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REVIEW – Star Trek: Defiant #15


The penultimate part of the ‘Hell is only a Word’ arc amps up the tension in Star Trek: Defiant #15. In the last issue, we learned quite a lot about the Parasites’ plans. Their goals extend well outside of Starbase 99, and into universal domination. Spock, mind-melding with an infected B’Elanna learned of the interdimensional portal they’d used to get onto the Starbase. Even crazier, there’s a massive Parasite Queen below deck who’d stop at nothing to put their nasty plans in motion.

Let’s just say the title of this story arc “Hell is Only a Word” is pretty accurate to the characters’ situations. Will the crew be able to reclaim B’Elanna? How will Nymira fair battling specters of her past? Can the team band together to gain the upper hand to beat the Parasites in time? Find out the answers to all of these, and more, in this review of Star Trek: Defiant #15!

WARNING – Spoilers below for Star Trek: Defiant #15.

Grand Entrance

Star Trek: Defiant #15 Cover A By Angel Unzueta

As you can probably guess from looking at the cover, a particular character is going to make a notable entrance to the Starbase in Star Trek: Defiant #15. After setting up story threads for the next arc, and flying around in space for a while, Sela is finally doing something. We only see her entrance from the point of view of Worf’s group, battling their way down a corridor. So there’s no hint of Sela’s actual entrance or what she did to track them down.

She’s been a point-of-view character for the last few issues, with her own subplot going on. However, I think the comic’s all the better for not showing us all the details of her arrival. It leaves us with almost as many questions as Worf has, definitely on the back foot. However, the story doesn’t come up for air, leaving no time to get any answers. That being said, this is awesome. Worf throwing knives is gruesome and awesome. I never expected to see it in a Star Trek comic of all places, truly some top-notch combat.

Slowly but surely sneaking off to do her own thing towards the end, is Nymira. While the last few issues, this one included, have opened with long flashbacks, I do wonder where this is building. Her character is clearly coming to a crossroads, deciding if she wants to really become part of this team or not. The drug addiction only complicates this further, creating a lot of tension between her and everyone else. After sneaking out, back to the bridge of the Defiant, I do wonder where her story’s headed.

The Black Riders

Star Trek: Defiant #15 Cover RI By Malachi Ward

Interestingly, Star Trek: Defiant #15 sees the use of poetry. It thematically bridges a ton of combat scenes, allowing for a smooth scene transition where all the characters have moved quite far. The poem in question is The Black Riders, by Stephen Crane. Riders is a very real poem, with some battle-heavy language that fits their situation nicely. However, the inclusion felt like something that’d suit someone like Picard so much more than Worf.

To be fair though, the poem feels like a battle cry. I’m a casual English nerd, so references to old poetry and literature are definitely a way to catch my attention. I always loved when Star Trek did this onscreen, and it’s not been done in these comics nearly enough. Seeing a short, yet sort of classic, poem laid out over a Star Trek fight was something I never knew I needed. It was also a great way to move the story along, saving it from totally repeating itself.

Following the scene transition, the crew finds the Parasites’ nest. Hugh insists he can save B’Elanna, although seeing messages sent between her and Tom through this issue makes me very nervous. This could be the end of the universe, anything could happen. Even Spock’s brain has been taken over, and the Queen is more angered than ever. We end with Worf and Ro remarking that it’s a good day to die, leaping into battle. Truly the perfect teaser for an epic finale.

Issue Preview


Star Trek: Defiant #15 Cover B By Suspiria Vilchez

Part 4 of “Hell is Only a Word” sets up a very interesting final issue. Some very high stakes have presented themselves, with a whole reality of hellish Parasites on the other side of a very open portal. At best, it’s a good day to die. At worst, things are looking a little dire. There’s no nice way of expressing where our heroes are now. It’s a race against time, and the fate of the universe is hanging in the balance. So, no pressure!

This arc has particularly been leaning into Nymira’s past. Be it as a prisoner, a drug addict, a smuggler. I’m astounded by the creative team’s ability to have created an original character that slots in so nicely with the rest of the crew. After she smuggled herself aboard the Defiant toward the end of Star Trek: Defiant #15, I’m really intrigued as to where her story is going next. She’s soon to face a test of where her loyalties lie, let’s hope for everyone else’s sake that she passes.

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant #15 which is out this week from IDW Publishing. It’s available to order digitally from online retailers such as Amazon, or wherever you get digital books. You can also find a physical copy on the shelves of your local comic book shop from today. For more reviews, all the latest news, lore discussions, and more be sure to follow the team here at Trek Central.

Issue Credits

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

In the next issue…

Covers By: Angel Unzueta
JK Woodward
Judd Mercer

In issue #16: The third arc of the critically acclaimed series ends here! It’s now or never for the Defiant crew if they are to survive the parasitic infestation on the isolated Section 31 outpost Starbase 99. But with B’Elanna still connected to both Borg ally Hugh and the parasite hivemind, Nymira nowhere to be found, and a giant portal connecting their reality to a horde of hellish bugs just itching to burrow into each of their brain stems, things are looking dire at best.

Release date: June 26, 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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