Friday, 29 August 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Monday, 25 August 2008
The set will include a series of features on the different types of alternate reality included: "Mirror Universe" Parts 1 and 2, "Parallel Dimensions", "Twisted Realities", and "Alternate Lives" Parts 1 and 2. The set will also include audio commentaries for at least some of the episodes (though it's not specified which, if not all, episodes get a commentary)
On his and Kevin Dilmore's contribution to the Mirror Universe short story anthology Shards and Shadows, a short story titled Ill Winds: "It stars the mirror universe versions of Robert and Sarah April, but otherwise there really aren't any other recognisable faces from Trek lore in the story.” and “Let's just say that Robert April has the reputation for being the one to be feared, but in reality he leaves a lot of the more distasteful duties to his wife. Make of that what you will…”
Ward's website offers a short blurb too: "A short story featuring the mirror universe counterparts of Robert and Sarah April, on a mission to stop the development of a devastating new Klingon weapon. Our initial inspiration for the MU version of April was Harvey Keitel's character from Pulp Fiction. Hilarity ensues, of course."
On the Ward and Dilmore's story in Seven Deadly Sins: "Marco asked us to pitch a story about the Romulans and ‘Pride’ for the [book]." "We can't really divulge too much at this point, but I'll tease a bit by saying that the pitch we submitted (something like a year ago or so) features at least one character seen in Summon the Thunder, as well as sets the stage for one of the more interesting yet little-explored aspects of the original Star Trek series. Yes, I know that's vague, but considering how few original series episodes feature the Romulans, it won't be hard for fans to figure out..."
The interview also discussed the development of the Vanguard series and other work by Ward (the focus is actually on a new 4400 tie-in novel).
Saturday, 23 August 2008
First off this story works best all together, I found it so much more enjoyable when re-read the whole thing in one go, as opposed to each section of the story as it trickled out month by month. While each issue in the series does have a definable individual plot they are not issues that stand up entirely on there own, unlike issues of Klingons: Blood Will Tell or Intelligence Gathering. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, the whole story together feels a bit bigger than IDW's other part-stories to-date because it's one story over 110 pages rather than a collection of little stories that stick together to tell a bigger one, so that one story feels much more fleshed out, more in-scale with a novel than the brief 22-page stories we're used to.
But as a monthly series I found it a bit tedious, because each issue was entirely dependant on the rest of the series, and not at all self-contained it was forever "to be continued" with no real payoff until the last couple of issues. I don't think the story being split into five in any way benefited it.
The next big thing about this series for me was that it's New Frontier, a rather separate entity that I have only a passing familiarity with (having read handful of stories that appeared in multi-series anthologies and gaining some familiarity due to being a frequent Memory Beta editor). I was concerned when this series began that I'd be jumping into the stories of a set of characters I don't really know, and the short format of the comic would not provide sufficient introduction for. Fortunately the series was so enjoyable written that wasn't an issue, while the characters were not introduced in great detail the information about them important to the story was emphasised early on so everything made sense. And in fact the series has encouraged me to catch up on New Frontier properly sooner rather than later.
The story managed to feel impressively big for what boils down to "crazy admiral steals a starship" taking place on five starships, a starbase and a planet, with elements from the mirror universe thrown in on top! The side story on New Thallon felt a little separated from the rest of story and I don't really see what it added here, for the ongoing New Frontier series it adds what I presume is the start of a new story-arc in the form of a pregnancy but it's main purpose in the miniseries seemed to be to add an extra place for Morgan to hang out. Similarly the Trident seemed to be squashed in there for the sack of completion but didn't add a great deal. The Excalibur on the other hand was nicely used with plenty of fun characterisation, Calhoun and Kebron were particular enjoyable to read, but the whole crew dynamic on that ship is just fun and I'm glad the story had time to really play with that.
The story did leave a quite a lot of dangling threads, some, like the pregnancy, are obviously quite long term, but some were disappointing not to have been resolved in the series, the fate of Morgan and who/what from the regular universe was allied with the mirror universe people. I assume all will be continued in future New Frontier stories, but the mirror universe plot from this story seemed quite neatly concluded so it feels odd to leave that one specific unresolved plot point.
