Tuesday, 28 July 2009
On the DS9 front IDW apparently have an artist lined up, a painter, who has done covers for IDW Trek comics before (which gives a few possibilities, J.K. Woodward is the name that immediately pops into my head).
On the TNG front there's to be a new series titled Ghosts, which will be set in the TV era and see the TNG crew dealing with two warring factions on a world that wants to join the Federation (nothing like the soon to conclude TOS: Mission's End then...). The series will apparently take a CSI sort of style. That series has a writer, Alexander Cannon, and will have at least some covers by Joe Corroney (like that one>).
The previously mentioned Sulu-Excelsior story it turns out will be part of a new spotlight-style series called Captain's Log. Like Alien Spotlight the series will feature multiple creative teams, this time focusing on different commanding officers - Harris mentioned Jellico and Garrett, and fingers crossed for Riker on the Titan.
Beyond that Harris anticipates more omnibuses from IDW, and possibly deluxe reprints of the movie tie-in series to cash in on the DVD release. And looking at IDW's general approach wonders whether we might see an on-going Trek series some time soon, in line with similar series announced for other IDW properties.
Read all the details, here.
See the rest, here. Which is where TrekMovie also revealed the finalised cover of the "Best of Captain Kirk" omnibus, which is also out this week.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
- Insights into their approach to the new movie adaptation; going back to early drafts of the scripts to find new angles on events and such.
- Confirmation the Nero series wont be repeated within the events of the adaptation.
- A few hints on Nero, which will feature "a sort of famous Klingon", a new Human character, and a Spock.
- Plans for a prequel to Countdown showing Data's return and rise to captaincy, and how the rest of the TNG gang have been moving about.
- After that a desire to do a post-Countdown TNG series.
- And the earliest hint of a potential for a Countdown-like tie-in prequel for the next film when it comes about.
This entry also seems to premier a new approach to ship pages; if you click on the main image you get a big angled view of the ship, and the article itself has several orthographic views.
There's also a new website up with a preview video for the DVD; well worth a watch to wet your appetite.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Care of IDW forum user Ro-Dan we also have a first bit of preview art for the series: UPDATE: Image removed at the request of TPTB, not approved yet apparently.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Additionally Mr Harris has been writing about a new TNG series he expects from IDW in mid-2010, set after Countdown. He anticipates the series will be written and illustrated by the Countdown/Nero collective of Tim Jones and Mike Johnson, with art by David Messina. Good times. He also expects some more TNG Alien Spotlight issues to be announced soon (and about time too!).
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
1. Main Title (3:06)
2. Surprise on Ceti Alpha V (0:45)
3. Khan’s Pets (4:19)
4. The Eels of Ceti Alpha V/Kirk in Space Shuttle (3:53)
5. Enterprise Clears Moorings (3:33)
6. Chekov Lies (0:40)
7. Spock (1:12)
8. Kirk Takes Command/He Tasks Me (2:07)
9. Genesis Project (3:16)
10. Surprise Attack (5:07)
11. Kirk’s Explosive Reply (4:01)
12. Inside Regula I (1:35)
13. Brainwashed (1:24)
14. Captain Terrell’s Death (1:58)
15. Buried Alive (0:57)
16. The Genesis Cave (1:09)
17. Battle in the Mutara Nebula (8:07)
18. Enterprise Attacks Reliant (1:29)
19. Genesis Countdown (6:34)
20. Spock Dies (1:53)
21. Amazing Grace (1:26)
22. Epilogue/End Title (8:41)
23. Epilogue (original version)/End Title (7:29)
And is available from Film Score Monthly.
