Review – Star Trek: The Mirror War #1 (IDW Publishing)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Scott Tipton, David Tipton
Artist: Gavin Smith
Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff
Release Date: 13th October 2021
Promising a “brand-new series from writers David & Scott Tipton, where familiar faces and exciting new surprises await around every corner”, issue one Star Trek: The Mirror Universe certainly packs an incredible amount of Next Generation-flavoured action and adventure inside its twenty pages. In fact, this comic’s sense-shattering opening, which intermingles Captain Picard’s successful attempt to steal a small fortune from an intergalactic criminal with Inquisitor Troi’s somewhat seductive interrogation of Lieutenant Barclay following his return from “the newly discovered alternate universe”, is arguably faultless in its execution.
Such a pulse-pounding pace arguably doesn’t stop either, especially once Jean-Luc’s plan to steal a shipment of dilithium from a Vor’cha-class attack cruiser gets under way, and the entire I.S.S. Enterprise’s senior staff beam themselves directly onto the Klingon vessel’s bridge. The sheer ferocity of this shock attack is genuinely breathtaking, with the nailbiting tension of the audacious mission leaping off the page as Picard earnestly galvanises his subordinates into a frenzy of phaser-fire and frantic piratical action; “Quickly, quickly, everyone — It won’t be long before the rest of the crew realizes what we’re doing. Data, there are over two thousand Klingons and Cardassians on this ship. You can’t kill them all yourself.”
Even this book’s slightly less exhilarating interludes still contain plenty to keep fans of Gene Roddenberry’s science-fiction franchise utterly enthralled, with the Tipton brothers providing the likes of Ensign Crusher and Leah Brahms with plenty of spotlight. However, it is probably the Mirror Universe’s version of Chief O’Brien who arguably steals the show, with the decidedly nervous engineer having the entire weight of the captain’s grand scheme momentarily rested upon his broad shoulders when he is ordered to re-programme the Galaxy-class starship’s transporter routines “to make sure that we can beam through the shields of that cruiser”.
Gavin Smith’s contribution to this publication can also not be overstated, with the artist’s ability to imbue all this comic’s characters with the disconcertingly sinister sneer of their violent lives making them appear both amiably familiar and dangerously foreign at the same time. Indeed, despite some of the Indianapolis-born illustrator’s noticeable visual differences with their small screen counterparts, it is hard not to associate this book’s sizeable cast with those of the television show until one of them does something distinctly unfriendly, such as Barclay threatening to have O’Brien ‘permanently’ replaced.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag
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