The art throughout the series is superb, some of best to come out of IDW for Star Trek comics to date I think. It has a really high quality feeling, it looks like a lot of work has gone into it and is constantly visually engaging. I would eagerly anticipate any more art from Stephen Thompson.
My only problem with the art - page 7 of issue 5, in which while explaining the political situation in the mirror universe a fleet of Alliance starship is depicted as a fleet of 24th century-Starfleet ships with Terran Empire paintwork! If that was intentional it needed an explanation, and if it was an error I'm amazed it got through the editorial and CBS approval processes.
All in all the series was fun, was mostly accessible to new New Frontier readers and I'd imagine great fun for more familiar readers of the series to actually see the crews and settings. More New Frontier comics? While not top of my wish list I certainly wouldn't be disappointed to get another series, and reading it has wetted my lips for the series in general.
If you didn’t pick up the series as it came out part by part the omnibus is out in October and well worth picking up for some engaging writing and brilliant artwork.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Wave five, due imminently consists of the Enterprise NX-01 with weapons fire effects, a Klingon D7 with weapons and explosions effects, self-destructing USS Enterprise from The Wrath of Kahn and the shuttlecraft Galileo II:
Wave six due in October includes a Borg cube with weapons and explosion effects, the USS Yamato and USS Excalibur and a TAS-style Romulan D7 (which apparently takes the place of a planned Borgified USS Voyager)
Check out TrekMovie's article for a look back at past waves of the little ships.
UPDATE: Andrew Steven Harris has published a blog post about this cover, which is by Robert Atkins. The chap in the foreground is apparently Wesley and it was inspired by an old Battlestar Galactica cover, fascinating.
Meanwhile, John Byrne has released a newly-colored page from Romulans: The Hollow Crown (though the page in question features Klingons) and has commented that the second sequel to his Romulan Alien Spotlight due next year will be "something somewhat longer" than the forthcoming two-parter.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Mirror Images #5
Final issue! Captain Pike has remained one step ahead of Kirk's machinations so far, but how long can his luck last? And has he lost an ally in Mr. Spock? And on what side is the Enterprise's hidden power player: Leonard McCoy? The final gambit in James T. Kirk's rise to power is played!
The release also came with a cover, however it appears to be a David Messina cover for the third issue of the series (the TNG side-step). UPDATE: It's apparently a page of interior art from the third issue (according to one of the writers):
UPDATE 2: To add more confusion, in Comics Continuum's version of the solicitation listing the image is shown as a cover with titles and very oddly "issue #4" marked on it (which makes no sense, issue four is not the TNG one...)
The Last Generation #1
Starfleet is no more. The Federation lies in ruin. And the Klingons have conquered Earth. But a resistance, led by Jean-Luc Picard, seeks to free humanity from Klingon rule. And now, finally, it may have the means to do it: An android named Data, who has scrutinized the timeline and discovered that things are not as they should be. A crucial moment, buried in the past, has gone awry—and as the Klingon warlord Worf closes in, time itself is running out... For the first time ever, IDW Publishing proudly joins forces with Simon & Shuster's Pocket Books division, to deliver a Myriad Universe title in conjunction with the Star Trek alternate-universe prose novels of the same name. Plus, a special bonus excerpt from one of the Myriad Universe novels!
The solicitation specifies 32 ad-free pages, so looks like that excerpt will eat up all the usual editorial content space.
Archives #2: The Best of The Borg
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships..." Ever since those chilling words reverberated throughout the bridge of the Enterprise, the Borg have been the most dangerous and relentless adversary of the entire Star Trek universe. Now, collected for the first time, their most fearsome adventures on the comics page! Reprinted from both the Marvel and DC Star Trek runs, these stories are must-reads for any fans of the Collective!
Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment omnibus
Dorothy Fontana, the writer from the original TV series, as well as The Animated Series, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine, co-writes Star Trek: The Enterprise Experiment, an all-new tale set in the unexplored fourth year of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s legendary five-year mission. A sequel to the classic episode "The Enterprise Incident"—originally written by Fontana herself—where Kirk and Spock found themselves trapped on an Enterprise out of phase with space itself and facing a plot of revenge from Romulans!
