“Kobayashi Maru”. Yeah, you heard me.

This new series is the result of a longstanding desire of mine to create a science fiction comic, married with my inability to keep my hands off of other people’s toys.

My initial concept had nothing at all to do with Star Trek. I had in my head the idea of a spaceship piloted by criminals who were unable to leave their vessel for more than a few hours. What was keeping them prisoner? The shape of their futuristic world began to form in my head, but a complete story never took shape.

Meanwhile, my interest in creating a new comic series that satirized some existing subject matter (à la Weapon Brown) was beginning to grow. I flashed on the Kobayashi Maru sequence from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the famousno win” situation that has become part of everyday language. It turns out that the backstory of that doomed starship is not really part of Star Trek’s canon. There have been a few expanded universe references to a real Kobayashi Maru upon which Starfleet’s simulation was based, but nothing that has ever invited more than a passing interest from fans.

“Kobayshi Maru” remains, more or less, just a moniker. But it seemed odd to me that the Kobayashi Maru, one of the most well known spaceships in sci-fi history, should have no personality to go with its name, and no story of it other than its fate.

When my two trains of thought at last collided, I knew I had found my next adventure series.

Kobayashi Maru is not a fan fic. There will be no Kirk, Spock or Borg Queen. But it is also not a parody—there will be no Captain Jerk or Mister Schlock, either. Rather, I am trying to thread a needle and create a world within a world, a whimsical and grimy take on Star Trek’s glorious, hopeful future from the point of view of citizens who got the shit end of the stick. What if Star Trek as we know it were itself just a television show set in the very future it depicts, a Mirror Universe of a much more familiar version of humanity?

You will find lots of pokes, jabs and references to famous elements and situations from Star Trek’s history in this story, but you will also see my own imagination hard at work. Dozens of fantastic ideas I never found a home for are floating up from my memory and taking root in this tale. I really think you are going to dig it.

Kobayshi Maru will update Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, and then come out once or twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) thereafter. Deep Fried will return to its Friday schedule next week. Once the current Deep Fried arc wraps, I may put out Kobayshi Maru more often.

I am committing to 32 installments of Kobayashi Maru on my website while I shop this project around to publishers—a whole first issue’s worth of strips. After you’ve enjoyed the completed “pilot” we’ll see what happens next. In other words: if you like what you see, don’t be stingy with that word of mouth!

Are you ready? Then buckle in. Here comes a Star Trek story set on the wrong side of the tracks.