Comic book versions of the various iterations of "Star Trek" have been mainstays since Marvel's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" adaptation. IDW Publishing, the current license holder, has already published series based on "The Original Series" and "The Next Generation" characters and by the end of the year, one more version of Star Trek will be represented at the publisher.
This December, IDW launches the first comic book series based in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" corner of the universe, a series which polarized Trek fans throughout its prime time run. "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Fool's Gold" is written by brothers Scott and David Tipton with art by Fabio Mantovani. CBR News spoke with the Tiptons about the series.
Set on a space station rather than a starship, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" followed the exploits of Commanding Officer Benjamin Sisko, First Officer Kira Nerys, and crew as their vessel serves as a staging ground for conflicts and intrigues near a stable wormhole. The show ran for seven seasons, from 1993 to 1999, overlapping chronologically with both "Next Generation" and "Voyager."
As the "Deep Space Nine" television series ended, there was a great deal of change on the station, with Sisko departing for unknown adventures and Kira taking command of the station. But the first IDW series will be set in more familiar territory. "Our mandate from the Powers That Be was to tell a classic 'Deep Space Nine' story to re-introduce the series to comics readers," Scott Tipton told CBR News, "so setting it after the series ended didn't make a lot of sense, since half the cast would by definition be taken off the table immediately. Our story is set between Seasons 3 and 4, before Worf's arrival to the station and before things start to heat up with the Dominion War. It's kind of the last point where there's breathing space before the series got really serialized in its final four seasons."
The full "Deep Space Nine" cast will be on board for the story, Tipton confirmed. "As the face of law and order on the station, Kira and Odo are definitely front and center in terms of trying to keep the situation under control and get to the bottom of the mystery," the writer said. "But we'll be seeing everyone else as well. Sisko plays a big part, as do Chief O'Brien and Jake, and to a lesser degree Jadzea Dax and Dr. Bashir. And of course, it wouldn't be Deep Space Nine without Quark! We wouldn't even be surprised to see Cardassian types like Gul Dukat or Garak making an appearance, as it happens…"
"And Morn!" David Tipton added. "Of course, you've gotta have Morn! In fact, he shows up within the first 5 pages, if I'm not mistaken." He also said that Quark's Bar, much like it did in the television series, will play a central role in the story.
On the subject of the story itself, the Tiptons are hoping to capture the essence of DS9. "We were looking to really focus on what was special about the series, which to us was its frontier nature," David Tipton told CBR. "Unlike the other Trek series, which were all about exploration, 'Deep Space Nine' was about just the opposite: about staying in one place, making a commitment, and finding a way to make it work, in the face of adversity. And alongside people that you might not necessarily have chosen to work and live with in an ideal situation. With that in mind, we knew our story needed to be focused on the station itself in some way. So, when the station is overrun by mysterious soldiers of fortune from across the galaxy, it creates a powder keg on DS9 with a very short fuse."
David Tipton continued by explaining that the treasure seekers are only secondary antagonists behind the situation itself. "It's the larger mystery that needs to be solved: why are they all on the station? What brought them here, and might there be a hidden, larger purpose?"
Amongst trekkies, DS9 brings out a rather emotional response, either dramatically in favor of or against the series. The Tiptons see "Deep Space Nine" as the most underrated of the various Star Trek series, with its passionate fans and detractors a function of the series exploring new territory and telling a different sort of story. "Part of that had to do with its more serialized nature that we referred to earlier. Once the story really got under way around Season 4, it really was one continual story, which certainly must have deterred new viewers from jumping on board," Scott Tipton said. "Which is a shame, because the series wasn't afraid to go in directions the other series never did, with an emphasis on politics, diplomacy and war that gives the show a very unique voice. In particular, it often put Benjamin Sisko in a position that the other Trek Captains never had to deal with, since they were able to just fly off to the next mission every week. For Sisko, since he was there for the long haul, he would often find himself in situations that required him to compromise his ethics, in ways both large and small, in order to achieve a greater good."
CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland contributed to this story.