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REVIEW – Star Trek: Defiant #9

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The adventures of Worf and the crew of the USS Defiant continue this month in Star Trek: Defiant #9 out now from IDW Publishing! Last month Worf & crew set out on the hunt for a rather ragtag bunch of classic Star Trek villains. This time, the crew is chasing the reformed Borg drone known as Hugh. His appearances in The Next Generation were among the best episodes of the series, so fingers crossed that Defiant can hold a candle to it!

What does Hugh have planned for the universe now that he’s free? What’s going on with our heroes? And how are the crew adapting to only having five people aboard the ship? All this and more in this review of the latest mission for the Defiant crew!

WARNING – Spoilers below for Star Trek: Defiant #9, read ahead at your own risk.

Skeleton Crew

Star Trek: Defiant #9 – Cover Artist: Jake Bartok

The Defiant‘s crew has been seriously cut down since the Day of Blood. Sela and Lore, both valuable tactical assets, have run off into the stars. This leaves the Defiant with just Worf, Spock, Ro Laren, B’Elanna, and the mostly mysterious Nymira. Hopefully, they’re more than capable of fighting whatever evils come their way. There’s more than enough experience between them to cope, but there’s something very reminiscent of Search for Spock here.

Starships are built for a crew of about 20 at least. Not even having half a dozen is a recipe for disaster. Naturally, Spock seems a little distracted by this exhaustion. Although, he is the closest to having experience in the “skeleton crew” department. My mind goes to the trip in the HMS Bounty in The Voyage Home. Knowing the series’ propensity for callbacks, I’m surprised this isn’t something that the comic itself acknowledges.

Unlike the crew of the old Enterprise though, this bunch doesn’t get along anywhere near as well. Before disaster strikes, we get about a dozen pages of recapping and what’s become my favorite element of the series. Writer Christopher Cantwell relishes in this incredible collection of characters and understands the sort of unstable chemistry that would result on the bridge. It’s always a pleasure coming back to these characters every month.

Nomadic Healer

Star Trek: Defiant #9 – Cover Artist: Angel Unzueta

When was the last time I mentioned my love for crazy subheading choices? Because it genuinely wasn’t recent enough. There’s a nice little B-story here about Spock being distracted, tying into exhaustion and an old mind meld. It’s something covered in last month’s review when they teased a return to the world of “A Piece of the Action”, with some worryingly obscure Original Series callbacks. This is a series that relies predominantly on the 24th Century series, so it’s an interesting change of pace.

If you ask me, “The Changeling” is a far more popular episode, and one easier to have around. Returning to remnants of Roykirk’s Nomad program was an interesting decision and one that I really didn’t see coming. I love it when a reveal takes me by genuine surprise, so this ranks pretty highly as far as Trek comics are concerned. Although, beyond shock value, I’m not sure exactly what purpose it is building toward.

We see Hugh and Nomad partnered, healing old Borg drones. It’s all rather touching, and feels like a bridge to Hugh’s presence on the Artefact in Picard. Reclaiming former Borg is the work Hugh was built for because he’s not a villain. He even joins the crew of the Defiant, creating even more questions about just what their mission is. The next stop is Berminghoff Rasmussen, who’s most certainly more villainous than Hugh. At least the crew is now six, I wonder who will join their journey next?

Star Trek: Defiant #9 Preview

Conclusion

It’s always difficult transitioning to a second arc, especially when it was very clear what the Day of Blood storyline was building to. How this will interact with Star Trek: Defiant‘s ‘Glass & Bone‘ if at all, remains to be seen. There’s a much bigger mix of characters in this arc compared to the last, however, with the stories seeming ever more disparate. Perhaps this will instead lead into the upcoming Sons of Star Trek series with the mentions of Alexander?

Wherever the Defiant‘s new journey leads, I’m very intrigued. The Star Trek universe is such a big canvas to play around with, and it’s nice to be using more of it. Beyond this, the dynamic between Spock and Worf is delightful. Seeing them work to unpack one another’s mindset is worth the price of admission alone. The future of this series is very exciting, and I can’t wait to see how this story continues to build.

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant #9 out today in all good comic book stores. It’s also available to order both physically and digitally from Amazon, and IDW Publishing’s website. For more reviews, all the latest news, and some great Star Trek lore discussions, be sure to follow Trek Central!

Star Trek: Defiant #9 Credits

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Mike Feehan
Inker: Maria Keane
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Editorial Assistant: Vanessa Real


In the next issue…

Cover Artists: Mike Feehan
Angel Unzueta
Louie De Martinis

In issue #10: The Defiant crew makes way for its next bounty: Berlinghoff Rasmussen, infamous time-traveling thief and con man. Berlinghoff has escaped custody on Starbase 214 and has his sights set on tech from the forbidden planet and final resting place of Captain Christopher Pike, Talos IV. With top-secret orders from Starfleet, Worf and his crew are to intercept the target without being detected by anyone…including the Federation.

Release date: December 20, 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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