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Strange New Worlds Issue 9 - Jun/Jul 1993

"It's like meeting a new friend"

A New Comic in the Star Trek ® Universe: Deep Space Nine
An interview with writer Mike W. Barr by Stacy Oberkrieser

August 1993, Malibu Comics premiered the first issue of Star Trek ®: Deep Space NineTM the comic book. Writer Mike W. Barr brings his talent and Trek expertise to this new project. Mike has written acclaimed Star Trek stories for both Marvel and DC Comics. As Malibu proudly proclaims, "No one groks Mr. Spock and the Star Trek mythos like Mike Barr." In the following interview, Stacy Oberkrieser discusses this new Trek comic with Mike.

STACY: What can you tell me about the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 comic book?

MIKE: The reason I was intrigued by the Deep Space Nine comic book is because I had written a number of other Star Trek comic books, and always liked the idea of taking what was unique to Star Trek and making it work in a comic book. It’s a little different than doing a television show, and certainly different than doing a prose novel of any kind. It was always intriguing to me to see if those elements that we always loved about Star Trek could be made to work in a comic book form as well. I think that to some extent they can be, but it’s a very difficult task. I’m looking forward to doing it on Deep Space Nine as well.

STACY: How will the Deep Space Nine comic be different than other Star Trek books you’ve worked on?

MIKE: As the producers of the show have said, in the other Star Trek shows what they’re doing is boldly going where no one has gone before. In that sense, space is the final frontier, as Gene Roddenberry said. In Deep Space Nine, it’s kind of a frontier town. If Star Trek is the "Wagon Train to the stars," then Deep Space Nine is like the frontier town where they stock up before going to that frontier. Frontier towns are always interesting places, they’re kind of rough and crude and have a lot of really interesting characters floating around them. That’s the challenge of Deep Space Nine is to tell a number of stories without having the convenient device of having the ship going to a different planet every week.

Avery Brooks in DS9
8x10 photo

STACY: How will the Deep Space Nine stories you write tie in to the television series?

MIKE: They’ll be using the same cast of characters and they’ll presumably be able to refer to the shared experiences they’ve had in various episodes of the TV show. For the most part, these stories will not be adaptations of any kind of existing episodes. They’ll be all new stories.

STACY: What are you most excited about writing this series?

MIKE: What I’m most looking forward to is getting back into the Star Trek universe. I’ve always liked Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future, and I like the wing that Rick Berman and Michael Piller have added on to Roddenberry’s universe. I look forward to getting in, getting my hands dirty, and splashing around a little bit in it.

STACY: Can you tell me about some of the individual characters?

MIKE: The intriguing thing to me about doing Deep Space Nine is that before I wrote a single line of classic Star Trek, I had been a fan of Star Trek for twelve years. Now we’re writing Deep Space Nine before the series is even six months old, in terms of it being telecast. When I wrote the first Kirk, Spock, and McCoy story, I knew everything there was to know about the characters. I’m discovering things about the Deep Space Nine characters — about Sisko, Kira, Dax, Bashir, and all the rest of them — every week. It’s like meeting a new friend, the more time you spend with them, the more you learn about them. I regard the Deep Space Nine characters as new friends.

STACY: Will readers have to be fans of other Star Trek comics and shows to understand this book?

MIKE: No, I think all they’ll have to enjoy is Deep Space Nine. If we’ve done our job well, the ideal complement I could get from this would be to get a letter from some reader who said, "I didn’t care about watching the Deep Space Nine TV show until I read the comic, and I thought I’d give it a try." I think if we can do a good comic book that brings together all the aspects of Deep Space Nine, and stands on its own as a comic book, then I’ll be really happy.

STACY: Do you have any surprise plot twists for the story?

MIKE: Sure, but I'm not going to tell you about them now!

STACY: Anything else?

MIKE: I'm excited about getting back into the Star Trek universe.

(Stacy Oberkrieser is assistant editor of The Malibu Sun. The interview with Mike W. Barr originally appeared in The Malibu Sun Preview Special #1. Thank you to the fine people at Malibu Comics for sharing this interview with us. Malibu Comics may be reached at 5321 Sterling Center Drive, Westlake Village CA 91361.)

Promotions for Deep Space Nine Comics

In July, a special eight-page preview of the Deep Space Nine comic appeared in Hero Illustrated from Warrior Publications. This original preview story was written by Mike W. Barr and illustrated by artist Lurene Haines.

Four versions of Deep Space Nine premiere issue will be distributed. The newsstand version ($1.95) will feature a full-color photo of the cast of the television series. Malibu hopes that this unique style of comic book cover will attract potential readers, especially Star Trek fans who do not normally purchase comics. The direct market version ($2.50) will carry the artwork seen on the adjoining page. Malibu is also releasing a limited edition version ($19.95) and a signed and numbered edition (price not yet set).

Issue #2 includes a Skybox Deep Space Nine trading card. This card is enhanced with foil embossing and available only in the September issue. l

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Related articles:
Star Trek ® Comics: A Brief Retrospective by Bennet Pomerantz (SNW issue #11)
Comics by Star Trekรข Actors by Jo Davidsmeyer (SNW issue #11)