to the “present” on Kirks ship. Crew basically does something similar, so we’ll get to see the time period from April (who has a cameo somewhere during the series according to Byrne) to Pike.

I’m glad to see that his Trek work is standing out. I hoped it would and I’d love it if he had some kind of ongoing anthology that just let him explore the universe and immediate era’s of the original Trek.

Pick this series up if you need a classic era fix!

That looks really, really cool. I’ve seen “The Cage” and thought it was so cool of Pike to have a gal be his Numero Uno. ;D I wish she would’ve stayed, but “All Good Things…”. *le sigh*

I might have to look into getting an issue or two of these.

For anyone interested, John Byrne used to frequent Stratacafe, a site for users of Strata 3D. He hasn’t posted any images there in ages, but some of the more recent images show how he was using 3D models particularly for spacecraft in his comics work. It’s also worth going through his profile to see some fantastically imaginative stuff based around Jules Vern or HG Wells style Victorian sci-fi. He’s also an excellent modeller and very innovative with his renders. Link here: