Star Trek: Defiant Issue #2 in Review
A rogue Worf is taking the USS Defiant on a mysterious mission in pursuit of the “godkillers” led by Emperor Kahless. Worf is aided in this mission by Ambassador Spock, B’Elanna Torres, Ro Laren and, as it turned out in the previous issue’s cliffhanger, Lore.
How did Lore get aboard? Well, that’s pretty much the story told in this issue. Yes, like with the previous one, this issue’s story is mostly a “how we got to this point” flashback…
Captain Worf records a supplemental log entry to explain why he and Spock have reactivated the “android terrorist” Lore. And so, the next panel jumps to a few days before…
Kazis IX has been destroyed by Kahless’ godkillers, with the destruction bearing all the hallmarks of an attack by a Crystalline Entity, which are now extinct at the hands of the godkillers. Visiting the planet’s destroyed surface, Spock and Worf find a weapons signature in the desolation and deduce that Kahless has somehow not just killed the Crystalline Entities but harnessed their power for his own arsenal. Returning to the Defiant, they realise they need an expert on the effects of the Entities, and Worf knows one.
In his log, Worf explains that, after Lore’s disassembly, his parts were sent for guarding and study by Section 31 to a top secret facility called “Dead Moon 1”. Planning to steal only his positronic brain to use as a resource, Spock and Worf don ninja gear and infiltrate the facility. Unfortunately, they are rumbled and have to snatch Lore then escape in a hurry. This means they don’t have time to separate Lore’s brain from the pile of bits and have to beam the whole lot back to the Defiant. Fleeing the Dead Moon 1 facility, Worf is impressed by Spock’s physicality for his age.
We now catch up to them talking to Lore’s head, continuing from the end of last issue. Lore claims that he’s sorry and calmer now, without the emotion chip, and starts helping them to figure out how a Crystalline Entity’s powers could be fitted to a Klingon Bird-of-Prey.
Meanwhile, the Defiant has reached the Orion blockade — a minefield separating Orion pirate space from the rest of the galaxy. After some more arguing between B’Elanna and Ro about who was the more devoted and/or sensible Maquis, Ro pilots the ship through the minefield, only to come face-to-face with the Scarab, the Orion pirate ship that recently made a deal with Kahless’ Red Path cult of so-called “godkillers”. Claiming to be the captain of the stolen Defiant, Ro asks for the transponder code that she knows the Orions will have copied from the Klingon ship. She offers to trade trilithium for the transponder code. The Orion captain agrees, if she will beam aboard their ship with it.
With some fake trilithium rigged to fool Orion scans, Ro, B’Elanna and Worf transport about the Scarab, pretending to be Maquis. The faux trilithium passes as genuine — at which point the Orions draw weapons and their captain orders the Defiant’s destruction…
Once again, we have a fair chunk of flashback storytelling. The cliffhanger is fairly predictable and the heist of Lore is perhaps a little too easy. It’s odd that all his pieces were just in boxes, with his head at the top, and even odder that Worf didn’t just grab the head and run.
Once again, the art and likenesses are excellent – with the exception of the Scarab, which looks very 1990s DC Trek as well as awfully like a Space Invaders sprite from some angles – as is the dialogue. The relationship between Ro and B’Elanna is a bit weirdly fractious for relatively little reason, though, and Lore is… a bit of a mystery, perhaps. He certainly doesn’t fit that well with his appearance in Picard, though neither does Data’s presence on the Theseus in the comics from which this spun off (the first six issues of which have been given the title “Godshock” for the upcoming first omnibus volume of that series).
Anyway, despite these niggles and a cliffhanger you can see coming from a parsec off, this is a nice improvement on the first issue, and really getting into an exciting story. Let’s hope it keeps up.
David A McIntee is a writer and historian who has written for properties such as Doctor Who, Star Wars, Final Destination, and Stargate, as well as having written several adventures in the Star Trek franchise for Pocket Books. He has contributed many pieces to the magazines Star Trek Explorer (née Star Trek Magazine) and Star Trek Communicator, as well as having written nonfiction books about Star Trek: Voyager.