Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #5
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Scott and David Tipton
Art by J.K. Woodward, colors by Charlie Kirchoff
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!
We’ve reached the finale of IDW’s groundbreaking 6-part (counting the Free Comic Book Day’s issue #0) TNG Mirror Universe saga and as we know, “All Good Things” must come to an end. As with the adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s City of the Edge of Forever, this all-star team of the Tipton brothers and artist JK Woodward had a lot to live up to, and they did not disappoint.
With a rich history starting with “Mirror, Mirror,” the Mirror Universe has made appearances in three Trek series. TNG and VOY, however, at least on screen, have never been represented (Tuvok, Worf, and O’Brien have obviously appeared in some form). This is unexplored territory, but IDW trusted them to take the reigns on arguably of the most iconic storylines of all time and bring it into the TNG universe. And boy did they hit a grand slam. JK Woodward was the perfect choice as well – his art just makes everything feel like a really big deal. Every panel is a portrait, painted with painstaking detail – you can tell he really cares about nailing an actor’s likeness. It’s not always perfect (see Wesley = Seth Green), Gul Danar sometimes looks like Garak and other times Dukat, but the fact that you can tell them apart is a credit to his talent.
When the series launched back in May, the Tiptons made it very clear in our interview with them that these characters are not simply “evil” versions of their counterparts. They stressed that they are the same characters, but were raised in entirely different cultures with completely different experiences. What we see through the course of this series is the manifestation of how they react to these differences. Despite how ruthless and bloodthirsty these characters appear to be on the surface, the core of who they are is the same as what we know. As mentioned in issue #1, this is a story of hope in a time of despair for the Terran Empire. Picard is tired of losing and despite the odds, puts together “the finest crew in the fleet,” improbably steals the Enterprise, and manages to change the balance of power back to the Empire. It may sound silly talking about a coming of age tale in the mirror universe, but hey, it works.
When we last left the new crew of the I.S.S. Enterprise, they were surrounded by a Klingon-Cardassian armada in a seemingly no-win scenario cliffhanger. What’s been great about this series, like any great story, is that everything we’ve seen so far has been building to this epic battle. The greatest captain in command of the Empire’s new secret weapon stands toe-to-toe against Gul Danar of the unstoppable Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Over the course of these 6 issues, Picard has done a masterful job of putting all of the right pieces in place and, trust in the right personnel.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I’m fairly certain we haven’t seen the last of the I.S.S. Enterprise-D and I for one, can’t wait to see the Tiptons explore more of TNG’s rich history. This is an infinitely more satisfying origin story than “Encounter at Farpoint” – it actually had high stakes and left me wanting more. I urge IDW to continue the voyages of the I.S.S. Enterprise – I want to see what strange new worlds the Tiptons can conquer next.
5-Page Preview: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #5
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Mirror Broken #5 costs $3.99 and was released on Wednesday. You can pick up either the A cover version or the subscription cover version by George Caltsoudas at TFAW. You can also pre-order the trade paperback collection of the entire series at Amazon, which is due in March.
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