In our last Star Trek review, Q had arrived in the reboot universe hell bent on proving to Captain Kirk that there is such a thing as a no win scenario. To that end, Q sent the Enterprise into the future, where the crew found themselves just outside Deep Space Nine.
We open with the Enterprise under attack by a squadron Jem’hadar fighters. More on who the Jem’hadar are later, but, suffice to say the Enterprise is quickly overwhelmed and the Jem’hadar beam aboard, one of them making this interesting comment: “Humans, no wonder this was easy.” The crew is overwhelmed by the superior strength of the boarding party and Kirk is captured and brought before the head of the station, Gul Dukat, who welcomes Kirk to Terok Nor.
Gul Dukat. Gul Dukat was one of the primary antagonists of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and in my humble opinion, the greatest villain in the history of Star Trek and possibly one of the most well-developed villains in all science fiction. I would like to discuss this character in greater detail, that’s not why we’re here and there’s still a lot of comic to get through, so I’ll try to summarize the need-to-knows as best I can.
You’re probably wondering about the whole Terok Nor thing. Thing is, Deep Space Nine wasn’t always a Federation Space Station. In the first episode of the series, the Federation had been brought in to aid in the restoration of the planet Bajor after end of the Cardassian occupation. As such, The Federation annexed the station from the Cardassians and renamed it Deep Space Nine and Dukat, who was the station’s commander at the time, was forced to surrender his command to Benjamin Sisko. Later in the show, a very powerful adversary called The Dominion was introduced. The Jem’hadar from earlier are the genetically enhanced soldiers of the dominion. The Cardassians, under the leadership of a bitter Dukat, joined with the dominion and declared war on the federation. The presence of the Dominion on the station means that the alterations to the timeline caused by the creation of the reboot universe have either caused the federation to never retake the station from the dominion after it was taken over in the show’s fifith season, or possibly even that the Cardassian occupation of Bajor never ended.
In any case, Dukat, true to his character, condescendingly extends a hand of friendship to Kirk, immediately realizing who he is and where he came from. I guess Dukat was curious if there was any man in history who had a more active libido than himself. (Fans of DS9 will get that joke.) Kirk refuses and demands to know where his crew has been taken and assumes that he’s in league with Q. Dukat has no idea what he’s talking about and alludes to the something about the federation having surrendered long ago. Kirk doesn’t buy it, but that scarcely matters as he’s thrown in the brig where he finds Scotty, Uhura, and their fellow prisoner, Captain Benjamin Sisko.
Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, the remaining crew has been captured by the Dominion and Dukat has claimed the ship for himself. However, Dukat’s victory party is spoiled by the arrival of another ship, specifically, the USS Defiant. Again, for you non Deep Space Nine fans, the Defiant is Captain Sisko’s personal warship, designed for one thing and one thing only: kicking ass. You thought the Enterprise was cool? The Enterprise is a glorified cruise boat, whereas the Defiant is a big set of guns with a warp engine. At the sight of the ship, Dukat immediately orders all available ships engage the ship and destroy it.
Meanwhile, back in the brig, a Jem’hadar soldier arrives and breaks the captives out, revealing himself to be Odo, one of the main characters from Deep Space Nine. Odo’s presence here is particular interesting to me. For the uninitiated, Odo is a member of a race of shape-shifters called Changelings, which is the same race that the leaders of the Dominion, usually referred to as The Founders, belong to. This was a key point in Odo’s character development during the series, as he was constantly torn between his desire to be with his people and his loyalty to his friends and allies. It’s comforting to know that even though the Dominion seems to be far more powerful in this reality, Odo’s loyalty is still to his friends. Anywho, Sisko requests that Kirk and the others come with them, but Kirk refuses, not wishing to abandon his crew. Sisko, unable to take know for an answer in the current situation, apologizes, before knocking Kirk’s lights out with a single punch.
That’s right people, Captain James T. Kirk, a man who’s gone toe-to-toe with Klingons, genetically enhanced super-men and giant lizards, takes one punch from Ben Sisko and he goes down like the ratings for Star Trek: Enterprise.
No matter the time, no matter the reality, the golden rule of the universe remains: Don’t F*ck With The Sisko.
When Kirk comes to in the sickbay of the Defiant, Q is there to taunt Kirk for a little while but promptly leaves before Sisko entered the room. If you’re wondering why Q left in such a hurry, we Niners remember the last time Q tried to bother Sisko, in which Sisko beat the ever-loving crap out of him. That’s right, even Q, an omnipotent, all-powerful, God-like entity knows better than to f*ck with the Sisko.
Sisko apologizes to Kirk for punching him and not saving the rest of his crew, but the situation is apparently dire and Sisko and his allies need all the help they can get. Kirk notices that every time people from this timeline have mentioned the Federation, they use the past tense. Kirk is soon given a clue as to why that is as our comic ends with the Defiant arriving on Earth, specifically, San Fransisco, the place Kirk knows as the headquarters of Starfleet, and there, flying from the Golden Gate Bridge is the banner of the Klingon Empire.
As soon as I saw Deep Space Nine at the end of the last issue, I thought of two ways this story arc could go. The first was Q teaming the reboot crew up with the various Star Trek crews of the past, starting with Deep Space Nine. While that idea had potential, I’m glad they went with my other idea, which was showing us how the effects of the reboot universe have altered Trek’s future. This series is a fan boy dream come true and I loved every second of it. Dukat’s presence was especially great. He was written very much how he was in the series and the image of him sitting in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise was a chilling one indeed. I hope he remains a major player as this story arc continues. Also, I got to see Sisko punch Kirk. That was also awesome.
There’s a bit of a problem with the inclusion of the Deep Space Nine elements, given all the exposition I had to give in this review, that issue should be obvious to most. While I personally am a huge DS9 fan, I am not so blinded by my fandom that I’m oblivious to the fact that the show has not endured in the mainstream consciousness in the same way that The Original Series or The Next Generation have. As such, a lot of those elements can be alienating to casual readers, many of whom may only be familiar with the new movies. Don’t get me wrong, I of all people am not saying that introducing new fans to DS9 is a bad thing, I just think a lot of these things could stand to be better explained so that the reader doesn’t feel lost.
*That perfect score comes with an asterisk. I personally, being a long time Deep Space Nine fan, loved this issue whole heartedly and consider this issue to be a perfect five out of five, but non DS9 fans may feel confused and as a result, turned off, by a lot of what happens in this comic. In any case I still highly recommend this issue and this story arc but casual readers would benefit by familiarizing themselves with the lore of Deep Space Nine beforehand. And remember, Don’t F*ck With The Sisko.