Reflecting On ‘Star Trek Classics: The Mirror Universe Saga’ TPB
by Tom Smithyman
Spinning out of the events of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, this story tells an out-of-continuity tale featuring the always-popular mirror universe crew of bad guys. It’s a sprawling story that will grab the attention of Trek fans, though they may be occasionally let down by the inconsistent visuals.
With IDW’s The Mirror War saga in high gear, the publisher has re-released a sprawling 1980s DC series featuring the crew of the USS Enterprise. If the notion of a demented Captain Kirk and a Mr. Spock with a goatee get you excited, Star Trek Classics: The Mirror Universe Saga book is for you.
Writer Mike Barr spins a yarn coming out of the events of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The Enterprise is destroyed. Spock’s katra has recently been reintroduced into his body. And the rest of our heroes are pretty much fugitives from Starfleet. As if that weren’t bad enough, the baddies from the mirror universe show up and cause their usual havoc.
Barr’s 200-page-plus story has just about everything you could ask for in a Trek tale – action, drama, romance, Klingons. But it is the smaller moments with real character development that make the narrative memorable. We finally see Kirk break the news of his son’s death to his former lover. We watch Scotty and Saavik play a game of three-dimensional chess to a stalemate while lamenting the destruction of the Enterprise. And, of course, we learn a little about the mirror universe crews’ motivations.
The visuals, provided by Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran are less consistent. Sometimes the characters and settings are vibrant and instantly recognizable. Other times, you need the dialog to know whether your looking at Kirk or Chekov. Still, it’s always nice to see these characters depicted alongside epic space battles that would make George Lucas and JJ Abrams giggle with glee.
Die-hard fanboys and fangirls will object to the book’s out-of-continuity story. But in the 1980s, many of these tales helped to sate fans’ appetites during the two to three years between each Trek movie. In other words, these tales were of their time. If reading a story that sits outside of Star Trek canon is too much for you, it’s best to skip this tome altogether. If you can look past that, you’re in for a good time.
Star Trek Classics: The Mirror Universe Saga is now on sale in print and digitally from Image Comics.