John Barber & Mike Johnson (w) • Philip Murphy, Jack Lawrence
(a) • Derek Charm (c)
When Kirk, Spock, and the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise investigate problems at a remote mine, they’re met with an explosive battle between powerful warriors who change into vehicles from the 20th century! As the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons rages, it’s up to Kirk to decide—does he violate the Prime Directive and interfere in a war that’s raged for millennia? And how will the Klingons complicate the issue? It’s cartoony fun between two of the most popular science fiction franchises in the world!
Scott Tipton & David Tipton (w) • David Messina (a & c)
The contest for the ages continues as the Captains race to capture
the one exotic creature that Trelane is missing from his intergalactic
menagerie—a Borg Queen! But as the Godlike beings revel in the games, the crews
are hatching a plan of their own. Don’t miss the penultimate issue of the
biggest Star Trek crossover of all
Star Trek: The Next Generation—The Missions Continue
Brannon Braga, Scott Tipton, Zander Cannon, and more (w) • David
Messina, Gordon Purcell, and more (a) • Joe Corroney (c)
Follow the intergalactic adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and
the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D
as they explore new worlds. Collects The
Space Between, Intelligence Gathering,
Last Generation, Ghosts, and Hive.
HC • FC • $59.99 • 568 pages • 7” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-421-3
Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly (w) • Stephen Thompson (a &
As the last year of their original mission begins, the crew of the
U.S.S. Enterprise will have to use
all of the skills they’ve acquired along the way as they prepare to face the
biggest challenge of their lives—a dark threat that doesn’t just threaten their
existence, but the existence of the entire Federation as well…
Scott Tipton & David Tipton (w) • David Messina (a & c)
As the Captains try to figure out how to beat Q at his own game,
the godlike beings offer a dangerous new challenge – drawing the
extra-dimensional Prophets out of their wormhole to join the competition! The
stakes have never been higher in the biggest Star Trek crossover ever.
Scott Tipton, David Tipton (w) • Tony Shasteen, Angel Hernandez,
Carlos Nieto (a) • J.K. Woodward (c)
Following their clash with their villainous doubles from the
Mirror Universe, the Enterprise crew
returns to business as usual, little realizing the serpent in their midst–one
of their own has been replaced! Six stories focusing on fan-favorite crew
members of the Enterprise-D–including
Deanna Troi, Wesley Crusher, and Selar–each connected by the machinations of
this sinister doppelgänger.
What does Mirror Barclay want, and what’s to become of his Prime-universe
Matt Sheean & Malachi Ward,
Thom Zahler, Stephen Mooney, Corinna Bechko (w) • Malachi Ward, Stephen Mooney,
Andy Price, Daniel Irizarri (a) • Stephen Mooney (c)
The anthology series celebrating
50+ years of Star Trek continues in
this new oversized special. Featuring four all-new tales written and drawn by
some of today’s top creators, this new installment of the hit Waypoint Special will revisit
fan-favorite characters all across the Star
Jackson Lanzing & Collin
Kelly (w) • Stephen Thompson (a) • Greg Hildebrandt (c)
The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise left Earth four years
ago. They’ve traveled to strange new worlds, defeated impossible foes, and made
universe-changing decisions. But now, with the end in sight, they’ll have to
face their biggest challenge yet. Step aboard the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, and Chekov
as they begin the end of their original Five Year Mission and boldly go into an
uncertain future in this new continuing Star
Following the shocking events of the Season Two finale, the thrills of CBS’s wildly popular Star Trek: Discovery continue in a new three-issue comic book miniseries from IDW Publishing, Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath!
This riveting new comic book, under license by CBS Consumer Products, reunites co-writers Kirsten Beyer, Mike Johnson, and artist Tony Shasteen (who previously worked together on 2018’s Star Trek: Discovery – The Light of Kahless) for a storyline focused prominently on Spock. In the aftermath of the 2019 finale, everything in Discovery has changed, and as L’Rell and Pike try to negotiate a fragile peace, Spock finds himself grappling with the fallout from what happened with Michael Burnham – and the mysteries about her still left to unravel.
Star Trek: Discovery has broken new ground for diversity in the franchise, featuring Sonequa Martin-Green as the first woman of color to headline a Star Trek series, as well as Anthony Rapp as the first openly gay TV series regular. Despite this progress made in casting, however, Discovery has revived a harmful trope from Trek’s early history.
Discovery borrows a major plot point of its first season from 1967’s “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Tribbles is a perennial fan favorite episode, regarded as one of the best of the original series and beloved for its comedic tone. This tone, by the way, came courtesy of producer Gene L. Coon, according to The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry, the executive producer and creator of Star Trek, considered broad comedy the domain of shows like Lost In Space. While Roddenberry was away writing a Robin Hood pilot, Coon took advantage of his absence and produced three comedic episodes back to back. The story goes that when Roddenberry returned to the set, he called a meeting with Coon, after which Coon quit the show.
