Johnson: Writing Trek Comics


For Star Trek: The Next Generation fan Mike Johnson, writing Star Trek comics lets him create backstories for the character as well as peer into the Star Trek’s future.

Johnson was a fan as a child, beginning with reruns of the original series. “Even though the original series was already in re-runs when I was a kid, I had the big Kirk and Spock Mego action figures with the cloth uniforms,” he said. “Playing with them is one of my earliest memories.”

But Johnson is more of a fan of The Next Generation than of the original series. “I watched the original Star Trek series in re-runs, but I watched Next Gen from the day it premiered right through to the end,” he said. “It’s tough to choose a favorite character, so I’ll go with a tie: Spock and Data.”

For Johnson, writing a Star Trek comic means approaching the task as if he were writing for a movie. “I really try to think, and write, cinematically,” he said. “One of the best things about Star Trek is that it is not just explosions and action. Much of the story is driven by ideas and conversation. That can be challenging, because you don’t want the comic to just look like a bunch of talking heads, so I do my best to balance the quieter moments with more visually striking images for the artist to draw.”

One of his favorite Trek writing assignments was writing about Scotty’s sidekick, Keenser. “It’s a small thing (no pun intended), but in the issue that showed the backstory of Keenser, Scotty’s little buddy, I made Keenser the tallest person on his home planet,” said Johnson. “He didn’t fit in. And then he gets into Starfleet and he’s the smallest, but he feels at home because his engineering smarts are respected. It felt like Star Trek to turn his situation on its head, showing him as a tall outcast on his homeworld (and to show a new alien world we’d never seen before), and how that affected his character and development.”

So what can fans expect to see in the coming months in the Trek comics? “We have a big galaxy-spanning story taking place that involves the Klingons and Romulans, and after that we are heading deep into space for the five year mission,” said Johnson. “We really want to show new strange places and characters we haven’t seen before. There will be a few familiar faces from the original timeline, but for the most part it will be new adventures.”

Those adventures will include a Star Trek: Khan mini-series which will debut in October. Star Trek: Khan will be the story of Khan’s origins and how he ended up on the Botany Bay.

Source: PopMatters

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  • Dandru

    These comics are fun, but the reboots of classic episodes have been hit-or-miss, due to the writers seemingly not understanding the premise of the new films. The entire history of Landru’s world has been rewritten, despite it predating the Kelvin’s destruction by millennia. That is sloppy writing, and the series deserves better. Everything before the Kelvin’s destruction should be the same.

  • Mike

    Well, yes and no… Yes, that is the way it should seemingly work, but only because these guys don’t really know what they’re doing with regard to time travel and how it works within Star Trek.

    So, sure, everything prior to Nero’s incursion should be the same. Except it shouldn’t be. People coming from the future into the past will change the future from the point of incursion. True. What’s false is that the timeline, once rewritten, changes everything. Everything includes the times when those people did anything… and if that meant going into the past, then that was destroyed as well… and while that wouldn’t be a problem for short trips into the past of TNG, the simple reality is that the people of TNG went back beyond the Kelvin Incident, and thus, crossed streams, as it were, with the destruction of the prime timeline that was taking place. So, what happens with regard to the Cetacean Probe 25 years after ST and STD? What happens with Gary 7? What happens with those aliens in San Francisco in the late 19th Century? And then we get to the parts of history that would not necessarily have happened without our people. So, I guess Gabriel Bell goes back to being Gabriel Bell. The Borg that went back in time and were stopped by Picard, only to later, from a certain point of view, to be encountered by Archer, those wouldn’t exist… and without those, Archer’s entire timeline doesn’t exist. And if Archer’s timeline doesn’t exist as we know it, then, yeah, everything has changed because none of our people are going to be around to set things right… and because they aren’t, they weren’t, and thus, the timeline changed…… and it changed massively, and far before Nero.

    And while all that’s right, they didn’t intend a second of it because, as they put it, it’s an alternate… no reason for that, but let’s just pin it on red matter…. the point is, not to contradict you, but to point out they’re far, far more dumb that what you’re even giving them credit for.