Rich Handley Author and Editor

Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection: The Lost 20-Volume Expansion

A few years back, I had the privilege of serving as the editor of Eaglemoss’s hardcover Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection, starting with volume 72. However, I’d actually come aboard as of volume 10, as I’d been hired to write many of the introductions to the series. When the original editor stepped down, I was promoted and remained aboard until the STGNC was prematurely canceled as of volume 140. In total, I ended up writing intros for 100 volumes (alternating with my friend Robert Greenberger, formerly the editor of DC Comics’ incredible Star Trek line) and editing 70 of them.

Though numbered 1-140, the series spanned 150 books, as it also included six “Specials” (reprinting crossover miniseries) and four out of five planned “Upsell” editions (reprinting John Byrne’s Star Trek: New Visions photo-comics). We came very close to reprinting every Star Trek comic published from 1967 to 2020, but Eaglemoss’s financial problems (which eventually led to the company going out of business) cut us off at the knees before our next planned 20-book expansion. The readers, the creators, and those of us working on the STGNC were saddened by the news.

That expansion would have allowed us to complete the history of Star Trek comics by filling in all the remaining gaps. Had it been produced, fans would have had every story from Gold Key, Marvel, Power Records, Editora Abril, the L.A. Times Syndicate, the British comic strip publishers, DC, Malibu, Wildstorm, Marvel/Paramount, Tokyopop, Wired, and IDW, all combined in a single set of books with matching spines.

As it happens, we managed to complete pretty much everything except for some DC and IDW stragglers. We even managed to work in a bunch of cool extras and rarities, including previously unpublished scripts, outlines, and artwork, and you can view a breakdown of what we reprinted. The final expansion would have taken care of the rest. Sadly, those final books didn’t happen. But since the STGNC‘s cancelation, I’ve often been asked what the planned lineup was. So at long last, I’ve decided to reveal what never was but should have been:

Vol. 141: VERITAS: DC Star Trek 32-34 and Annuals 3-5 (6 issues)

Vol. 142: STAR TREK/X-MEN: Marvel Star Trek/X-Men: Star TreX and TNG/X-Men: Second Contact; EXTRAS: Klingon-language variants of Marvel’s Starfleet Academy #18 and IDW’s Klingons: Blood Will Tell #1 and Manifest Destiny (5 issues)

Vol. 143: MIRROR BROKEN: IDW TNG: Mirror Broken (7 issues)

Vol. 144: THROUGH THE MIRROR: IDW TNG: Through the Mirror (5 issues)

Vol. 145: THE TABUKAN SYNDROME: DC Star Trek 35-41 (7 issues); EXTRA: Peter David and Gordon Purcell’s unpublished Star Trek #16-17

Vol. 146: LIGHT OF KAHLESS: IDW Discovery: Light of Kahless, Discovery Annual and Captain Saru (6 issues)

Vol. 147: YEAR FIVE—ODYSSEY’S END: IDW Year Five 1-8 (8 issues)

Vol. 148: ACCEPTABLE RISK: DC Star Trek 42-50 (9 issues)

Vol. 149: SUCCESSION: IDW Discovery: Succession and Aftermath (7 issues)

Vol. 150: TERRA INCOGNITA: IDW TNG: Terra Incognita (6 issues)

Vol. 151: TIME CRIME: DC Star Trek 51-57 (7 issues)

Vol. 152: YEAR FIVE—THE WINE-DARK DEEP: IDW Year Five 9-16 and Valentine’s Day Special (9 issues)

Vol. 153: THE Q CONFLICT: IDW The Q Conflict (6 issues)

Vol. 154: THE ALONE: DC Star Trek 58-65 (8 issues)

Vol. 155: YEAR FIVE—WEAKER THAN MAN: IDW Year Five 17-25 (9 issues)

Vol. 156: A WOLF IN CHEAP CLOTHING: DC Star Trek 66-72 (7 issues)

