Saturday, 28 June 2008

Hints at the future...

Just a couple of little newsoids:

According to's recent feature on A Less Than Perfect Union, William Leisner has a new Star Trek prose project in the works.

And according to John Byrne on his own forums he has just secured yet another Star Trek project with IDW. Which gives forthcoming from Mr Byrne: The two-part Romulans: The Hollow Crown (and maybe more Romulan stories on top of that), a not-yet detailed five issue miniseries, another Assignment: Earth miniseries, and what he just got green-lit, another two-part story.

Meanwhile at the TrekBBS DarkHorizon posted the blurb from this month's diamond preview's catalogue for Graphic Image Technologies forthcoming DVD collection of all pre-IDW Star trek comics:

From Graphic Imaging Technologies! Star Trek: The Complete Collection includes all of the Star Trek comic books published from 1967 through present from publishers like Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Malibu, and Wildstorm (excluding 2007 IDW). That's nearly 40 years with over 550 issues plus annuals! Also included are over 1,400 Star Trek comic strips culled from various newspaper publications and sources. Scheduled to ship in September 2008. $49.99.

However, according to Mark Martinez of the Star Trek Comics Checklist, the solicitation was released before CBS finalised the details for the collection and unfortunately due to the confused issues about who owns the old newspaper comic strip they wont make it to the collection. Shame, but the rest will still be fantastic.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Toys and collectibles update

Diamond Select Toys have announced and/or officially confirmed and detailed a number of future releases:

In November the company will release a new version of the Captain Kirk and captain's chair pack, now with electronic sound features. (details here)

Also in November will be reissuing it's TOS phaser (for the umpteenth time) now in a two pack along side the more recent communicator prop. (details here)

And again in November wave five of Star Trek MiniMate debut. Which (as has been previously established) will be a jumble of TOS and DS9 figures:
-"The Trouble with Tribbles" Kirk (aka Kirk with a smirk) and Yeoman Rand
-The Motion Picture Decker and Ilia
-Captain Sisko and Gul Dukat, or a limited variant with Commander Sisko report Mattel have taken on a Trek license and will be producing Star Trek themed Barbie dolls, remote controlled vehicles and Scene It? and 20Q games.

TrekMovie also report Round Two, who own Polar Lights and AMT, have a new licensing deal, so there will be more Trek models from them forthcoming - starting with a reissue of the Polar Lights TOS-Enterprise later this year

And finally in another report have revealed the Kurt Adler company will be releasing three Star Trek Christmas products this year, a Fabriche statue of Spock with a Christmas gift of Tribbles and two Nutcrackers: Kirk and Spock.

TOS remastered update

Already aired in the US, the most recently remastered TOS episodes had some showy new effects which showed off. From "The Way to Eden" we have a new starship Aurora, replacing the reused Tholian ship from the original version (see the original article for comparison):

And from "Requiem for Methuselah", Flint gets a new castle to replace the reused castle matte from "The Cage" (comparison here):

Comics update

Appologies for the recent lack of updates folks, I've not been able to maintain my connection to the ol' collective. But I'm back now. Here's my first update for the last couple of weeks news, this one looking at comics:

IDW's solicitations for September have been announced which include the last issue of Assignment: Earth, and the first of John Byrne's next story, the two-part Romulans: The Hollow Crown, plus the delayed third issue of Mirror Images and the first of IDW Star Trek Archives omnibus books, which collect older Star Trek comics. Still no sign of Alien Spotlight II... Here are the blurbs for the issues as presented by Comic News i (including the first look at the colour version of the The Hollow Crown cover):

Assignment: Earth #5
The President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet—but what if the man in the office is an agent of a foreign government? Seven and Roberta journey to Beijing to make sure only Nixon returns from China! John Byrne’s first-ever Star Trek series concludes here!

Mirror Images #3
In the third chapter of this all-new Mirror Universe saga, we jump ahead to a never-before-seen period for the Mirror Universe: the waning days of the war between the Empire and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. As the Empire's sphere of influence shrinks with every losing battle, we ship out with the ISS Starbreaker, where a young navigator, Lieutenant Jean-Luc Picard, is forced into command of his crippled vessel, and must figure out a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or sparing that, at least keep himself and his remaining crewmates alive to fight another day.

Romulans: The Hollow Crown #1
Legendary creator John Byrne presents a special two-part sequel to his first Star Trek tale. In chapter one, the first mission of the Empire's new ship and weapon ended in failure, but the Praetor is not done yet! Familiar faces old and new join in a continuation of the tale begun in Star Trek Spotlight: Romulans. Learn who will ultimately wear “The Hollow Crown.”

