‘In the otherdimensional Mirror Universe, there is no United Federation of Planets, only a Terran Empire, where advancement comes through assassination, brutality is commonplace and kindness is a weakness. The Terran Empire is on its last legs in its war with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, but Captain Jean-Luc Picard has obtained what he believes to be the final chance for victory: a revolutionary new Galaxy-class starship, called Enterprise, that could turn the tide of the war. Having assembled a crew of fellow mutineers and pirates, including the Enterprise’s first officer, William T. Riker, Picard has achieved the impossible: engineered the theft of the Enterprise and the elimination of its captain, but a new problem emerges: what will be done with the remaining Enterprise crew members loyal to the former captain?’
The fourth issue of Star Trek The Next Generation: Mirror Broken sees a shift in the series, as Captain Picard and his band of misfits finally get their hands on the Enterprise. Now that the advanced ship is finally under his control the problems move away from how to obtain the vessel onto how to run it. An issue compounded by the fact that they have dozens of people on board who can’t be trusted.
One of these issues is solved by Captain Picard getting Wesley Crusher involved and out of sick bay. Whilst Wesley Crusher was always something of an un-liked character in the television series, and his presence on the bridge was always something that never quite felt right, here it actually makes a lot of sense. They have a skeleton crew, they only have one person trained to pilot the ship, so getting someone’s who incredibly smart, and knows the ships systems is the best move that they could make. Plus, having Picard tell him that he will not have someone on his bridge who wears a jumper is a great little poke at the series.
The question of what to do with those members of the crew that were loyal to the previous captain led to a surprising answer, as Picard gave them over to a penal colony run by the scientist that developed the mirror universe’s torture devices, where they will be experimented upon.
It’s a grim scene, and one that reminds the reader that this is not the universe that we are used to, and these are not the characters that we have come to love. The Picard from the television series would fight tooth and nail to protect people, this version smiles at the idea that he’s delivering people to torture and death.
The penal colony scenes did include a nice nod to the Star Trek: Enterprise mirror universe episode ‘Into A Mirror, Darkly’, as it included the mirror universe design for the Gorn, a much sleeker and reptilian design than the prime universe.
This issue also introduced us to another familiar face from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Guinan. Brought on board the Enterprise inside a huge metal container, surrounded in secrecy and rumours, her personality and role in this universe is still unclear, though it does appear that Picard relies upon her advice like his prime universe counterpart. How this relationship works, and what this version of Guinan is like are details that I’m eager to learn about.
With a cliffhanger that promises exciting action to come, with the Enterprise facing off against close to thirty Klingon and Cardassian ships, the issue sets the stage for brilliant things to come.