The TNG movies come in a box set (First Contact alone will be released individually). The both formats have lots of extra features, though the bluray set has a lot more. Highlights include commentaries on every film, most with two or three different commentaries. Various behind the scenes featurettes. A feature called "Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond" which is spread in four parts across the film series. Deleted scenes for all but First Contact. And a fifth disc "Star Trek Evolutions" which contains The Evolution of the Enterprise, Villains of Star Trek, I Love the Star Trek Movies, Farewell to Star Trek: The Experience, Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion 4D and Charting the Final Frontier. For a full list of features check this article at DVD Active. Box looks like this:
DVD Active also have some (early) box art for the new movie, the 2-disc DVD and bluray looks like this:
And single disc DVD like this:
Additionally, Play.com have an exclusive "steelbook" packaging for the bluray on preorder, which looks rather nice:
This year sees the Federation not having much effect trying to make the Klingons and Gorn stop warring. The over-stretched Klingons making less of an effort to attack vulnerable and not-very-threatening Romulan space. More arguing about holographic rights. And a hint of Species 8472 making incursions into local space.
A boy looks up. He sees a Cardassian's hand on his shoulder and knows that this is usually a prelude to a beating or, if he is fortunate enough, arrest. The boy knows how many disappeared during the Occupation of Bajor. So he does the one thing he can think of: he bites the Cardassian. Then the nightmare begins.
He is ripped from the family that took him in as an orphan, clothed him, fed him, always loved him unconditionally. And no matter how earnest, how caring the commander of Deep Space 9 is, the boy knows this is all a horrible mistake. How can someone from Starfleet judge him by what he looks like, not by what he is? He prays to the Prophets; he is Bajoran. They all keep telling him that the test proves the large Cardassian man is his father, that the other Cardassian -- that oily gul -- took him away from his father. But the boy keeps telling them that he is Bajoran, he only wants to go home with his father. So they send Rugal home -- to Cardassia.
On the homeworld of the Cardassian Union where sacrifice and devotion to the state are surpassed only by the government's need to keep its people in check, one very lonely boy discovers that if he doesn't resist, his life -- like those of so many others -- will be added to the tally of the never-ending sacrifice.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Multi-disc sets on both formats include: an audio commentary by the producers and director; deleted scenes with commentaries (Spock's birth, Klingons taking Narada, young Kirk and family, Amanda and Sarek arguing after Spock's fights, Nero and co. in Klingon prison, "Sarek Gets Amanda"?, a different version of the dorm room and Kobayashi Maru scenes, Kirk apologizing to the Gaila, and Sarek seeing old-Spock); A New Vision, a making-of documentary; To Boldly Go, another behind the scenes something; features on casting, the score, and alien design; a gag reel; a digital copy; and demos of D-A-C.
The bluray release includes additional "branching pods" features to those listed above and extra features on: planets, props and costumes, sound design, and "Gene Roddenberry's vision" plus the Starfleet Vessel Simulator, giving tours and views of the Enterprise and Narada.
Both sets also apparently have a feature using augmented reality to use the DVD/Bluray case to manipulate a 3D model of the Enterprise (like the Experience the Enterprise website).
See TrekMovie's report for full details of all the features.
Harris also talks about his own history with Sulu/Excelsior as an idea he wanted to pursue at IDW and how he did use them in The Last Generation, and offers some speculation on IDW's possible approach to the series. Read away.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Meanwhile TrekMovie also report IDW will be releasing a special (limited to 1000 copies) edition of Countdown, Number One at the San Diego Comic Con, which will include a preview of the Nero series. Each issue will sport this new cover, signed by Jones and Johnson:
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Starting with the best I think, I have no doubt in proclaiming Assignment: Earth the best Star Trek comics IDW have done to date, surpassing (by a narrow margin maybe) even Klingons: Blood Will Tell and the first Alien Spotlight series. My first impression of John Byrne in Alien Spotlight: Romulans was that his story telling is superb but his art a little dated; and from that I anticipated a 20th century Earth setting would play better for his art style, that seems to have been very true and indeed I have become so impressed by his artistic abilities that I now have a much greater appreciation for his comics in the 23rd century too. Byrne, in art and story telling rarely seems to go wrong, every issue is packed full story (while many other IDW comics have suffered from seeming to skip through a story not squeezing any depth into the 22 pages), remarkably in several issues of the series Byrne doesn't even use all 22 pages, and provides additional 2 and 3 page stories on top of the main feature. His artwork has a definite style that did take me a while to get used to, his way of drawing people is very much his own, but once you do get the hang of it is really quite fantastic; pages of dynamic and interesting panel layout, action and ideas. In short I am fully converted Byrne fan; if his name is on the comic I know it's going to be pretty damned good.