Star Trek Archives - Volume 1: Best of Peter David
First in a new series that collects the very best Star Trek comics from the past three decades. Star Trek Archives: Vol. 1. Best of Peter David collects five Star Trek: The Original Series stories written by fan-favorite writer Peter David (Star Trek: New Frontier). Bill Mumy (Lost in Space) co-writes three issues, and one issue is illustrated by legendary comic artist Curt Swan. The stories in this volume focus on the first crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise—Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Mr. Chekov.

Meanwhile on his forums John Byrne has released a couple of pre-coloured preview pages from that last Assignment: Earth issue. Here's one:

And go the original post, here, for more.

On Chris Ryall's blog the IDW editor has released the Joe Corroney cover from the forth issue of Mirror Images:

And this interior page from the second, featuring Orions:

If you check that original post you can also see a pre-coloured version of the Corroney cover.

And finally, according to, due to some in-company issues at Tokyopop lately, the first book of TNG manga, which was due out in a couple of months, has been delayed until next year. The third TOS book is still due next month.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Destiny and Kobayashi Maru blurbs and have released blurbs for the Destiny trilogy and the next Enterprise novel respectively. Here they are (including the previously known one for the first in the Destiny trilogy), but be warned, they're pretty spoilerific:

Destiny #1: Gods of the Night
The Borg return -- with a vengeance! Blitzkreig attacks by the single-minded aliens with their hive mentality and their mission to assimilate every intelligent being they encounter are leaving whole worlds aflame. No one knows how they are slipping past Starfleet's defences, so Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew are detailed to find out -- and to put a stop to it if they can. Meanwhile, thousands of light years away, Captain Will Riker and the crew of the Titan follow bizarre energy pulses to a mysterious, hidden world. There they find a figure out of legend: a Starfleet captain long thought dead. And at the same time, over in the Gamma Quadrant, newly promoted Captain Dax and her crew investigate the wreck of the Earth starship Columbia NX-02, missing in action for more than two centuries.

Destiny #2: Mere Mortals
The Borg have found a secret passage through subspace and are using it to attack the Federation. But the passage is only one of many that the Enterprise crew have discovered inside a nebula. Working together, Captains Picard and Dax must find the right one before they can lead a counterstrike to stop the Borg invasion. Meanwhile, Captain Riker and the crew of the Titan are being held hostage by the powerful reclusive aliens know as the Caeliar. Their freedom hinges of the action of fellow-prisoner Erica Hernandez, commander of the long-lost starship Columbia. Hernandez has lived among the Caeliar for centuries, enduring disasters, accidental time travel and interstellar exiles. After so long, can she be persuaded to fight for her freedom, or is it too late for the Titan as well as for her?

Destiny #3: Lost Souls
An armada of several thousand Borg cubes has wiped out a fleet of ships sent by the Federation and its allies. This time the goal of the Collective is not assimilation but extermination. Jean-Luc Picard, Will Riker and Ezri Dax unite in a final desperate bid to halt the Borg's genocidal progress through known space. But their three starships - the Enterprise, the Titan and the Aventine - are no match for the Borg armada. Or are they? With them is Erica Hernandez, former captain of the missing starship Columbia. Endowed with powers and insight gained from centuries spent with the alien Caeliar, she can end the Borg threat forever - or transform it into a menace which will devour the entire galaxy.

Kobayahi Maru
To protect the cargo ships essential to the continuing existence of the fledgling Coalition of Planets, the captains of the United Earth's Starfleet are ordered to interstellar picket duty, with little more to do than ask "Who goes there?" into the darkness of space.

Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise™ seethes with frustration, wondering if anyone else can see what he sees. A secret, closed, militaristic society, convinced that their survival hangs by a thread, who view their neighbors as a threat to their very existence -- the Spartans of ancient Greece, the Russians of the old Soviet Union, the Koreans under Kim Il-sung -- with only one goal: attain ultimate power, no matter the cost. The little-known, never-seen Romulans seem to live by these same principles.

The captain realizes that the bond between the signers of the Coalition charter is fragile and likely to snap if pushed. But he knows that the Romulans are hostile, and he believes they are the force behind the cargo ship attacks. If asked, Archer can offer no proof without endangering his friend's life.

To whom does he owe his loyalty: his friend, his world, the Coalition? And by choosing one, does he not risk losing all of them? What is the solution to a no-win scenario?

