Decades before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Trek was the original cross media 'shared universe,' with a continuity that included television, movies, and a final frontier of spin-off material that may or may not have been canon — a fact that will be celebrated this summer, as IDW Publishing launched Star Trek: Day of Blood — a "universe-shaking" crossover event between its main Star Trek comic book series and the upcoming Star Trek: Defiant ongoing series.
And it includes a nod to Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
Star Trek: Day of Blood will kick off May 6, 2023 with 'Prelude to Day of Blood' — IDW's 2023 Free Comic Book Day special, before spilling into the aforementioned Star Trek ongoing comic books, starting with August’s Star Trek: Defiant #6 and Star Trek #11. The storyline will run through the following month’s issues of each series.
The FCBD Star Trek cover with blood trickling down over a Starfleet communications badge is evocative of Dave Gibbons' iconic Watchmen #1 cover - one that IDW senior editor (and defacto lead Star Trek editor) Heather Antos knows well, and has used in her personal social media imagery.
The five-part storyline — six, if you include the Free Comic Book Day prelude issue — spins out of events in the ongoing Star Trek series, as Kahless II, emperor of the Klingon Empire, decades war on everyone not following the cult of the Red Path… including whatever deities he deems deserving of a good death. Benjamin Sisko and the crew of the USS Theseus have to do whatever it takes to keep the peace — but where do the renegades on the USS Defiant, led by an increasingly desperate Worf, fall into the grand scheme of things?
“I sincerely believe that Day of Blood is the ‘lost episode/movie/epic limited series’ that Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and The Next Generation fans have been dying for,” Star Trek: Defiant writer Christopher Cantwell said in a statement about the storyline. “But what’s truly amazing is that beyond those series, we’re tying in a heaping dose of Lower Decks (in the form of Shaxs), the original series (including a reunion of Spock and Scotty) and so many other aspects of this universe. It’s truly a galactic panacea unlike any Trek story I’ve encountered in the past as a fan.”
“Star Trek was the original shared universe…so Collin, Chris, and I are deeply honored to continue to bring a line-wide continuity and intricately planned storyline to the new IDW comics line,” added Jackson Lanzing, who co-writes Star Trek with Collin Kelly. “Our very first pitch on this story included two interlocking ongoing titles that could build to a kind of event unlike any that Trek comics have managed before — an inspiring, mind-bending flagship series in Star Trek and a more subtle, dark, and dangerous series in Defiant. It was an absolute pipe dream of a pitch, one that we never imagined would become the backbone of a hit new comics line—nor unite us with a writer of Christopher Cantwell’s caliber, who would push us to constantly deliver next-level comics storytelling, nor masterful artists like Ramon Rosanas and Ángel Unzueta, who would elevate every page with their designs, artistry, and ambition. And now, one year into the line, we’re finally ready to bring it all to a head with our very first line-wide comics event.”
Star Trek: Day of Blood will be the first proper comic book crossover inside the Star Trek franchise. Although Star Trek has had memorable comic book crossovers with other franchises such as X-Men, Green Lantern, Doctor Who, and even the Transformers, Day of Blood will be the first time two Star Trek comic book series have crossed over, although DC published a crossover miniseries Star Trek: Deep Space Nine/The Next Generation in 1994, even if the actual series themselves weren’t part of the event.
IDW is in the midst of having one of the most thriving Star Trek era for comic books, with two ongoing series (Star Trek and Star Trek: Defiant), and miniseries for Strange New Worlds and the video game Star Trek: Resurgence underway, with miniseries tying into both Picard and Lower Decks having recently finished their runs.
This 2023 Star Trek comic book crossover comes just as the Star Trek TV shows are also planning a crossover. It's already been announced that Lower Decks ensigns Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) will appear in a hybrid live-action/animated episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' second season this summer.
Star Trek: Day of Blood launches with the Star Trek: Prelude to Day of Blood FCBD issue May 6, 2023. The full release schedule for the event is:
- May 6: Star Trek: Prelude of Day of Blood
- July 19: Star Trek: Day of Blood #1
- August: Star Trek: Defiant #6
- August: Star Trek #11
- September: Star Trek: Defiant #7
- September: Star Trek #12
Look below for a preview from the Free Comic Book Day issue, with art from Mike Feehan.
While there's good news, there's also bad news - the 2023 Star Trek Mission: Seattle convention has been canceled.