Star Trek: The Q Conflict #3
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by: David Messina
Back in February, IDW launched what writer Scott Tipton called “the biggest Star Trek series ever, spanning starships, centuries, and galaxies!” Initially announced at last year’s New York Comic Con, “The Q Conflict” turned heads with its ambitious plan to go where no comic has gone before. For the first time ever, the crews of Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager would all—literally and figuratively—be on the same page. Today TrekMovie catches up on this new six-issue series as it hits the halfway point.
The Story So Far (Issues #1 and #2)
Sometime in the 24th century, the USS Enterprise-E is monitoring a star going supernova in the Cestus system and are ordered to evacuate the 3rd planet. After Data scans for anomalies, he comes across some unusual activity and Q’s force field grid appears, blowing his cover.
Q explains to an exasperated Picard that every few thousand eons, the slightly more advanced races including the Metrons, Organians and whatever Trelane is believe they are on the same level as the Q. War between them results in a few supernovae and as a result, destroying galaxies—which to them is no big deal. Frustration turns to outrage as Picard chastises Q for being irresponsible and unwittingly involves himself in the conflict. Since the warring races are, as Picard states, above the fighting, Q’s idea is for the humans to solve the conflict for them.
Q’s master plan—aside from annoying everyone—is to bring all of his favorite Starfleet officers together in an Amazing Race-style contest with captains Kirk, Janeway, Picard and Sisko representing each of the warring factions. In a tantalizing twist, the crews are all mixed together instead of show against show. It reminds me of the old “What If” Marvel comics, but instead of “What If Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four,” we get “What If there was a counselor on DS9?” Then maybe it wouldn’t have been so dark. Conspicuous by their absence are the crews from Star Trek: Enterprise and Discovery – I guess they didn’t make the cut. Or maybe Q doesn’t even know where Discovery is.
Thankfully, the teams were picked in between issues 1 and 2—otherwise it would’ve given me flashbacks to getting picked next to last for football during 6th grade recess. Poor Harry Kim. I’m sure he was picked last. Once the stage was set – Kirk led a dream team on behalf of Trelane, Picard represented Q, Sisko was for the Organian Ayelborne, and Janeway got stuck with the Metron. The new crews had to work together to play this “little game” or risk the destruction of Earth.
Issue #2 featured a race back to Iconia – as seen in TNG’s second season underrated episode “Contagion” (which features this moment). The prize was the Iconian’s “gateway engine”—the key to their remote transportation technology. The winning team not only gets to keep the device, but also the ability to use it in the rest of the challenges, providing them with a distinct advantage. If you are a fan of that episode, you’ll enjoy the trip back.
But I Was Winning! (Issue #3)
Not even two pages into issue #3, Ayelborne and the Metron have already expressed concern over Q’s “overbearing nature” as the self-proclaimed emcee of the games. Not to be outdone, Trelane continues his temper tantrum ways and as an uncharacteristic show of good faith, Q nominates him to pick the next challenge. The captains have already stated several times that they will not attack each other so, naturally, Trelane’s first idea is to do the exact opposite and propose a no holds barred battle royale. Whatever patience the captains had is wearing thin so they frustratingly tell him to think of something else. Surprisingly, he comes up with a modified starship “capture the flag” contest, which isn’t his worst idea.
Of course, as one could expect, Trelane is so fixated on not being bored, he insists on physical combat and decides to add some lethal stakes—in the form of a “killer” foe from TOS. A friendly contest quickly turns deadly and the crews must all work together to survive this new threat or face certain “doom.”
There’s a lot to like in Star Trek – The Q Conflict #3. Trelane is as obnoxious as ever and I love the way the crews were integrated. Seeing them all work together is great fun and the combinations are a fan fiction author’s dream. This issue takes a while to get going but once it does, it’s a thrill – especially once the other villain joins the fray.
The Tiptons are pulling out all the stops in this series. Not only are they showcasing these all-star casts, but they are also going back to some deep cuts as well as classic episodes from each series. Artist David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown) is no stranger to Trek comics and is brilliant as ever. What an opportunity to get to draw some of the most iconic characters across over 50 years of continuity. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
5-page preview of Star Trek: The Q Conflict #3
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Star Trek: The Q Conflict #3 was released Wednesday, April 17th at a retail price of $3.99. You can order it at a discount at Thing from Another World. You can also order a digital version at Amazon.
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