Star Trek: Countdown is a four-part comics miniseries published by IDW Publishing, starting in January 2009. The series' story is both a prequel to the new TOS era Star Trek movie and a sequel to the TNG era, set several years after the film Nemesis. The series was written by Tim Jones and Mike Johnson with a story by the film's writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The series was illustrated by David Messina. An omnibus of the series was published on April 2009.
The series presents the origin of Nero, the mysterious Romulan who will ultimately threaten the survival of the entire universe." And more specifically will show Nero and Spock in the post-Nemesis TNG-era prior to time travelling back to the Original Series era of movie. Roberto Orci has described the series as "about how you connect the Next Generation era to our continuity, inspired by when we last saw Mr. Spock in "Unification"". In addition to Spock and Nero the series prominently features Jean-Luc Picard, Data/B-4, Worf and Geordi La Forge.
Unusually the omnibus for the series will be published in the same month as the last issue (rather than three months later), just in time for the release of the movie in May.
Nero commands the civilian mining vessel Narada, a small utilitarian craft. While mining in the Hobus system, the miners find large deposits of decalithium, but are unable to harvest the rare valuable mineral due to the system’s star going nova. The decalithium feeds the explosion, causing the nova to grow exponentially and causing it to threaten many nearby systems, including Romulus.
Ambassador Spock, now a legal citizen of Romulus, counsels the Senate about the danger and advises that they seek Vulcan aid in the form of an experimental and volatile new substance: red matter. He is supported by Nero of the Mining Guide, but the Senate refuses to trust their longtime adversaries, the Vulcans. Despite the hazards of defying the Romulan government, Nero agrees to help Spock obtain more decalithium to be used in synthesizing more red matter. He places all of his hopes and trust in Spock, leaves his heavily pregnant wife on Romulus, and the Narada sets out on its mission.
While mining the Kimben system, the Narada comes under attack by Reman forces intent on taking their precious cargo. The Remans are repelled by the USS Enterprise-E, commanded by Captain Data. While a guest aboard the Enterprise, Nero accesses Federation records and learns about Captain Kirk. Both ships deliver the decalithium to Vulcan, but Spock and the Romulans are only allowed to beam down thanks to the intervention of Ambassador Picard. The Vulcans are similarly disinterested in providing their dangerous red matter to their longtime adversaries. Incensed, Nero returns home and vows vengeance against Spock, Vulcan, and the Federation when he arrives too late. Nero’s wife, along with the rest of Romulus’ population, is killed when the nova destroys the planet. Only the ruling Council escapes, though their shuttle is picked up by Nero and they are the first victims of his wrath. The Narada also destroys a Federation relief squadron before setting off for a secret Romulan base they learned of from the Council. At the facility, the ship is outfitted with advanced Borg technology and turned into the instrument of the Empire’s vengeance.
With the nova continuing to grow, the Vulcans finally agree to use red matter to end the threat. They hire Geordi La Forge and his resilient prototype vessel, the Jellyfish, to deliver the payload. However, the elderly Spock decides to conduct the suicide mission himself and embarks for the Hobus nova. The Narada crosses through Klingon space on its way to Vulcan and is confronted by a battle fleet commanded by General Worf. Worf and his warriors board the ship and kill some of the crew, though Nero uses the Borg technology to kill or seriously injure them and to destroy most of the fleet. The Enterprise intercepts the Narada soon after and rescues Worf, but is damaged in the process. Nero goes after Spock, who has released the red matter and created a unique singularity that contains the supernova. However, both ships are caught within it and disappear. The Enterprise conducts repairs but arrives at Hobus too late to be of help. Spock and the Narada are presumed dead, though they are actually transported back in time where they spawn the creation of an alternate timeline.
Picard is the Federation ambassador to Vulcan. Data’s memories downloaded into B4 have resurfaced, enabling his return. Worf is a general in the Klingon Defense Force. La Forge left Starfleet to pursue his own engineering designs.
A Romulan mourning ritual is to paint patterns on one’s face. As the paint fades, so too does a person’s grief.
|Title/Number||Number One||Number Two||Number Three||Number Four|
|Retail incentive photo-cover|
- The cover art for the series was based on early promotional posters for the new movie. The complete image of all four covers was used for promotion of the series, including a poster and as the cover for the omnibus. All four issues were also issued in more limited retail incentive covers using the original poster photos.
- The final page of issue 1 features the Engineering control panel from A Final Unity in the foreground.