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REVIEW: Star Trek: Defiant #4

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This comic initiative, a shared story between the mainline Star Trek series and Defiant, is perhaps the most ambitious Star Trek story being told. The latest issue, Star Trek: Defiant #4, is out now, and here is Trek Central’s review. Meanwhile, the crossover, Day of Blood, telling the story of the crew’s confrontation with Kahless and the Red Path cult, is set to begin at the end of next month. There are some very high stakes and very exciting times ahead.

These past few months have been spent hyping up the event through the “Countdown to the Day of Blood” banner on recent covers. I’ve been a bit mixed on whether or not this “road” has been tied into the story so far. However, that looks to change today with Star Trek: Defiant #4 from IDW Publishing. How will we pick up from that cliffhanger last month? Is Worf okay? Who’s this mysterious pirate? And just what is Sela doing? Read on, and as always, spoilers are below!

Star Trek: Defiant #4 (via IDW Publishing)

Worf and the Pirate

At the end of the last issue, Captain Worf was gravely injured. It makes sense that he spends most of this issue in sickbay. Interestingly, the mystery pirate character was operating on him. They attempt a discussion of medical ethics but mostly play it for laughs, unlike being the focal point of Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Ethics“. The focus here is more on uncovering the motives of this pirate character, who has a specialized knowledge of Klingon culture and biology. However, annoyingly, we still don’t know their name.

I find a little aggravating not knowing how to write about them. They have advanced knowledge of the situation to be undercover operatives or affiliated with higher-ups. It’ll probably all be revealed eventually, although it is annoying. However, I’m hesitant to be certain about that. They want to be dropped off and removed from the action. We’ll have to see how it goes, as there’s also not a lot of room for a character to be dropped off.

Interestingly, by the end of Star Trek: Defiant #4, Worf is walking around. They say his heart is fragile, and he might make some irrational decisions, but none of that has come up yet. As soon as that’s mentioned, he switches back to his usual self. It’s nice to have a little development on our mystery pirate’s personality. They’re opportunistic and clearly in it for money. From the deliberately not using the character’s name, there could be a cool twist behind it, although I’m not sure what.

Star Trek: Defiant #4 (via IDW Publishing)

Sela’s Reintroduction

This part of the series has probably intrigued me the most so far. Of all the main plot threads of Star Trek: Defiant #4, this one is definitely a massive step up from Worf’s this month. Having an outsider’s perspective on a story is always nice, which Sela offers brilliantly in her log. It’s also an interesting diversion from the visual medium of the comic book, with a full page of writing to delve into. Many fans were expecting Denise Crosby to reprise her role in Star Trek: Pcard Season 3. Sadly, that was not the case.

Once again, Sela mentions having a spy in a Klingon colony. This Agent Utiro had also contacted some supposed Romulan officials before disappearing completely. It’s also not the first time we mentioned spies, so I’d be very surprised if this isn’t picked up later. I thought it might be the pirate character, but after their story in this issue, I highly doubt it. Sela thinks the Red Path has infiltrated Romulan ranks, creating a Klingon/Romulan armada led by a planet-destroying superweapon.

I’m now infinitely more excited for the next space battle. As a bit of a shipping nerd, I’m excited to see if this ‘Bloodwing’ ship is substantially different from the Romulan ships we recognize. She also makes a physical appearance, and it looks like she and Worf will join forces. It’s not even time for the big final battle yet, and I’m already crazily excited to see it. Beyond exciting, though, a sign of careful plotting and writing. This is why I’m hopeful that Worf and the Pirate will eventually do more.

Star Trek: Defiant #4 (via IDW Publishing)

Logic and Science

These are two words that refer to my favorite storyline of the issue. We get a lot of Spock’s inner dialogue here, dealing with the ongoing consequences of Lore’s reactivation and Worf’s injuries. Given Spock’s obsession with logic, having in such a tumultuous, mad environment was an interesting creative decision. It even feels a lot more special with Lore here. He’s not just any old android, and he feels like the calculating Lore of old TNG episodes.

The issue ends with Spock and Lore going on an away mission together. Getting these two characters alone together made for hilarity. Refusing to recognize Lore as an official officer, his job is only titled “science”. It’s something I find a lot funnier than I should. Lore’s banter with bridge officers B’Elanna and Ro is also a lot of fun as he dissects their roles on the ship. Away from big action spectacles like previous issues, here’s an issue-long opportunity for characters to get some banter going and get ready for the crossover.

It makes for beautiful reading. Even Spock’s inner monologue accepting the insanity of decisions like reactivating Lore makes for gripping reading. However, I was a little distracted when these conclusions happened at the end. You see, both Worf and Lore got caught in an explosion. It came almost out of nowhere and felt like it’s there for the sake of having a cliffhanger. But, of course, I’m more than gripped enough by the rest of the issue that I’ll be back next time, regardless.

Star Trek: Defiant #4 (via IDW Publishing)

Conclusion

Not having massive action spectacles made for some character-driven reading. The result was a more than enjoyable Star Trek romp, which excites me for the start of next month’s crossover. I’m invested in seeing where the Sela stuff leads and how they incorporate the pirate character. Leading up to the big confrontation with Kahless, all bets are off, and the stakes are the highest I’ve ever seen in a Trek comic. Consider this reader beyond ready for the coming issues.

You can pick up your Star Trek: Defiant #4 copy in all good comic book stores. It’s also available from Amazon and IDW’s websites. For reviews, news, features, and generally geeking out about Star Trek, follow Trek Central!

Issue Preview

Issue Credits

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Ángel Unzueta
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Cover Artist: Angel Unzueta
Andrea Broccardo

Defiant Issue #5

Cover Artist: Angel Unzueta
Mark Alvarado
Suspiria Vilchez

In the next issue: Captain Worf struggles to maintain order among the Defiant‘s crew with the addition of two reluctant new recruits, causing friction on board the stolen vessel. And with Klingon adrenaline still surging through Kahless’ veins, the need to find and stop him has never seemed so dire.

Release Date: July 5, 2023


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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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