In 1997, Star Trek: New Frontier began as a novel line for Pocket Books, setting stories within the Trek universe, but not tied to any of the television programs. John Ordover came up with the basic idea of the Thallonian Empire falling, similar to the Soviet Union, and the ramifications that brings with it. Peter David brought the series to fruition and wrote almost every story. New Frontier first appeared in comic-book form when Wildstorm published “Double Time” back in 2000. Now, it returns under publisher IDW for a five-issue miniseries entitled “Turnaround.”
The comic book drops the reader right into the series, following the events of the novel Missing in Action. Captain Mackenzie Calhoun commands the U.S.S. Excalibur, and is married to Admiral Elizabeth Shelby who oversees the sector from Bravo Station. His former shipmate, Mark McHenry, has godlike powers that may well have driven him insane. Robin Lefler served as a Starfleet ambassador to the New Thallonian Empire and was married to its co-ruler Si Cwan. After his murder at the hands of his rival, Lefler has taken over Si Cwan’s title and is pregnant with his child.
Issue #1 opens with a demonstration of the Paradox, a prototype ship equipped with a shunt drive, which was created as an alternative to the warp drive because of the damage the latter does to the environment. The new system bends time instead of space. Admiral Jellico steals the Paradox and heads to Thallonian space. Calhoun is ordered to follow Jellico and learn whom he is working with. As the issue closes, Calhoun and his crew see communications on the viewscreen from Adm. Shelby as Bravo Station is under attack and destroyed by the Paradox. It turns out to not be real but an illusion presented by McHenry. Calhoun orders another ship to protect Bravo Station and heads off to confront Jellico, making for a compelling cliffhanger.
“Turnaround Pt. 1” offers an intriguing set-up by David with art that is serviceable but forgettable. The reader doesn’t have to be a Trekkie or versed with New Frontier to appreciate the story; however, Trek fans can test their trivia knowledge if they can remember the episodes and novels that some of the characters first appeared.
Issue #1 is available at your local comic retailer.