The notion behind this series is that it is the Gary Seven TV series that never was, and for this series it really works; the pacing and the framing of certain shots (while not sacrificing anything from the comic book format) really give a sense of television. However we also get the added benefit of looking back at the setting from a modern perspective, allowing the books to be peppered with historical references and give some really nice incites into the era.
Each issue of the series has it's own title, which is something of a rarity and much appreciated - IDW have done many series of done-in-one stories, yet so few of those stories are assigned anything more than an issue number, seems odd to me. The stories fit with the era and the themes of Assignment: Earth; lots of espionage, conspiracy, futuristic technology and alien intervention. We get an issue tying in with Tomorrow is Yesterday, and a sequel to the episode Assignment: Earth.
I think the balance of this series just right, we get a really good mixture of history, fun spy stories, exciting science fiction ideas and a general sense of fun. I cannot wait for the next series Assignment: Earth stories; this one was practically flawless and fun throughout.
Especially considered this series came from the reliably brilliant team of the Tipton Brothers and David Messina, I was a little under-whelmed by this romp into the mirror universe. The five issue series has a four part TOS tale, showing how Kirk took command of the Enterprise from Pike, with a single issue TNG interlude showing a parallel tale of Picard taking command of the ISS Starbreaker.
The TNG tale I really enjoyed, as a single-issue story it seemed a lot more focus, it had a story to tell and got on with it. The TOS story on the other hand really seemed to drag on. Each issue of the series seems rather light on content, each with its own little sub-plot building up the series arc, but none of the issues' individual stories felt very big or engrossing. Messina's art is its usual top quality, but there are a lot of big empty panels in this series because there just isn't the story to fill the issues. Overall a disappointment for me. If you like TOS (and Pike, I'd say Pike was the biggest draw for me in the series) and the mirror universe you'll likely enjoy it for what it is, otherwise I'd give it a miss.
Romulans: The Hollow Crown
John Byrne returns to Romulus for this two-part sequel to his Romulan Alien Spotlight. The story shows the development of the Klingon-Romulan Alliance, and particularly how the Klingons are essentially in control, manipulating the Romulans to be their pawns to fight the Federation as a way round the Organians not letting the Klingons do it themselves.
I really enjoy seeing the political side of Star Trek, so this is very much my kind of story. But that's not all this series about; its main characters include the family of the Romulan commander from Balance of Terror (and the preceding alien Spotlight). It's a very well crafted and thoroughly engrossing story, and I can't wait to see where it continues to in the forthcoming Schism series. Another win for Mr Byrne.
The Last Generation
Well before I even get into the comics, a comment on the title: Early covers for the series had the classic TNG title with the Next crossed out and Last graffitied in its place. Neat, makes sense, works with the play on the title, good job - So then for the final release we don't get that but "Star Trek: The next Generation - The Last Generation", completely ruins the title for me, what a waste of word play. Anyway...
The Last Generation is the first Myriad Universes comic, and it's nice to see the concept expanding across from Pocket Books even if the level of crossover is limited to the title. Andrew Steven Harris previously gave the amazing Alien Spotlight: Borg, so I was looking forward to seeing what he came up with next, and was not disappointed. The series shows us the TNG gone wrong after Captain Braxton of the 29th century made a mess of the timestream and went and got the Federation president assassinated at Khitomer. The first four issues show how Picard's resistance movement on Klingon occupied Earth plan to undo the changes and area a lot of fun, with your usual alternate reality bringing familiar faces together in new ways kind of thing. The final issue goes back in time and gives a slightly confusing conclusion where Braxton's attempts to stop what seemed to be the end of the universe are halted by Picard and co so that the Federation can live on - with the TNG gang now lost back in time and started another alternate timeline! I don't know if Harris was hoping to set up for a sequel here; Braxton's motivation for changing the timeline in the first place seem to have been left wide open for some future story telling to actually fix the timeline. But I digress, confusing time travel stuff aside the series is a lot of fun.
