Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Intelligence Gathering 3 cover and interior art preview

Chris Ryall has released a nice little collection of preview art for the third issue of Intelligence Gathering. Here's the Joe Corroney cover:

And far more excitingly, here's a TNG era Triexian! (and other stuff on that page):

At the post on RyallTime you can also see David Messina's cover art, a black and white version of Corrney's cover and another interior page with a nice view of the Intelligence Gathering style reinterpretation of the Enterprise (all dark, glowy and shiny looking).

Andrew Steven Harris talks IDW Star Trek

The Fanboy Face-Off podcast have released an interview with IDW's Star Trek editor Andrew Steven Harris. Harris talked quite widely about his work on Star Trek, some of his personal history and IDW and the comics industry in general. Some of the highlights of the Star Trek talk (which the podcast was predominantly about) were:

Talking about the New Frontier miniseries, Turnaround, he described it as a "Star Trek version of The Hunt for Red October". And continuing to talk about the Second Stage titles went on to note how well D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester had got into comic book writing; their script for The Enterprise Experiment was apparently returned from approval by CBS Paramount with no changes.

On the potential for future miniseries he once again noted how much demand there is for DS9 comics, from both fans and creators pitching to IDW, but also noted how it is something of a juggling act for IDW to do DS9; as despite the demand DS9 universally sells less than TOS and TNG. However if IDW can iron out the finances of it they are 100% for doing DS9.

Similarly he mentioned the popularity of Pike stories and how they face a similar problem of potentially under performing compared to comics featuring Kirk. (so go and buy the Vulcan and Orion Alien Spotlights people, they need to eclipse the sales of Kirk!) He also name dropped Captain April as something to test the viability of in a one shot... might we have an April era Alien Spotlight on the horizon?

Finally, on his Alien Spotlight on the Borg, he noted how he originally had a twenty-four page script for the issue but was forced to cut it down to the usual twenty-two pages to fit in the art budget for the issue. And noted how proud he was of the issue which has been one of the most positively reviewed Trek comics IDW have produced.

Listen to the full interview, in which Harris talks more about IDW, himself and Star Trek; including his desire get Paramount to make The Animated Series canon, here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Alien Spotlight: Romulans preview

Chris Ryall has posted a couple of preview pages for this week's new Star Trek comic, Alien Spotlight: Romulans. Here's one:

And you can see another at RyallTime, here.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Mirror Images #1 cover

Chris Ryall has released Joe Corroney's cover for the first issue of the Tipton's forthcoming mirror universe series Mirror Images:

In the post on his blog Ryall also explained how his co-authoring of the series will be limited to the issue featuring mirror-Pike.

Keep your eyes on RyallTime, as Ryall also promised more preview art for this series in the week ahead.

IDW May issues

Comics Continuum have published IDW’s solicitations for May, the first month to feature four Star Trek titles (plus a Star Trek omnibus book). The posting also included the first look at Rob and Joe Sharp's cover art for The Enterprise Experiment #2. Here's what's on the way:

Intelligence Gathering #5
It's the final issue of the all-new adventure of the crew of the Enterprise-D! Someone's been leading Captain Picard and company across the galaxy -- but why? And who's behind it? The stakes are raised on a planetary scale.

New Frontier #3
Mackenzie Calhoun has caught up with the fleeing Admiral Jellico, and the Excalibur is prepared to blow both Jellico and the time ship out of space... until Calhoun discovers the shocking truth of who is behind both Jellico's apparently treasonous acts and the theft of the experimental vessel.

The Enterprise Experiment #2
The untold fourth year of the Enterprise's legendary five-year mission continues! With the Enterprise crippled and out of phase in a cloaking experiment gone haywire, a Romulan strike force storms the starship, looking for revenge over their stolen technology. Kirk and Spock, meanwhile, must find a way to repel the invaders, while at the same time reverse the experiment and restore the ship -- before it fades away completely!

