No, your eyes do not deceive you — that's Picard's fan favorite nemesis Q, holding the new crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise in his omnipotent hands! Q takes a trip to visit the new movie-verse in IDW's Star Trek's comic's next adventure, and we have the exclusive details!
Besides the premiere of Star Trek #35's cover above (courtesy of artist Tony Shasteen), we spoke to writer Mike Johnson to find out what happens when Kirk and his young crew meet Q.
io9: What brings Q to this new timeline?
Mike Johnson: At first: curiosity. A beloved Trek character from the original timeline makes a cameo appearance at the beginning of the story (issue #35) and tries to convince Q to leave the new timeline alone. But Q can't resist a new sandbox to play in and cool new toys to play with: toys like Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew. Ultimately we'll learn that there is something unique to the new timeline that affects Q directly, although he would rather the humans not know what it is.
He's definitely the Q we know from The Next Generation, correct?
MJ: Indeed. The Q Continuum exists outside of the alternate timelines that our tiny flesh-brains occupy. Every Q is the same Q across all parallel realities, and this Q maintains both his fascination with and his contempt for the human species in particular.
Is this technically set before Q has met Picard and the others in TNG?
MJ: After. In this new story, Q has already had all of the adventures we've seen in the television series over the years, and he's aware that Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) traveled from the old timeline to the new one.
So does this mean there a Q in the new-Trek universe, or is there only the one?
What is Q going to think of Kirk and Spock? And vice versa?
MJ: Q is intrigued by Kirk's refusal to accept no-win scenarios. It drives him a little crazy, actually. Spock is more of a puzzle for Q given that he is only half-human. For Kirk and Spock, Q presents a challenge on an order of magnitude beyond what they've encountered in their still-young careers. Nero and Khan were dangerous, but neither had control over space and time the way Q does.
Sorry, they had me at "Kirk drives Q crazy." The six-issue adventure begins in Star Trek #35, due out on July 2nd, 2015!