Now the art on the other hand... It is a complete mystery to me why Gordon Purcell's artwork is apparently so popular - so what if he can do decent likenesses of the cast, so can every other artist IDW use! I find Purcell's artwork clunky, and in particular his way of drawing people in poses looking incredibly unnatural and awkward. He did a better job making the comics visually engaging in this series than The Enterprise Experiment, but I'm still not won over by him and am sure if the series had been illustrated by someone else I would probably have enjoyed it twice as much.
Altogether though, not a bad effort, but room for improvement...
The movie prequel. Well after seeing the film I think this series did a good job of setting up Nero, who was otherwise the most simplistic two-dimensional bad guy ever. It's a bit of a shame that in the actual film Spock seems to imply he didn't really know Nero before, but if you overlook that the backstory presented in Countdown adds a lot.
The series is also a sequel of sorts to TNG, with mixed results. Irrespective of how obvious it was to do so I'm glad to see Data back, he's my favourite TNG character and that was pretty obviously the intent if Star Trek XI had been The Search for Data. Making him captain of the Enterprise and dumping Picard on Vulcan I'm less pleased about, but it's some years into the future, and in some ways good to see the TNG characters diversifying as they move on through life, not forever on the Enterprise like the old TOS crew...
The series was illustrated by David Messina, so obviously looks fantastic and has plenty packed in to enjoy, there's never a dull moment visually or story-wise. Another winner for IDW I think.
The Wrath of Khan
Hmm... Well for starters, I just don’t see the point in doing a comic book adaptation of a film; they are two completely different forms of story telling, designed from the off to be told in different ways. And I can see even less point in doing one of a film nearly three decades old - if they had done an adaptation of the new film it would least serve as a stop gap until the DVD release! Which brings me to another point, why make a fuss about this being the only TOS film not to have been turned into a comic and then ignore the film released now!
Anyway, we all know the story, Mr Schmidt did a perfectly adequate job chopping it into three parts, well done. And then we get to the art, which can be reasonably summed up as "yuck"; a big fuzzy blurry mess throughout with painfully odd facial expression from page to page. About the only part of the art that I found in any way presentable was the nice swirly nebula effects...
In conclusion, get the recently released bluray and enjoy the film as it was intended.
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Part I: TOS prime (and New Frontier)
January: Sorrows of Empire, by David Mack
The previously announced Mirror Universe novel expansion, no new info.
February: Inception, by S.D. Perry
While this one has been know about online for a little while this is the first proper announcement. TrekMovie describe it thusly: "Set before The Original Series, the book is story of four people at the start of their careers. Commander Kirk and the woman he loves Dr. Carol Marcus, Commander Spock and his chance encounter with an botanist, Leila Kalomi."
March: Treason, by Peter David
Earlier announcements indicated a TOS reprint around this time, but it seems Pocket have instead elected to re-release the latest New Frontier book, but in mass mark paperback rather than tradepaper back.
April: The Children of the Kings, by Dave Stern
A Pike-era book which "focuses on the Orion Syndicate, a dying girl and the kidnapping of a Starfleet officer."
May: Unspoken Truth, by Margaret Wander Bonanno
The previously announced movie-era Saavik novel.
June (or maybe July), a New Frontier novel by Peter David
A trade paperback release, title forthcoming.
Part II: new TOS
June: Refugees, by Alan Dean Foster
No detail other than the refugees are Not the Vulcans.
July: Seek a Newer World, by Christopher L. Bennett
The Enterprise goes on a "world building" mission
August: More Beautiful than Death, by David Mack
Vulcans after Vulcan goes bang (or crunch/squish/woosh)
Sepetember: Another new movie era novel
Might be a Scotty novel, but it's not been contracted yet...
