Written by David Tipton and Scott Tipton
Art and Colors by J.K. Woodward
Letters by AndWorld Design
The Star Trek Mirror Universe is one of the most enduring examples of an alternative history in all of fiction. It’s spawned several episodes across multiple television series, appeared in book form, and provided a name to at least one progressive rock band.
Broken Mirror is the first time the Mirror Universe has impacted the Next Generation timeline, however, and the result is a story and book that every Trek fan will want to pick up.
It’s hard times for the Terran Empire when our story begins. The reforms initiated by Mirror Spock after the “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original series have weakened the Empire, making it an easy target for domination by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Imperial spaceships are doing what they can to protect Earth and just scrape by.
Such is the case for the captain of the ISS Stargazer, Jean-Luc Picard.
I don’t want to give away too much, because half the fun of Mirror Universe Star Trek is seeing how the universe has changed from the “prime” universe we know. Familiar characters surround the captain, and the series promises the arrival of more.
The Mirror Universe stories never made everyone good into villains, or turned all the villains into noble heroes. The stories depicted the familiar characters in new circumstances, with some already-established personality traits accentuated while others were toned-down. The Tiptons’ script plays with this approach nicely.
As for the visuals, J.K. Woodward’s art makes the pages look painted, with photorealistic faces. The characters’ heads don’t always move properly with their bodies. I don’t know Woodward’s process, but it looks like he’s working from existing photos of the actors and inserting them into his art. The angles just don’t always work. It plops down right into the uncanny valley and feels uncomfortable at times.
Buy. I am a sucker for a good alternative history story, even when the history was imaginary to begin with! The writing is good, the art is good enough, and the intrigue of how this universe will unfold is plenty to attract even the most-casual Star Trek fan.