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REVIEW: Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1

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With the Galactic Order at risk, Worf and his crew of like-minded souls take a different approach to dealing with the violent atheism of Emperor Kahless II and his god-killing zealots. But what do we think of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1, and the start of this new comic series?

Issue #1 provides a confusing but fascinating start to a brand new tale of the Star Trek Universe and this story line spread throughout these new comic series. Having this series and issue spin off not only from Star Trek Issue #5 but in media res after that issue, and has flashbacks to that issue help explain where we are, but it is a weird place to start a new series.

Creatives: Christopher Cantwell, Angel Unzueta, Marissa Louise, Clayton Cowles, Neil Uyetake, Heather Antos, Vanessa Real
Publication Date: March 2023
Stardate: Weeks after 55322.2 (2378)

Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 is available via Amazon.com

Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 (Via IDW Publishing)

Previously on Star Trek

Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 spins off from the main Star Trek comic at the moment directly from Issue #5. The Star Trek main comic series follows Captain Benjamin Sisko aboard the U.S.S. Theseus. His prophet ordained mission is to find out who is killing the Gods of the Star Trek universe.

It was revealed that it is Emperor Kahless II himself, who is orchestrating these killings. Using a God Killing Weapon, he is going around doing what Kahless does best; and that is killing Gods.

Worf, after finding that his Son has joined the zealots of Kahless, known as the Red Path. Unwilling to follow Sisko’s orders to kill his Son & Kahless, he is removed from the bridge. Kahless’ death would have sparked a war akin to the death of T’Kuvma in Star Trek: Discovery’s First Season. Worf is now on his own quest.

Last time on Star Trek – Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 (Via IDW Publishing)

Worf’s New Quest

The first issue of this new series starts in media res aboard the stolen USS Defiant with Ambassador Spock. After his separation from Sisko, they are both hunting down Emperor Kahless II and his Red Path warriors, but in different ways. Worf fears Sisko is not concerned with spilling blood instead of just apprehending those responsible. While Sisko doesn’t believe Worf will do what needs to be done, with his son involved.

Worf escapes to Chaltok IV, previously mentioned in Star Trek: Picard: Season 3, and meets with Ambassador Spock! The duo work together, using Spock’s non-rescinded access codes to steal the Defiant. They also gather a team to help take down Kahless, and rescue Worf’s son Alexander.

Captain Worf of the U.S.S. Defiant – Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 (Via IDW Publishing)

Return of Sela

What is great about these new comic series is the ancillary material that are between pages of the issues. From intelligence reports, secret transmissions and even personal logs to help you if you’ve forgotten something from the large history of Trek. Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 contains a report between Commander Sela and the Tal Shiar. In this report she talks about why Spock was on Chaltok IV. With Spock’s quarters being bugged by the Tal Shiar, they learn about the Red Path from a conversation between Worf and Spock.

People have been wondering about Sela since Star Trek: Picard was announced. Though it seems she may not return on screen, it looks like she might return in the comics. With the Federation fighting against Emperor Kahless, how might the Romulans enter this story? We’ll have to wait to find out, but this does get me excited for future issues!

Commander Sela of the Romulan Star Empire

Marquis turned Ally

When this comic series was revealed, we knew that we would get some Marquis help on Worf’s quest. Sisko has Tom Paris on his ship, the USS Theseus. Worf however has former Marquis B’Elanna Torres on his side. We get some interesting tidbits on what the surviving Marquis from Voyager feel, with Starfleet still not fully accepting them.

Not only do we get B’Elanna Torres, but also Ro Laren. Fans have been wondering what happened to Ro ever since the Marquis were wiped out by the Dominion. It seems that she was captured by the Federation, and is serving a life sentence. She agrees to Worf’s terms of claiming to have stolen the Defiant, much like her Marquis predecessor Thomas Riker, in order to look good to some Orion Pirates for the plan.

Marquis Ro Laren

Lore Heading

With synthetic life forms being a big part of Star Trek: Picard, everyone has been wondering where Lore is. Just like with Ro and B’Elanna, we knew that Lore was going to appear in this series. However, how he appears is interesting.

As seen in the fantastic Issue #2 Cover A by Angel Unzueta, he is just a head. However he seems connected to the USS Defiant itself, with numerous cables in this locked room plugged into his head. We know he does get a body, so where do they find a positronic body from? Perhaps B4’s body with Lore’s head? I am interested to see where his story goes, how did he get here, and will he be a friend or foe?

Lore is a head of the game – Star Trek: Defiant: Issue #2 Cover by Angel Unzueta

Conclusion

Star Trek: Defiant Issue #1 is a fascinating start to this new spinoff series from the main Star Trek comic. It does start very confusing, which may be a put off to other readers. Not only starting in media res but also spinning off from events not fully explained in the mainline comic series. The story it sets up is cool, still tied to Emperor Kahless II and his Red Path zealots, but going a different path.

The art in this chapter is fantastic, however I find the character art odd. They feel too much like 3D models inserted into this comic, with their very form fitting shiny outfits. Though this is the case, the art of each characters faces are amazing. Walking a fine line between photo-real and being too uncanny valley or just traced from screencaps of trek episodes.

An aspect of the art I do want to remark on, is how this art style seemingly changes between the first and second half of the issue. With only one artist, I somewhat assume this is intentional. The first half starts like the art of the Star Trek series, while the second becomes its own art style as this becomes its own comic series.

So far I feel that Defiant’s reliance on legacy characters, instead of throwing in some new characters like Star Trek, may harm it in the long run. Hopefully they get an original character on their rogue Defiant crew that can stand up to the legacies that come with all these characters.


Issue #2 Preview

Cover Artist: Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist: Hayden Sherman
Cover Artist: Christian Ward

Synopsis: Convinced that the only hope to prevent planetary genocide lies in understanding how the power of the gods is being harvested, Captain Worf and first officer Spock set the stolen Defiant on course to break into a highly guarded Section 31 outpost to recruit the highest computing mind in the galaxy-Lore!

Release Date: 12th April, 2023


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A creative at heart, when not seeking ways to insert “Faith of The Heart” into anything, Jack leads Trek Central’s operations in developing the brand and ensuring quality content is always delivered.

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