Welcome dearest readers to a very special review. At least, a special review for hardcore Trekkies like myself. For months now, IDW has been teasing a story in which the Enterprise crew of the new reboot universe encounters Q, a recurring villain from Star Trek the next generation, played by the incomparable John De Lancie.
That in and of itself was more than enough to get my attention, but then at the comic book store the other day, I caught a glimpse of the variant cover. As you can see, the handsome fellow on that cover is not John De Lancie nor is it anyone from the movie universe. It is, in fact, Captain Benjamin Sisko of the Federation Space Station Deep Space Nine.
For those of you who haven’t held a conversation with me that’s lasted more than ten minutes, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is not only my favorite Star Trek series ever, but also one of my favorite television shows of all time. It excelled at many things, the greatest of which was being superior to all the other Star Trek shows in every conceivable way. I was excited about this story before, but with this new development added to the mix, well, to borrow a phrase.
(Spoilers ahead.) Our comic begins shortly after the events of the countdown comic, the graphic novel that served as a prequel to the original 2009 Star Trek film. Jean Luc Picard, now an ambassador, has just witnessed his friend and colleague Spock disappear forever through a wormhole in pursuit of the renegade Romulan, Nero. Distraught by the apparent death of his ally, the last thing he wants is to be disturbed, least of all by an omnipotent all-powerful jackass.
Anywho, Q pops up to taunt his favorite Starfleet captain. Picard, who is in no mood for Q’s bullsh*t. Picard tells him to piss off, but Q insists he’s merely here to talk, particularly about how Spock survived the recent ordeal and found himself in an alternate reality. However, according to Q, this act by Spock has inadvertently set forth a chain of events that will doom that reality.
Q makes his intentions clear; he plans on meddling in that world. Frustrated, Picard demands that Q not interfere in this other reality. Q agrees on the condition that Jean-Luc promises to breathe only one oxygen molecule and not the alternates surrounding it. With that, Q disappears.
Meanwhile, in the aforementioned alternate reality, Kirk spots a suspicious looking crewman in a red shirt: Q. However, he doesn’t have much time to worry about that, as the Enterprise receives a distress call from the Smallwood, a civilian ship currently under attack by the Klingons.
The Enterprise fights valiantly but they’re simply outnumbered and are quickly overwhelmed. However, Uhura realizes that there’s something off about this whole thing, especially when she realizes that Smallwood in Japanese is actually Kobayashi Maru.
Just as the Enterprise is about to be blown up, the Klingons disappear and Q appears on the bridge. Kirk tries to eject him, but Q just taunts him for a little while before teleporting him to the outer hull of the Enterprise as a means of proving his power. Kirk’s still not entirely sure that Q is as powerful as he says he is, but he cannot doubt his own eyes, so he listens to what he has to say. Q’s intent with the little test earlier is to prove to Kirk that there is such a thing as a no win scenario, contrary to Kirk’s belief. Q believes that Kirk’s recent brush with death as seen in Star Trek: Into Darkness, as well as his many other adventures, has made the young captain overly cocky, but Q is here to tell him he’s wrong, and he’s going to show him why.
Kirk returns to the bridge of the Enterprise to find that the ship has been teleported to the opposite end of the alpha quadrant and the crew are reading energy signatures from several alien ships of unknown origin. Spock deduces that they have not only been moved in space, but in time as well. And thus our comic ends with the reveal that the Enterprise has arrived at a Federation space station on the edge of the Cardassian border: a space station known as Deep Space Nine.
This issue is everything I was hoping for and more. Q is, as expected, an absolute delight; John De Lancie’s mannerisms translate well into the comic book format and his interaction with Kirk is very well written.
The cliffhanger ending is incredible and sets up a world of potential for this mini-series going forward, and seeing as how my favorite episode of Deep Space Nine featured the crew of the station traveling back in time and meeting Captain Kirk, I personally could not be more excited to see what transpires when the two crews meet on The Sisko’s turf.
As enticed as I was by the alternate cover, I will say that the reveal of Deep Space Nine would have been far more effective without it. Also, this is a minor nitpick, but the fact that they’ve written Chekov’s accent into his dialogue is a little distracting.
For the beginning of a miniseries of this magnitude, this first issue did everything right. Any true blue Star Trek fan will absolutely love this.