TrekInk: Review of “Star Trek: Romulans: Schisms” #1 + Details on TNG “Ghosts”

The recent marriage of the Romulan Praetor is causing Kor and Koloth some headaches, but it is nothing compared to the end result of the Enterprise Incident! Politics play to the forefront as the schisms begin. With the release of "Star Trek: Romulans: Schism" #1, John Byrne kicks off the final chapter in his Romulan saga. See below for our review, plus some new details on a new TNG comic series



After a break since his prior visit to the Romulan storyline begun February 2008, John Byrne returns with the first issue of the final segment of his Romulan Saga. After taking some time to bring us the "Assignment Earth" and "Crew" series, Byrne has thrown himself whole-hog into this first issue of three telling, the story of the breakdown of the Romulan-Klingon alliance.

In the time since Gaius took over as Praetor to the Romulan Empire at the end of the "Hollow Crown" series, he has married and the cold war between the Romulans and the Earthers has dragged on, much to the chagrin of the Klingon Emperor and the many lost Klingon lives. One recent event that has turned the tides, as Kor discovers when he encounters the USS Yorktown (NCC-1717), is that the Federation has somehow managed to get their hands on a cloaking device.

It would appear that Captain Koloth is a student of irony… Just as the princess is a master of wordplay… (click to enlarge)

Byrne continues to weave a tangled web with his Romulan storyline, carefully tying it in to The Original Series episodes that portrayed the Romulans and Klingons. The big tie-in here is to "The Enterprise Incident," in which Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise managed to get their hands on a cloaking device. The big draw in this portion of the story is trying to follow all of the tangled and sneaky political threads he has laid out in front of the reader. Of course, being a story featuring Klingons, there is the big, fun space encounter that does encompass a good third of the issue overall. One thing that did jump out was that nobody on the Federation ship that they encounter is named.

Byrne’s artwork for this issue is not as jagged or as caricatured as the earlier two books, and it feels like he’s become much more comfortable with the Star Trek likenesses and the leeway that he has been given as compared to his other works with licensed products (Indiana Jones and his Star Trek work back in the DC era). The space scenes are good and busy with star fields, but his best work is on facial close-ups of Kor, Koloth, and the Klingon Emperor. Lovern Kindzierski returns after his work on the final three issues on Byrne’s "Crew" comic, and it seems that Byrne has found a colorist that he likes to work with. The colors mesh well with the story, and bring back the style of colors seen on the Original Series TV shows featuring Romulans and Kingons. At the same time, they do not veer too far afield from the color styles used in the other three issues in the Romulans storyline.

Just because Kor got beaten by the Federation before doesn’t mean that he really does know them… or does it? (click to enlarge)

As usual with his books, Byrne provides all of the covers for this issue, and like his prior work, the main cover has the titles, while there is a retail incentive ‘virgin’ cover has just the bare artwork. This one is done in the same style as the other Romulan issues, so will look good when viewed with the other issues in the saga.

The first story in this three part mini-series finishing out the Romulan Saga is a very good read for fans of the prior books in the Saga. It begins with some complicated politics and plot threads, but as the issue progresses, things become a bit more straight-forward, before leaving things on a cliffhanger. The only complaint that might be raised is that the story has more focus on the Klingons than the Romulans at this point, something that seems a bit odd for a book titled "Romulans: Schism".

Covers for "Schism" #1
(click to enlarge)

Star Trek Romulans: Schism #1 is available arrives in comic stores today (Wednesday 9/16). You can order it (and the final two issues) from TFAW.




(Sept 16)



A trade paperback combining Byrne’s Romulans issue from "Alien Spotlight" and his two-part "Romulans: Hollow Crown" plus the three issues of "Romulans: Schism" will be released March 2010. You can pre-order from Amazon for $13.59 (discounted from $19.99).

Star Trek TNG: Ghosts Writer Interview
As we reported last month, IDW is finally returning to TNG comics in November with the first of a five-issue series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts". Comic Book Resources has a new interview with "Ghosts" writer Zander Cannon. Here is an excerpt:

“’Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts’ starts out as a routine rescue mission above a planet on which there are two feuding nations, one of which is a Federation ally. After rescuing the lone survivor of the disaster, the crew of the Enterprise finds that he seems to be haunted by phantoms, one of which he says is Captain Picard,” Cannon told CBR. “While they unravel that mystery, the tensions heat up between the two nations, and the crew has to investigate claims of espionage, kidnapping, and murder while keeping themselves out of harm’s way.”