Vol. 157: TOO LONG A SACRIFICE: IDW DS9: Too Long a Sacrifice (4 issues)

Vol. 158: SEVEN’S RECKONING: IDW Voyager: Seven’s Reckoning and Voyager: Mirrors & Smoke (5 issues)

Vol. 159: THE TREK LIFE: All the humorous Star Trek strips from Chris Cooper (Starship Trekkers) and David Reddick (The Trek Life, Red Shirts, misc. comic strips) from the official website and magazines


Vol. 159: PICARD: COUNTDOWN: IDW Picard: Countdown, IDW 20/20 and Hell’s Mirror (5 issues)

Vol. 160: STAR-CROSSED: DC Star Trek 73-80 (8 issues)

NOTE: The reason for two vol. 159s is that I had a feeling I’d be denied permission to reprint the two Star Trek/X-Men issues, due to Marvel having previously nixed the idea. Had that happened, I’d have moved PICARD: COUNTDOWN to vol. 142 in place of the X-Men two-parter. If I had been allowed to include the X-Men issues in 142, however (we were hopeful the situation might change), my plan was to run PICARD: COUNTDOWN in vol. 159 and, regrettably, remove the humor strips. In addition to the numbered volumes, I also planned to add the following Special and Upsell editions, along with a proposed third set of un-numbered volumes, titled STAR TREK: OLD VISIONS.

UPSELL 5: NEW VISIONS VOL. 5: IDW New Visions 21–22, plus Strange New Worlds, Eye of the Beholder, More of the Serpent Than the Dove, and the bonus story from trade paperback volume 8. (Incidentally, I’ve always found it amusing that these books were called “Upsell,” as that term does not have a positive connotation in the United States. Here, it means to coerce a customer into buying something additional or more expensive, such as a fast-food worker pushing someone to purchase a large-sized drink instead of the medium they’d asked for, or to add fries or a dessert. Presumably, the term has a more positive meaning in the United Kingdom. But I did chuckle the first time I saw it.)

SPECIAL 7: ASSIMILATION2: IDW Doctor Who/Star Trek (8 issues)

SPECIAL 8: STAR TREK VS. TRANSFORMERS: IDW Star Trek vs. Transformers (5 issues)

STAR TREK: OLD VISIONS: The classic Star Trek Fotonovel and Star Trek Photostory editions from the 1970s, which had inspired New Visions (14 digests spread out over two or three volumes, but never proposed due to Eaglemoss’s closure)

And after all the above? Well, what I’d recommended to Eaglemoss had been to keep the Graphic Novel Collection going, but no longer in 20-book sets since there wouldn’t be enough new content to plan it out that way. Since IDW was (and still is) continuing to produce new Star Trek lore, what I figured we’d do would be to produce new volumes one at a time as IDW finished up each miniseries, or as enough issues of an ongoing line warranted a new volume. Theoretically, the STGNC could have continued indefinitely beyond the “lost” expansion, but with breaks while we waited for that new material, and we could have used all the humor strips as extras in those books, eventually completing those as well.

I will always regret that our creative team (me as editor, graphic artist Ross Jackson, and art director Terry Sambridge) never got to complete what we’d set out to do. Despite things going badly at Eaglemoss, the three of us were a well-oiled machine and we genuinely enjoyed putting together these books. It was sheer fun working with Terry and Ross, and losing that gig was heartbreaking. I felt we’d let the fans down, and I also felt a sense of loss at not having finished the job.

We pushed and urged and pretty much begged, but the answer was unfortunately “no can do,” and so we were crushed at never having completed the set. We wanted to see it completed as much as the readers did. I even tried reaching out to other publishers to see if they’d pick up the reins, but nothing materialized, despite their interest. In the end, these 20-plus final volumes remained firmly in the “what could have been” category, and that is something I will always regret.

(My thanks to Matt Gilbert and Wayne Burman for all the guidance and assistance they always freely provided during my tenure as editor.)

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