The Star Trek comics universe expands this week with Christopher Cantwell and Angel Unzueta’s Star Trek: Defiant. Spinning out of the events of Star Trek, Worf is now captain, but what is his mission, and why has he gone rogue? All those answers, his crew being formed, and more can be found in the first issue.
Star Trek: Defiant is a good first issue establishing Worf’s motives and need to hurry as his son has followed the likely perilous path of Kahless. Alongside him are many familiar faces from different eras of Star Trek, starting with Spock, but also bringing in the evil-Data Lore and B’Elanna Torres, a crew member on Voyager. It’s established early on that Worf is on his own mission, but his valiant and heroic nature attracts others to join his cause. It all starts with Spock, adding a level of dignity and approval to his mission.
Cantwell has a good handle on Worf and his voice, complete with comedic moments, but also the temper that sometimes gets him in trouble. It’s interesting to see Spock follow his lead so easily, but given the dangers in play, including an enemy that can kill gods, one can imagine he’d be supportive of a rogue operation. Really all these familiar characters sound like themselves, and it’s a good mix of characters. Likely there will be plenty of arguments as they aren’t exactly team players.
Unzueta’s art captures the likenesses perfectly. Paired with Marissa Louise’s colors, there’s a photo realism to Worf, Spock, and all the rest. The introduction of Lore is also excellently done. He’s basically a scary monster when we first see him, and given Worf’s reaction to Lore, he would agree. Much of this book is darker in tone, with shadows and grey tones surrounding them with the Defiant, which suits the general vibe of their mission.
Speaking of gods and weapons to kill them, I’ll admit that if you haven’t been reading Star Trek, you might feel lost. The summary that opens this issue and data pages fill you in, but the weight of that story isn’t present since this issue focuses entirely on the heroes banding together. The enemy is not yet near, so we can see it with our own eyes here. Be sure to read Star Trek #5 before diving into this one. My only other major gripe is the lack of action and adventure. This is mostly characters talking, conferring, and joining Worf.
If you’re a continuity buff, it’s nice to see time spent establishing where the characters are when we first meet them. For instance, Spock’s role and attempt of reunification with the Romulan Empire, or where Ro Laren’s relationship with the Federation is at. If you’ve been watching Picard season 3, it’s also interesting to think about Worf’s role in that show set years later and how he seems to be splitting off from working in a normal way with the Federation here. It makes sense Worf would go to this trouble to save his son, but also due to Sisko’s actions of late and how it’s not very logical. The only character that seems a touch off base might be Spock, who seems to be standing aside and watching, maybe waiting, to act.
Star Trek: Defiant will make you excited for more IDW Star Trek comics, period. The motley crew is established in this first issue, which promises plenty of drama between the characters as they attempt to save the universe and maybe even themselves.
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