Assignment Earth #1
IDW's Star Trek: Second Stage continues, as comics icon John Byrne unveils the first-ever Star Trek series of his decades-spanning career! The 1968 TV episode "Assignment Earth" had been the Season Two finale for the original Star Trek series, and was intended by Gene Roddenberry as the pilot for a spin-off series that never came to pass. Now, Byrne delivers the series 40 years after it would have debuted, recounting the adventures of interstellar agent Gary Seven and his Earth-born assistant as they covertly confront threats to the past so that they can save Star Trek's future. Byrne will both write and draw the series, which steps one year forward with each installment, beginning with 1968, the year that the spin-off series would have appeared.

Alien Spotlight omnibus
In the vast Star Trek universe, many diverse alien races abound, and now they finally get their due! Presenting a collection of six tales set throughout the Star Trek galaxy, each by a different creative team and featuring a different Star Trek alien race. This collection includes stories of the Gorn, Vulcans, Andorians, Orions, Borg, and Romulans, and features guest-stars such as Captains Pike, Janeway and Terrell, along with familiar faces like Picard, Spock, and many others.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Shards and Shadows delayed

Pocket Books' Star Trek editor Marco Palmieri, via a post by Jeff Ayres on the TrekBBS, has confirmed the forthcoming Mirror Universe short story anthology, Shards and Shadows, originally due to be released in April, has been delayed until next January.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

No HD TOS season 2, for now.

Horrah the high definition DVD format war is over, and bluray is victorious. I was hoping bluray would win from the start, though personally think you'd have to be pretty daft to actually buy ether format until today.

Unfortunately Paramount backed the wrong side and the remastered Original Series DVDs were being released on HD-DVD, which within a month or two will be all but gone. As a result the second season release on HD-DVD, originally due in a couple of months, has been cancelled. On the flip side it's only a matter of time now until Paramount will surely announce they will cease backing HD-DVD and follow the rest of the industry into backing Bluray, which means it's likely TOS remastered, Enterprise and all the movies will be making their way to bluray release in the not too distant future. Woo!

For more on recent events in the format war and their effect on Star Trek see's report. For the report confirming the season 2 HD-DVD has been cancelled look, here. And for more news on the format war in general have a looksie at or, or for news on bluray, have a look, here.

Coming soon from DST

Diamond Select Toys have unveiled a plethora of new Star Trek toys at the US Toy Fair, here's what's coming:

First up some new Borg seven inch action figures. The wave will consist of the Borg Queen (with accessory head and mechanical spine), Borg drone Seven of Nine and a generic male humanoid drone. Each will come with parts to build a Borg alcove and will apparently be a little pricier than the figures normally are due to the intricate detailing on them. They'll be out later this year.

In their second wave of Deep Space Nine figures the core assortment will be Bashir, O'Brien and Martok, with a Kira (in Starfleet uniform) and a two pack consisting of Worf and Gowron. Out early 2009.

And finally from the seven inch scale range, The Motion Picture era Kirk and Spock figures, coming in the autumn.

At a larger scale the Mego retro cloth figures will continue with a newly sculpted Chekov and re-release of the classic Charon figure, with further plans for more new figures, possibly including a Gorn.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

DST have been assimilated?

Diamond Select Toys have made a post to their myspace blog with a sneak peak of something to come from this year's Toy Fair, Borg alcoves!:

Specifically the type we saw in Voyager’s cargo bay. Moving on to Voyager figures already?

Friday, 15 February 2008

DST quater scale figures

Diamond Select Toys have announced a new line of Star Trek action figures - at quarter scale. From their announcement:

Launching this summer, the new Star Trek Ultimate Quarter Scale line will feature detailed cloth outfits and sculpted accessories from the rich Star Trek universe. Each figure will also include authentic voice effects from the Star Trek films and television series. Measuring over eighteen inches tall and containing twenty-one points of articulation, the Star Trek Ultimate Quarter Scale line’s hyper realistic detail and super-poseability combine to create the ultimate in Star Trek collectibles.

They are starting with Kirk and Spock and imply they plan to make future figures from throughout the Star Trek franchise. No pictures yet... See the original announcement, here.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

New movie late, but full of new merchandise

Various Hollywood news sources, handily filtered through the ever informative, are reporting the new Star Trek movie has been moved from it's Christmas day release all the way to the 8th of May 2009! Basically because it might make more money then and the writers strike has made all the studios rejig their release dates. Find out more, here.

