Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #0 (Free Comic Book Day Issue)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Scott and David Tipton
Art and colors by J.K. Woodward
Space… The final frontier. These are the voyages of the I.S.S. Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to conquer strange new worlds, to enslave new life and new civilizations… To boldly go where no one has gone before!
Today, for the first time in its 16-year history, Star Trek will be among the titles featured as part of the annual Free Comic Book Day. If you have never experienced it, let an enthusiastic Wil Wheaton tell you what it is by “breaking the name down into its component parts.” It’s a pretty big deal so stop what you’re doing and run, don’t walk to your nearest comic shop and pick up some free comics, including the stellar prequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken.
We last saw the all-star team of writers David and Scott Tipton with artist J.K. Woodward in 2014’s critically acclaimed Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay adaptation. IDW has brought them all together again for something Trek fans have been waiting a long time for – the first Star Trek: The Next Generation trip to the Mirror Universe. We spoke with the Tiptons about it last week, and you can check out that interview here.
We pick things up in the early days of the Mirror Universe’s TNG era not on the I.S.S. Enterprise, but on the I.S.S. Stargazer – Picard’s first command in our universe, where he served for 22 years as its captain. We first meet a “slightly” more confident Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, bored with his engineering job and yearning to do something “dramatic.” This boredom is alarming for a number of reasons because, as we know, a bored Barclay can be a dangerous Barclay. I say “slightly” more confident because it’s clear that Reg doesn’t feel as comfortable as the rest of the crew is showing their bulging biceps. Seriously – everyone is wearing a sleeveless uniform exposing perfectly chiseled arms except him. Believe me, I know how he feels. No amount of Crossfit could get me to look anywhere near that good.
As referenced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Crossover,” the Terran Empire in the 24th century is in a sad state. After Kirk’s pep talk at the end of “Mirror, Mirror” a century earlier Mirror Spock eventually rose to power, preaching peace and earning the role of commander in chief. Unfortunately, his “weak” leadership made the Empire vulnerable to attack from the Cardassian/Klingon alliance, resulting in the destruction of most of the fleet. Since then, the Stargazer has been put on patrol to defend what was once known as the great Empire.
A bearded, ripped Picard gives Barclay a reprieve from engineering by summoning him to his ready room. Along with Counselor Troi, Picard manipulates him into taking a new assignment – to help security chief Lieutenant Tasha Yar oversee the Vulcan slave ship transports to Titan. I do find it curious that an evil Empire that punishes people in something called an agony booth would have use for a therapist at all, let alone on a starship. However, I could see this as an advantage for Picard if she was full empath and could actually read thoughts. Let’s hope she has more to do in the coming issues. I also do need to give a quick shout-out to Picard’s new pet python. I wonder if he named it Livingston?
As soon as Barclay sheepishly reports to Yar, the Vulcan ships try to escape. Without hesitation, Tasha channels her inner Sela and cold-bloodedly destroys them along with 2,000 Vulcan slaves in an effort to “maintain order.” Maybe this crew really does need a counselor after all.
I won’t spoil the ending, but you need to pick this up now. There was a reason why IDW trusted the Tiptons with a story 30 years in the making and they do not disappoint. This Free Comic Book Day prequel issue gives us just a glimpse of what’s to come in the six-issue series and it has the makings of being truly outstanding.
And what can I saw about JK Woodward’s jaw-dropping lifelike painting style? It gives me chills each time he nails an actor’s likeness. The Free Comic Book Day issues a “Designing Mirror Broken” section which takes a closer look at some of Woodward’s early design ideas along with some other art he created for the series. His art makes the characters seem familiar and you really want to like them, but they are horrible people. If issue #0 is any indication of what we should expect moving forward, we’re in for a real treat.
5-Page Preview: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken
Click thumbnails to enlarge
UPDATE: Free Comic Book Day Facebook Live Event Video
Here is video from a Facebook Live event held at Blastoff Comics with the Tipton brothers and J.K. Woodward.
Free Comic Book Day Star Trek Facebook Live and N. Hollywood signing events
The Tipton brothers along with artist J.K. Woodward are spending Free Comic Book Day at Blastoff Comics in North Hollywood, CA signing issues of Mirror Broken. More details at blastoffcomics.com.
Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.