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REVIEW – Star Trek #18

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After six issues, the Savage World of Glass and Bone story has come to an end. It’s been an interesting ride, pushing Sisko to his absolute limits. Though the shipyards were blown up, the Tzenkethi flagship has taken to the stars. A ship built of glass, bone, and a spot of thermonuclear power. As far as Starships go, this one’s pretty deadly. Romulans and Cardassians are ready to start a war, the Theseus is bereft of the command staff, and the Tzenkethi homeworld is seismologically dead. This begins the action in Star Trek #18.

This is a bit of a crowded setup for a finale. Not only does the story need to end, but it’ll probably be stuffed with clues as to where the series goes into the future. That’s quite a lot of plot threads to wrap up in the space of 23 pages. Let’s see how this epic Glass & Bone story concludes!

WARNING – Spoilers for Star Trek #18 below.

Captain on the Bridge

Star Trek #18 – Cover (A) Artist: Marcus To

Star Trek #18 opens with the Cardassians, Tzenkethi, and Romulans taking turns intimidating Sisko. It does a lot to set the tone as we jump back into the story. After a simple “red alert” we cut to a simply gorgeous double-page spread. All the ships are so well-defined, and it’s great to get a look at the Tzenkethi ship in action at least once. We’re probably not ever going to see it again, so at least this one look is as gorgeous as it is.

However, the focus of Star Trek #18 really isn’t a massive ship-to-ship battle full of explosions. As much as it defined so much classic Star Trek, the real action happens on the bridge of the ship. Sisko gives a genuinely inspiring speech, encouraging the crew of the USS Theseus to push themselves to their limits. He also invokes Data’s sacrifice in the last issue, although he’s pretty much absent from this one. By the end of the issue, Data’s apparently out of Starfleet, a totally unexpected development!

Being one of the best orators in the Star Trek universe Sisko gives another great speech, this time on the Tzenkethi homeworld. It was established earlier that Tzenkethi has four names – a gift name, place name, clutch name, and service name. In order, he chooses Sisko, Captain, Earth, and Theseus. It’s in trying to understand his enemy that he wins. Although these weren’t exactly his orders from Starfleet earlier in the arc, this sort of thing exemplifies exactly what Star Trek is all about. Some truly phenomenal stuff.

Evolution

Star Trek #18 – Cover (B) Artist: Rod Reis

It’s not all quite so rousing though. The planet dying is also solved, with them beaming down a massive dilithium battery to jumpstart the planet’s core. Even for Star Trek, this is a little on the sillier side. I’m not quite sure how that story should’ve ended, but the time between Sisko finding out about the problem and the solution being implemented was mere pages. I found the whole thing a little too convenient for my taste, especially considering how clean the rest of the resolutions were in Star Trek #18.

There’s a bit of a shocking stinger to this ending, though. The Romulan Magistrix is summoned to their leader. I was really taken aback by the appearance of Shinzon. While it doesn’t look like this will be coming up in the next arc, I’m definitely game to see some expansion of Star Trek: Nemesis in the future. Too often I forget that while this series is set after Deep Space Nine and Voyager, it’s still set prior to the final The Next Generation movie. Even if this isn’t touched on, we’re only about a year out from Nemesis anyway.

The actual end of Star Trek #18 is a small tease for what’s definitely to come in the next story arc. T’Lir’s finally returned and is recruiting Sisko into a quest involving holes in spacetime and to save the mysterious Pleroma. It’s been referred to in this series before, appearing to be home to divine beings. This is a really intriguing premise for a story, following on from the fallout of the Day of Blood arc. I’m mostly just concerned about Data’s departure from Starfleet, seeing how it ties into any of these potential story threads.

Issue Preview

Conclusion

Star Trek #18 – Cover (RI) Artist: Jake Bartok

This is Sisko’s diplomacy manifest. Defying Starfleet orders in style, living to fight another day. I didn’t love the entirety of A Savage World of Glass and Bone, but this is about as epic a conclusion as you can hope for. While bits of it feel wrapped up a little too conveniently for my taste, there’s a lot to love here. I particularly enjoyed seeing Sisko getting fired up with Harry, creating a really tense bridge. Some really great character moments for Sisko doing what he does best.

It also looks like the series is headed for another, exciting (and radically different) adventure! Sisko meets back up with Vulcan T’Lir, who we’ve not seen in quite a while. It turns out that they’re Organian, the incorporeal aliens from Star Trek: The Original Series “Errand of Mercy”. There are space-time anomalies, and god-like aliens in danger, and it looks like only Sisko can help. Quite the radical departure from space lizard war prevention! Very excited for the new Pleroma arc.

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek #18, out today from IDW Publishing. It’s available to order both physically and digitally from online retailers such as Amazon, as well as IDW’s own website. You can also find it on the shelves of any good comic book store. For more reviews, all the latest Star Trek news, lore discussions, and more be sure to follow Trek Central!

Issue Credits

Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Assistant Editor: Vanessa Real


In the next issue…

Cover Artists: Megan Levens
Ramon Rosanas
J.J. Lendl

In issue #19: Acclaimed writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly along with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds comics artist Megan Levens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Starsigns) welcome you to the thrilling brand-new chapter of the Eisner-nominated Star Trek flagship series! Benjamin Sisko has begun imagining an end to his journey and is looking forward to establishing a normal, human life. But unfortunately for Captain Sisko, his next test has been a member of his crew this whole time…


T’Lir, the crew’s former science officer, has returned to the U.S.S. Theseus bridge with a shocking revelation and a plea. Kahless’ attempted war with the gods has altered the very fabric of spacetime, threatening the destruction of several godlike species. Already, anomalies are beginning to form across the galaxy. Their only hope: the Emissary of the Prophets, Benjamin Sisko, and his valiant crew of Starfleet’s finest.

Release Date: April 17, 2024


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Connor Schwigtenberg
Connor Schwigtenberg
All round science fiction geek and a passionate Star Trek enthusiast. Can reliably be found nerding out online. Currently exploring the expanded media. A writer at heart, look out for deep dives, reviews, and feature articles.

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