Tuesday 7 April 2020

Star Trek comics update: Delayed releases, Khan, Gary Seven, and other Year Five covers, and more

Lots of Star Trek comics updates today, but maybe the last big update in a little while, as the comics industry goes into hibernation over the Covid-19 crisis period. Continue below to check out a bunch of new covers, artwork, and other updates. But first, an update on what's going on with comics right now.

A couple of weeks ago Diamond Comic Distributors, who distribute comics from all the big comic companies, announced that owing to the increased uncertainty throughout the production and sales network, and wishing to play a part in stopping the spread of Covid-19, they were suspending shipping to retailers from April 1st onwards. Following this IDW, the Star Trek comics publisher, announced they would be reducing planned publications, initially through to July.

Of course that means all the currently planned Star Trek comics will be delayed by at least a few months. In fact they were already a bit behind anyway, with solicited March releases not making it out by the end of the month.

Delayed will be Year Five from issue 11 onwards (that issue was originally due in February), the Khan focused TOS mirror universe one-shot (which was expected in March), the new DS9 series Too Long a Sacrifice (which was due to start in April), and the reissue of Debt of Honor (due in June). Before everything ground to a halt, StarTrek.com did put up a preview for the imminent release of Year Five #11, but the issue didn't quite manage to make it to the real world.

Presumably this could have knock on effects for as-yet unannounced planned releases later in the year too - Or if we're lucky maybe we'll just get bumper releases to catch up!

Anywho, to see us through the next few lean months, some of the Star Trek artists have been sharing their recent creations. Here for instance is a striking George Caltsoudas cover for Hell's Mirror, the TOS mirror universe one-shot featuring Khan:

Caltsoudas also shared a sketch of how he originally imagined the cover. He seemed a little disappointed not to be able to realise this busier version:
Here’s my original sketch for the #StarTrek Hell’s Mirror caruant. Sadly, the licensor thought it was too similar to the regular cover, so we opted to just zoom in on Khan’s portraiture instead.

While we're talking mirror universe, J.K. Woodward is currently selling a page of original art from the recent Voyager mirror one shot, Mirrors and Smoke, to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Back in the prime timeline, the forthcoming arc in the Year Five series is set to bring Gary Seven to the forefront, after previous issues just teased at his involvement in the ongoing Tholian affair. But it seems his story won't be wrapped up in the coming issues 11/12 arc, as writer Jackson Lanzing teased when tweeting a photo of the character:
I've always wanted to tell this man's story.

Today, with STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE #17, it's finally done.
Further previewing that coming story, it seems artist Marc Laming has also joined the Year Five cover team, sharing work in progress on his coming contribution to the series:

Laming also shared roughs of this cover design, and an alternate version:

There's also an Andorian arc coming up in the series, and artist Silvia Califano has teased her work on those issues:

Meanwhile artist Stephen Thompson has been reflecting on his work doing cover for the series, sharing some of the unused concepts for many of the earlier issues. Some of them are quite spectacular! Each link for these will take you to the original tweet, with the concept and final art for each issue as well. So here are the unused Tholian-heavy concepts for issue two:

The wonderfully quirky other options for the Iotian idolatry of Kirk and crew for issue three:

A less varied selection of options for issue four, which in the end used another variation of the same concept:

Soime issue five options:

Klingon focus for issue six:

Some exciting Tholian crystal action that could have been on the cover for issue seven:

Alternate space-walks for issue eight:

And underwater antics for issue nine:

There weren't any other concepts considered for issue ten, so instead Thompson shared his concepts for the character of Ayal, who had a great four-issue arc in the series:

Thompson also shared this bit of Kirk art he "knocked out" before getting to work on the Year Five series:

Finally, an exciting obscure look back into Trek comics history thanks to Rich Handley's Star Trek comics blog for Hero Collector. His latest post revealed information about some little known foreign language comics from years gone by that Handley has recently uncovered. Those include some very peculiar German photo-comics, and these Brazilian reprints of Gold Key Comics, which had cracking covers and in a couple of issues included new original comics only released in Brazil!

Handley shared this example page from one of the original tales, with an English translation too. As Handley also edits IDW's Star Trek graphic novel reprint collection, hopefully there's a chance reprints of these might just show up down the line in those volumes; he's certainly been making efforts lately to bring back to print some other super obscure comics, so these would fit in nicely.

Check out the Hero Collector blog for a lot more about these and the German photo comics.

To keep track of all the latest Star Trek comic releases, hit the comics button on my 2020 schedule page. You can also find reading lists for several Star Trek comic series on my Trek Collective Lists site.

Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at TFAW.com!

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Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at TFAW.com!