After a year’s worth of stories, this epic story set in Star Trek’s mirror universe comes to a close. Well, almost. Instead of tying a neat bow on things, readers are left with a cliffhanger of sorts, in a blatant attempt to get more money from them in the future.
When is an ending not an ending?
After a year-long story composed of nine issues (including an issue #0) and a set of spin-off tales the Star Trek: The Mirror War saga finally concludes with this installment. Except that it doesn’t. Not really.
Writers Scott and David Tipton do manage to wrap up most of the loose ends, while leaving enough questions open for a follow-up series. The evil version of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard overplays his hand while fighting the oppressive Klingon-Cardassian alliance, and his command crew has had enough. That places Commander William Riker in the spotlight for much of the issue. (This version has a wicked scar, only one working eye, and a beard that features braids.)
But instead of being satisfied with the ending, and calling out a definitive conclusion, the last panel is marred with a “To be continued…” stamp. Look, it’s natural to want to build on the success of the series by continuing with a follow up at some point in the future. But telling loyal readers that the series conclusion is a big “just kidding” is a betrayal of trust between the creators and the audience. Then again, it’s possible – likely even – that the decision was not a creative one, but rather a marketing misstep.
Unfortunately, artist Gavin Smith continues his streak of inconsistency from page to page and panel to panel. Some are gorgeous with instantly recognizable characters. Others are muddy messes where it’s difficult to know whether you’re looking at Data or Deanna Troi. And while the Tiptons have placed these characters in high drama most of the time, there is literally no panel where Picard isn’t baring his teeth like he’s constipated. A little variety please!
Clearly The Mirror War will return in some fashion in the future. Whether readers will want to show up again after being duped is not so clear.
Star Trek: The Mirror War #8 will be available for purchase on August 17, 2022.