Part III: The Typhon Pact
Each novel is under the banner of a particular series (including Aventine interestingly), and each deals with one or two of the Typhon Pact species. Apparently they are all stand alone tales, with interwoven elements, but not to the extent of Destiny.
October: Titan: Seize the Fire, by Michael Martin
The Titan and crew have an encounter with the Gorn
November: Aventine: Zero Sum Game, by David Mack
The Aventine is "assigned to aid with the insertion and extraction of Starfleet operatives behind Breen lines"
December: DS9: The Rough Beasts of Empire, by David R. George III
Via DS9 the Romulans vie for control over the Typhon Pact, and the Tzenkethi are involved too!
January: TNG: Path of Disharmony, by Dayton Ward
The Enterprise looks after a conference on Andor while the Pact make a "daring to reach into the heart of the Federation to raise it’s standard as the pre-eminent power", with a focus on the Tholians.
On top of that the Seven Deadly Sins anthology is due in spring, and the next Myriad Universes collection, Shattered Light, in the summer. The next Corps of Engineers omnibus has been delayed again, until at least 2011!
My thoughts: Unless the next couple of DS9 relaunch novels, out soon, span a lot of time I'm disappointed to see that series forced all the way into 2382 without at least something to span the time. But who knows maybe the next two Will span that period, and it will be interesting to see DS9 at this point. I am generally a little disenhearted by the stand alone nature everything will apparently have, and the massive bias to TOS (at least the TOS prime stuff sounds quite varied I suppose). Hopefully the other series will get back in play in 2011...
Friday, 10 July 2009
Meanwhile Gamespot have posted three new screencaps from the game, including this Centaur class going bang:
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
And meanwhile on Mark Rademaker's (the Aventine's designer) own blog he has posted some orthographic views of the model's wireframe.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Title just screams Spock prime and his stoic band of Vulcan survivors to me, exciting.
The article also discusses writing the recent novelization. All credit to Steve Roby (of the Complete Starfleet Library) who pointed this out on the TrekBBS.
UPDATE: According to TrekMovie the title is one of those Pocket Books will be announcing next week (so presumably has now been approved).
See the other pages, here. Though I'm afraid Early Voyages fans Mr Byrne has still not had a look at other adventures of the Enterprise under Pike it seems; Spock on the enterprise before Pike took command, shocking!
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Voyager: Unworthy, by Kirsten Beyer
Freed with a thought, the greatest menace to humanity, the Borg are gone, absorbed into the Caeliar gestalt. But are they? Can this deadly menace, that has hovered over humanity for decades truly be gone? Might some shadow of the Caeliar remain? The Federation decides that they have to know and Starfleet is ordered to find out.
The Starship Voyager leads a fleet into a region of space that has lived in fear of instant annihilation for generations, home of the Borg, the Delta quadrant. Afsarah Eden—the new captain of Voyager is charged getting answers, to reach out to possible allies, and resolve old enmities in the Delta quadrant
The perfection that was given to the Borg was withheld from Seven of Nine. Left behind she is living a twilight existence—neither Borg nor human—and slowly going mad. The whispers of the Collective, comforting mummers she has always known, is replaced with a voice deep within her that keeps insisting she is Annika Hansen. Chakotay, the former captain of Voyager, offers to help Seven rendezvous with the ships that Starfleet Command has sent into the Delta quadrant, the probable destination of the mysterious Caeliar.
These are not the friendly stars of the Federation, the unknown and the unexpected are the everyday.
Enterprise - The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wings, by Michael A. Martin
Chastised by the cataclysm that they had unleashed, the governments of Earth banded together. Humanity vowed to put an end to war, and to strive for the betterment of every living creature. A united Earth created Starfleet, an interstellar agency, whose mission was to explore the cosmos, to come in peace for all mankind. A naïve wish, yet man persists in the belief that peace is the way. Banding together with other powers to form a Coalition of Planets, humanity hopes that the strength each can offer the other, will allow for peaceful exploration.
