The Q Gambit returns as the latest issue of IDW’s Star Trek Ongoing hits comic book stores on Wednesday. Will Kirk, Sisko and the Alpha Quadrant survive the latest round of Dominion treachery? Find out after the jump – plus check out a 7-page preview.
Star Trek #35: The Q Gambit, Part 4
(available Wednesday, November 12)
Written by Mike Johnson, story consultant Roberto Orci, art by Tony Shasteen, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Sarah Gaydos.
Cover by Tony Shasteen – Subscription Cover: Photo
Newly-freed from a Dominion labor camp, Spock and Bones are brought up to speed by Kira Nerys on the Resistance’s plan to defeat the Dominion: she intends to enlist the help of the galaxy’s last known Prophet, currently trapped along with a Pah-Wraith, in an ancient tablet of which she now has possession.
Meanwhile, having just murdered Chancellor Worf back on Earth, the Changelings threaten Kirk, Sisko, and co. with a gruesome death, before a famous engineer swoops in for a last-minute rescue and whisks everyone back to the Defiant.
A rocky, last-minute rescue
After a hairy escape from Dominion forces, Q snags Kirk for an incognito chat on the Dominion-controlled Enterprise. Rubbing in the hopelessness of Kirk’s situation, Q warns him of decision points to come before returning him to the Defiant, where Sisko plans the next step in the effort to end the war and help Kirk get his ship back.
Back on Bajor, a betrayal from within the Resistance stops Kira before she can release the Prophet. Cardassian troops escort Kira, Spock, Bones, back to Terok Nor, where the power of the tablet now rests squarely in the hands of Gul Dukat….
The Q Gambit Issue 4 kicks this story back into high gear after the careful place-setting of issue 3. This installment runs at a breakneck pace, with all the escapes, captures, and radical shifts in fortune you could hope for.
Beyond the primary narrative, the whole story continues to play out as a greatest-hits mélange of DS9 moments and characters including, now, the re-introduction of the polarizing battle between the Pah-Wraiths and the Prophets. The metaphysical elements of DS9 weren’t always fan favorites, but the Pah-Wraith/Prophet angle works well here in dramatically upping the stakes. The DS9 lover in me has to quibble, though, with the Founders’ demise early on in the book; would falling rocks really hurt a Changeling? And didn’t Odo have a much better solution to that problem a long time ago?
Returning to DS9’s spiritual side
Writer Mike Johnson provides some great character interaction and snappy dialogue here, even by the high standards set by this story so far. I laughed out loud at Bones’ knee-jerk response to first hearing the word “Ferengi,” and three cheers for finally getting to see Gul Dukat try to work his smarm on Kira near the end of the book. It’s also great to have both O’Briens back in action, too – practically makes you wish Keiko got to captain the Defiant in the prime universe instead of Sisko.
Keiko’s in command – she’s a natural
By now, we also know to expect terrific likenesses from artist Tony Shasteen, but there’s some standout work from both him, and Neil Uyetake on the letters in this issue – particularly during Kirk and Sisko’s climactic escape from the former Klingon headquarters on pages 9 and 10. The last page of the book is gorgeous too – every bit as crazed, epic, and evil as I’d want out of Gul Dukat.
I’m still waiting to see where Kirk comes into play in this story – so far the 23rd century nu-verse gang has been too busy being swept along in the 24th drama to play a more proactive role in the story. But with twists and great characters abound, plus a warning from Q of a major waypoint to come, Q Gambit 4 proves awfully satisfying.
7 Page Preview:
December will close the year out strong with Q Gambit #5, and New Visions: Made out of Mudd.
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Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site FliptheMedia.com. He’d be pretty stoked if Shatner is in the next movie. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting fritzkessler.com.