Review: IDW’s ‘Star Trek’ Series Starts Strong With Sisko Commanding A Bold New Era Of Trek Comics

StarTrek1_Header_IDW

Review: Star Trek #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Art by: Ramon Rosanas
Colors by: Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Clayton Cowles

Star Trek #1 Cover A by Ramon Rosanas

It’s a new era for Trek comics with the launch of the latest ongoing series from IDW simply titled Star Trek. But that’s not all IDW is bringing back: Captain Benjamin Sisko has returned from the wormhole in his original corporeal body last seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine finale. This new series, written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing (Star Trek: Year Five) was years in the making, in an effort to “treat the Star Trek Universe like the Marvel Universe and put together the Avengers.” You can read more about the backstory of Star Trek #1 in our interview with the writers here.

This is only the beginning of the new era of Trek comics at IDW. On the October 28th episode of the Inglorious Treksperts podcast, former Halt and Catch Fire showrunner (and writer of the upcoming Star Trek: Defiant spin-off comic featuring Worf), Christopher Cantwell, talked about how former Star Wars and current IDW editor Heather Antos has a vision of creating a cinematic universe for comic books:

There’s a new concerted effort by IDW…to unify those books into a more cohesive universe, very much like how Marvel did with Star Wars. And they’re actually doing with Heather Antos…who did that very thing at Marvel with Star Wars.

Cantwell seemed to indicate that Defiant isn’t the last of the spin-offs, so we’ll be waiting to see how this shakes out.

The God Thing

It’s been roughly three years since the Emissary entered the Celestial Temple. Kasidy Yates has given birth to a daughter, the USS Voyager has returned home from the Delta Quadrant, and Shinzon is beginning to concoct his convoluted plan to kidnap Captain Picard. Meanwhile, someone or something is killing the most powerful godlike beings in the Star Trek universe (go check out Star Trek #400 if you want to see the first victim), and what better way to stop a god-killer than with a god?  The Prophets return “The Sisko” to station DS9 to stop this threat, then send him to the Hephaestus Nebula with no explanation, as the Prophets do.

What Does God Need With A Starship?

The writers created a new ship for this series, the USS Theseus, which is described by Lanzing:

The Theseus is a weird hodgepodge ragtag science experiments of a ship that Starfleet effectively hands to Sisko because they need to give him something to complete his mission, but they’re really not sure that they understand his mission or totally like working for The Prophets in this way.

In-story, the Theseus was built in 2268 and, after being heavily damaged during the V’Ger crisis, was later reassigned as an experimental technology vessel under the command of a very familiar engineer. That’s one of the cool things about this new era in Trek comics: Anyone can show up at any time.

You And Your Gallant Crew

With a mission and ship, all that’s left is assembling the crew. Now with permission to pluck anyone from the entire Trek universe, Kelly and Lanzing assembled the best officers for this mission and even created some new ones. Sisko has a brief meeting with Picard reminiscent of their first encounter in the DS9 premiere, but this time, the two captains aren’t at odds with each other. In fact, the two have more in common than they realized and have come to a mutual respect. It’s a well-written scene and a really nice moment for the two characters.

A pre-“Blue Skies” singing Data is assigned as the ship’s first officer, along with Spot. Starfleet is still wary of Sisko’s reappearance, so Beverly Crusher is assigned as the ship’s doctor to keep an eye on him. What’s curious is how quickly Picard gives up two of his top officers for a mission he knows little about—but since they are between movies, it’s probably fine. Tom Paris is the helmsman and there’s a very familiar chief engineer.

There are some new characters as well, including communications officer Lilly Sato, a half-Andorian descendant of Hoshi Sato from Star Trek: Enterprise, and T’Lir, a non-binary Vulcan science officer. T’Lir has a moment in the first issue, acting as the voice of the audience when questioning Sisko. We don’t get much more from them in the first issue, but I’m sure we’ll learn more as the series progresses.

A New Approach To Art

The art for Star Trek #1 is done by Ramon Rosanas of Marvel’s Star Wars, Ant-Man, and All-New Wolverine. I feel it’s necessary to mention Marvel because if you’re expecting to see Avery Brooks, Cirroc Lofton, or Robert Duncan McNeill, you’ll be disappointed. This is a different style from the Trek comics we’ve previously seen at IDW and frankly, it’s kind of refreshing; I love the approach. While the characters might not look exactly like the actors that portray them, it makes it easier to accept the new ones because your mind isn’t associating them with anyone in particular. The station looks phenomenal as well as anything else in space. The USS Theseus, a ship that didn’t exist, needed to be designed from scratch and I think Rosanas did an exceptional job. Given that the ship has so much history and is over 100 years old yet is highly advanced technologically, it’s pretty rad.

All Good Things Must Come To An End… And Then Begin Again

This is a very strong start to the massive undertaking of building a Star Trek cinematic universe for comics. The pacing is pretty fast, but I like that we get right into the story. At best, it feels like a pilot to a Star Trek spin-off show or even the 1984 Star Trek #1. There’s not a ton of exposition because there doesn’t need to be… yet. Sisko is back and in Jake’s arms by page three and we’re into the mission by the middle of the book. It’s great to see Sisko in the captain’s chair again in a unique universe-saving mission. Will he be able to save any gods or is it all over for Apollo?

Star Trek #1 cover B by Declan Shalvey

Star Trek arrives on Wednesday

Star Trek #1 arrived on October 26. You can order individual copies at TFAW. Or pick up individual digital editions at Amazon/comiXology. The second issue is due in December with subsequent issues arriving monthly.


Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.

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Let’s make it so NO ONE can figure out what timeframe we are in with every ship and crew getting their own uniform!

Agreed. Starfleet has always played a bit fast and loose with uniforms, but, we’ve reached peak lunacy at this point. I’d like some sense of continuity, personally.

Honestly, even among the TV shows I’m getting more than a little tired of all the unique new designs. A new uniform design used to be a big deal, now it’s just a Tuesday. :P

Sadly true! 😕😔

At this point I’m fine with it, they want STO like ship by ship uniforms to be a thing so be it. The vast majority of the fleet still seem to wear a standard issue uniform, and uniform discrepancies ranging from minor to major have always been present in Trek.

One area where Star Wars is actually more realistic than Star Trek. Don’t see Andor or Mandalorian redesigning wildly different rebel/imperial uniforms to create a “new look”. Starfleet must be run by the House of Gucci. The fall fashions are in for Starfleet and they are fab-ulous dahlinks, going where no one has gone before! Hell, in Andor some of the in-world computer graphics even look very 1977 MS-DOS.

Though I guess they go a bit nuts with Stormtrooper specializations. This is the Climbs Up Trees and Acts as Lookout Trooper, as distinct from the Ditch Digger Trooper and the Sentry Standing in the Swamp with Waders Trooper. All the better for the toy market, my dearies.

LOL, and not to mention the cosplay market! But stormtrooper variants still make more sense than Starfleet uniforms, IMHO.

OK, this is more like it. After the endless stream of mediocre mirror-universe tales, this is an awesome read.

More than refreshing, I find the decision to let the artist actually intepret the characters in their own style a genuine relief. Too many Trek comics have art that looks like tortured lightboxing of photo stills in the name of capturing the actor likenesses – far from photorealistic or even very evocative of the actors, it often resembles middling photoshop work or a characature. This was a very good choice – it makes the story far more immersive.

“You get your own uniform design! And you get your own uniform design!”

Some consistency and continuity please, guys. No “a crew can pick their own style” BS that has been the excuse. That’s not how uniforms/dress codes work in a professional organisation (from the military to a sports team etc). Starfleet (and the showrunners of Trek through the years) managed for centuries before this, they can do it again now.

Not cannon so not interested

The only canon that matters to me is in my head. Go TOS Animated series!

It’s not a piece of artillery from the 19th century?

What’s curious is how quickly Picard gives up two of his top officers for a mission he knows little about” like he could refuse orders.

weren’t the uniform badges for each starship and crew supposed to be different in the OS until TMP made them all enterprise style?

Nope. That was a bit of fan-canon based on a one-time mistake by William Ware Theiss, which prompted a clarifying memo by producer Bob Justman that the *divisions* of Starfleet have different insignia: starship duty, merchant marine, outpost duty, cadet, starbase. See: https://www.startrek.com/article/starfleet-insignia-explained (2021)

It’s Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise (Johnson 1987) (IIRC; I don’t have it at hand to check) which makes the claim that the NCC-1701’s emblem was adopted by the Fleet after Kirk’s five-year mission; but tie-ins like that are necessarily counted as “beta canon” which can be overridden by filmed content. That is, one author’s interpretation of the universe, like a Pocket Books novel but with more pictures.

This comes across as a “Star Trek: Picard” rip-off wannabe.
Read it. Not taken with it. Won’t be buying any other issues.

was later reassigned as an experimental technology vessel under the command of a very familiar engineer”

oh, is Trip back from the dead? :)

If it’s entirely new technology, is it the same Theseus?