Friday 10 July 2015

IDW's new Starfleet Academy series, and 50th issue plans

Star Trek comics publisher IDW have announced a couple of new nuTrek stories coming later in the year, exploring the Starfleet Academy and mirror universe. Continue below for the details.

One of those stories will come in a brand new miniseries focusing on the nuTrek Starfleet Academy. The miniseries, of so far unannounced length, will start in December, and as IDW describe, will feature both the familiar Enterprise crew in their Academy days, and the present day class (I assume that means the current post-Academy period in nuTrek):
The comic follows Kirk, Spock, Uhura and some surprise faces while they are still cadets-in-training at Starfleet Academy, set in the period just prior to the opening of the 2009 mega-hit film. At the same time, you’ll meet the all-new “current day” class of Starfleet cadets, full of compelling young characters from all over the galaxy. The past and the present collide when a mystery bridges the two timelines. 
Starfleet Academy will be written by nuTrek regular Mike Johnson, and Ryan Parrot, who previously gave the Uhura Starfleet Academy era flashback issue, The Voice of a Falling Star. The art will be by Derek Charm, who has previously done a couple of Star Trek covers, including the brilliant pulp fiction style variant for this month's issue of the nuTrek ongoing series.

Starfleet Academy is of course familiar ground in nuTrek, with a good chunk of the first movie set there, and several flashback comics in the nuTrek ongoing series, and a young adult book series, filling in some of backstory of the main characters there.

Another familiar realm set to return is the mirror universe, which the nuTrek ongoing series has previously visited in a two-part story, Mirrored. In that story there was no crossover with the regular nuTrek reality, but that is set to change come issue fifty, with the start of a three-part nuTrek version of the original mirror universe episode, Mirror, Mirror. Assuming they don't drop in on a different version of the mirror universe, this could be a very different story, given last time we saw it the Enterprise was destroyed, Kirk was dead, and Uhura commanded the Narada! 

To mark the fifthieth issue milestone the issue is also set to include some bonus content including "behind-the-scenes looks at the entire 50-issue run, along with hints about where the series is going". It will also be presented in a snazzy wrap-around cover by Tony Shasteen.

As IDW's press release notes, the ongoing series is now one of the longest running Star Trek comic series ever. It is currently in fifth place, but assuming it continues it will have jumped up to third by the end of 2016, overtaking the Gold Key Comics and first DC series, it will then need to keep going a good while longer to catch up with the joint record holders, DC Comics second TOS series, and their TNG series, which both clocked up an amazing eighty issues each!

Commenting in the press release, IDW's Chris Ryall also hinted at more Trek to come "As these new comic book projects, and many others coming soon, will show, we’ve got plenty of exciting new ways to bring Star Trek stories to the fans." Indeed the start of 2016 looks set to deliver a lot of Trek comics: If the Starfleet Academy series is a five or six issue miniseries it will end just before the release of Star Trek Beyond. Assuming the ongoing series continues too, and that we'll get the usual movie-prequel miniseries (if they don't roll that into the ongoing series this time?) then we could be looking at three nuTrek comics a month for most of the first half of 2016! 

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