The rise of the Coalition strikes dread within the Romulan Star Empire. They feel the growing reach will cut them off from is rightfully theirs. But, the Romulans know that the alliance is fragile, that the correct strategy could turn allies into foes. Perfecting a way of remotely controlling Coalition ships and using them as weapons against each other, the Romulans hope to driving a wedge of suspicion and mistrust between these new allies.
One ship, one Starfleet captain uncovers this insidious plot, Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise. Determined not to lose what they have gained, out manned and out gunned, the captains of Starfleet stand tall vowing to defend every inch of Coalition space. The tide begins to turn. The Romulans now plan to strike at what they see as the heart of their problem. With nothing left to lose the Romulan Star Empire engages in all out war against humanity, determined once and for all to stop the human menace from spreading across the galaxy.
Titan: Synthesis, by James Swallow
The Starship Titan continues on her outward voyage of discovery. Ranging farther and farther from Federation space, Captain William Riker and the crew look forward to living Starfleet’s mission: seeking out new life, discovering new civilizations.
Striking a “sandbank”—a spatial distortion—the Titan is knocked out of warp, her crew shaken up but uninjured. Titan has stumbled across a battlefield, and floating in it, shattered and in pieces, are the remains of a ship. Searching for survivors, they discover the ship never had a crew. The away team removes the computer core, looking for answers. Once the device is restored, it becomes clear this is not just a computer, but a thinking, reasoning artificial intelligence.
It identifies itself as SecondGen White-Blue, it comes from a civilization composed entirely of sentient computers. Eons ago these artificial intelligences were charged to be the first line of defense against The Null—a destructive force so allconsuming that generation upon generation have waged unending war trying to find a way to beat back this terror. Captain Riker offers to assist them, but years of war have left the AIs distrustful and suspicious, especially of organics.
The tide of the battle is turning, The Null is winning. Set free, it will destroy everything in this system and then, unchecked, spread its mindless destruction into the heart of the Federation.
Vanguard: Precipice, by David Mack
Operation Vanguard is in chaos.
On a post-apocalyptic world in the Taurus Reach, undercover Starfleet Intelligence agent Cervantes Quinn finds an ancient Shedai conduit. Unfortunately, the Klingons have found it first and sent an army to claim it.
Light-years away on Vulcan, reporter Tim Pennington answers a cryptic call for help and ends up stalking interstellar criminals with an unlikely partner: T’Prynn, the woman who sabotaged his career and is now a fugitive from justice.
Meanwhile, Diego Reyes, former commander of Starbase 47, lives as a prisoner aboard a Klingon starship. But his former enemies aren’t seeking revenge. In fact, the only man who knows why Reyes is still alive is the one who arranged his kidnapping and faked his death—the enigmatic Councilor Gorkon.
All their fates, as well as the futures of three great powers, are linked by one thing: the mysterious Mirdonyae Artifact. And unless Doctor. Carol Marcus and Ming Xiong can unlock its secrets in time, it might destroy them all.
TOS - Mirror Universe: The Sorrows of Empire, by David Mack
One man can shape the future…but at what cost?
“In every revolution, there is one man with a vision.”
Captain James T. Kirk of the United Federation of Planets spoke those prophetic words to Commander Spock of the Terran Empire, hoping to inspire change. He could not have imagined the impact his counsel would have.
Armed with a secret weapon of terrifying power and a vision of the alternate universe’s noble Federation, Spock seizes control of the Terran Empire and commits it to the greatest gamble in its history: democratic reform.
Rivals within the empire try to stop him; enemies outside unite to destroy it.
Only a few people suspect the shocking truth: Spock is knowingly arranging his empire’s downfall. But why? Have the burdens of imperial rule driven him mad? Or is this the coldly logical scheme of a man who realizes that freedom must always be paid for in blood?
Spock alone knows that the fall of the empire will be the catalyst for a political chain reaction—one that will alter the fate of his universe forever.