The adventures of Captain Sisko’s ragtag team of Star Trek legends continue in this month’s Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10. This month’s issue forms the third part of the “Another Piece of the Action” arc. The story sees our heroes becoming bounty hunters, flying around the galaxy hunting out some of the most obscure and dangerous villains in the Star Trek canon. Star Trek: Defiant #10 is no exception, just look at that gorgeous cover, we’re going back, with Spock pictured as he was back in “The Cage”!
The villain that they’re hunting today is Berlinghoff Rasmussen, from The Next Generation‘s “A Matter of Time”. In case you forgot, he’s a conman, failed inventor, and time traveler from the 22nd Century. He’s an interesting choice for a villain, with only one appearance under his belt. Something I particularly appreciate about IDW’s Star Trek comics is their ability to turn such characters into credible threats. It will be interesting to see what he’s been up to when he returns to taunt the crew of the Defiant!
WARNING – This is a full review of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10, and as such contains spoilers. If you’ve not read the comic yet, it’s probably best to turn back now.
Looking for Someone
The issue opens with a short scene on the planet Vulcan, where he’s visited by a disfigured Captain Pike. This vision begs Spock to return to Talos IV and free him, even though Pike would be long since dead by the time the 24th Century rolled around. I think this little vignette works well on a few levels. First of all, it establishes, with the sudden transition to Spock on the bridge of the Defiant, that nothing we read can be trusted and taken for granted.
Second, it creates a really uneasy atmosphere. As far as the end of “The Menagerie” is concerned, Pike has a happy ending. Revisiting a long-dormant plot point, and potentially upturning that, is just the sort of thing that series like this are infamous for. With how popular and beloved Pike is, especially now with the ongoing Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, I can’t lie when I say I was a little worried. Thankfully, it doesn’t come to pass. In fact, the farewell between Spock and the vision of Pike is rather sweet and heartfelt.
The dissolution of General Order 7, which establishes the “do not travel” warning over Talos IV is interesting. In that, while the Order is gone, travel there is still severely restricted. I’m not sure why the dissolution was necessary if people still can’t really go there. Although, between that, Pike, the return of the Talosians, and The Cage itself, it just adds on to the pile. This is far more than a return for Rasmussen but is a love letter to the original Star Trek pilot episode. If you’re a fan of “The Cage”, then this is a great sequel.
In the Cage
The big twist of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10 is that we never actually saw the ship’s arrival at Talos IV. Instead, they’re trapped in an artificial version of the ship. Visions of characters like Sisko, Janeway, Riker, and the aforementioned Pike appear to try and get the command codes out from the senior officers. It’s obvious there’s something wrong here. While this series can be a cameo extravaganza, this was a little over the top. Although, the chaos all over the bridge was lovely to see.
It’s Rasmussen, who believes he’s teamed up with the Talosians, trying to wrangle control of the ship. Seeing the crew confined to a restricted setting like the Cage was an interesting glimpse into their behaviors under real pressure. I’m glad to see that Worf is as impulsive as ever, getting a real laugh out of him punching a wall. Although, he’s still got his head about him. While he doesn’t let the Talosians free, he hands them a shuttle. The story tapped into the conflict between morality and Starfleet regulation really well.
However, what’s left is Rasmussen. Sure, he’s captured and brought into custody by the end, but none of it felt distinctly like him. It feels as if he could be any villain, being drowned out by the nostalgia fest for “The Cage”. Don’t me wrong, I adore “The Cage”, probably more than “A Matter of Time”, but I remain puzzled by the issue’s insistence on having Rasmussen around at all. However, seeing him so blinded as to not see past his failed inventions was a sweet bit of comeuppance.
Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10 Preview
Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10 continues the series’ trend of being the nostalgia-fueled thrill ride that it’s been from the get-go. However, cramming together disparate villains from The Original Series and The Next Generation really didn’t work in this issue’s favor. While far from bad, these elements didn’t feel connected at all. Although, now there’s some Talosians flying around the universe. Perhaps, like Scotty at the end of “Relics”, we’ll catch up with them further down the line in a future comic? I certainly hope so!
The next issue is the finale of the current arc of the series. What the series looks like after this remains to be seen. We did set up the idea of characters like Torres realizing they should be at home. I can imagine we’re definitely heading towards a shift of the status quo. Although the crew of the Defiant isn’t quite out of the woods yet, needing to contend with Gorn and Benny the Munch in next month’s issue.
You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #10 out now from all good comic book stores. It’s also available to order both physically and digitally from online retailers like Amazon. For more Star Trek reviews, lore discussions, and all the latest news, be sure to follow the team here at Trek Central!
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Pencils: Mike Feehan & Pow Rodrix
Inkers: Maria Keane & Pow Rodrix
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Editorial Assistant: Vanessa Real
In the next issue…
Issue #11: The Defiant crew faces their most dangerous bounty in the finale of Defiant arc two! Iotion gangster Benny the Munch is in town looking to expand his turf, and he’s not stopping until he owns every living being in the galaxy. Meanwhile, when Captain Worf sends Nymira on an undercover mission to uncover the infamous mobster’s grand plans, she finds herself volunteering her captain to fight Benny’s prized Gorn goon in a Kreel death tournament known as the Kash-Baht Death Crucible. Whoops!
Release Date: February 7, 2024
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