Make your way over to the TrekBBS (the users of which pointed these out) to discuss Destiny and Kobayashi Maru.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Lights of Zetar remastered have posted some images from the remastered version of "Lights of Zetar". Featuring, the lights:

And Memory Alpha:

See TrekMovie's article for comparison shots with the original effects.

UPDATE: TrekMovie were also given this logo for Memory Alpha:

Intelligence Gathering review

Last week (or this week depending on where you live) saw the release of the final issue in Intelligence Gathering miniseries from IDW. here are my thoughts:

In short: Beautiful, very well written, lots of interesting character bits, and plenty of continuity porn. Yet is also failed to draw me in quite as much as the previous Tipton/Messina works, still fantastic, but not knocking me off my feet.

#1 "Valued intelligence" - Data and Riker head down to Daystrom One, the Federation's new archive facility, to find out why it isn't working properly. Daystrom One itself is pretty high concept in terms of in-universe science and as a result the artwork for much of the issue is similarly high concept, featuring a colourful jazzy virtual world vaguely reminiscent of the world of Tron.

Ultimately it's all the Romulans fault and the story is left "to be continued"... Is the reader left wanting more? Yep, a solid start to the series, the cliff-hanger is perhaps not so pronounced that it leaves you rocking in a corner awaiting the next issue, but it piques one's curiosity.

Outside the virtual world the art is almost as jazzy. Anyone familiar with David Messina's art will be used to his distinctive style, but for this series he seems to take it a step further; While being entirely loyal to the TNG aesthetic Messina somehow completely reinvents it too, the series is crisp, graphical, dark, and everything glows, it pulls TV era TNG more into the style of the movies and it really looks quite fantastic (fingers crossed David Messina gets to illustrate an Enterprise-E or Deep Space 9 adventure some day, he'd really do them justice)

#2 "A Matter of Dates" - So a tantalising story of Romulan infiltration is set to continue! Well not quite, the second issue in the series is stand alone (if it links to the overall story arc I missed it entirely). fortunately it's a really rather fantastic story (my second favourite in the series) so it's sidestep away from the story continuation of the series is entirely excused.
The story is Worf-centric, with a reasonably hefty role for Ro Laren beside him. On Votar VII a group of Kaylar workers have begun a violent revolt against their Rigelian employers, Picard elects Worf to go in and play diplomat - satisfyingly foreshadowing Worf's future diplomatic career.

The use of two familiar yet obscure Trek races is nice, and the story feels like it had some solid character development for Worf, and some fun intellectual playfulness from Picard.

#3 "Chasing Shadows" - This issue kicks off with the Romulan prisoners taken in the first issue being dropped off at a starbase, neatly signifying the return to the series' story arc.

This was my favourite issue of the series, it did everything right. The featured characters are La Forge and O'Brien, this time I think O'Brien gets the most out of the story; Like Worf's role in the previous issue this story sees O'Brien take on a different than usual duty and foreshadows his future - in this case his decision to take a new assignment at Deep Space 9.

The issue also features a very likable and well developed guest character in the form of the chief engineer of the USS Jackson. And the story is moved on with the discovery of a mysterious device found on the Jackson leading to a similar one being discovered on the Enterprise. What is going on?

#4 "Matters of the Mind" - Crash, Bam, Ka-Pow, oh it's over... This issue seemed a bit of a blur to me. It had quite a lot of fighting action from a group of mind controlled crew persons. It successfully continued the series' story arc forward. It made use of some more previously established races and technologies in a nice new way. But it was all zipped through at quite a pace. Not my favourite issue at all, but onwards to the conclusion...

#5 "Disgrace" - As one might have guessed from the conclusion of the first issue all this mind control and alien devices stuff turned out to be Romulans plots to kidnap Data. Which they do so promptly at the start of the story. Of course it wasn't just the reader that could see that one coming so Picard and the gang follow on behind to resolve this little mystery. What they find you probably wouldn’t have guessed.

The series is brought to a neat and satisfying conclusion, with the help of one of those pretty Scorpion class fighters from Nemesis and an Iconian device that looks suspiciously like a stargate...

This one features most of the main cast in some way or another, but the really nicely played characters are the Romulans - The conclusion of the series is about understanding the Romulan way of thinking, and it's clear the Tiptons really do.

