Star Trek: Defiant #5 – Comic Review

Of all the call backs, cameos and returning cast members in the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, there was one person who felt conspicuous by her absence: Denise Crosby.

Okay, there was a nice little nod in there when Data recalled the holographic memorial which Tasha Yar had prepared in the event of her demise (which, you will note, is just the one letter adrift from ‘Denise’). Admittedly, it can be a little bit on the tricky side to bring a character back when they have boldly gone to that Undiscovered Country, although that is never really a complete block on someone’s return. Death is not the kind of setback in sci-fi which it tends to be in other fiction (except, maybe, soaps).

Just look at the resurrection of Mr Spock, for example. And as for the deceased Chief of Security, her rather pointless offing felt a bit like unfinished business. So much so in fact that the makers of The Next Generation even contrived a storyline – ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ – in which she finally got the kind of last hurrah and heroic send off which she deserved, albeit by creating an alternate timeline. However, there was quite the unexpected return for Crosby when she came back later on in the guide of Sela, the half-Romulan daughter of the Yar from that other reality.

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Sela came about after the alternate Yar went back in time at the end of ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’, but rather than vanishing when the timeline was reset, she ended up being captured by Romulans and – as a prisoner – became consort to a General, to whom she bore a daughter before being executed. As each season of Picard went on, speculation was rife as to just who would turn up as a blast from the past, and maybe inevitably it would be suggested Sela would get an appearance at some point, either as a minor guest star, or even that season’s ‘big bad’. But, no, it was not to be, Sela failing to get a moment in the spotlight.

It seems that Star Trek: Defiant scribe Christopher Cantwell is all too aware of this omission, and he brought Sela into the last issue, in a surprise twist of events. However, rather than this being just a crowd-pleasing but ultimately empty-calorie pointless affair, she actually has a role to play in the story. In bringing Sela back into the fold, artist Angel Unzueta really has done such an incredible job in capturing her appearance, and making her look so unmistakably Crosby. When it comes to comic spin-offs of TV and movie properties, likenesses of actors can be a little bit sketchy (pun intended) at times, but not so here in the case of Sela.

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When it comes to Star Trek, the big three alien races tend to be Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans. From time to time, we get to see the three sharing a screen (or page) together, but for the most part they tend not to all cross paths at once. In the bid to bring an end to Klingon Emperor Kahless’ maniacal scheme to use his ‘godkiller’ weapon again, we have a Vulcan (Spock) and a Klingon (Worf) in a rather uneasy alliance with a Romulan (Sela), joining forces in order to stop Kahless and his bunch of fanatical Red Path acolytes. It would seem that old adage about your enemy’s enemy still runs true, even in the latter part of the 24th Century.

Of course, the real endgame here is to bring both the TNG-era IDW Star Trek comic book titles – and all their assorted ragtag band of franchise-crossing crews – together in a big upcoming crossover event, dubbed Day Of Blood, and so far some of the pieces have been falling into place rather more easily or organically than others. Hopefully, with the first of that new series due to launch imminently, the overall story arc will be able to achieve critical mass, rather than being a Trek too far.

Star Trek: Defiant #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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