It’s an exciting time to be a Star Trek fan, whether you’re watching TV shows or reading comics. Strange New Worlds was excellent on the screen, and it’s getting a comic series soon, which is a recurring thing these days. That’s because IDW has big plans for the property, and those plans arrive this week thanks to creators Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Ramon Rosanas. Star Trek #1 not only launches a new comic book series, but reads as a natural continuation of the beloved Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation.
Given how vital DS9 and TNG are to fans of the franchise, it’s a bold move to tell new stories using these characters. In the past, IDW has primarily focused on specific eras, be it the original series or the Mirror Universe from TNG, rather than starting something new that goes forward. Here though, IDW has faith in its creators to tell new stories using characters that fans would be furious if they messed up for lack of a better way of saying it. Given characters in use here are some of the most beloved of the franchise, including Scotty, Captain Sisko, Data, and Beverly Crusher, there are high expectations.
Thankfully, the creators certainly do not mess up here. The story picks up where we left off with Sisko, who is thought dead but is either a god or somehow interacting with the Bajoran Prophets. After some trippy godlike scenes, the creators give us a nice recap from Sisko’s son Jake. That catches up even casual fans and then sets in motion Siskos’ return. Given this comic is essentially undoing a bit of what Deep Space Nine finished with, they do an excellent job in an efficient way to get Sisko back.
When back, we get to see how Sisko sees the world differently. Rosanas draws a great montage of Sisko at the center of each of the five panels as if gliding through moments in a day. He has been changed and is still trying to get his footing. That’s exciting, as we are trying to figure out Sisko while the plot moves forward.
Fittingly, the next adventure for Sisko begins with Picard, who also opened the Deep Space Nine series. Soon he’s headed for the new ship that he’ll be captaining. Along the way, Data plays some cards, a tremendous double-page splash of the ship reveals how cool it is, and a data page even gives us some background on the ship. I can’t say it’s explained too clearly why Sisko is given key characters from TNG on his crew, but it’s hard to complain since it’s so cool to see these characters interacting. Fans of Scotty should know he is alive due to his hiding in a teleporter, revealed in a TNG episode. At least, that makes sense, given the strange combinations.
There are also new crew members, each with an interesting personality, who introduce themselves to Sisko on the bridge. You can already tell the creators have put a lot of thought into the dynamics that’ll play out between them and the legacy characters going forward.
A standout scene in this issue is Sisko’s speech to his crew. It’s as inspiring and hopeful as any other speech a ship captain gives in Star Trek. That’s a high bar, and it works well here to remind us what the point is of this series and the exploration these characters do.
As with any comic series with licensed characters, I wonder if casual fans will love this as much as Star Trek fans. Your knowledge of these characters is a big draw, of course. In general, the sci-fi ideas that make Star Trek work are enjoyable by anyone, but there’s a particular element lacking if you go into this blind.
If you’re looking for big splashy moments, the ship reveal is excellent, but a godlike event also takes place. There are some familiar-looking crystal creatures as well that should get hardcore fans excited.
Star Trek #1 is a fantastic opening issue, establishing its robust cast, not skimping on fan-favorite characters, and establishing a new adventure that feels worthy of TV, let alone a comic series. Given the high expectations as well as the many moving parts to kick off this adventure, this is a fabulous opening issue hardcore Star Trek fans won’t want to miss.
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