More details at CBR.

Star Trek The Next Generation Ghosts #1 comes out in November and can be pre-ordered at TFAW.

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First! Looks like a good one.

Why is there a TNG Klingon is a TOS comic book?

#2: Did you not watch ‘Enterprise?’ They did an episode that explained the apparent differences of the TOS and TNG appearing Klingons.

Looks like a intriguing story.

@2: Umm… cause she’s hot?

What? It’s a good enough reason for me…

I don’t care what she’s got going on from the neck down – bald and lobster-headed is a turn off for me, even in fiction.

#2 – Complaints. You can’t do anything in the realm of Star Trek without there being someone to complain first. Complain about the movie. Complain about ENT or VOY. Complain about the novels. Gotta love Star Trek fans.

Wasn’t the Captain of the USS Yorktown the former first officer of Enterprise under Captain Pike? She never was named on the series just known as “Number One” and in the newer Trek comics she is refereed to by Rank not name.

@7: It did look a bit like her, but until I hear definitively, I’m definitely not going to say that it was her. :)

@2: Movie era Klingons. I meant to mention them in the review, but couldn’t find a clean way to fit it in without it seeming out of place.

#3 – That still doesn’t explain why a TNG Klingon would appear in a comic set in the TOS era.

#5 – Amen to that!!


Because Byrne is smart & follows cannon with logic.

This is clearly the period in which the Klingons begin restoring their natural appearance.

& of course the upper class such as her majesty there get their ridges first because powerful houses such as hers can afford such luxuries.

By TMP the Klingons are back to their full lumpy glory, so obviously it had to start around this period.


Just cause the Klingons Kirk encountered are flat heads doesn’t mean they all were.

Try to use your imagination, this is Sci-fi.

The Klingon’s forehead ridges grew back, too. I think there was a TOS Klingon on DS9 and he had his ridge-on. (episode with Dax, I believe)

Just read it. It’s pretty awesome. Good work. Looking forward to more Trek universe expanding comics.

That cover for TNG Ghosts is the most bland, generic and uninspired one I’ve ever seen.

11.: I think that was done through surgery or a cure or something. Its never explained. I don’t think they just grew back on their own.

Technically, they’re not TNG Klingons, they’re TMP Klingons since they first appeared in the TOS film series. The other notable changing of the Klingon appearance first came into Trek canon not with Enterprise but with the DS9 episode “Blood Oath” which featured our favorite TOS Klingons Kor, Kang and Koloth – all long-haired and lumpy-like. Enterprise went to further detail to explain the more-human appearance, which we know they had already perfected by the transformation of a Klingon spy into the outwardly convincing human Arne Darvin in “The Trouble with Tribbles”. In the Deep Space Nine episode, “Trials and Tribble-ations”, Worf responds to O’Brien’s shock at the Klingon’s appearance, Worf is clearly embarrassed and responds with a curt “We don’t talk about it with outsiders” Not having the the Enterprise episodes, I can’t really give details as to what their explanation finally was.

THG Ghosts has a fatal flaw: the Federation would never ally with only one nation of a world!

georgious- but im being more adult & waiting for the trade paperbacks.

Yes, the Commodore is Number One. Byrne has already said so on his website. As I said in another thread on the subject, he is tying Crew into Romulans. Just as during the Crew series, he had an issue that tied his Assignment: Earth series to Crew.

And AGAIN, the Romulans trade paperback will feature Balance of Terror from the Romulan perspective.

From Byrne:
“Once SCHISM has been published, the whole Romulan Saga that began in ALIEN SPOTLIGHT will be collected into a trade paperback. There’s one “chapter” missing, of course, and that’s the original “Balance of Terror” episode. So, for the trade, I am doing a Romulan’s side “adaptation” of that episode. Here’s a sneekpeek at what is not, after all, a “surprise ending”!”


Thanks for the info. I read Byrne’s board, but I missed both of those nice tidbits of information.

I’m looking forward to the trade paperback even more now!

No problem and great review!