ATTENTION: SPOILER ALERT!
You are all in for a treat Wednesday, as – not one, but two Star Trek comics hit the stands: IDW’s ongoing-series THE Q GAMBIT #37 and Harlan Ellison’s THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER. I was lucky enough to review these spectacular stories, today! Let’s just say, I am, once-again, in awe of the phenomenal writing teams and the sensational artwork gracing these pages. While Tipton2 and Woodward are setting-up the final act on CITY, Mike Johnson and IDW newcomer Tony Shasteen are halfway into the 6-part Q/DS9/TOS crossover that is sweeping Star Trek fans across the globe. Johnson has been hitting one home run, after-another; bringing us PARALLEL LIVES, I, ENTERPRISE, and LOST APOLLO over the past year; utilizing the talents of Yasmin Liang, Erfan Fajar and Joe Corroney to bring his stories to life.
Now, I’m thoroughly enjoying CITY, but THE Q GAMBIT is quickly becoming a personal favorite, for me: Issue 35 was my first exclusive sneak-peek, while Issue 36 succeeded in fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine; (my question was submitted and answered in the letter’s page, OPEN CHANNELS). As you’ll recall, VisionaryTrek.com was given the honor of helping to launch this new IDW feature. So, yeah…THE Q GAMBIT has a special place in all of our hearts, here.
Issue 37 picks up with Sisko and Kirk arriving on Klingon occupied Earth, or-rather, Tera. Things in this timeline are very different, following the disappearance of the Enterprise over a century, earlier; no thanks to Q, who has focused his prankish-talents on Captain James T. Kirk. Set-upon teaching Kirk a few lessons, Q has slung the ship and crew into the future, where the Federation no-longer exists and the Dominion rules the majority of the Alpha Quadrant; Gul Dukat is in command of Deep Space Nine and there’s no love between him and the would be Emissary.
This issue brings us more familiar faces: I saw Gowron in Sisko’s history briefing, plus – Kurn, Worf, Julian Bashir, Quark and Kira Nerys. Worf is the chancellor of the Klingon Empire, using Sisko as a spy against Dominion forces. While Kirk accompanies his ‘host’ to Earth, Spock, Bones and other crew members find themselves on Bajor, where they’re about to become embroiled in its resistance movement; they believe they’re about to save the galaxy. Little do they know, that Worf has been betrayed and, assassinated by the Founders; or, that Earth has been taken over by the Dominion.
Mike Johnson’s narrative paints a bleak picture of how far things have fallen in the Alpha Quadrant, but Q (disguised as a Cardassian), has assured Spock and McCoy that they will be reunited with Kirk; he just won’t say how, or – when. Johnson has twists in the Dukat front, as well; the madman has his sights set on retrieving a newly-acquired artifact on Bajor, one that could overthrow the Dominion, itself. I love it! There’s no telling where this story is going to go; plus – let’s not forget Q. He has his own tricks in this adventure, and who’s to guess what he might do when it’s all said, and done.
As for Tony Shasteen’s art, he continues to bang-out exceptional work; his likenesses are uncanny and his attention to details is remarkable. For instance: Kirk observes that the Klingons are ‘a little different than the ones he remembers,’ yet, the personal guard for Chancellor Worf are wearing those badass helmets we’ve seen in the rebooted movies. I love Tony’s renderings of the Defiant, as-well-as, his depictions of Dominion ships pouring-thru the wormhole, the Battle of Wolf 359, the skulls of slaughtered humans upon pikes, after the Klingon invasion, DS9 and Bajor’s surface.
On the covers front, Issue 37 has two: Tony Shasteen’s cover features Q, Worf, Kira, Spock and McCoy, the Defiant and what appears to be Bajor. The second is a photo-cover, featuring Worf in his DS9 Starfleet uniform; (I don’t understand the significance of using this particular image).
Needless-to-say, I wasn’t disappointed with this new installment and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. It seems, Mike and Tony have everything well-in-hand. I recommend that you grab this five-star series, for yourself, and let these guys take you to DS9!
‘Til, next-time, I’ll see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone