TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: New Visions #4: Made Out of Mudd + 7-page Preview

QGambit1 HeaderImage

Just in time for the holidays, IDW’s Star Trek: New Visions photonovel series returns with fan favorite Harry Mudd like you’ve never seen him before. Does the new John Byrne original story, “Made Out of Mudd,” pass muster? Find out with a spoiler-filled review, plus a 7-page preview, after the jump.

Star Trek: New Visions #4: ‘Made Out of Mudd’ (available Wednesday, December 10)
Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall


Cover: Art by John Byrne

Cover: Art by John Byrne


The Enterprise receives an Alpha One Priority signal from a Federation outpost on Tau Delta IX for a most unusual reason – they’re holding one James T. Kirk in custody for breaking into a Starfleet communications facility!

Except, it’s not quite Kirk after all, but none other than Harcourt Fenton Mudd masquerading in Kirk’s body. After being condemned to a life of hard labor under the painful supervision of 500 android copies of his ex-wife, Stella, Mudd finds salvation in the form of a mysterious, unmanned Enterprise shuttlecraft that whisks him away from his prison. It doesn’t take long, though, for Mudd to realize the shuttle doesn’t belong to the Enterprise, and true reason for his escape – to be a pawn in a plot of vengeance against Kirk courtesy of disgraced, former Starfleet captain, Ronald Tracey.

It's a Khan-referencing life James T. Kirk!

Ronald Tracey Returns

Tracey uses an ancient alien device to alter Mudd’s appearance to look like Kirk, and sends him to steal top-secret documents from the nearest Starfleet facility. In turn, Mudd gets caught on purpose to escape from Tracey, and alerts the Enterprise to Tracey’s plan. With Klingons, including a revenge fueled Captain Koloth, suddenly at the border of Federation space, can Kirk and the Enterprise use Mudd to find out what Tracey is up to before it’s too late?


Those pesky Klingons lie in wait for Kirk


Now here’s a Trek treat to be thankful for – it may not be a holiday-themed issue, but “Made Out of Mudd” sure feels like a gift. Writer and artist John Byrne gives us a joyful romp through classic Trek, and a flashback to the best of the “lighter” episodes of TOS which conjured suspense and humor in equal measure.

With Mudd squarely in the middle, Byrne keeps the story bounding along nicely across an impressively vast number of Trek faces and locales. Ronald Tracey may not have been given the best introduction in The Omega Glory (one of TOS’s more bizarre, Roddenberry-penned outings), but he’s given a fine, properly deranged follow-up here. And what a thrill to see Captain Koloth back in action after his shameful defeat at space station K7, with plans for vengeance of his own.

You really can’t say enough about the way John Byrne writes for these characters. Each issue of New Visions is packed with dialogue, and Byrne has both a way with words and the character voices that really makes the writing shine – especially with the titular Harry Mudd. Even though he spends most of the issue looking exactly like Kirk, Byrne does a terrific job differentiating the two Kirks through the photo manipulation and the distinct voice of each. Mudd may as well be a Klingon and you’d still be able to pick him out of a crowd with his stammering, stuttering, cowardly dialogue.

Poor Mudd

Mudd’s new look – he’s not a fan

The art here is a lot of fun, too. Some issues with the limitations of the photonovel approach persist, but Byrne really conjures up solid imagery in this book. Dig the beautiful big E in orbit around Tau Delta IX on page 7, the mysterious, transporter-esque machine responsible for Mudd’s transformation, and all the other distant Federation locales at play. Also, keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of neat visual details, including an evolution of Klingon somewhere between TOS, and the full-on forehead ragers of the movie & 24th century era.

This issue of New Visions is really a delight. If you’re hungry for new, classic-Trek content, pick up “Made Out of Mudd” – it should put a Spock-sized grin on your face.


Even Spock digs “Made Out of Mudd”

Bonus Story: “The Great Tribble Hunt”

Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall

Can Koloth use Tribble extermination to win his way back into the good graces of the Emperor? Will he succeed in ensuring the galaxy never again hears the debilitating squeak of another Tribble? Find out with this delightful short from Byrne, which fills us in on a classic, but forgotten piece of 23rd century Klingon lore.


Yeah, Kor isn’t a fan of Tribbles either

7-Page Preview

ST_35-pr_Part1ST_35-pr_Part2ST_35-pr_Part3 ST_35-pr_Part4ST_35-pr_Part5ST_35-pr_Part6 ST_35-pr_Part7

Coming Next – Q Gambit #5 and The Primate Directive #1

It’s a packed month of comics for Christmas! Look for the next issue of the Q Gambit series and the first installment of Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover “The Primate Directive” still to come in December.

cef2sub-tn stongoing36-tn

AVAILABLE AT THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD   All the Star Trek comics can be pre-ordered at Thing From Another World. Click the banner below.

Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at!

Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site He’d be happy with Edgar Wright directing the next Star Trek movie, and thinks Trek has to get back on TV real soon. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Looks kind of fun!

“Previously condemned to a life of hard labor under the painful supervision of 500 android copies of his ex-wife, Stella, Mudd’s salvation arrived” makes no sense grammatically, as it means that Mudd’s salvation was condemned to hard labor.

It does look fun. I may be a little old for this style of comics, but I can still sense the 13-year-old me enjoying it. And that’s a good thing.

Were any tribbles harmed during the creation and publication of this issue?

I’ve been rereading the original fotonovels and have to tip my hat to Byrne for his ability to tell original series stories in this format.

I look forward to each new adventure as if it waswasa new live action episode of the original program, I was born in 69 the year the UK got the program, may the adventire site continue. …….

I’d love to see them do something similar for Star Trek The Animated series, using a mix of footage from TOS, body doubles and Tron: Legacy-style facial capture to create a faux fourth season.

These are pretty amazing. He gets the TOS tone pretty right, which is tough to do.

Fun. I’d love to see more of these. Maybe another Gary Seven story with this format. I really enjoyed his earlier run on the character.