Ever since Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the franchise’s hallmarks has been nods to its own history. There have been thematic sequels to classic episodes, character returns, and even Klingon officers transferring between ships (and series). However, there’s never been a story on the scale of Star Trek: The Q Conflict.
The series is brought to us by Scott & David Tipton, David Messina, Elisabetta D’Amico, Alexandra Alexakis, and Neil Uyetake. This issue kicks off an ambitious Trek event on a scale the franchise hasn’t seen before.
Stars all over the Beta Quadrant are going nova at an alarming rate. An investigation by the Enterprise-E leads Captain Picard to a disturbing culprit- the god-like Q. When he confronts Q, he draws his crew, as well as the crews of the original Enterprise, Deep Space Nine and Voyager into an impossible conflict.
Star Trek, as a franchise, is difficult to translate into comics, given its often talky and cerebral nature. The Tiptons circumvent that easily, starting with a situation that’s visually engaging, while keeping that core nature of the franchise intact. It provides a full story even before Q arrives on the scene.
One curious note I have (though not quite a criticism) is: why are the crew of Enterprise left out of the story? I understand Discovery and the Kelvin-timeline Enterprise crew’s exclusion. However, Archer and crew’s absence is glaring given the characters and concepts that were included.
Messina has been drawing Trek comics since IDW got the license and his skill and experience shows. For the most part he and D’Amico keeps the story engaging using engaging camera angles, characters that are perpetually in motion, and fascinating settings. However, there are panels where the characters are unrecognizable, which can be jarring for a franchise with characters as recognizable and iconic as Star Trek. As a whole though, especially pairing with Alexakis’s colors, it’s full of engaging and fun visuals.
While not a perfect debut, it’s still got enough to draw any fan of Star Trek in. I know that I, for one, will be excited to see where this goes.
Star Trek: The Q Conflict #1 is available now from IDW Publishing.