Star Trek hitting 400 issues with IDW is an impressive milestone.
It’s not often that a comic series hits 400 issues, it’s even less common when it’s a franchise like Star Trek, one that isn’t typically seen as a comic franchise. A lot of comic runs, even in the more popular superhero genre, usually hits around 50-100 issues.
Now, with a line like Action Comics, you’re looking at 1,000 plus, and the similarly published Superman line of comics has been long-running, but usually gets rebooted or re-numbered after so many issues.
Star Trek’s main line of IDW comics hitting 400 issues is beyond impressive when you factor in the performance of other comics and other comic brands. What’s even more impressive is how IDW has been fortified by its publication of the Trek brand. If Star Trek wasn’t selling, with how much IDW is investing in them financially for the rights alone, they wouldn’t keep making new comics.
It’s a strong sign that you’re going to be getting a 500th issue eventually.
Where Star Trek comics should go and what they should focus on
The big thing that Paramount and IDW need to do is start establishing canonical stories within the Star Trek universe. One of the things that kept Star Wars so popular before the Disney purchase was the extended universe of books. Disney’s most controversial decision was to get rid of those extended stories from the canon’s timeline.
Star Trek needs to further embrace the idea that they’ve established with shows like Picard, where certain comics are in fact canonical to the series it shares a name with.
By producing, and promoting the comics as canon to the larger Trek series and films, you’d be able to better sell the series to diehard fans who want more comics. While there are a lot of shows, there are not a lot of episodes for the shows, so fans aren’t quite getting as much Trek as they were in the 90s per year.
Adding some more comics to help bolster shows, both old and new would be a nice step, even if they ran concurrently with the main-line Trek comic series.