Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5
Alexandra Alexakis (Colours), Elisabetta D’Amico (Artist), David Messina (Artist), David Tipton (Writer), Scott Tipton (Writer), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
12 June, 2019
Having angered the powerful wormhole prophets in the previous issue, Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5 sees Q and his fellow immortal beings task their hapless charges—four Starfleet crews who have been commandeered for a contest—with kidnapping none other than the Borg Queen. Q has been skating on thin ice with this contest, but how will he respond to being taken to task about his antics? We’re about to find out.
The Borg are one of the most terrifying and fascinating Star Trek villains, so one can’t help but be excited at the prospect of them entering the fray this issue. Unfortunately, there isn’t nearly as much of the Borg as I would have liked, and that is disappointing.
Much of Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5 is spent on the inner conflicts within the Q Continuum. Q’s propensity for causing galaxy-destroying trouble earns him the wrath of his fellow Q, including that of Amanda, a young Q who was raised as a human. Little does Q know that Amanda’s affiliations to humanity are still strong. From what we’ve seen in this issue, I feel that Amanda is going to play an important part in turning the tide against the immortal gods.
I’m glad to see Guinan play a larger role in #5. Over the past couple of issues, Guinan has been showing up as a guide for Picard. With her extensive knowledge of the Q Continuum, and her otherworldly connections to the universe, Guinan’s insight is already proving valuable for Picard to get ahead in this contest. But I was a bit surprised at how many pages were dedicated to their conversation, which helped to relegate the Borg as merely a footnote in this book.
Though my primary grouse with this book is the lack of the Borg, I have a feeling we may be seeing more of them. There are clues laid throughout Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5 that there is more happening here than we have seen. Several forces have come into play that could affect the outcome of the contest, and the immortal war it is meant to stave off. One particular cameo in this book adds more credibility to this theory, and it will be interesting to see how this character’s presence will impact the story going forward.
What made Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5 extremely enjoyable though, were the interactions between the shuffled crews. I have spoken about how much I’ve enjoyed how David and Scott Tipton have handled Kirk’s relationship with Worf, and they continue to be a great team. I can’t help but notice every interaction between them, and each one has seemed well thought out and excellently handled.
But another of my favourite moments in this book came courtesy of Picard’s away team to the Borg cube. Seven of Nine is an obvious choice for the team, but Constable Odo has concerns about her, which he shares with Picard. It was good to see such a scene, because, let’s face it, anyone who has met the Borg is likely to be uncomfortable around Seven. I love that Picard, in typical Picard fashion, welcomes Seven’s presence, and insists that if Captain Janeway trusts Seven, he does too.
Of course, Seven overhears most of this conversation—she has encountered such fear several times before and we know that it bothers her, even though she understands why. I would have liked if the book dwelt on this moment a bit more, but the story takes another, rather interesting turn, which I hope will be further explained in the next issue.
Though the Borg were set up as the primary threat in this issue, it is evident that the real danger lies with Q and how fickle he can be when he doesn’t get his way. With the Starfleet crews gearing up to find a way out of this sham of a contest, one wonders whether—or rather when—Q will find out and what he might do in retaliation.
As the series has progressed, there have been more and more delightful Star Trek moments that have put a smile on my face. Star Trek: The Q Conflict #5 may not have had many of those moments—in fact, at one point, some of the crews face off against each other in a very un-Star Trek scene—but it is setting up an interesting twist in the story. We all know that Starfleet will prevail in the end. The question is, how will they do it?