By Ani Bundel
It’s time to get Defiant! Announced at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, IDW is heading where no comic has gone before: Star Trek, the graphic universe. For their follow-up panel at NYCC 2022, “Star Trek: Where No Comic Book Has Gone Before,” IDW brought writers Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing and illustrators JK Woodward, Chris Fenoglio, and Liana Kangas to discuss their current offerings. The panel was moderated by Heather Antos.
Star Trek comics
As Lanzing said, they asked themselves, what if they treated a Star Trek comic the same way Marvel does with the Avengers. The idea was Star Trek, with no colon, no subtitle, just plain STAR TREK, creating a complete crossover world where all the different shows exist and crossover simultaneously. It was conceived as an exercise to take as much of Trek as they can and funnel it into one ongoing tale, and from the first looks, they’ve succeeded.
The captain they decided to feature is Benjamin Sisko, bringing him back as a corporal being and having Jake as the impetus to get him back from the world as a god. The goal was not to step on Deep Space Nine, many of the characters had good closure, and they are not undoing those. This is not a DS9 sequel. However, Sisko, as Avery Brooks himself said, was the only one left without a good ending, so that’s why they selected him.
His ship is the USS Theseus. (Yes, all mythological puns intended.) As a ship being constantly rebuilt, it’s an experimental vessel that does things that only work for it and nowhere else. The crew is an all-star lineup pulled from all different shows. Data and Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation are his first officer and the ship’s doctor, respectively. Tom Paris from Voyager is at the helm, plus two new characters, one of whom is Lily Sato, the descendant of Star Trek: Enterprise’s character Hoshi Sato. The other is a brand new non-binary character.
The comic is also deliberately set during one of the emptiest spaces in the current canon, between the return of Voyager and Star Trek: Nemesis. That also gives them the most characters to play with. The only one they cannot pull from is Star Trek: Discovery, though they’ve tried, so far it’s been a no-go.
But that’s not all! If SDCC got the initial Star Trek comic announcement, NYCC got the other half, with Star Trek: Defiant, which will spin off Star Trek. The series features Captain Worf and will encompass the adventure he deserves. He has Torres, B’Lanna, Ro Laren, Spock, and Lore as part of his crew. (Remember this is pre-Nemesis.) The spinoff will start when Worf and Sisko split up, an epic BFF fallout. Worf will get the Defiant by stealing it, and it is not a sanctioned mission. (The characters are not in uniform.)
In addition to these comics, IDW shows the covers of Star Trek: Picard – Stargazer and Star Trek: Lower Decks (written by Ryan North), both of which are between-seasons adventures. Both are already on shelves. Also, Star Trek: Resurgence, based on the upcoming game, will also get a comic in November 2022, starring Dr. Leah Brahms. And Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The Illyrian Engima has recently been announced as a between-the-seasons adventure.
As the panel said, there’s never been more Star Trek in the world, and the comics world is determined to keep up. That’s why they’re going to go someplace where everyone is evil and has mustaches: The Mirrorverse Collection, starting with TNG, one of the few shows that did not cross into the Mirrorverse during its TV run.
Star Trek’s first issue arrives on October 26, 2022. Star Trek: Defiant’s origins will begin in the second issue, its first issue premieres March 2023 and following a monthly release schedule.