In Review: Star Trek: The Q Conflict #4

This ultimate Star Trek crossover is one to collect!

The covers: Three covers to pick up and you don’t need the guidance of the Prophets to do so. The A cover connects with the B and both are illustrated by David Messina and colored by Alessandra Alexakis. The A is the left side of the large image, with four circles on the far left containing the faces of Picard, Date, Sisko, and Nerys, The B has Kirk, Spock, Janeway, and Seven of Nine on the far right. When combined the two covers have the Bajoran wormhole in the center, which, as you know, is where the Prophets reside. This is the perfect tease of what this issue focuses on. The characters look great and the colors are perfect. The Retailer Incentive cover is by George Caltsoudas and features a Vulcan woman with red hair holding a torch. She is within a black cube on one of its points. Emerging from each side are, going clockwise, the Reliant, Voyager, the Enterprise, and the Enterprise-E. The interior of the cube is the black void of space, while outside it is ivory. The Latin words Sequitur Omnia Astra are just under the figure. Very appropriate. Overall grades: A A, B A, and Retailer Incentive B

The story: Picard goes to Guinan’s quarters to get help from her on Q. She admits that Q always has an ulterior motive for what he does, but she’s doesn’t know what it is. Although she adds, “I’ve never seen Q like this before. This conflict has made him desperate, even a little unhinged.” After he leaves her quarters, Q appears and tells everyone that the next match is to begin. Teleporting the four captains to the exterior of Deep Space Nine he tells them “I don’t care how you do it, simply get the Prophets’ attention. Make them peek their heads out and say hello.” That’s one heck of a challenge crafted by Scott Tipton & David Tipton. Each crew has different ideas about to win this challenge, though my money was on the Emissary from the start. That said, there’s no conclusion to this competition, with it being concluded next issue. The characters are absolutely true to their television and film counterparts, with some neat foreshadowing on Page 2, panel five and Page 6, panel two. There’s one heck of a heartbreaking moment on 13 and an outstanding reveal for the cliffhanger. Who isn’t appearing in this tale by the Tiptons? This is a fan’s dream come true. Overall grade: A+

The art: I freely admit my disappointment at seeing David Messina was not illustrating this issue. However, when I saw the pencils by Silvia Califano with inks by Elisabetta D’Amico my heart rose, because this book looks good! The characters look fantastic, starting with excellent interpretations of Picard and Guinan, and how could anyone not smile at the look the bartender gives at the end of Page 2? The exterior of Deep Space Nine looks terrific, with the wormhole outstanding. I love the dramatic gesticulations of Q on 5 and Sisko’s harsh retort. The intensity on Q that ends the page would make John de Lancie proud. I can happily say that the images on 13 tore my heart out and characters on 14 thrilled me. I loved the collection of individuals at the bottom of 15. For all the cosmic events in this issue, they are captured very well with the bottom of 16 starting things off great and kicking it up to the next level on 17 – 19, ending with a terrific tease on 20. I love how those last two characters look just like they did on television. My hat’s off to these artists for superior visuals. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Alessandra Alexakis also does a strong job on the visuals with the colors matching those from the shows. I love the lighting effects in every panel, too, with the first page being wonderful lit. Guinan’s violet colored garb is immaculate. The crimson robes of Q have him as a stand out whenever he appears. The wormhole is really impressive; I know it was a bear to get right on television, but I would think getting it colored perfectly in a comic would been ten times as hard, but Alexakis makes it beautiful and strong. The light violets on 13 and 14 are great. The colors on the final two characters solidified whom I thought them to be. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue and transmissions (the same font), scene settings, and yells are crafted by Neil Uyetake. There’s one sound effect in the issue, a snap from Q, but it looks to have been created by the artist and inker. Everything Uyetake creates looks good, with the scene settings standing out for their size and being in italics. And I know it may not be Uyetake’s decision, but isn’t supposed to be Deep Space Nine, not Deep Space 9? It’s spelled out at the beginning of every episode. And I do wish that the the dialogue and transmissions had been in a different font rather than differed by the shape of the balloons that contain them. Overall grade: A- 

The final line: This ultimate Star Trek crossover is one to collect! The mixing of crews is a great way to see how they interact with one another and an excellent way to introduce characters to fans if they never followed their shows. The story is fun, with Q being an absolute delight, and the visuals capturing the characters and settings flawlessly. This is a Trek that must be owned. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/star-trek-the-q-conflict-4/

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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