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REVIEW – Star Trek: Defiant Issue #5

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Star Trek: Defiant issue #5 is the final installment before the upcoming Day of Blood crossover, and it’s out now from IDW Publishing! Following Captain Worf and the crew of the USS Defiant, the series has been a wild ride so far. Last time Spock and Lore were investigating a Klingon laboratory, which exploded in one of the coolest cliffhangers so far. Also joining the team after last time is Sela, a character I’m excited to see more from here.

But with Worf mortally injured, is he going to be okay? With a final confrontation with Kahless II just around the corner, he’s put into a precarious position. How is he going to deal with his fractured relationship with Alexander and combat the extremism of the Red Path? Lots to set up before the biggest fight of his life begins soon, and it could hardly be more entrancing.

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Star Trek: Defiant Issue #5

The Final Confrontation

Star Trek: Defiant Issue #5 – Cover Artist: Mark Alvarado

Spock and Lore recover from the explosion pretty easily, with Korath’s bomb leaving them more or less unscathed. As much as I knew that it would obviously happen, it didn’t feel like much more than a cool visual at the end of the last issue. I guess they tried to do something with it with the reveal of it being a smaller version of the weapons about Kahless’ ship.

It then does something I’m absolutely fawning over. The power source is, at minimum, a sophisticated bio-organic circuit. But it’s so much more than your average technobabble, it’s absorbed the sentience of the Crystalline Entity. To put how much trouble they’re in perspective, Spock mentions the V’Ger encounter from The Motion Picture. The biggest difference here is that this will be a lot more explosive and have actual battle scenes.

We then cut to Worf getting briefed on the Defiant’s battle plans. There’s a lot of really funny dialogue here, which works wonders to lighten the mood a bit. I especially liked Lore calling Sela “Data’s girlfriend’s daughter”. It reminds me of what I love most about this series, which is having all these characters meet in a way that they can’t onscreen. Also, while they’re not in the comic, we see a message sent to Admirals Jellico and Nechayev. I adore the Jellico resurgence of late, which included a brief cameo appearance in Prodigy.

Battle Surgeon

Image from Star Trek: Defiant issue #5

For the past few issues now, I’ve been going on and on about this pharmer character the Defiant picked up on that pirate ship. And now, this isn’t some revelatory issue where we learn her name or something. I’d be really surprised if by the end of the crossover, she hasn’t served a massive purpose to the plot. I’m not too sure what the big reason could be for keeping her shrouded in so much mystery, but I guess time will tell whether or not it was worth it.

She gets a beautiful scene with Torres and Worf in Star Trek: Defiant issue #5. Her speech is a pretty gutwrenching read, and in an issue full of planning and preparations, this speech stands out. It turns out she was a kind of battle surgeon, engineering drugs to keep mortally wounded soldiers in the field a little longer. Now, Star Trek‘s been a little gruesome in the past, but this really stands out for me. It unnerves and challenges me in a way that I’m often not by Modern Trek.

She also gets a full page worth of log entries. While it’s mostly just a long ramble about Worf’s injuries and the fact his addiction is purely psychological, it’s nice to get inside this new character’s head. It’s also of note that she signed off the log simply as “X”, which means that her identity is something she really doesn’t want to share publicly for whatever reason. I’m probably overreacting, but I really would love to know who this intriguing character is.

Worf’s Struggle

Image from Star Trek: Defiant issue #5

Since Worf upended the table, it’s safe to say Sela is far from welcome on this ship. I don’t know why they thought bringing so many villains on board would do anybody any good. Especially considering the sensitive nature of their mission, it wasn’t the smartest decision. Although it’s cool to see that Lore, despite all the scheming he’s done in the past, is eerily similar to Data sometimes. It’s something I’m hoping is expanded upon when they reunite in the upcoming Day of Blood crossover.

I can excuse these frankly ridiculous decisions though, with Captain Worf seriously injured and all. But I’m glad to see some dimensions to Worf that don’t get highlighted as often, he’s not just hurt, but he’s conflicted. Kahless and the Red Path represent a growing amount of his own people, one of which is his own son. Worf may not be the greatest father ever, but he still recognizes the personhood of his son.

It’s a really good way of commenting on the extremist elements of the society in which we live. Sure, the people at the top of these ladders are the worst of the worst, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. But ultimately, the people who support them, like Alexander, are just people. I don’t quite know where this story’s headed, but some stuff on deprogramming people who have fallen down one of those destructive rabbit holes would make for some beautiful reading.

Issue Preview

Conclusion

By the end of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #5, Worf has called out to Sisko and the USS Theseus to rendezvous at Qo’nos. Their final confrontation with Kahless II is just about here, and it’s set to be their biggest battle yet. It’s the better part of the last page, and reading it in the voice of Michael Dorn really helps to make it more dramatic. That final page has me really excited to see their reunion, but thankfully we won’t have to wait too long. The next issue in this saga is the one-shot Day of Blood #1, and it’s out later this month!

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Defiant Issue #5 from Amazon and IDW Publishing’s website. It’s also available in print in all good comic book stores. For more reviews, as well as news coverage, lore and generally talking about all things Star Trek, follow Trek Central.

Issue Credits

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

In the next issue…

Cover Artists: Malachi Ward
Angel Unzueta
Liana Kangas

Defiant Issue #6: The crossover event between Star Trek and Star Trek: Defiant continues here in part two of DAY OF BLOOD! Worf and Sisko begin their trek to Kahless’ spire to stop the false prophet’s siege of Qo’noS with each other being the last man either wants to rely on. Meanwhile, Spock takes the bridge of the Theseus, reuniting with his old friend Captain Montgomery Scott and desperately attempting to keep the Red Path’s Bloodwings at bay.

Release Date: Aug 2, 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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