Star Trek: Defiant Issue #3 in Review
Worf, B’Elanna Torres and Ro Laren are now captured by Orion pirates aboard the Scarab… This issue starts where we left off, a nice change from the “several days ago” flashback storytelling of the previous issues.
The Orion captain tells his Starfleet captives that they will be sold to the highest bidder and orders his men to destroy the Defiant, aboard which Spock is conversing over the comms with (what eventually becomes clear is) Lore. At the same time, aboard the Scarab, an Orion female pirate — thinking about a story her grandmother told her about an Orion and a Gorn — steals an old-style Starfleet phaser and hypospray.
Interspersed by a couple of text reports from Commander Sela and the Tal Shi’ar, Spock works to prevent a warp core breach aboard the Defiant from all the damage the Scarab has caused, while Ro and B’Elanna argue to start a fight between them that distracts their guards and allows them and Worf to escape into the Scarab’s corridors. A running battle ensues, until Worf is shot. Lore continues to try to persuade Spock to let him do more, pointing out that only his android body can safely enter the reactor coolant chamber to effect repairs. Spock, of all people, knows that one.
The Orion female, now tooled up, rescues the Starfleet trio, giving them the TOS-era phaser and hypospray, and injecting Worf with an overdose of Klingon adrenaline, turning him into a raging berserker wiping the floor with Orion pirates. She also points out a stash of real trilithium, which B’Elanna insists on taking out of the Orions’ hands. This they manage to do, beaming back to the Defiant, whose counterattack is driving the Scarab off. Despite his wound, Worf stumbles to the bridge — only to find a fully embodied Lore sitting in the command seat…
This issue has a lovely cover of Ambassador Spock thinking in the command chair. It’s like the image of Conan wearing his crown upon a troubled brow at the end of the two Schwarzenegger movies. This comic is also now tagged on the cover as being a lead-in to an upcoming crossover, Day of Blood.
The opening of the story told in this issue is somewhat confusing, what with speech and caption bubbles for Lore and comm voices being the same, with no names mentioned. Adding to the disorientation, caption bubbles for the Orion female’s thoughts are scattered through both ships’ scenes, even in scenes she’s not in. Her recollections of the story she tells are clearly meant to be a voiceover, although actual voiceover would have worked so much better than in this medium. That said, the pacing works well, once it’s clear who’s saying or thinking what.
The action is really picking up here, and good exciting fun it is too. The art is maintaining its high quality throughout and is now bringing dynamism into the mix, with action scenes and dramatic poses.
There’s a temptation to wonder if the Orion female is meant to be Tendi, since the general tone of her having a piratical family backstory fits, and Shaxs did just turn up in the unnamed parent series. However, nothing is said about her name or motivations here, beyond possibly the inference of the Gorn story that her chain-of-thought tells us.
The Ro/B’Elanna tension gets put to good use this time out, though its origin is still a bit wonky. Meanwhile, Lore playing upon Spock’s logic is the dramatic dialogue highlight of the issue.
In short, this continues to be an exciting runaround. It has great art and questions to make you want to know the answers — albeit not necessarily the intended ones.
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.