Meanwhile, TrekMovie also reports on the plethora of tie-in stuff being made for the new movie. In addition to what we already knew (Playmates Toys, Master Replica props and such, a comic book adaptation from IDW and probably novelisation from Pocket Books) there will also be a board game, various collectibles such as collectable cards and Christmas tree decorations, T-shirts and fast food promotions! See the full run-down, here.

Assignment Earth, in colour!

Chris Ryall has released colour versions of the covers for the first three issues of Assignment Earth. Here's one rather James Bondesque edition:

See the other two, here.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Uhura goes retro

As reported by Toy News International, Diamond Select Toys have announced another pair of retro cloth figures. From the original Mego sculpts no less, you'll be able to have yourself a tiny handed Uhura or oddly clothed Mugato:

Se the full release, here.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Ultimate Computer remastered have posted an image from the remastered version of "The Ultimate Computer", which features something a treat for Star Trek books fans, a Watchtower class (or very similar, smaller, variant) space station, Masao Okazaki's design for Starbase Vanguard from the Star Trek: Vanguard novel series!

UPDATE: TrekMovie have posted an interview with the remastering team, and further images from the episode. They confirm the station design comes form Vanguard and that the Woden will be replaced with a TAS style cargo drone.
See several more images and the full interview, here.


Diamond Select Toys have announced a new mego-style figure to continue their retro range; Kahn Noonien Singh from "Space Seeds", here's how they sum it up:

DST is excited to announce the first exclusive release in the ongoing line of retro-inspired Star Trek cloth figures will be one of Captain Kirk’s most dangerous foes – the nefarious Khan Noonien Singh! Available exclusively through Hastings and Planet X stores, this limited figure is based on his debut appearance in the classic episode “Space Seed.” The figure was sculpted by and is manufactured in conjunction with Emce Toys!

The first completely original design to join the ranks of the Star Trek retro cloth figure line, Khan features the same articulation and detail, making this a must-have figure for fans of the original Mego toy line as well as DST’s new line of releases.

Read DST's release, here, and a nifty article on about this figure and previous inKahnations, here.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Year Four review

IDW's first Year Four miniseries concluded a couple of weeks ago, here's what I thought:

Issue 1, well lets sidetrack to the series in general for a moment, here is my first problem with this series; no titles! The series works hard to emulate episodes of The Original Series but misses that key element, and makes the issues so much less identifiable, just a number. Big mistake I think.

Anyway, issue 1 kicks of the series with very classic TOS feel, a scientist, an alien laboratory, a pretty girl, love, deception, etc. All the elements are there, it genuinely feels like it could be a lost episode of the series, with one exception; length/pacing; the story has a good set up, an interesting middle and then bam, all of a sudden it's finished - the story tied up in one page with a monologue from the guest character. The ending was really quite unsatisfying, and all the more annoying for the amount of space given to doing very little earlier in the issue (an issue with the art I will get to later) which means the ending gets compressed and tagged on the end. Nice ideas though, just could have been executed a little better.

Issue 2, well there are some plot holes to navigate, but all in all this is a nice parallel tale to the present day situation with oil and terrorism, essentially taking a couple of elements of the current situation in Iraq and putting them in outer-space. And bravo too, that works pretty good, and is again so very TOS. The story isn't perfect, but a good try.

Issue 3, sound based aliens take over the Enterprise, good concept, once more it feels so much like a TOS episode it could be one. The story feels a little rushed, but not so much it causes any damage, and it all makes sense. Good issue.

Issue 4, TOS meets extreme reality TV, another excellent commentary on a contemporary issue, though the crew’s final solution for getting out of the jam they get into seems a little too easy and makes the bad guys look rather silly. This is a great issue in concept and TOS issue style, but I feel it also suffers from working to hard to emulate a TV episode. The guest aliens are human, right down to the costumes. Now yes TOS did this plenty, but this is a comic not a TV episode limited by budget and available effects technology, it is possible to show anything in a comic and it's disappointing IDW didn't take the opportunity to exercise their imaginations here.

