Monday, 29 May 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken #0 - IDW Publishing

Fans of the “talented Human Starfleet systems diagnostic engineer” Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, must have initially been extremely pleased with David and Scott Tipton’s script for Issue Zero of “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken”. Indeed, the comic book writing team’s handling of the evidently nervous and unconfident ‘Federation’ officer is arguably perfect to the point where one can readily imagine actor Dwight Schultz bumbling about the starship, stammering out his lines.

Sadly however, this particular twelve-page publication is actually set within the “Star Trek” franchise’s deadly alternative Mirror Universe, at a time when “Captain Jean-Luc Picard will stop at nothing to get his hands on the Terran Empire’s newest starship, the Enterprise”, and that means that ‘murder is the only means to power’ aboard the I.S.S. Stargazer. Such a lethal ‘kill or be killed’ environment seems a strange backdrop to focus upon so “extremely introverted” a character as Reg, and resultantly, Lieutenant Barclay “makes some surprising decisions” in order to survive, including the disconcertingly cold-blooded slaying of one of his senior officers; “I see you took my advice. Good. The woman’s ambition needed to be curbed.”

Admittedly, this “Free Comic Book Day” edition’s “familiar face” is “stronger than the Barclay we saw on the television series”, and the Tipton brothers’ dark re-imaginings of Picard, Tasha Yar, Counselor Troi and Mister Data, certainly provide plenty of ‘what if’ speculation as to the events which ‘corrupted’ them. But it's still hard to reconcile the “relatively low-ranking” Reg depicted within this magazine to that of the mild-mannered junior grade engineer which made so many “TNG” appearances; especially when this title’s authors unconvincingly argue that both incarnations share the same “gifts” and inherent liabilities, it’s just the “looking glass” incarnation has apparently “learned” to be an assassin…

Fortunately, J.K.Woodward’s photo-realistic artwork for this mini-series’ introductory tale is favourably eye-catching, if not a little wooden in places where the “Fallen Angel” illustrator has probably focussed far too closely upon replicating the appropriate actors’ facial features than concentrating upon the natural gait of his figures’ dynamic movement. In fact, it is probably because of the American painter’s enviable ability to capture the likenesses of all the television series’ leading cast members that this book’s audience can so successfully hear their respective voices throughout the comic's dialogue.
Writers: David Tipton & Scott Tipton, and Art & Colors: J.K. Woodward


  1. I still prefer Star Trek Enterprise. I've even gone so far as to begin reading the pocket book novels of the tv series and the continuation of the stories beyond the shows last tv episode.

    1. I'm very much a "Star Trek" - The Original Series myself, Roy. But to each his own, and one of the beauties of "Star Trek" is the fact there is so much to chose from from within the franchise. Either way I think this comic is an interesting premise, but not one I'm going to be collecting.