Warp Factor Trek

The Star Trek Fan Website

IDW has launched a new series with a DS9-themed crew, which has spun off from the untitled Sisko-led 24th-Century crossover storyline. This series, following on from the fifth issue of that parent series, introduces us to a rogue Worf of the House of Martok, taking the USS Defiant on a mysterious mission to track down a Klingon “godkiller” cult led by the clone of Emperor Kahless. The group, called “the Red Path”, has been using a superweapon to kill the galaxy’s most powerful entities. Captain Sisko — newly returned from the Prophets to try to stop them — has been put in command of the USS Theseus, with Data as first officer. Worf, learning that his son Alexander has joined Kahless’ cult, becomes an outlaw…


In his ready room aboard the Defiant, Worf aggressively finds himself locked out of the captain’s log computer system. However, Spock arrives and overrides the Starfleet lockout using his access code. This enables Captain Worf to make a log entry to bring us up to speed about the events since the fifth issue of the aforementioned ongoing comics line. Worf explains that he has stolen the Defiant and that Captain Sisko of the USS Theseus is also endeavouring to thwart the Red Path cult. Whereas Sisko sees doing so as a religious task because of his experiences with the Prophets, Worf has taken matters into his own hands by setting out to kill Kahless and bring back his son.

Alexander, son of Worf, and a fellow Red Path Klingon soldier

Rewind to “weeks ago” and Worf, acting impulsively, is fleeing the Theseus in a shuttle. Sisko has it shot down, and Worf makes an emergency beam-out, landing on Chaltok IV — a Romulan research outpost where he is swiftly captured. Fortunately, Ambassador Spock is there and demands Worf be released.

Spock explains that he’s working towards reunification, alongside many within the Romulan Empire. From Worf, he learns about the Red Path and their genocidal leader. Spock realises that Kahless’ unstable actions are destabilising the Klingon Empire — which could collapse, leading to war with the Federation, and might have even more destructive intergalactic repercussions. Bearing this threat in mind, Worf states that he needs a ship, selecting the USS Defiant as ideal for his purposes and recruiting Spock as his first officer. Their actions are secretly being monitored, though, by Commander Sela of the Tal Shiar.

Spock and Worf discussing the latter’s need of a starship

Worf and Spock, meanwhile, have stolen the Defiant from DS9 — off-page, as it were — and we time-cut to after the opening scene. Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres are having a little argument over comms. In fact, B’Elanna is on the Defiant while Tom is on the Theseus, and Worf and Sisko are with them, using the pair to each try to persuade the other to see things his way. B’Elanna discovers that a signal sent (in the parent series) from Kahless’ ship went to an Orion pirate ship: the Scarab. The Defiant is already on course for the pirate sector of Orion space, but the Orion Syndicate has blockaded it.

Worf has imprisoned another former Maquis — Ro Laren. Though his feelings about her criminal and/or undercover Starfleet actions in the past are complex, he recruits her as his pilot in order to get past the Orion Syndicate’s blockades.

A Klingon political insider is consulted by Worf

Next, Worf puts through a call to a trusted ally on Qo’nos, a Klingon female called D’Enok, whom he briefly consults about the political crisis from the Klingon homeworld’s perspective. Starfleet meanwhile issues an alert about the theft of the Defiant.

Worf and Spock then go to consult “Science” about the Crystalline Entities. “Science” is sealed in a vault, with lots of Borg Queen-like tubes and cables holding it– it’s Lore…

Spock and Worf pay a visit to Lore


This is meant to have the vibe of an in-media-res cold open, with exposition filled in by flashback. By about halfway through the issue, this actually works fine, if leaving a lot of frustration about it being a spinoff from another still-ongoing story. The pages that are all text on PADDs, like Sela’s report, are annoying too, with eye-watering colour text on black.

Other frustrations include the all-important theft of the Defiant not shown at all, but merely reported in a text alert. Most people say “show, don’t tell” but storytelling is called that for a reason, so telling the story would have worked. Reporting that a thing happened without even telling how… That isn’t storytelling. Ditto for how B’Elanna and Ro joined. We need to have seen them recruited, or at least met, by Worf or Spock. At least with Lore, his appearance is meant to be a shock mystery for the cliffhanger.

The imprisoned Ro is visited by B’Elanna and Worf

And who is D’Enok? Is she standing in for a character they didn’t have the rights for, or appeared in a previous comic? She’s not in the issues of the parent series, so some idea of who she is in Worf’s world would be nice.

Apart from these complications, the dialogue and caption writing is all good. The characters feel like themselves, if a little further developed over the years — you can, perhaps coincidentally, see the roots of Worf’s Picard persona here. Meeting Spock does involve a huge amount of coincidence, though, massively stretching suspension of disbelief.

The art is great — a little lacking in action, as most of the issue is people standing around talking — with a perfect blend of detail, stunning likenesses, and good framing. Even scenes with empty skies have lovely colour variations that hold the eye and keep the scenes interesting. It’s certainly far better art than Strange New Worlds: The Illyrian Enigma had.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Readers of the untitled comics line will get more out of this issue, but having this initial Defiant tale be a series of flashbacks to bring us up to speed means it does still work as a jumping-on point. Mostly. It’s a promising opening for ongoing readers and the more choosy or newbies, but it also threatens to be a crossover where important details are confusing or omitted.

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