Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken #1

I love Star Trek and among my favorite episodes are the Crossover episodes, you know the ones where they go to the Mirror Universe and interact with their evil counterparts. “Evil” Spock has a beard and the Federation is the opposite of the benevolent society we’ve all come to know.

And now IDW Publishing is taking us through the looking glass again to explore the Next Generations crew in this alternate reality with Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken. This is the second trip to the Mirror Universe for the writing team of Scott and David Tipton. Their previous IDW series Star Trek Mirror Images gave us the tale of Kirk’s rise to power along with a single issue dedicated to a young ensign Picard.

For Free Comic Book Day they jumped to the NextGen era for a preview of the new series. Told from the character perspective of fan favorite Reg Barclay, this standalone gives the lay of the land aboard the ISS Stargazer, under the command of a buff Jean-Luc Picard and the state of galactic affairs. I’m not sure how theses voyages fit into the standard Trek universe as by season 2 of Deep Space Nine the Empire has been completely crushed. ST:TNG-MB retools the Mirror-verse so the Empire hasn’t been fully dismantled or subjugated by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, just pushed back to the Sol system with a ragtag fleet holding the line. Still the tactician, Picard decides to further his fortunes and rundown the rumors of the Empire’s newest warship the ISS Enterprise.

The Tipton’s write a tight story with the dark elements we would expect from the side of the mirror and artist J.K. Woodward brings the story to life with a moody palette that helps reinforce that this isn’t the Trek we’re used to. He also has a great eye for this eras character designs. Besides a steroid cocktail and beard for Picard, his goth/vixen look for Inquisitor Troi fits with her mischievously cold character and subtle nod to her casual dress during most of the NextGen run. Just as distinct is Woodward’s creepy look for Lt. CMDR Data, with his modular limbs of torture and near Borg-like appearance, this Data is more likely to examine the human experience from the inside by dissecting his fellow crew mates.

An entertaining read for the fans of Star Trek’s dark side, I recommend setting a course for your local comic book shop and engaging at maximum warp speed.