The only disappointment, some big extra-dimensional monstery alien things are the guest the villains and they sort of come from nowhere and don’t get far. The Tiptons have a skill for pulling in and using various references from throughout the Trekverse, they did so in abundance throughout this series - these new aliens could easily have been swapped to a prelude of contact with Species 8472, another extra-dimensional "lets kill everyone" bunch. But ah well, the big scary monsters served their purpose, this issue was really the Romulans’ turn in the spotlight, perhaps another familiar face would have overshadowed them a bit.

Conclusion: The combination of Scott and David Tipton with David Messina has been a winner from their first issue. This has not changed, the creative team continue to deliver top notch story telling with breath taking artwork. This series seems to be missing something that Klingons: Blood Will Tell had that made it somehow outstanding, but it's still pretty fantastic and well worth a read. The omnibus is out in August, if you've not read the issues as they come out I thoroughly recommend picking it up.

A little adventure for Isis

As John Byrne explained on his forums: "When I plot out a story, I usually don't worry about how long it will be, in terms of being exactly 22 pages, as I have long had the habit of "compressing" my stories as I go, trying to get as much information into each page as is possible. Once in a blue moon this means I find myself approaching the end of an issue and realizing the story will be 20 or 21 pages. Occasionally I merely expand what's left, perhaps adding a small scene or two, or even some bigger panels. Or, as in the case of AE4, coming up 2 pages "short", I elected to give one of the cast members her own little solo outing." And here is half of that story, featuring Isis, as coloured by Tom Smith:

You can see some more preview art for that issue amongst the posts at the original posting, here. And, Tom Smith also has a colour version of the cover for the final issue of the series online:

Meanwhile, this week saw the release of the second issue in the Assignment: Earth series (which was one page short itself). "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" is pretty much a crossover between TOS and A:E, with Gary and the gang doing their best to clean up after the Enterprise in a retelling of the events of "Tomorrow is Yesterday". I found the execution a little convoluted at times - a few too many "Gary just wants to check the Enterprise gang know what they're doing, oh they do best get out of the way". But it was still pretty enjoyable, and featured some really nice panel layouts.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

New Frontier #3 colour cover

On it's release week Chris Ryall has released the colour version of the cover for New Frontier: Turnaround, Part III:

Also out this week is the second issue of Assignment: Earth, and for those who couldn't get them last week, the final issue of Intelligence Gathering and the second of The Enterprise Experiment.

Alternate Realities episode list have announced the episode list for the Alternate Realities Fan Collective DVD set. The set, which will Not include all the mirror universe episodes (most of them though), will arrange the episodes in themes for each disc in the set:

Disc 1: Mirror Universe
-TOS: Mirror, Mirror
-DS9: Crossover
-DS9: Through The Looking Glass
-DS9: Shattered Mirror

Disc 2: Mirror Universe and Parallel Dimensions
-ENT: In A Mirror Darkly (Parts 1 and 2)
-TOS: The Alternative Factor
-TNG: Parallels

Disc 3: Twisted Realities
-TOS: The Enemy Within
-TOS: Turnabout Intruder
-TNG: Frame of Mind
-VOY: Shattered

Disc 4: Alternate Lives
-TNG: Yesterday’s Enterprise
-TNG: The Inner Light
-DS9: The Visitor
-VOY: Before and After

Disc 5: Alternate Lives
-VOY: Timeless
-VOY: Course: Oblivion
-ENT: E2
-ENT: Twilight

No news on extra features yet, other than there will be some in the form of video features and text commentaries.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Fearful Symmetry excerpt have posted an excerpt from the long awaited next instalment in the DS9 relaunch series of novels, and Mirror Universe novel, Fearful Symmetry, by Olivia Woods.

Make your way to TrekWeb, here, to delve into the history of Iliana Ghemor.

Action figure offer with Alternate Realities

TV Shows on have followed up on their earlier report announcing the latest Fan Collective DVD set "Alternate Realities" with the release of the preliminary box art for the set:

As the art shows the set will also include the opportunity to mail away for an exclusive action figure from Diamond Select Toys, which TV Shows on DVD report will be a version of Geordi La Forge.

This follows on from the Q Fan Collective set that offered a Tapestry version of Picard, in his alternate timeline science division uniform. Of course TNG had no mirror universe episodes, so that leaves either a re-release of the All Good Things... version of Geordi (previously released in a two-pack with AGT Data) or a new Captain La Forge figure based on his appearance in the Voyager episode Timeless, which seems plausible in terms of a cheap modification of existing moulds as DST have already done a Nemesis Geordi.