Evil TNG continues to be great fun.
The crew of the Enterprise has finally got a moment to enjoy their recently stolen vessel, but the cover suggests it’s wartime right out of the gate! Given the harsh realities of the “Mirror Broken” universe, chances are there’ll be many deaths and cutthroat backstabbing throughout. “Mirror Broken” has become one of my favorite Star Trek series in any format and this issue is no different.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The Enterprise-D is finally under the command of Jean-Luc Picard, and he’s on the hunt for enemy warships, looking to strike back for Earth! But Picard’s crew will find themselves under attack from both sides, as the Empire will stop at nothing to regain its secret weapon!
Why does this matter?
This series mixes elseworlds TNG characters with photorealistic art and excellent plotting. The pace of this comic is fantastic too, with every issue ending up delivering a ton of entertainment.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Data continues to be interesting.
This issue sort of pivots, as the crew catches their breath after stealing the Enterprise. The problem with stealing a vessel such as this is not only being unfamiliar with it but not bringing enough crew. David and Scott Tipton focus this issue’s attention on Wesley Crusher and a new prisoner who will be playing a bigger role in this excellent series. TNG was a huge part of my childhood, so seeing someone like Picard say ruthless things, plot to manipulate others, and basically be a total badass villain is as entertaining as it is mind-blowing. While much of the issue involves characters talking at boardroom tables it’s still highly entertaining because it’s so different, yet somehow still captures the heart of the characters.
There is a bit of off-ship action in this issue and that helps flesh out what an evil TNG crew would be like on a regular mission. The writers capture the heartless nature of Picard but also flesh out his role amongst aliens who do very bad things. Considering this universe is so cutthroat it actually makes some sense — how else would Picard survive this long?
This issue also sets up some new plots involving double-crosses and the unfortunate nature of Picard forcing Beverly Crusher to allow her son onto the bridge. With these elements set up, it’ll be fun to see where David and Scott Tipton take this narrative since that’ll be out of the way.
The art by J.K. Woodward can be downright striking, especially when there are ships doing battle and floating about. Once again most of the artwork is spot on and photorealistic, which gives the title a more believable look. The alien races are incredible too and I hope they weave them in more often. A photorealistic Picard grinning after doing something terrible is fun, sure, but the aliens make this title feel even more otherworldly.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Unfortunately there panels here and there that are way off, which can throw off a scene. There are also strange positions where Riker might have his neck twisted impossibly that’s awkward and strange. Sure, the art is mostly great, but there are blips that will throw you out of the story.
Speaking of which, this issue is a little less jam-packed with plot progressing goodness and does a lot of table dressing to get characters positioned. Like I said above, that’s good for this home stretch of the story arc, but it does make the story lesser when compared to previous issues.
Is It Good?
It’s hard to deny the TNG cast is even more interesting when viewed in an evil light. The series creators have got a must-read book on their hands that every Star Trek fan should check out.