Writers: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Ángel Unzueta
Colors: Marissa Louise
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Covers: Malachi Ward; Ángel Unzueta; J.K. Woodward; Joëlle Jones; Bryan Hitch & Lee Loughridge
Release Date: September 6, 2022
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Star Trek Defiant #7 Review.
Worf, Sisko, and both of their crews are heading toward their final battles–if they can survive long enough to get there. “Day of Blood” charges forward. Each issue in the crossover has over delivered compared to the one before. Can STAR TREK DEFIANT #7 continue the trend?
Worf and Sisko reach Kahless’ tower in STAR TREK DEFIANT #7 and find themselves face to face with Alexander and the emperor himself. Worf and Alexander launch into hand to hand combat immediately. Sisko’s confrontation with Kahless is cut short when Kahless’ bird of prey opens fire on the Starfleet captain, apparently hitting him. Meanwhile in orbit, the wounded Defiant and Theseus face a stranger bird of prey. Defiant tries to take the heat off Theseus, but there’s only so much the heavily damaged ship can do. At one point Defiant is rammed by the bird of prey, all but destroying the ship. And as all of that happens, Worf and Alexander remain locked in mortal combat on the planet below.
STAR TREK DEFIANT #7 is a sprint from start to finish. With the characters reunited aboard ship (albeit in different combinations), the immediate feeling is that everyone is in their final places for the end game. The urgency is palpable. Mixing the ships’ crews also has the effect of offering a united front against Kahless’ forces. Certainly all the characters–Starfleet, renegade, and non-aligned–have been working toward the common goal of stopping the Klingon emperor. But the methods have at times been at cross purposes and not necessarily in support of each other. Much of these disagreements are solved here–even Ro and B’elanna find something to agree on. It’s an overly easy way to resolve these issues, but it is an efficient way to do so–or at least lay the groundwork for it to happen in future.
The struggle between Worf and Alexander is STAR TREK DEFIANT #7’s emotional core. Cantwell tracks the fractured father/son relationship all the way back to its early days on The Next Generation. As much as this is a fight to stop Kahless’ mad plans, it’s another chance–maybe the last chance–for Worf and Alexander to resolve their problems. Cantwell’s choice to end the issue on this conflict reinforces that for all the action in “Day of Blood,” the real core of it is the personal conflicts and none of those is greater than the adversarial relationship between these two men.
The Art & Letters
Space battles. Intense emotions. Personal combat. Unzueta must deliver it all in STAR TREK DEFIANT #7. He succeeds. The issue’s relentless pacing is made all the more effective because Unzueta doesn’t miss on any of it. The ship battle is easy to track even though it consists of a smattering of panels peppered through the issue. The detail of Defiant, crashed on the Klingon homeworld until the end of the previous issue, is impressive. It contrasts very well with Theseus and the Klingon ships that, despite the combat, don’t look nearly as battered. Intentionally or not, this reinforces Theseus’ relatively limited power in combat as even a heavily damaged Defiant can handle this situation better than the prototype starship. As exciting as these sequences are, though, they do not provide the issue’s standout art. The real emotional weight in the art comes during the Worf/Alexander fight. Unzueta captures Alexander’s rage (and later shock). This is already an emotionally charged sequence because of Cantwell’s dialogue and narration. Unzueta ratchets it up considerably.
Most of the space battles in this series standout because of Louise’s colors, and it’s no different here. Unzueta delivers solid detail in terms of the ships themselves, but ultimately Louise delivers the spectacle of the whole thing. Everything is bright in contrast with the background–whether the plain black of space or against stellar phenomena. An exploding bird of prey fits this especially. The orange and red overwhelms everything else on the page, With ship battles raging and different energies flying about, the lettering has the opportunity to shine. Cowles more than delivers. He changes up the coloring to sync up with many of the impacts, weapons fire, and other energy. As power builds in one sequence, letter outlines grow more separate from the letters themselves. It suggests very chaotic energies at work. The best use of sound effects comes when Defiant impacts a bird of prey and the letters themselves crack.
“Day of Blood” started off shaky in a few aspects, but with each issue the crossover has improved in quality. It’s a fair question whether the final issue can live up to what precedes. But that’s for another time. STAR TREK DEFIANT #7 is a gripping and energetic penultimate issue.