Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #1 ComicWow! Review

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The Tipton Brothers have written a lot of Star Trek.  They have The Original Series, Deep Space Nine, and The Next Generation.  They also wrote the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover (“The Primate Directive”). They wrote the FCBD Star Trek TNG special, which was the prequel to this series.

JK Woodward is well known for Fallen Angel, but he also did a lot of Star Trek.  Some of his other credits include some covers for Necronomicon, Fall of Cthulhu: Godwar, and more, as well as a game box illustration for Kill Shakespeare.  He did Belladonna, Foot Soldiers, CSI: New York- Bloody Murder, some fine work on Zombie Tales, and more.  Most readers will probably be familiar with his artwork—even if they don’t know him by name.  This is one of those artists who are long overdue for major recognition.

Interestingly, this first issue has SOLD OUT at the distributor level, and a second printing has already been slated for May 31st.

This comic is set in a future universe where the Federation (Terran Empire) is on the wane.  After Spock’s attempt at an enlightened rule, the empire was hard pressed to stand up against the Cardassian/Klingon hegemony.  The is Stargazer, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard is one of many Imperial Starships patrolling (protecting) the core of the empire.

Picard has heard rumors of a new warship, one that could change the balance of power, not only in the Empire, but in the greater galaxy as well.  He is determined to have that power.

It is interesting to see the Tiptons’ take on this version of the Mirror Universe.

Picard is less the philosopher/warrior/king and more of a Machiavellian übermensch.  He is ruthless and cunning—a creature of self-interest and ambition.

Data is an almost Borg-like automaton.  Intelligent and sentient, he is interested in understanding humanity, but not in being human.  He is a multi-civilizational amalgam of technologies, and likewise a combination of curiosity and callousness.

The most fascinating character is Barclay, who is simultaneously the same and very different.  He is the “normal” character, the one with whom readers can identify. But he is also very competent, ambitious, and utterly ruthless.  He, not Geordi, serves as Data’s companion and his “tutor” on human behavior.  This Barclay is not included for comic relief—he is deadly serious.

The Tipton brothers bring their trove of Trek background knowledge to bear in creating and presenting this Mirror Universe arc.  Writing stories that take characters out of the norm requires a higher degree of knowledge and understanding of those characters.  It is not enough that they be different; the differences must be organic.  This is a difficult test, and so far the Tiptons have made it.

Likewise, Woodward’s artistic skill and knowledge of the franchise is being put to the test here.  He must alter the characters significantly, but walk the line of not taking them too far.  This is especially difficult in the cases of LaForge and Data, whose altered technologies give them a different appearance.

Anyone can say “Let’s make Picard a bad guy.”

It takes talent to make Picard a bad guy and have him still be Picard.

This is where the storytellers of ST:TNGMirror Broken have gotten a good start.   Fans love this franchise – it is second only to Dr. Who as the longest running science fiction on TV.  If something does not “fit,” with either the characters or the Mirror Universe, they will spot it.

It will be worth it to see how well they continue with this most difficult task.  They have gotten off to a most auspicious start.

Written by: David Tipton & Scott Tipton

Illustrated by: JK Woodward