Captain Pike’s Prequel Was Already Told in Marvel Comics

Strange New Worlds will showcase Pike’s tenure as captain of the Enterprise, but Marvel beat everyone to the punch over 20 years ago!


Captain Christopher Pike, captain of the starship Enterprise before Kirk, will soon be featured in his own television series Strange New Worlds, but Marvel beat everyone to the punch almost 20 years earlier. Titled Star Trek: Early Voyages, the book chronicled the adventures of Captain Pike aboard the Enterprise and was set roughly a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series. Written by Dan Abnett (Aquaman) and Ian Edington (X-Force) with art by Patrick Zircher (Nightwing), the book ran for 17 issues.

Pike has appeared in three different iterations of the franchise. He first appeared in the original series pilot “The Cage,” where he was played by Jeffrey Hunter; again in the JJ Abrams-helmed movies, played by Bruce Greenwood, and again on Star Trek: Discovery, where he was depicted by Anson Mount, who will reprise the role in Strange New Worlds. “The Cage” also introduced us to some of Pike’s bridge crew as well: the mysterious Number One, Jose Tyler, Doctor Boyce, Yeoman Colt, and Spock among them. Early Voyages draws on Jeffrey Hunters’ brooding, introspective version of Pike; his bridge crew is featured and fleshed out as well.

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The series opens with Pike assuming command of the Enterprise. We meet his crew, consisting of characters from “The Cage,” as well as a few new ones. The crew tangle with Original Series-era Klingons, as well as a group of renegade emotional Vulcans. Two issues focused on “The Cage,” showing events leading up to the episode, as well as a retelling of that episode from Yeoman Colt’s perspective.

The longest-running of Marvel’s late-90s’ Star Trek comics, Early Voyages gave fans one of their biggest wishes: to see Captain Pike in action. Pike was heroic but carried the weight of the galaxy on his back—he was very much a captain of the Enterprise.

Pike has long held the imagination of Star Trek fans, who heard throughout the various shows how great a captain he was—and in Early Voyages, that greatness is on full display. As with all tie-in media, including comics, its status as canon is up for debate, and there is no doubt Strange New Worlds will render the entire series non-canon; Star Trek: Discovery has already rendered some elements out of canon. Yet still, Early Voyages stands as the first attempt to do a Pike-based series, and while it’s canon status may soon be rendered moot, it shows the era is ripe with storytelling potential.

Next: Star Trek: Discovery Pike Spinoff Has 10 Episode Stories Planned

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Updated: November 6, 2020 — 2:21 pm

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