Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #3

Writer: David Tipton and Scott Tipton
Artist: J.K. Woodward
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Publisher: IDW

Shock and awe is the best way to describe Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #3. Shock at the portrayal of the Next Generation characters who populate this Mirror Universe and awe at their brutality. David and Scott Tipton with J.K. Woodward continue to take readers on a fantastic ride. The first two issues, of the now-undetermined number of issues to the miniseries, have set up #3 as Picard and company attempt to claim the Enterprise-D for themselves.

Before all hell breaks loose on the Enterprise, readers are treated to Captain Jellico’s arrival on the D before it leaves space dock. It’s a fun moment that mirrors Admiral Kirk’s inspection tour arrival in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (right down to the dialogue), which incidentally also occurs right before all hell breaks loose with Khan. It’s a nice little touch by the Tipton brothers and nod of the cap to the fans. Of course, in this Mirror Universe, the Kirk moment most likely never took place.

While quiet moments are only those in which Picard and crew plot the takeover of the D, for readers it is also a jarring reminder that these TNG characters are not the ones they fell in love with over seven television seasons and three feature films. It is fun to see the same basic personality traits – Riker’s swagger, Data’s straightforwardness, Crusher’s compassion, but as issue three demonstrates, they are all a little bit more ruthless than fans have seen from previous MU portrayals. It’s a jolt to fan’s memories on how noble these characters were, watching them disintegrate foes without a moment’s hesitation.

Two TNG supporting characters that get to have some fun in the series are Lt. Barclay, who is now Picard’s chief of security, and Dr. Leah Brahms, who was in charge of the regular universe’s Enterprise construction. Both get plenty to do and will make fans perhaps a tad melancholy at what could have been with expanded roles for the duo on the show. Ironically, fans almost had a chance to see more of Susan Gibney, the actress who portrayed Brahms, as she was a finalist for Captain Janeway.

J.K. Woodward’s paintings continue to be beautiful and add a sense of realism to the proceedings. This is the first issue of the series that has shown the Enterprise-D bridge in all its glory. Thus far, Woodward’s color palette has been darker to indicate the change in characters and universe. However, the artist opens up the brightness on the bridge, perhaps as a nod to the television show which was blasted with light. It serves as a reminder that Enterprise-D is only a tool and still a symbol of hope, despite the shocking inclusion of a phaser canon and Terran logo on the bottom of the saucer section.

The Verdict

Buy It! The Tipton’s and Woodward continue to bring the fun in this series, with Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken #3 paying off the first two issues. Fans who love seeing their favorite Star Trek characters portrayed with a darker, more pervasive edge will no doubt find glee, while others might find it all a bit of a sickening – which perhaps is a good thing, to demonstrate just how awesome the original characters are. One thing’s for certain, fans won’t be ready for the conclusion to Jellico’s dilemma on the last page.

Writer’s Note: Star Trek Group Editor Sarah Gaydos revealed at San Diego Comic Con last month that the original five-issue mini-series might be expanded due to fan’s overwhelming response. Issue #1 sold out and went to a second printing, which last occurred, coincidentally, on the creative team’s previous endeavor – Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #2.

Rich Schepis

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