The episode centers around a space station that’s loaded with a cargo of grain bound for a Federation colony on a disputed planet near the Klingon border. Kirk and company match wits with bureaucrats, Klingons, and fuzzy little balls of cute called Tribbles. Kirk and Spock discover that the grain has been poisoned, sabotaged by a Federation official name Arne Darvin. It turns out that Darvin is actually a Klingon spy, surgically altered to look human.
In the original series and the Kirk-era movies, the Klingons were an obvious allegory for the Soviet Union, with the Federation taking the role of The United States. The original Klingons were dark-skinned (literally white actors colored with shoe polish) with wispy facial hair, and speaking in not-quite-Russian accents. In his script for “Errand of Mercy,” the first episode to feature Klingons, Gene L. Coon describes their appearance as “oriental.”
With this in mind, it’s hard not to see Darvin as an outer space version of a communist infiltrator, worming his way into the Federation government, committing sabotage for his evil masters.
Leonard Nimoy referred his friend Charlie Brill, a Brooklyn-born Jewish actor for the role. It’s a curious bit of casting, considering the pernicious association between communism and Judaism, from the Jewish Bolshevism canard that came out of the Russian Revolution, through the Hollywood blacklist of the 40s and 50s, all the way to the antisemitic dog whistle of “cultural marxism” that persists today. Notably, when Darvin returned to Star Trek in the 1996 Deep Space Nineepisode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” he had assumed the identity of Waddle, a wandering gemstone merchant, which is, as far as occupations go, not entirely disassociated with Jewish people.
Also, the crime that Arne Darvin commits in “The Trouble With Tribbles” sounds a lot like a medieval libel against Jewish people: well poisoning. In the 14th century, during Black Plague times, there was a belief among Christians that the plague was caused by Jews poisoning wells. This led to the raiding of hundreds of Jewish communities throughout Europe, ending, as such things do, in mass slaughter. This wasn’t just a purely medieval one-off occurrence; the accusation of well poisoning, both literal and metaphorical, persisted through the 20th and 21st Centuries, tying in everything from Stalin purging Jewish doctors for supposedly poisoning Soviet leaders to conspiracy theorizing about Jews causing the AIDS epidemic.
Which brings us to Star Trek: Discovery. While the series is set roughly ten years before The Original Series, it very much reflects the culture and values of today. The cold-war Soviet Klingons of The Original Series have been replaced with hardline religious zealots, who in the first season waged a holy war against the Federation in the name of reclaiming its cultural purity for the glory of Kahless, a figure from Klingon history revered almost as a god.
Into this story comes Ash Tyler, played by Shazad Latif, an actor of mixed Pakistani and British heritage. Tyler is a Starfleet security officer from just outside Seattle, who escapes imprisonment and torture by the Klingons. The character at first appeared to offer a sober exploration of PTSD, dealing with the trauma of his ordeal, but instead he turned out to be a Klingon agent named Voq, surgically altered (just like good old like Arne Darvin) to appear human. Unlike Darvin, Voq isn’t aware that he’s a Klingon, and actually believes himself to be Tyler. He’s a sleeper agent, somewhat akin to Laurence Harvey’s character in The Manchurian Candidate, but with the sci-fi twist of radical gene-altering surgery and memory transplantation.
What started out as a positive, nuanced portrayal of a character of mixed-Pakistani descent got undercut by turning him into a religious sleeper terrorist. There are enough of those on TV already, in just about every season of 24, or the prestige Showtime drama Homeland. We could even look to an episode from Trek’s first season, “Balance of Terror,” for a better treatment of a similar subject: Spock faces suspicion and xenophobia from members of the Enterprise crew when they discover that Romulans are identical to Vulcans. Stiles, the navigator, accuses Spock outright of being a Romulan spy, only to have Kirk call out his bigotry for what it is, out in the open, right on the bridge of the Enterprise.
There does seem to be hope for Ash Tyler, though. The second season of Discovery has recast him as an intelligence agent for the shadowy Starfleet spy organization Section 31. He’s still a Klingon who thinks he’s human, but the writers seem to want to put that storyline behind them and have it just be another angle to the character’s traumatic past. Of course, it’s television, and I’m sure Tyler will be dealing with buried Klingon programming just as soon, and for as long, as plot demands.
The producers of Discovery don’t get nearly enough credit for the homages they make to the rest of Trek (cue the cries of “Discovery doesn’t care about canon!”), especially with this season’s loving and detailed treatment of TOS’s original, failed pilot “The Cage.” It’s disappointing, though, that they not only returned to this particular well, but poisoned it in their own contemporary way.
Mark Turetsky is a voice actor and audiobook narrator of more than 75 books living in Northern Louisiana. He writes the Star Trek comedy twitter account @RejectedDS9. His work can be found at www.markturetsky.com.