Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken is a comic that I actively try to predict.
You see, Scott and David Tipton have such a masterful grasp of the nuances of all aspects of The Next Generation, that they are able to portray the opposite characters from the Mirror Universe to an equally detailed degree, and that’s what I want to predict.
Is it just being competitive? Maybe. But the thing about this book is that it’s written by talented writers — writers who are fans, like me — so when I read it, it’s like I want to pit myself against these accomplished professionals and see if they have the same appreciation for these characters that I do.
You might think it’s no contest, but I’m no slouch when it comes to Trek trivia and knowledge and I think I have a fairly good grasp of the characters — after all, my last name IS Kirk.
Without hesitation, I can honestly say that these guys have the stuff.
Mirror Broken #3 is the issue where everything happens. The ISS Enterprise is just about to undertake its maiden voyage under Captain Jellico… and he’s even more hated in this incarnation than in the regular universe — which means, along with the fact that this universe represents the antithesis of the ideals that the Federation is to stand for, this is a Jellico that you can hate even more!
What surprises me in this story? First off, there’s the incredible realism in extrapolating what Wesley Crusher looks like in this universe. I love the fact that he pretends to be autistic, but hides an underlying criminal genius that is simply brilliant to see.
The Tiptons are scary in their understanding on how to warp this perception of the Wesley we know in the mirror universe, but it’s even scarier in that I completely get their portrayal! Now this evil Wesley is a version of the character I can totally accept — and I’d love to know Wil Wheaton’s take on this portrayal of the character.
The way that this incarnation of Jean-Luc Picard plots in taking the ISS Enterprise is captivating. His precision and command charisma carries over from the strategic and thoughtful Jean-Luc Picard that we know from the regular universe, but those characteristics are definitely twisted through a selfish point of view. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this incarnation of the character in action!
The completely clinical nature of the Beverly Crusher in this issue is totally acceptable: ready to accept triage and the possibility of an abnormal number of casualties heading her way. I think the way that she was ready to accept this task is more frightening than the casualties themselves — it imparts a truly more frightening image of the Dr. Crusher that we know, yet in no way reduces the scope of her technical abilities.
The chills that run down my spine when encountering a medical professional ready to employ her skills for the greater evil… well, I didn’t see that coming, but truly should have expected it. I even love how the Tiptons were able to justify Wesley’s presence on board the warship Enterprise, in connection with Beverly’s role aboard ship.
What truly emphasizes the acceptability of this evil universe is J.K. Woodward’s complete and total familiarity with the physicality of these characters. He warps them in such a deliciously evil way that Next Generation fans will sit back and wonder if this is really happening.
Look at ‘punk’ Wesley, compared to the sharp and exact realization of the clinical and stark Beverly Crusher. Woodward devotes the full capacity of his talent into portraying these characters as accurately as possible.
Woodard told me, when we had a chance to chat earlier this year, that he knew how Deanna had to be portrayed. She’s scintillatingly manipulative, using all of her abilities. The same goes for Riker, Jellico and all of the other transformed characters in this book. Crusher’s hairstyle is clinically sharp — and who would have thought that Geordi La Forge was such a crack shot with a phaser rifle?
- Looking at the covers for this book, we have the regular cover by Woodward and it’s truly a magically evil piece. I can’t tell for sure Wesley is torturing in the agony booth — as this scene doesn’t occur in this month’s story — but the supervising stare of Beverly Crusher watching her son administering pain with demonic glee is something right out of the nine levels of Dante’s Inferno. It’s definitely my favourite one of the three.
- The subscription cover is by George Caltsoudas and it’s a stylized representation of Beverly Crusher. Caltsoudas’s presentation of Crusher on this cover is definitely malevolent as well though it’s interesting that he uses the same hairstyle that she has in the regular television show. It actually makes Woodward’s piece look even better with that slight detail.
- Tony Shasteen delivers the retailer incentive cover and it’s nothing short of gifted. I think this is Shasteen’s first cover for IDW’s Trek books and this one is absolutely gorgeous with the two Deanna Trois on the Queen of Hearts playing card. Maybe this is a new trend for Shasteen but I’d love to see more of his covers.
I have to say, honestly, this is the comic book I look forward to the most in the month. Not only is it Trek, but it’s a wondrous twist on Trek that only true acolytes of the faith could deliver. In fact, I’d venture to say that there is a market for a second iteration of this series and I truly hope that the powers-that-be at IDW are seriously considering running a second series.
In the end, Mirror Broken #3 went in a direction that I didn’t wholly foresee. So – they’re better than me. Hear that, world? While they did manage to meet the expectation I had for an incredibly adventurous story, I couldn’t help but be surprised by some of the wonderful twists and tweaks the Tiptons and Woodward threw at us.
Bring on Mirror Broken #4!