Since their introduction in "Star Trek: The Original Series" in 1967 during the first season's "Errand of Mercy" episode, the barbaric warmongering alien species known as the Klingons have been one of sci-fi's greatest foes of the Federation.
Created by screenwriter Gene L. Coon, legend has it that the purple-blooded antagonists were named after Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, an officer who served alongside "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry in the Los Angeles Police Department.
Now after hundreds of appearances in "Star Trek" TV shows, animated series, commercials, books, comics and Hollywood feature films, Klingons have emerged as an internationally known race whose imposing stature is matched only by their inherent hostility. You can get caught up on your Klingon lore with our Star Trek streaming guide to see Trek TV shows and films.
Related: The 15 Most Bizarre Alien Species Featured in 'Star Trek'
To honor the Klingon legacy, IDW Publishing is adding to their vast lineup of "Star Trek" comics and graphic novels with a special, oversized one-shot in February aptly titled "Star Trek: Klingons." It's all part of IDW's new expanded Trek offerings focused on the origins of the franchise’s diversity of alien entities.
"There is no 'Star Trek' without the vast population of alien species calling the universe home," said editor Heather Antos in an IDW press release. "From Klingons to Ferengi, Vulcans to Trill and beyond, it's so exciting to delve deep into what makes each of the species a unique addition to the world of Trek, Mirrorverse, or otherwise!"
Here in this extra-long issue the topic is the rise of the feared warrior king, Kahless The Unforgettable. Written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly ("Star Trek: Year Five") with art via fan-favorite Timothy Green II ("Starlord," "Annihilators," "Animal Man"), "Star Trek: Klingons" chronicles the life of the most formidable fighter in the Klingon Empire, from the death of his cowardly brother Morath to his triumphant campaign at Three Turn Bridge.
"I was, in large part, raised by “Star Trek” and no culture helped me come to terms with my masculinity, my anger, and my personal code of honor more than the Klingons," Lanzing said in the same press release. "So when I tell you the only thing more exciting to me than taking the Enterprise crew on their final journey in 'Star Trek: Year Five' is getting to show the man behind the myth of Kahless The Unforgettable, you can believe it."
According to Lanzing's longtime creative partner, Collin Kelly, the Klingon people provide a rich counterpoint to the Federation.
"They present a lifestyle that is loud and fearless, but also incredibly egalitarian and fair; no matter who you are, respect is earned, not given," Kelly said in the IDW statement. "We've been pitching this story since before we'd ever been hired to write 'Star Trek.' We never in a million years thought it would be a story we actually got to bring to life. And with an artist of the caliber of Timothy Green II — whose detailed, beautiful work owes so much to the greats of Japanese tradition — this will be a saga worthy of Kahless."
"Star Trek: Klingons" will arrive on Feb. 23 with cover variants including Cover A by interior artist Timothy Green II and a Retailer Incentive edition by Alexandra Beguez.
The next entry in IDW's new prestige-format series will be "Star Trek: Ferengi" in April, starring the Milky Way's most calculating and greedy aliens.
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Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.