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Meanwhile TrekMovie report (and later provide an image) DST are also planning bridge accessories on a larger scale, in the form of a life size replica of Kirk's command chair, complete with lights and sounds... Pike variant with a little viewscreen to follow?
TrekMovie also posted the first look at the prototype design for the forthcoming Star Trek 20Q game, it looks like this:
The saucer section is apparently the game bit, with the rest of the ship acting as a stand.
The highlight of which for me was that they are making efforts to at least acknowledge the Star Trek universe as portrayed by the books and comics - SCE and IKS Gorkon were name dropped and it was made clear they are at the very least familiarising themselves with the books, though when pushed on the point in the Q&A after the presentation they described the books as inspiration not canon (fair enough given the vast number of them, but hopefully it will lean more to canon-reverence side for the leading edge of Trek-lit, ie. whatever galaxy changing events Destiny depicts)
Other new stuff, the game has been given a date, in-universe, of 2409, and cryptic will apparently be updating there website during the time leading up to the games release with year by year history reports from the Nemesis time period to the start of the game.
The presentation also suggested that after the initial release the game would likely see expansions allowing players to play as cultures beyond the initial Federation and Klingons, suggesting the Dominion and Romulans as likely candidates.
Cryptic's recently added FAQ section is quite good for general info on the game, and look, a pretty picture:
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Book I: Gods of Night
Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy's greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation — and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation.
Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth's first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.
From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains — Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise, William Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, and Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine — that some destinies are inescapable.
Book II: Mere Mortals
On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective's route to the Alpha Quadrant.
Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar — survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape.
Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work. … For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods.
But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.
Book III: Lost Souls
The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal — and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered.
For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation.
For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balanced by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back — only forward to whatever future awaits them.
But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice … this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.
Mack's site also supplies the title for his Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows short story, due next year: "For Want of a Nail".
Thanks to Koperinkus on the TrekBBS for pointing out the blurbs.
The Crew ideal apparently started out as a proposal for a graphic novel, which would show the shakedown cruise of the Enterprise, crewed by cadets and captained by veteran, to work out the kinks before the proper crew came along.
IDW was keener to pursue miniseries, but they and CBS liked the idea so prompted Byrne to develop it, and include some familiar faces. This lead to crew evolving into a biographical series, following the character of Number One, from Cadet on that first shakedown, through her early Starfleet career and up until she started to serve on the Enterprise under Captain April and along side a young Christopher Pike.
The article also included this page of art from (presumably the first issue of) the series:
Read full article, here. And thanks to Dan Taylor (former IDW Star Trek editor) for pointing this out on IDW's message boards.
The posters give us first looks at the new Sulu, Scotty, McCoy and Chekov.
UPDATE: The offical website is now hosting nice clean digital copies of all of these.
The book will apparently include other new and bonus material.
Thanks to The Laughing Vulcan on the TrekBBS for pointing this out.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Some things are the same though; the game is set sometime after the familiar 24th century series, and will span space and planet-side exploration. However there have been developments beyond that: Players will now start the game as captain of a small ship, either Federation or Klingon, and can play as a number of familiar Trek races, such as Klingons and Gorn, or make up their own species. As players explore the online galaxy they will be able to earn larger ships and more crew.
The makes promise the potential for space battles "reminiscent of "The Wrath of Khan" and the Dominion War in "Deep Space Nine"." But note, other than familiar landmarks such as the planets Vulcan, Bajor, Andor and Qo'noS, the universe will be different from what we've known before, with characters such as Kirk and Picard figures of the past, and the only potential Enterprise flying around being one of the next next generation.
Read the full release, here.
The cover is by J.K. Woodward and is a homage to the John Byrne cover for the X-men story Days of Future Past (the alternate timeline from which has been visited in the Trekverse before in the X-men crossover issue Second Contact). See the original report for a comparison to the very similar original X-men cover.
