Warp Factor Trek

The Star Trek Fan Website

This issue begins a brand new series of Star Trek comics. Is it engaging? Does it drive the reader towards a black hole of mediocrity?

Log Entry

Reunited with his son Jake and daughter Sarah on Deep Space 9, Captain Sisko talks with them and Nog. He is proud of both Nog, who has been posted to the USS Burton, and Jake, who plans to attend the Pennington School. Jake wants to interview Alexander Rhozhenko about his former involvement in the Red Path cult. However, Captain Sisko encourages Jake to tell his own story instead. Kasidy Yates interrupts, apologetically drawing Captain Sisko away. Sarah and Jake say goodbye to each other.

Sarah waves goodbye to Jake

Accompanied by Nog, Jake visits Alexander in DS9’s brig. Alexander says the Red Path was the only place he ever felt welcome and, when Jake mentions Worf’s name, he lashes out at his visitors. Q Junior appears, offering to take them to a world where he can help them. Alexander sceptically refers to the Q’s powers as “sorcery” but, with a snap of his fingers, Q Junior transfers them anyway.

Alexander, Jake and Nog arrive aboard the Avery — a bizarre starship where the very mixed crew members, including themselves, wear Starfleet uniforms unlike any they’ve seen before. Shaw is an engineer here, and Alexander is in the medical division. Jake and Nog are stunned to see Jadzia Dax still alive but Jake is eager to return to Sarah. When a red alert sounds, the triumvirate realises that, in this reality, Starfleet is at war with the Breen. Jake is called upon to pilot the ship by Dukat, who is the Avery’s captain. Just then, the Breen destroy the Avery.

The Avery blows up, under fire from the Breen

A captain’s log reveals that Starfleet has been at war with the Breen since first contact between them a decade ago. The Avery has been assigned to keep planet Dozaria, the last Federation dilithium stronghold, out of Breen control.

Q Junior has reset the timeline. He warns Jake to take the pilot station this time but, as Alexander says, they can’t fly a ship. Jake is resolute about returning to his family.

With Alexander and Nog on either side of him, Jake speaks determinedly about getting back to his family

Status Report

This issue starts with a log entry that strangely describes the story, written by Morgan Hampton, as relating to “humanity’s foray into the unknown in search of a piece of themselves among the stars.” Bizarrely, this is combined with a variety of starship settings (apparently including the Enterprise-E bridge and Captain Janeway’s ready room aboard Voyager) that include an Andorian on the bridge of Sisko’s ship.

On the subject of Captain Sisko, the reader is just supposed to accept that he’s returned, with absolutely no explanation for this plot point given. The event happened in a currently ongoing unnamed series of Star Trek comics, although no direct indication that this is a spinoff of that series is provided.

The log entry is apparently by Benjamin Sisko. He mentions being glad to be back on Deep Space 9 with “you two,” though he’s then shown speaking with a group of three characters: Jake, Sarah, and Nog. It’s as if Sarah’s presence in the scene was an afterthought. Him ignoring his own daughter, speaking about her as if she’s not there, is extremely weird.

Captain Sisko talking to Jake and Nog… but not Sarah!

Although Captain Sisko expressing pride in both Jake and Nog seems to make sense for him, Sisko talking as if he knows more about writing than Jake does is illogical and undermines his own son. Starfleet is oddly portrayed as a Homo sapiens-only club where aliens like Nog are disrespected. The occurrence of characters interrupting each other is overdone in the comic’s initial scene, though it’s good to see the return of Kasidy Yates and (from the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Q2”) Q Junior. Alexander’s irritation, with firstly Jake mentioning Worf and secondly Q Junior appearing, is believable.

The rest of the story is more effective and less problematic than the first act. It’s great to see returning faces from across the Star Trek franchise — including Tuvix, Mariner, Shaw, and a talkative (for once!) Morn. The title of this comics series — “the sons of Star Trek” — incidentally makes the reappearance of Shaw, Tuvix and Morn particularly thought-provoking. For example, could Neelix and Tuvok be considered Tuvix’s fathers? And what of Morn’s and Shaw’s parents?

Avery crew members welcome Alexander Rhozhenko to their crew

Also shedding some interesting light on another canonically mysterious element is the return of the Breen. The varying attitudes between Jake, Nog and Alexander in how they should respond to the situation are fantastic. Seeing Dukat as a Federation captain is thrilling too. Jake describing him, in the Prime Timeline, as “the reason Sarah didn’t know her father for three years” appropriately gives that plot point some weight. Particularly endearing is the time-repeating cliffhanger in which Jake emotes his determination to return to his family.

This issue is available with three different covers — A, B, and a Retailer Incentive Cover. While all three covers are artistically brilliant, Cover A, by Jake Bartok, is the most relevant to what this issue is about. By comparison, Cover B, by Hayden Sherman, excludes Nog and is strangely focused on DS9’s brig. The Retailer Incentive Cover, by Andy Price, is also misleading, featuring Jake and his father at the Sisko family restaurant in New Orleans, together with an overly cropped body. It presumably belongs to Jake’s grandfather Joseph, who — like his restaurant — has nothing to do with this issue.

Cover B and the Retailer Incentive Cover for this issue
Delta3
Rating: 3/5

The interior art in this issue, by Angel Hernandez, looks extremely vague and doesn’t convincingly match the likenesses of the characters. That said, the colours and lettering are commendable. It’s also good to see so many iterations of Star Trek featured in the same issue as each other, even though the overdependence on reader familiarity is in very bad taste. There are several ways the comic could have gotten around this, such as by explaining on the front cover that this is a spinoff of another IDW series or, as some comics have previously done, with the use of footnotes. The fact none of these are used is unfortunate, as are a couple of typos in this issue. Ultimately, though, the visit to what seems to be an alternate timeline is thrilling and the prospect of more adventures in this realm excites.

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