The Star Trek: Khan comic debuts this week, and writer Mike Johnson explained what fans can expect in the six-issue story of the genetic superman.
Writing a comic book story about Khan was a way to show more about the character. “…in terms of the comic, Bob Orci has always talked about the comics being an opportunity to expand the world and show things we didn’t have time to show in the movie,” said Johnson. “And it sort of became a natural idea that we would eventually do the Khan origin in a comic, so over the last year, we kind of knew it was coming.”
The two main Star Trek canon sources regarding Khan were used to get ideas for the story. “Canon is what you see on film, either on TV or in movies, so we’re taking Space Seed, the original episode, and The Wrath Of Khan, and mining whatever facts about Khan’s origin that we can,” said Johnson. “So things like we know millions of peopled died in the Eugenics Wars. We know that in Space Seed they talk about Khan being the best of tyrants, that he ruled with…how do I put this? He wasn’t a cruel ruler. There’s this famous line where in the episode they say he didn’t start wars until he was attacked. So it’s that sort of taking little things and extrapolating, ‘Well, what does that mean?’, like someone else attacked him first and then the war started? CBS and Paramount have given us a lot of freedom in terms of how that’s going to work out, and what’s great is that it’s the first time we’re going to see this visually. There have been novels and things that have explored Khan’s back-story but this is the first time we’ll actually see it visualized in the comic, which is pretty cool.”
The dates in the comic story may or may not match the 1990s dates given in canon Star Trek. “I can’t tell you what we’re doing with the dates until the comic comes out, because I don’t want to spoil it – it’s actually a really big part of the story,” said Johnson. “But we are putting fixed dates on things, like month and day in the opening pages – I can’t tell you how with that, but I can tell you 20th century. It’s a great question because it is an ongoing debate about when Star Trek breaks off and becomes a different timeline. Because we’re getting close to World War III, which is different than the Eugenics wars. In the Trek timeline, World War III happens not too long from now.”
Readers can look forward to Admiral Marcus and other familiar Trek characters. “Kirk and Spock show up,” said Johnson. “There will be an explanation for something that we saw on Qo’noS, that I can’t really explain or reveal. The first half of it is the past before the Botany Bay, and the second half is really all the scenes that were happening alongside what we saw in the movie. So, leading up to him going to the hospital and telling the guy that he can save his daughter. So we’re going to show all those things; we’re going to see more of the inner workings of Section 31; we’re going to see the Botany Bay; we’re going to see how they found it; we’re going to see why he was woken up; and why they decided to give him the name John Harrison. It’s gonna fill in some nice…I don’t want to call them holes. It’s just you only have so much you can do in two hours. And just for fans of the movie, it’ll give them more, hopefully.”
Star Trek: Khan will debut on October 16.