Star Trek: Defiant #7 – Comic Review

Beyond all of the boldly going to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and civilisations, one of Star Trek’s big strengths has been in its characters and their relationships. A lot of important stories have revolved around fathers and sons, going all the way back to when the show was initially on air in the 1960s, beginning with the distance which had grown between Spock and Sarek.

As the series later blossomed into a franchise, we began to see more tales of filial connections, with James T. Kirk first coming to terms with a paternal role after he unexpectedly ran into his estranged son David Marcus in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, only to then lose him so soon after. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Leonard McCoy had to revisit the heartbreaking choice he made in euthanising his suffering father, only to learn a short time later that a cure had been found for the condition.

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With the advent of subsequent shows, we saw a three-way relationship between Benjamin Sisko, his father Joseph and his son Jake, as he got to grips with being a single parent in Deep Space Nine. With Enterprise, Captain Jonathan Archer looked to make good on the legacy of his late dad, the feted warp engineer who helped mankind take its first steps into deep space. Anyone who has seen the third and final season of Picard will know the major paradigm shift which occurred as one of the Next Generation crew discovered he suddenly had an heir, upending his whole world.

Father-son stories would feature significantly in TNG, with Worf being at the core of many of them. Having been raised from a young age by humans, he later had to come to terms with his Klingon heritage, including the egregious wrong his real father Mogh had been done. Worf would later encounter his own son, Alexander, with the two having quite a strained and troubled relationship. Here, that pair’s story comes to a head, alongside that of the metaphorical ‘father’ of Klingon society, Kahless – or, to be more accurate, a clone of Kahless, intent upon killing all ‘gods’ across the cosmos.

In this latest chapter of IDW’s Star Trek: Day Of Blood saga, Worf and Alexander meet face-to-face once more, now on opposing sides, and find themselves in a fight possibly to the death. Angel Unzueta‘s dynamic artwork perfectly captures the dramatic hand-to-hand conflict between father and son across several pages, with some bold choices being made on framing and layout to help keep things visually interesting, offering some real variety. Marissa Louise’s use of colour just pops off the page, with vibrant and vivid hues, from majestic cosmic wonders to urgent, explosive action, and all points in between.

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The initial novelty value of having a cavalcade of heroes from across the reaches of the Trek franchise has worn off, leaving – thankfully – something far more substantial in its place. It now no longer feels such an oddity to have Scotty and Spock rubbing shoulders with the likes of Shaxs from Lower Decks, and writer Christopher Cantwell has made the mismatched, rather unlikely group work as a single unit, as the combined forces of the Starships Theseus and Defiant unite to try and stave off the onslaught of Kahless’ Red Path acolytes above the surface of Qu’noS, with the bloody civil war intensifying as Kahless’ plan moves to its next phase.

Star Trek: Defiant has managed to recover well from its brief stumble with the last issue, and gained some real urgency as events move towards the endgame. Will the upcoming finale fail to stick the landing? Let us trust in the creative team that nothing could be fa(r)ther from the truth.

Star Trek: Defiant #7 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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