Star Trek: Strange New Worlds x Lower Decks Crossover Foreshadowed by IDW Comic

Fans are excited about two fan-favorite Star Trek universe series crossing over with each other. In fact, even artists from across the Star Trek franchise are so excited that they can’t contain their creative energy and are already producing mock-ups of what the live-action Captain Christopher Pike, played by the chiseled-jawed Anson Mount, from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds cast would look like in the Star Trek: Lower Decks animation style.

On Tuesday, November 1, Trek Central tweeted a variant cover for the upcoming IDW-published comic Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The Illyrian Enigma #1, foreshadowing the highly anticipated crossover between the Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks television shows. The cover features art by the official Star Trek: Lower Decks comic artist Chris Fenoglio and depicts the much-discussed hair peak sported by Strange New Worlds Cowboy Captain Pike.

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Check it out for yourself below:

Could this be one of our first glimpses of Pike as he will appear in an episode of the upcoming Season 2 of Paramount+’s Strange New Worlds? As announced during the Star Trek Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con International 2022, the sophomore season of the live-action series set on Pike’s Enterprise will feature a story that crosses over with the ongoing animated series Lower Decks.

So far, the details about the crossover episode are sparse, but it has been confirmed that it will feature both animated and live-action segments. However, while we know that two of the Lower Decks characters will be appearing in live-action – Tawny Newsome’s Ensign Beckett Mariner and Jack Quaid’s Ensign Bradward Boimler – it has yet to be revealed which (if any) Strange New Worlds cast members might appear in their animated form. But should Pike’s peak boldly go where no 1701 coiffeur has gone before, this Fenoglio cover is the first glimpse of what an animated Cowboy Captain Pike might look like.

In a series of tweets, Fenoglio revealed that he only decided to execute the cover based on an idea he had “floating around his head” and submitted the variant to his editor uncommissioned. On October 18, 2022, the day he submitted it, he tweeted a cryptic tweet along with a GIF of “Bold Boimler” from Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 2, “The Least Dangerous Game.”

Strange New Worlds: The Illyrian Enigma #1 Arrives December 21

IDW/Jay Fosgitt

If you’re interested in seeing more of Fenoglio’s work in the Star Trek universe, two of the three issues in the currently ongoing Lower Decks IDW comic have been released, with the third arriving on November 9. In an interview with StarTrek.com, writer Ryan North praised Fenoglio for the “incredible” art he is delivering on the series. “It looks so sweet, and he’s going the extra mile on basically every panel.” And on every variant cover, as well!

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The Illyrian Enigma #1 will arrive in stores on December 21, 2022. In addition to the variant cover by Fenoglio, there will also be covers by Megan Levens (Star Trek: The Mirror War: Troi #1), Jake Bartok, Liana Kangas, and Malachi Ward. The series will be written by Kristen Beyer and Mike Johnson, with interior art by Levens.