Today, we’ve come to the exciting final chapter in The Q Gambit. This series has been phenomenal, and its conclusion doesn’t disappoint, as we finally find out what Q has been up to. Sarah Gaydos and Mike Johnson have produced/written a story that is so real, you can see it playing out on the TV, and Tony Shasteen has brought it to vivid life with his beautiful art and spectacular covers (with an assist on colors for issues 39 and 40, by David Mastrolonardo). Fans across the globe have been singing this series’ praises and I agree with their assessment. The Q Gambit has been jam-packed with action and adventure, friends and foes, time travel, space battles, crossovers, and – Q, at his all time best. For me (and, I’m sure Michael Clark and Bunny Summers on The Holodeck agree, as well), this series has had all of the elements that make for great Star Trek!
The story, thus far: Q has hurled Capt. Kirk and crew over a century into the future, presumably to teach him a lesson about no-win scenarios. They find themselves in a universe where the Federation has been conquered, Earth is ruled by Klingons, the Prophets have been destroyed and the Alpha Quadrant is under the regime of a Cardassian/Founder alliance. Kirk meets Benjamin Sisko, and many other familiar faces, as they try to restore this timeline and return home. At the end of issue 39, Gul Dukat had taken possession of a Pah-Wraith, Sisko was joined with the last remaining Prophet and Q revealed that the universe’s fate (including the Q Continuum’s), rested in the hands of Capt. James T. Kirk and the choices he must make in the inevitable battle ahead.
Issue 40 opens on the bridge of the Defiant, with Q explaining the dire situation they are all in; that yes, Q is powerless to change the outcome and it is his hope that Capt. Kirk will triumph in this ultimate no win scenario. It seems that there is a battle raging between the Pah-Wraiths and their extra dimensional neighbors and the Q Continuum is on the verge of annihilation. Meanwhile, Gul Dukat meets the Pah-Wraiths in the wormhole with an ultimatum; he has lured the Sisko/Prophet there for them to destroy, but he wants to become a Pah-Wraith and leave his corporeal existence behind, joining them in their fight for dominance. Bringing Sisko, Kirk and Q aboard the Enterprise, Dukat proves the lengths he will go in his maniacal schemes. But, the conclusion (that no one will see coming) is brilliant, and it leaves us wondering what becomes of this particular future, as well as, the fate of Q, himself…
I just can’t recommend The Q Gambit enough. Mike Johnson has really outdone himself! The story is epic, the pacing has been fantastic and he truly loves these characters we all know and love so well. He’s woven a tapestry that brings this new movie crew, and – those of TNG and DS9 together flawlessly, sparking our imagination with a fresh adventure and a fascinating conclusion. I love how all these characters are written, but giving them, and this story, enough twists and turns to make it shiny and new, for all of us fans that can’t get enough Trek. As I’ve said, over and over: I can see this story airing as an episode, on my TV.
Plus, I’ve got to give Tony Shasteen the highest rating possible! His art has really taken this adventure to new heights and given these characters new life, in every sense of the word. The reason I can see it playing on a TV, is because Tony’s grasp of the characters and details is dead on accurate! The likenesses he is able to produce is just uncanny; you can see and feel Dukat’s madness, his thirst for power and complete control; Sisko’s quiet strength and confidence, that all will be restored; Kirk’s frustration and resolve, as he will not let Q cripple his ideals and core beliefs, that every situation has a solution. I have been astounded, again, and again, with both Tony and Mike, as each new issue has released; never disappointing, but leaving me captivated each and every time!
Overall, if you’re looking for a blow-you-away Star Trek adventure, give The Q Gambit a try. You will not be disappointed! It’s right up there with Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, the TNG/Doctor Who crossover, DC’s Debt of Honor and Marvel’s Mirror, Mirror. I give the story, art and covers five stars! Truly spectacular work from this IDW team, in every way possible.
Be sure to listen out for Mike and Bunny’s take on The Q Gambit, coming soon to The Holodeck, I’m sure. And, don’t miss IDW’s Star Trek/The Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive, which released a couple of weeks ago (and, I’ve learned from the Tipton Brothers, today, has gone to second printing!!)
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone