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
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 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.
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