Issue 5, or "The Immunity Syndrome version 2". This issue has a cool opening scene but quickly goes down hill. The concept draws from present day science of particle accelerators, but doesn't do anything other than transplant it to the 23rd century - and bizarrely has the Enterprise personnel in sole responsibility for a massive science project which would surely have a team of scientists working on it for years before. Where on earth were they? This issue relies heavily on the art to portray the danger everyone is in and flatly fails, panel after panel of a slightly different blue blob result in no menace what so ever. If you were planning to pick up select issues of this series, this is one you'd have little loss from missing.

Issue 6, and fortunately the series is back on form for the conclusion. Another successful commentary on a present day (or slightly in the future) issue of cloning/designer babies/breeding armies - it's not exactly a new concept but it was well executed here. A suitably attractive female crewperson is featured as the guest star alongside a rather bizarrely designed alien robot. And other than the design of said robot this issue is win win win.

Now, where this series really disappointed was the artwork. The decision was made to set out all (but a handful of flashy full pages) of the pages in an arrangement of four wide rectangles, apparently to emulate a widescreen television screen to further the idea these are lost episodes (ignoring TOS episodes would have been 4:3). The first issue really managed to show what a horrible idea this was with this two page spread:

You couldn't make a less visually interesting, and more visually irritating, pair of pages if you tried. Examples such as this seem to forget TV images are not static, in a long scene like this there would be cut-away, close ups, reaction shots etc.

This format also results in full quarter of a page panels being wasted on the most tedious action, which then leads to pages where very little happens as each panel slowly goes through whatever event is happening. This has had a dramatic effect on the pacing, gobbling up pages with almost nothing happening and then cramming in information to bigger scenes which don’t have enough space left to breath. I really hope IDW don’t go with this layout for the next miniseries.

Aside from the layout the art for the series is pretty good. Steve Conley, who did three issues, provides rather flat art which I'm sure is an acquired taste. I certain preferred the issues by Gordon Purcell and the Sharp Brothers where the art was much more detailed and engaging.

A Conley Kirk, a Sharp Kirk and a Purcell Kirk

Overall, a combination of the panel layout problems and David Tischman's swift and jumpy story telling could have killed this series. Fortunately Tischman does have great skill in portraying the voices of the characters, and the concepts for each issue are both very interesting and delightfully loyal to The Original Series. IDW set out to have these feels like lost episodes, and they have succeeded.

This series was engaging and enjoyable, and for anyone who hasn't picked them up I would thoroughly recommend getting the omnibus when it comes out in March. A short while ago while reviewing IDW’s first year I put this miniseries right at the bottom of what IDW has done so far. I still don’t think it's up there with Klingons: Blood Will Tell or some of the exceptional issues in the Alien Spotlight series, but it's certainly level pegging, if not maybe even pushing ahead of, The Space Between. And even if it is near the bottom, the pile it supports is all high quality stuff, so really, its not so bad. Keep up the good work IDW, I look forward to the next series of Year Four, Five and beyond.

Intelligence Gathering #2 cover

On his Myspace blog, Joe Corroney has posted a plethora of recent and new works, including this first look at his over for the second issue of Intelligence Gathering:

See the original post, here, for more Corroney art for Intelligence Gathering, Year Four, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones and Lords of the Rings!

New Frontier Turnaround #2 cover have released one of the covers for the second issue of IDW's New Frontier miniseries:

The artist, Stephen Thompson, has also updated his blog recently with some higher resolution, black and white and colour, versions of some of the issue 1 covers: here, here and here.

UPDATE: Thompson has now also added a black and white and colour version of this issue 2 cover to his blog, see it here.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Kirk busted. Again

It seems Diamond Select Toys have decided to expand their Star Trek: Icons bust line beyond the original one captain per series set and add in a second Kirk bust, from the movie era, specifically Admiral Kirk from The Wrath of Kahn.

He'll be out May/Juneish and you can find out some more about it, here.

Friday, 1 February 2008


In their latest E-Spectrum email newsletter, Diamond Select Toys have announced a new wave of Minimates soon to be available. The set will consist of five Minimate figures in a box set themed around the episode "Mirror, Mirror". The figures in the set will be Mirrors Kirk, Spock, Sulu, Uhura and Marlena Moreau.