John Byrne Talks Creating 'Star Trek: New Visions'

From its announcement, Star Trek: New Visions has been a cool, unusual project: comic book legend John Byrne doing a fumetti comic starring the Star Trek cast and using imagery from the classic TV series.

It turned out to be wildly popular when he told his first one in Star Trek Annual #3, and the New Visions property ended up being greenlit by IDW Publishing.

“What John does on these photonovel stories is nothing short of amazing,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, at the time. “He’s moved far beyond photo-manipulation and montage to constructing his own set pieces, uniforms, and characters. Much more than just comic stories, these tales are the closest thing to Original Series-era ‘lost episodes’ that the world will ever see.”

“The process starts pretty much as it does with any kind of storytelling -- at least for me -- with bits and pieces of ideas swimming around in my head until they start to attach to each other,” Byrne told SyfyWire. “The big difference here is my awareness of what images are available, or can be built. That's when it all gets very organic, as scenes and even whole stories can shift around as I go.”

The project launched in 2014, with each issue an extra-length affair.

New Visions launched by going through the looking glass to tell the story of what happened after the classic “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original series. In issue #1, “The Mirror, Cracked,” the crew of the Starship: Enterprise discovers two strangers in their midst, and things take a turn when they learn that one of them has made a pact with one of James Kirk’s oldest foes.

"I started out slipping my stories between episodes," Byrne explained. "I made a chronological list of TOS and TAS stardates, so I could keep track -- but recently I've been pushing ahead into an imaginary fourth or fifth season."

That said, while Byrne is happy to reconfigure some of the images to create new moments, he said that a recent experiment with changing the bridge itself, to update some of the technology, was scrapped becuase he was just too close to the actual, practical sets from the series.

Star Trek: New Visions vol. 6, which collects #15-17 of the ongoing series, will be in stores this month.