TrekInk: Review of Star Trek Ongoing #40: The Q Gambit Part 6 + 7-Page Preview

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The “gambit” is revealed as Kirk, Sisko, and Q face off against the power-mad Gul Dukat in the last issue of IDW’s Star Trek Ongoing: The Q Gambit. Does the final nu-24th century showdown deliver the goods? Find out with a spoiler-filled review, plus a 7 page preview, after the jump.

Star Trek #40: The Q Gambit, Part 6 
(available Wednesday, January 13)

Written by Mike Johnson, story consultant Roberto Orci, art by Tony Shasteen, colors by Davide Mastrolonardo, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Sarah Gaydos.

Cover: Art by Tony Shasteen Subscription Cover: Photo

Cover by Tony Shasteen – Subscription Cover: Photo


Headed for a showdown with Gul Dukat deep inside the wormhole, Kirk and Sisko grapple with a final revelation from Q: the extra dimensional Pah-Wraiths have declared war on the Q-Continuum, and the Q are losing. At long last, Q’s “gambit” with Kirk is clear: he’s not out to teach Kirk a lesson about no-win scenarios. Q brought Kirk to the 24th century for help, and hoped that manipulating the crew of the Enterprise into releasing the Prophet would help him defeat the Wraiths.

Meanwhile, on board the Enterprise, the Pah-Wraiths possess the ship’s Dominion crew as Dukat makes his case for joining them in extra-dimensional space. The final task before his “ascension” can begin? Kill the last Prophet, which is still merged with Benjamin Sisko.

As Kirk, Sisko, and Q plan their next move, Dukat beams them all to the Enterprise bridge and murders Sisko straightaway. The Prophet escapes and merges with the closest new vessel, Spock. Wielding his new power just long enough to freeze everyone on the bridge, Spock then transfers the Prophet to a final vessel – Q.

Gul Dukat in Command in IDW's Qgambit 5

Dukat Energizes

The Pah-Wraiths are suddenly no match for the combined power of Q and the Prophet, and all are quickly dispatched. Finally, Gul Dukat is overpowered and Q reduces him to a pile of ashes. Q thanks Kirk for his help, but Kirk demurs, noting that it was Spock, not he, who knew to transfer the power of the prophet to Q, and therein lies the source of Kirk’s faith in beating “no-win” scenarios – his crew.

With the nightmare of Dukat over, Q whisks the Enterprise crew back to their own time, where Kirk and Spock are the only two who remember the Q Gambit. They wonder whether the version of the 24th century they witnessed is truly inevitable, as Q makes one final visit to an old friend…


The ending of the Q Gambit from writer Mike Johnson is smart, clever, filled with great action and character beats….and it’s also totally different than what I expected. Maybe I should have known better, but I really thought this series was headed toward Q teaching Kirk a “Q-Who?”-style lesson in humility all along. In true DS9 style (that show loved late-in-the-game change-ups), Johnson’s been playing a clever trick on readers this whole time, and finding out both Q and Johnson’s true intentions in this issue made for a delicious twist to the story.

Q in IDWs the Q Gambit

A nu-Q begins to bid Kirk farewell

And speaking of Q, after five issues where he spent most of the time on the sidelines, he gets some real face time here, and it’s a hoot; humbled to begin with, but back to his quippy, slightly scary, fully omnipotent self again in no time. Watching Q wipe the floor with Dukat in a face off between, arguably, Trek’s two best villians, is also fun, and probably an even more satisfying end for Dukat than what he got on DS9. At least, this time, he wasn’t felled by a magic book.

I’m actually surprised at where this issue leaves the fate of the rest of the DS9 gang. Q may have defeated the pah-wraiths but, otherwise, the nu-24th century is still in a shambles, with Worf, Kira, and Sisko now dead, and the Federation in ruins. By and large, it’s been a dark six issues and this one is no different, but Kirk and Spock’s final conversation offers a bit of hope that the future might not be as dire as the one they just witnessed. Their last panel together is about as perfect an end to this story as you could hope for (though, the “epilogue” with Q and Picard feels a bit less necessary).

Artist Tony Shasteen, working again with Davide Mastrolonardo on colors, gave this whole series a look unique to any nu-Trek comic I’ve seen thus far, and he doesn’t disappoint in the final issue. Once again, the stencil-style, hyper-detailed likenesses and backgrounds help deliver a more cinematic feel to the book. There are a ton of highlights and details to mention here – the lens flare (love it or hate it) on the bridges of the Defiant and the Enterprise; the big E engulfed by the fiery Pah-Wraiths on page six; and, oh man, the sheer bad-assery of “Prophet-Q” on page 17. Simply put, the art for this series definitely ends on a high note.

Big E in Wormhole

 Pah-Wraiths overtake the Enterprise

Having been through all six issues several times each now, I can’t help but feel like this story was a bit of a love letter to fans new and old. Seeing my beloved DS9 back in the spotlight, even if just for a few months, was treat enough in itself, but The Q Gambit definitely went beyond an ordinary crossover. It packed an awful lot into six issues, including a great new Q story, and a ton of characters and lore from both nu and classic Trek. And, perhaps most importantly of all, it was a helluva lot of fun all the way through. Well played, IDW.

7 Page Preview:

ST_35-pr_Part1ST_35-pr_Part2ST_35-pr_Part3 ST_35-pr_Part4ST_35-pr_Part5ST_35-pr_Part6 ST_35-pr_Part7

Coming Next:

That’s it for The Q Gambit – what a ride! Next up for January – the second issue of Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover The Primate Directive, and the first issue of the two-part nu-verse story, Behemoth!

