‘Star Trek’ Writers Talk Sisko’s Return to IDW’s Flagship Comic Series
Accomplished comic book writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (“Star Trek: Year 5,” “Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty”) relish their dream job crafting gripping stories within the legendary sci-fi franchise for IDW Publishing’s New “Star Trek” Series with “Deep Space Nine” Commander Benjamin Lafayette Sisko.
Joining the pair of veterans on this creation”star trekOdyssey stars artist Ramon Rosanas (“Marvel’s Star Wars”) and colorist Lee Loughridge (“The Batman Chronicles,” “Deadly Class”) in a planetary mystery to uncover why cosmic gods are murdered.
Here is the official synopsis:
“It’s Stardate 2378, and Benjamin Sisko finally returned from the omnipotent Bajoran Wormhole. But his divinity is failing every minute. Sent by the Prophets on a mission to the depths of space aboard the USS Theseus, he witnesses the unthinkable: someone is killing the gods. And only Sisko and his motley crew of Starfleet members from all ‘Trek’ eras can stop them.”
“Star Trek #1” landed October 26 (opens in a new tab) and the second issue of this remastered “Star Trek” project featuring familiar characters drawn from all corners of the canon. arrived today, November 30, as “Star Trek: #2.” (opens in a new tab) Space.com spoke at length with its enthusiastic architects, Lanzing and Kelly, about their bold plans that are moving full speed ahead and what inspired them to tackle this Sisko-centric series from IDW.
“We are the nerds who used to play Star Trek roleplaying games in our living rooms ten years ago and the kids growing up and using it to bond with our parents,” Lanzing told Space.com. “‘Star Trek’ is an ongoing fixture in both of our lives. It helped to forge our friendship. It helped connect with our friends and family. A lot of people responded well to “Star Trek: Year Five“, and now that we’re seeing the response to the new launch, we’re extremely lucky to be here. Not many people can touch that IP address, especially not in the comics. It’s a very small group, so having the chance to get in. It’s a real privilege. We just need to do ‘Star Trek’ well and do the work that we as fans would want to see. Otherwise we’d be burying ourselves under the pressure.”
“Deep Space Nine” holds a special place in both writers’ hearts and they share a deep affinity for the character of Benjamin Sisko. It was the only open-story territory that gave them enough lead to do something about and it was exactly what they nostalgically hoped to do, which was to bring Sisko back from the wormhole and launch him into his next big adventure. If you’re as intrigued by the series as we are, check out our guide to the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes all time.
“Sisko is the captain who doesn’t have his own show or his own feature,” Lanzing explained. “Avery Brooks seems to have no intention of ever returning to the character. But his character specifically says he will return, in part because Avery Brooks himself wasn’t happy with the idea that the first black captain was going to leave her son and disappear into the wormhole and become an absent father. So he made them add a line that he was coming back. Then he never came back and so there’s this giant question mark about what’s going on with Sisko.”
Lanzing and Kelly are approaching this project with a fan-first attitude, and their unbridled enthusiasm for the material is what gets people excited the most.
“We just have to keep telling stories that continue to excite us,” Kelly said. “‘Star Trek’ is this universal language that we can all love and adore and get something out of it. But if we start thinking of ourselves as bigger than that, I think we’ll crumble under the responsibility and the legacy that we are now so privileged to play a part in.”
As for this rebooted flagship series that sees Sisko return as a god and assemble a legacy crew borrowed from the “Star Trek” universe, the writing duo put some new wrap on a popular fan-favorite character. Lanzing explains the idea:
“We turned in a three-page document for ‘Star Trek’ and came up with a very simple sentence, of ‘Somebody kills the gods.’ talking about ‘Star Trek’ and what specifically makes it not ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Battlestar Galactica’ is that it plays with species that exist far beyond our technology Species that don’t operate like us, who have the technological equivalent of magic. These things are never threatened in “Star Trek”. They are always at the top of the food chain and if these start to be removed, it means that you can put our favorite captain, a character we knew we wanted to focus this book on…Benjamin Sisko, the Emissary of the Prophets.”
Their elevator pitch was, “Let’s do an ‘Avengers’ out of ‘Star Trek'” and pull in characters from different eras by setting it to a time when most of those characters were alive. It’s a notion that alludes to Marvel’s “Original Sin” and “Thor: The God Butcher.”
“I wouldn’t say we were necessarily riffing on any of these iconic series, however, we are comic book fans first and foremost and love the power of the crossover,” Kelly added. “And ‘Star Trek’ is truly the first shared universe in modern big-budget storytelling. Along with our sister book, ‘Star Trek: Defiant‘, which will be released next year, there is nothing more exciting than seeing them collide.”
Ramon Rosanas’ bright, retro-cool artwork truly captures the authentic “Star Trek” tone and dramatically enhances Lanzing and Kelly’s carefully crafted storyline.
“Art in the “Star Trek” comics has had a certain look for a very long time and there are only a few artists who have done it and have done it successfully,” notes Lanzing. “When editor Heather Antos arrived, her immediate goal was to try to take the ‘Star Trek’ art style and push it far beyond what people were used to, and open up a space for that different types of comic artists can come in and play.
“So far there’s been a push to make the art look like the actors, the likenesses. But anytime we should see Benjamin Sisko, not just Avery Brooks. Ramon is great at both. That’s really a standout artist and he’s a lot more low key than people think. Then Lee Loughridge is a colorist we’ve wanted to work with for ages. He has a great eye and gets things done.
Kelly believes that the contributions of Loughridge veterans are essential to the book’s ultimate success.
“Lee fills in and creates a lot of texture and depth for Ramon’s pencils,” he noted. “Ramon isn’t hyper-focused on the details in terms of likenesses, which lets Lee play, which is incredibly important for trusting your artist. Especially when you think about ‘The original series‘, which was a very colorful sight. They were constantly slamming things with purple lights and warm greens.”
Moving forward into the second issue and beyond, two temporary artists take over from series illustrator Rosanas, each with a slightly different approach to style.
“Ramon drops numbers 2 and 3 as he makes a big crossover for numbers 4, 5 and 6 later in the race,” Lanzing said. “We have two unique numbers, number 2 which takes readers deep into Klingon territory, and number 3 is our Q number. artists to try different things. Oleg Chudakov is going to do #2. He’s a new Russian artist and a lot more expressive, so you’ll see this idea of pushing the likeness before losing the thread. Then we have Joe Eisma, who has does ‘Morning Glories,’ which is an incredible artist and good actor who comes to do Q before bringing Ramon back and settling into that tone.”
Lanzing and Kelly are having a blast on this title “Star Trek” and the thrill is obvious.
“We’ve been playing ‘Star Trek’ as an RPG for years, so one of the first tasks you have when you think of ‘Star Trek’ is knowing what pieces are on the table,” Kelly adds. “Sometimes it’s important to go in and build new things, but danger can be so much in the weeds that it can start to turn into fan fiction. We have to make sure our characters deserve it and everything is diegetic to the ‘Star Trek’ universe and reality.”
IDW Publishing’s “Star Trek #2” (opens in a new tab) lands on Earth on November 30, 2022.
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