Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6
Alexandra Alexakis (colours), Elisabetta D’Amico (artist), David Messina (artist), David Tipton (writer), Scott Tipton (writer), Neil Uyetake (letters)
24 July, 2019
Four Starfleet crews—Enterprise A, Enterprise D, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager—have been commandeered for a contest. The winner will decide the fate of a war being fought among godlike beings: Q, Trelane, Metron, and Ayelborne. But the contest has been getting steadily more dangerous; if the Starfleet crews are to prevail, they have to act. Now.
Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6 takes off from where the previous issue left off—with Amanda, a Q who was raised as a human, Wesley Crusher, and the Traveller, offering to help bring down Q. And with Q’s newest task for the crews, this help is more than necessary.
I love that the red herring of this issue lies with an oft-derided episode of Star Trek: Voyager: ‘The Omega Directive.’ Q asks the teams to create an Omega molecule, which Voyager fans will recognise as a dangerous substance, capable of destroying subspace. In ‘The Omega Directive,’ Seven of Nine was obsessed with creating it due to her quest for perfection—a hangover from her life as a Borg. That it should play a role in Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6 got me very excited.
Of course, this being the conclusion of the miniseries, the Omega molecule had little to do with the story. However, it did serve as a convenient plot device that led to the eventual resolution of the narrative. The Omega particle being so inherently dangerous gave the crews impetus to take action against Q. Once that decision is made, the story heads to a thrilling conclusion that has everything a Star Trek fan could want from a comic book.
The denouement of this series sees all the crews collude to fight Q, who throws everything at them in retaliation. What we get are pages of the most epic fight scenes as the teams break off into well-loved pairs, fighting everything from Borg and Salt creatures to multiple Mugatos and Melkotians. It’s the stuff of nightmares for the crews, but for a Star Trek fan, it’s pure heaven. I couldn’t help but study every panel, pointing excitedly at the familiar beings who crossed my path. This is Star Trek!
But even more than the numerous aliens and monsters, it was great to see the teams split up. I’ve loved the character moments in this series and I’m thrilled that Star Trek: The Q Conflict takes time out of its action scenes to give us more of those.
We see Sulu running to Chekov’s aid as Jadzia Dax rescues them. Riker helping a startled Harry Kim. Banter between Tom Paris and Chakotay. The resident Vulcans, Spock and Tuvok, logic-ing their way through bad guys. I love these moments and these panels. This is what comic books can do—they can take universes we know and love and give us more than we could ever have imagined. Can you tell that I loved this book? Because I definitely did.
Especially since the MVP of Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6 turned out to be someone I really didn’t expect. It’s the quiet and unassuming ones who end up surprising you. This book runs with that concept, giving readers an exhilarating set of panels that were the highlight of this series.
Writers David and Scott Tipton felt the MVP’s actions needed further explanation. Adding a few crucial panels to the end of the book helped readers understand what was going through the MVP’s mind for his mission. It’s something that could have been left to the imagination, but would have rankled for readers without these clarifications. I’m glad the Tiptons wrote it like they did because I definitely enjoyed it.
With this series now ending, I can’t not talk about the art. I do like it, especially as capturing the grand scale of the interiors of these starships couldn’t have been easy. The character work, however, was something I found iffy throughout the series, but even more so in Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6. While the captains generally have their features drawn to match their live-action counterparts, the rest of the crew didn’t fare as well. There are some crucial scenes where the characters deliberately say each other’s names so the reader can identify them. I do wish it wasn’t necessary to adopt this technique, but it doesn’t take too much away from the reading experience.
As a conclusion to a series, I couldn’t have asked for anything better than Star Trek: The Q Conflict #6. Though we didn’t have the Borg we were promised in the previous issue, what we did get were amazing character moments and spine-chilling action, in several Star Trek-like scenes that could make a grown person grin from ear to ear. I’m still smiling.