Cover: Art by Tony Shasteen Subscription Cover: Photo

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Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site He’s actually pretty damn excited about Justin Lin-Trek. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting

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I’ve LOVED this series so far. Too bad that this storyline couldn’t have been made into the new movie. THAT I would pay good money to see and would be a wonderful homage to the show’s 50th anniversary. Very much like the two episodes that celebrated the show’s 30th with DS9’s “Trials and Tribble-ations” (where I was an extra on the Enterprise!) and Voyager’s “Flashback”. Well done!

Bob. I agree. If this was the next movie. I would be all over it with Multiple Viewing’s at the Theater.

Agreed with 1 and 2!

This is an interesting crossover

I need to pick these up, sounds super interesting.

Been a fun mini series, I also would have loved this to be the next movie adventure.

Hot dawg. I just devoured 36-39 … delicious. Beautiful art by Tony Shasteen (except a repetitive background of Science folk in a McCoy and Spock scene – tsk!) and a really bangin’ good story from Mike Johnson. One hella no-win scenario for ya there, Kirk!

If you guys had this quality of story all the time I would be over the moon. Or maybe those ample nacelles, or the saucer section … : -)

I LOVE the inclusion of the DS9 crew. HOORAY! You guys knocked it out of the park this time.

I’d hate to nitpick, but the wormhole is from the Alpha Quadrant to the Gamma Quadrant. I understand quantum universes, but a stable wormhole should theoretically stay at fixed points in any universe.

I apologize for my nitpicking.

Thanks for the kind words everyone, means a lot. Hope you enjoy the new stories coming in ’15. Lots of uncharted space to explore…

Mike J.

Obviously it was decided that this story would not work as a movie. I would be interested in the why?
Maybe Bob Orci could explain why such a story would not be used for a movie.

Since Q was talking to Picard in issue 1, does that mean that the Prophets and Pah Wraiths can move between timelines? I know that time isn’t linear for them, but still.

It probably would have made more sense to introduce an alternate version of Q instead of having the original universe-hopping, but the story is still pretty good.


Wasn’t an either/or decision. Trek tells all kinds of stories in all kinds of mediums.

Mike J.


Granted I’m limited to a three-dimensional brain, but I believe only the Q stay the same across alternate timelines, hence the “Continuum”. There’s no Pah-wraith Continuum, thankfully.

Would make a good story if we find out otherwise :)

Mike J.

7. Wow. Looks like I’ll have to read this one. I’d given up on the comics a few months after Into Darkness.

It is my understanding that the events that took place re Bajor, Gul Dukat, Pah Wraiths happened in the same time frame, 24th century, as did Picard being captain of the Enterprise and doing what he did. The ones who are out of place/time are the nuKirk, nuSpock characters et al. This was Q’s doing.

I have not read any of the comics – would like to. It is just my impression from the samples given on this site. Am I correct?

BTW, they look really good, Mike Johnson.

great work Mike. maybe the writers of trek 3 can be greatly influenced by your comics just like the writers for Xmen : days of future past where heavily influenced by the days of future past comics.

I will love that than the reharsh and remake that was trek into darkness.

A question: if they did do a movie with Q who would you cascast as Q? Unless Q came up with an explanation for wanting to appear older and wiser I can’t see Mr deLancie doing the part. The Ds9 folk are older too but that could be somewhat explained by all the hard fighting they’ve been doing … but I’m not seeing Avery Brooks being really interested because’s he is really engaged in education now.

Lovd the storie and agreed this would of been a hell of a movie,which is why it would never of been made,to good for the movie lol

19- If they made a movie version of this (which we all know would never happen), they would probably recast the DS9 characters, since they are in an alternate timeline just like the TOS characters. Since its the same old Q, they could easily keep John De’Lancie. There’s no reason for him not to decide to appear a bit older. He probably wouldn’t want to let Picard look too much older than him anyway.

Why would anybody think this would have made a good movie? There’s not enough time in a two-hour movie as it is for the nuTrek characters, never mind the crew from DS9 as well as Q. The casual audience would have no idea what’s going on, and most wouldn’t be familiar with DS9.

This does look like a good series of comics, though. I’ll pick up the collected volume of this when it comes out.

Honestly these comics disappointed me. (I guess I can’t like them all)
(Mild spoiler)

They were mostly about Kirk (but even Kirk didn’t get an interesting arc) with the only interesting character interaction between Spock and Mccoy while the rest (that also is in danger) made small appearances or were forgot about, or like in Uhura or Scotty’s case were just decorating the background in the scenes between Kirk and other characters. Oh well, reading the end it made the whole experience useless for everyone but the two people who will remember, anyway. So even if we got more character moments they would’t rembember it anyway.
I liked the bits with Q and the other characters from the trek franchise that kirk&co get to interact with (though no wonder why it’s convenient to make it so, in the end, that everyone but two will remember)

Now waiting for the next comics.

Making a movie with that plot would be impossible if you want the movie to still be about the nutrek characters. There were too much characters in these comics and if the writers realistically didn’t have enough time to give character development to them all even in a 6 issues series of comics, I doubt that a movie could. Even if the comics disappointed me I still recognize the limits you have when there are so many characters to handle.
Stid already suffered a bit, in that regard, because of the attention given to action scenes and characters like the two villains was at the expense of seeing more of the nucrew and the dynamics b/w the characters.

I wish this could’ve been the next star trek move :( I miss DS9

I miss DS9 too, that’s why I loved these comics :-)

Great Bird of the Galaxy, this was awesome; had this been a series of movies, I would have been all over this!