Sometime in the 24th Century, the being known only as “Q” returns to throw the crew of the Enterprise E into his war with other god-like beings that could destroy the galaxy and the timeline! Some Spoilers Ahead.
Written by Scott Tipton & David Tipton
Illustrated by David Messina
Inked by Elisabetta D’Amico
Colored by Alexandra Alexakis
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
Set sometime after the final The Next Generation films, Captain Picard and the rest of the Enterprise crew are on their way to rendezvous with other Federation ships to assist with a planet-wide evacuation of Cestus, a planet at risk of being destroyed. Its sun is at risk of going supernova a few billion years before it should. This is the latest in a recent string of supernovae. Throughout the galaxy there have been about eight destroyed stars in a matter of days, when typically that many would go supernova in a year or more. As Commander Data is monitoring these unexplained disturbances a nearby star explodes causing minor damage to the Enterprise.
Upon arriving at Cestus with the entire planet’s population ready to evacuate, their star reverts back to its proper stage in evolution, all danger passing in the blink of an eye. With further investigation, Picard and the rest of the bridge crew start to suspect the being known as “Q.” When Picard’s suspicions turn out to be true, Q whisks him away to neutral ground. There he explains to Picard that he is locked in a battle of wits and power with other omnipotent beings from across the galaxy. In the past these beings have wreaked havoc on the crews of the Enterprise A, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Q pulls the crews from each vessel, at various points in the timeline to serve as proxies for each all-powerful being. Q continues to see them, especially Picard, as the very best humanity has to offer and wants to use them in this intergalactic battle, otherwise further destruction of stars and the known universe will ensue.
Right from the start “The Q Conflict” #1 overcomes a problem that so many previous “Star Trek” comic books have fallen into before. The dialogue hardly ever seems to sound like it is coming from the actors. It almost always comes off as generic science fiction techno-babble that is far too wordy, even for Trek. Writers Scott and David Tipton get it right here. Not only could I distinctly hear the actors speaking the lines for their respective characters, it felt true to this franchise.
The Tiptons give this comic a more cinematic scale which really takes this issue to a level above most of what is put out. Throughout the initial pages we get quick dialogue that captures the importance and urgency of these solar disasters. Seeing Picard, Riker, Data and Geordi jump into investigative mode is a real treat.
Daniel Messina’s pencils are solid, but occasionally flip flop from panel to panel. His planetary designs, uniform designs, and re-creation of the Enterprise E’s bridge are spot on. His technical eye for detail is at full strength there. He really does a great job, for the most part, capturing the likenesses of the actors, but he does lose his way in certain panels making for jarringly bad representations from time to time. Aside from a few ‘off’ faces, there are some odd character choices that unintentionally defy physics and hurt this issue which is truly, mostly filled with fantastic illustrations. “Star Trek” is one of the few franchises where the majority of characters have only been played by one actor for their entire existence so likenesses are incredibly important and when an artist fails to capture them properly it can take the reader out of the story quicker than in a comic where the characters are more open to interpretation.
Alexandra Alexakis’s colors are a star of this book. The way she plays with lighting is wonderful and her work feels completely at home in this franchise. As each t.v. series had it’s own distinct palette, she successfully blends them all together as the various characters cross paths. Layered with Elisabetta D’Amico’s inks, there is a real depth brought to the pages and it is without a doubt, one of the best “Star Trek” comics on shelves.Continued below
Typically when a “Star Trek” story throws too many characters together it feels forced and unwelcome. While there are better plot devices that could have been employed here, the stakes are high enough to mostly forgive its weaknesses. As powerful and exciting as Star Trek can be, it is always served best with a thin slice of cheese and “The Q Conflict” delivers all of that.
Final Verdict: 7.0, Blatant fan service aside, “Star Trek: The Q Conflict” is an entertaining and thoughtfully crafted comic with writing fans will absolutely appreciate.