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REVIEW – Star Trek: Defiant #14

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The coalition of deadly parasites has infested Starbase 99 and has claimed one of the Defiant’s crew as their own. Hell really is only a word in the latest installment, Star Trek: Defiant #14, which is out today from IDW Publishing. With B’Elanna out of action, the parasites now threaten to overtake the rest of the Defiant crew. Our heroes have never been in more danger, but it looks like the worst is yet to come!

What dangers lurk beneath the surface? Can our heroes save B’Elanna Torres before she completely succumbs to the parasitic critters? Who, if anyone, will come to the crew’s aid and turn the tide of the battle? Find out as we delve into the third part of the Hell is Only a Word arc, Star Trek: Defiant #14!

WARNING This review will contain some spoiler discussion for Star Trek: Defiant #14.

Hope is Dead

Star Trek: Defiant #14 Cover (A) By Angel Unzueta

Like last month, we open up with a flashback to Nymira’s past. She’s Star Trek: Defiant‘s own, original character. She started a mystery and has now become this fleshed-out, three-dimensional character with motivations and a backstory. It speaks volumes about writer Christopher Cantwell’s talent that she’s quickly become one of my favorite characters in the series. In a comic full of Star Trek legends, they managed to make the original character one of, if not the most compelling characters of the bunch.

How she’s dealing with the trauma of seeing someone fall to their death and then coming back to her drug addiction. It’s just phenomenal stuff. I enjoyed the fight between Torres and Ro just fine, and thought a lot of the references to Bajor’s history with colonization were great. The emotional beats of that were spot on. However, it was still Nymira’s actions in amongst all of this that had me hooked. She’s not a doctor, not a warrior. That’s what makes her presence here so engaging.

Her hope’s gone, and she’s gone back to using drugs. The rest of the party isn’t much better off, either. They’ve made the move to assimilate Torres into Hugh’s Borg collective. It’s a very risky move, potentially irreversible. She’ll probably end up fine, but the risk is still there due to a lack of live-action Torres appearances after Star Trek: Voyager. The assimilation is a success, assuring everyone that Torres still lives, and giving Hugh access to the parasite hive mind.

The Door Opens

Star Trek: Defiant #14 Cover (B) By JK Woodward

As much as the assimilation looks like it could turn the tide in the Defiant crew’s hopes of beating the parasites, it looks like more help could be on the way. Sela, who last issue turned down an opportunity to be in the good graces of Romulan Command, reappears. The six-hour journey separating her from the Defiant’s location is complete, and she’s arrived at Starbase 99. Worf has left a message for her, or anyone who should pass by, “Get us out, burn it down”.

Although she’s not in Star Trek: Defiant #14 very much, it looks like she’s going to be the real big turning point of the next one. She’s presented herself as quite the hardened warrior, so I look forward to seeing her try to “burn it down” next month. The challenge posed by the parasites however is so much more than even Worf knows. They have a staggering plan for total universal domination, far beyond the confines of just Starbase 99.

This ties into a subplot with Spock this issue, who, in mind-melding with Torres, becomes telepathically linked to the parasitic collective. The glimpse of what I can only assume is their homeworld is visually gorgeous. The greens and purples are amazing, standing in contrast to the more subdued, grey color palette of everything else. The introduction of the parasite queen at the end was a nice visual treat as well. A lovely way to end the issue, setting up a big action climax next month.

Issue Preview

Conclusion

Star Trek: Defiant #14 is a great escalation of the Hell is Only a Word arc that really left me desperate to read the next issue. Delving further into Nymira’s story and fleshing out her character is absolutely inspired. Assimilating Torres is an interesting decision, especially given the series isn’t beholden to later character appearances. Anything could happen to her, creating a lot of tension. Hopefully, this gives the final 2 issues of the arc a nice bit of action.

Admittedly, it’s fairly obvious that Sela is going to come into Starbase 99 next issue, guns blazing, and help out in the fight. It’s been telegraphed for a couple of issues now, but it’s what she’s going to do after all this is done that I’m far more curious about. All of this, however, was drowned out by how awesome I found the parasite queen at the end of Star Trek: Defiant #14. Such a cool expansion of the mythology surrounding the “Conspiracy” bugs, and a visually gorgeous, horrifying cliffhanger ending. Really can’t wait to see how this ends!

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant #14 which is out today from IDW Publishing. It’s available for purchase from digital retailers such as Amazon. Physical copies can be bought today from the shelves of your local comic book store. For more Star Trek reviews, all the latest news, lore discussions, and more be sure to follow the team here at Trek Central!

Star Trek: Defiant #14 Cover (RI) By Justin Mason

Issue Credits

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letter: Clayton Cowles
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Assistant Editor: Vanessa Real


In the next issue…

Cover Artists: Angel Unzueta
Suspiria Vilchez
Malachi Ward

In issue #15: It’s a good day to die! Left with no other choice, the crew of the Defiant assists Hugh in assimilating B’Elanna in hopes of reclaiming control over the parasite embedded in her brain stem. But it’s a race against time and the undead as hordes of infected Starbase crew bang on the hangar doors, demanding Worf and his crew surrender and become one with the parasitic Collective!

Release Date: May 22, 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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