Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #1 hit comic book stores this week and it might be the most exciting and revelatory of the Discovery comics yet. The new miniseries from IDW Publishing is written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson. It ties in to the second half of Disco’s first season, and because it’s set in the Mirror Universe, that allows for a lot of entertaining surprises.
[Warning: spoilers ahead for the comic and Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery]
The comic opens, fittingly, on a knife, and Mirror Burnham contemplating the overthrow of Mirror Emperor Georgiou. (For the rest of this review, you can assume I mean Mirror characters unless stated otherwise.)
But she’s not alone. On the next page we see Burnham remove her robe and join Lorca, who’s lounging in bed. Now we know two key things. First. we know that this scene must be taking place before Lorca ended up in the Prime Universe, so before the events of Season 1. We also know that we were right about what it meant on the show when Georgiou says that Lorca was a father-figure who “groomed” Burnham (see my recap of Discovery Episode 12, “Vaulting Ambition”). To return to a SwearTrek GIF we used in a previous recap:
I thought it was pretty clear in the episode that there was an implication of child sexual abuse/incest, but not everyone seemed to take it that way. I mean, I get not wanting to go there. When I saw page 2 of this comic I was really grossed out. I didn’t need the reminder or the mental image. If you want to see the page, grab a copy at your local comic store or head to TrekMovie.com to see their preview.
In spite of this issue, I thought the comic hit the ball out of the park.
After that page, we flash forward to a year later and we’re still in the Mirror Universe, just after the destruction of Emperor Georgiou’s ship the ISS Charon and the return of the Discovery to the Prime Universe (see Sue’s recap of Discovery Episode 13, “What’s Past is Prologue”).
Now we’re in new territory. The plot is progressing forward (instead of just covering background) and even though Disco spent four whole episodes in the Mirror-verse, there are a lot of secondary characters’ stories to tell.
You want to meet the Mirror versions of Harry Mudd, L’Rell, Amanda Grayson, Airiam, and Katrina Cornwell? You are in luck!
I won’t spoil how each of those characters is used (except to say Airiam and Cornwell are particularly awesome). But they’re all struggling to adapt to the chaos caused by the destruction of the Charon and the ascent to the throne by Lord Alexander, a cousin of Georgiou’s.
Turns out Alexander is even more of a genocidal megalomaniac than Lorca was. He plans to wipe out every non-human species with toxins coded to attack their genetic makeup. But like everywhere in the Terran Empire, there are people around ready to stab him in the back at the first opportunity.
In between the scenes at Alexander’s court in San Francisco, we’re introduced to a resistance group on Qo’noS and the continuing story of the Shenzhou crew. The appearance of Lt. Owosekun does seem to contradict what we saw on the show, when we saw Lorca vaporize her. But I am no stickler for continuity so just glad to see more Owosekun.
Overall I loved how this issue was super action-packed, gave us new information about the Discovery Mirror Universe, and at the same time profiled so many of the diverse and awesome secondary characters from the show.
Plus this variant cover, you guys. I love it so much.
So excited to see the rest of this series. If you’re reading along, comment below and tell me what you thought!
Custom Gif by Aaron Reynolds: @sweartrek, Patreon, Tumblr