Following the events of the Day of Blood crossover series, Sela left the crew of the USS Theseus and set course back to Romulus. While her story isn’t a part of the main Star Trek: Defiant series, it’s an inspired choice for an annual. That’s exactly what IDW Publishing has done with the release of Star Trek: Defiant Annual 2024, which hits the shelves of comic book stores today.
This story follows Sela as she tries to re-establish her position in Romulan Command, with all the intel she’d gathered from the Federation. Perhaps most importantly, there was a previously unseen conversation between her and Martok after the battle on Qo’noS. What intel has Sela acquired? Will it be enough to fix her reputation in the eyes of the Romulans? Find out in this review of Star Trek: Defiant Annual 2024!
WARNING – Some spoilers for Star Trek: Defiant Annual 2024 below.
Now that the Defiant series is almost done with the Another Piece of the Action arc, a return to the older Day of Blood arc was a little unexpected. Returning to Sela’s story after this long genuinely feels overdue. I honestly thought that the story had been abandoned. The series now venturing into occasionally baffling, sometimes inspired, returning characters.
This annual actually opens with the previously unseen exchange between Martok and Sela towards the end of Day of Blood. The exchange is still mostly unseen, but Sela certainly has a way of extracting the information out of Martok. Even when she’s trying to redeem herself, she remains as brutal as ever. That being said, she’s trying to redeem herself in the eyes of the Romulans. So perhaps her allegiances and morality aren’t exactly golden
The exploration of the dark alleys of Romulus is great, though. It’s like a dirty mess of a future city that I found reminiscent of the greats like Blade Runner‘s Los Angeles. Looking at the Romulan Command office, that comparison may actually be quite apt. In a universe full of dozens of planets, it turns out that classics like Romulus are still ripe for exploration. It exposes a new layer of Romulus that I hope we’re able to return to in the future of Sela’s story.
Spectre of the Past
A part of what Sela has been working on concerns time travel, something Star Trek has quite a history with. The technology she’s helped to develop involves using your own biological signature as a temporal waypoint. As I understand it, traveling to your own personal history, or using two data points of anyone’s biological signature. It’s basically a spin on the Chrono-Deflector which helped future Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager‘s “Endgame”.
I find that the less time travel is explained, the better it works. The writer, Christopher Cantwell, uses quite a bit of technobabble, but at least it’s done pretty quickly. If all you understand on any of that page is that Sela has a time machine, it’s fine. However, like all good time-travel plot devices, it doesn’t function perfectly. After she’s rejected by the Romulan council, the device malfunctions and takes her back to the past.
The exact timeline of when she arrives is a little unclear, but it’s probably not too long before the start of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seeing her talk and fight alongside her mother, Tasha Yar, was great. It frames Sela’s development and redemption perfectly. What she discovers in the past is her truth, where she came from. From here on, she’s intercepting the Defiant again, trying to be a fearless hero. It’s great, even if the appearance of Jean-Luc Picard felt like an unnecessary exercise in overindulgence.
In all, the latest entry in the Star Trek: Defiant series is a great example of what a good annual is. It’s a connected side story, the sort of thing that would be jarring as an issue in the main series. The continuation of Sela’s story was one of the only things that felt a little incomplete and unsatisfying after Day of Blood. This closes off that story and answers questions I wasn’t sure I had. The brief moment between Sela and Tasha was something I didn’t know I needed, even if the explanation of how she got there felt a bit much.
While there’s no sign of Sela’s return in any of the current Star Trek comics yet, the story ends with a bit of a setup for her potential return. Her return to Sisko and the Theseus is something I await with intrigue. Perhaps she’ll appear at the very end of Piece of the Action, leading into whatever the series’ future looks like. That’s just pure speculation, though. Hopefully, Sela’s redemption arc continues to be done some justice. Definitely an intriguing and welcome side story for the Star Trek universe.
You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant Annual 2024 which is out today from IDW Publishing. It’s available to order both physically and digitally from Amazon and IDW’s own website. The comic is also available on the shelves of all good comic book stores. For more Star Trek reviews, as well as all the latest news and lore discussions, be sure to follow the team here at Trek Central!
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colourist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Editorial Assistant: Vanessa Real
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
NEW SERIES: ‘Sons of Star Trek’ – From the mighty pen of acclaimed Cyborg writer Morgan Hampton comes a new four-part miniseries spinning out of IDW’s Eisner-nominated Star Trek series and fan-favorite Star Trek: Defiant series!
Issue #1: In the aftermath of Kahless’ harrowing Day of Blood, Jake Sisko struggles to find his place in the universe now that his family has been reunited and his father, Benjamin Sisko, has once again saved the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Alexander Rozhenko is recovering mentally and emotionally from his time as one of Kahless’ devout followers. Although his father, Worf, was able to break him away from the Red Path cult, Alexander is haunted by his actions during the bloody coup and is unsure of his ability to atone for the devastation he caused.
Jake and Alexander find their stories intertwined as they’re thrust into an alternate universe where they follow their father’s footsteps into Starfleet stardom. As officers aboard the U.S.S. Avery, Jake, and Alexander encounter alternate versions of other children of Starfleet legends who show them they all may have a bit more in common than it would seem.
Release date: March 13, 2024
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