TrekMovie also report GIT have a third collection (after the second which will include only TOS comics) which will be centred around Star Trek movies, though exactly what will be included isn't known yet. In addition to that site's comics man, Alex Fletcher, mentioned in the report's comments section that GIT also have the various newspaper comic strips prepped with the hope of releasing at some point in the future once CBS can clear up all the legal stuff that has so far prevented them being released.
July: "A Mission, A Way Home", by Michael Stetson
August: "Around the Quadrant in Eighty Days", by Mark Rademaker
September: "Exploring Solar Ice Floes", by Doug Drexler
October: "Kobayashi Maru", by Koji Kuramura
(Note those are 22nd century D4 class Klingon ships, nice.)
November: "The New Ship", by Andy Probert
Friday, 8 August 2008
The third season DVD collection has been announced for release in November, it is as one might expect red, and the special features are not known yet.
The final packaging for the Alternate Realities Fan Collective set has also been released (revealing Spock's beard) and it has been announced TOS episodes in the set will be remastered versions.
And finally here is a pretty picture of Stratos, the flying city featured in "The Cloud Miners", one of the last episodes to be aired:
TrekMovie has another image from the episode, here.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Still a wee bit behind, but this (article which could also be called "look what TrekMovie said a while ago) should get me just about up to date and in place to start updating properly as news happens, woo!
There are a few new toy/collectible announcements lately, including new companies getting involved in Trek. One big change for all the licensors is that CBS have decided to apply a unified packaging design for TOS products (which are most Star Trek products at the moment), which includes a blue background with the classic "Star Trek" title and then depending on the size and shape of the packaging in question a pretty standard image of Enterprise and/or Kirk and Spock. As art asylum described on their Star Trek blog it will "While [it] makes layouts and approvals go smoother it kind of limits what [they] can do [at there] end" (looks and sounds awfully dull to me)
Anywho, first up for product news: Diamond Select Toys have announced a new action figure two-pack, featuring their first character releases from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Klingons Kruge and Maltz. According to TrekMovie.com these figures are "‘one offs’ and not necessarily the beginning of a line from Star Trek III"
In the same article TrekMovie.com revealed a new product from another long running Trek licensor: Hallmark, who have already announced one of their keepsake Christmas decorations for 2009! It's Kirk, Spock and Pike from The Menagerie:
There will apparently be three other models next year, including one ship and one figurine.
TrekMovie (again) also report another company, Round 2, will be distributing several previously released starship model kits under the AMT and Polar Lights brands. Out later this year will be a re-issue of the AMT 1/650 scale model of the TOS USS
The Polar Lights reissues this year will include the 1/1000 scale TOS Enterprise, Klingon D7 and Enterprise NX-01. These will also feature moulds with improved detailing apparently.
2009 will see a re-issue of AMT's Enterprise-E and Polar Lights' 1/350 scale
Meanwhile one of Trek's newest licensors, Mattel, has announced some pretty cool new products: A variety of different Star Trek "Tyco RC Flyer" - ie. remote controlled flying starship models! There will be several variations of the Enterprise - probably the movie-era design because it flys better - including a small entry level model which flys itself round in circles without any actual remote control; the same model but with remote control, a larger version with a remote control styles on a TOS communicator, a recharging unit based on a tricorder, and a really really big version with the same controls, but it’s really really big...
There will also be Klingon Bird-of-Prey versions of the two smaller models and Mattel also has plans for similar products for the new movie design
See TrekMovie's report for pictures and video!
Also coming from Mattel is a Star Trek version of their Scene it? board-game, with questions spanning the entire franchise (including the new film)
Elsewhere in the Star Trek toy store... the font of all Trek knowledge also reports two companies are producing Star Trek keychain... things. Underground Toys are (in September) releasing a yellow thing with some voice clips (can you sense my enthusiasm for this product...) and Basic Fun will be releasing some figural keychains later in the year.
Finally, in news on a different type of Star Trek game Cryptic Studios have announced they have taken over development of Star Trek Online, and will be announcing further details this Sunday. In the meantime here are some pretty pictures from there Star Trek Online website:
See the site, here, for more.