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STAR TREK: DEFIANT (2023-) #2 Review

Neil reviews the latest issue of IDW Publishing’s STAR TREK: DEFIANT, available now in print and on digital where all good comic books are sold.



Star Trek: Defiant #1 (IDW Publishing)

Star Trek: Defiant #2 is published by IDW Publishing and written by Christopher Cantwell. Artwork is by Ángel Unzueta, colours by Marissa Louise and letters by Clayton Cowles. Main cover art (left) is also by Unzueta.

Star Trek: Defiant #2 is available now, in print and on digital platforms where all good comic books are sold.


Convinced that the only hope to prevent planetary genocide lies in understanding how the power of the gods is being harvested, Captain Worf and first officer Spock set the stolen Defiant on course to break into a highly guarded Section 31 outpost to recruit the highest computing mind in the galaxy-Lore!


Second issues are so often where a new series lives or dies. In fact, I’m having déjà vu for another second issue review I’ve published just this week. To get noticed in this crowded marketplace puts an incredible amount of pressure on a debut issue. The consequence meaning that issue #2 often struggles to live up to the same standards.

By definition, a second issue has to provide much needed context to ongoing storylines. It needs to provide narrative thrust which doesn’t get so bogged down in exposition that it grinds everything else to a halt. Luckily for us we’re in the hands of a master with Christopher Cantwell. Star Trek: Defiant started strong last month and only gets better with issue #2.

What’s striking about this series – and a real testament to Cantwell’s writing – is that I can hear each of the original actors reading the dialogue this month. I commented last month that I felt like Cantwell had captured the voices of Spock, B’Elanna and Worf incredibly well. That’s still true. But it’s now so true that it’s impossible not to hear Nimoy, Dawson and Dorn whilst reading. If that’s not a rousing endorsement then nothing is.

There is plenty of context and that does mean issue #2 is dialogue heavy. Between Worf’s internal monologue and his conversation with Spock there’s a lot to take. It steps back in time to explain why they needed Lore to progress their plans before coming full circle. That step back to fill in the blanks acts like a slingshot. When the story catches up to itself the impact perfectly shifts Defiant in to warp drive.

Issue #2 continues to run in parallel to the narrative of the main Star Trek series. With explanations out of the way, this month Defiant is able to run even more independently. With a set mission for Worf and co., the series is able to enrich the overall universe without pressuring the audience to read both titles. Much like the fleet of small-screen Trek series, there’s something for everyone. Defiant is the smaller-scale personal mission for Worf whilst the main series the broader scope, universe-engulfing fight for survival.

This issue is heavy on character interaction and properly digs in to the classic-Trek trop of the ensemble cast. The beauty of this medium is that characters who can never share the screen – RIP Leonard Nimoy – can interact with the likes of Worf, Ro and B’Elanna. As fans we get to live out our wildest Trek dreams and that’s certainly a huge draw here.

Once again I can’t fault Ángel Unzueta for honouring the design of the U.S.S. Defiant and of the actors who portrayed these legendary characters. Everything about the visuals of Star Trek: Defiant is consistent with last month. It ticks all the right boxes for sitting in the kind of sweet spot that will please any Trek fan without compromising the artists creativity. The great thing about an IP like Trek is the scope of these stories allow artists plenty of room to go wild outside of keeping the core elements familiar to long-time fans.


Building on last month’s debut issue, Star Trek: Defiant #2 is a triumph of storytelling within the Trek universe. Masterfully written and exceptionally well rendered, Defiant is giving the main Trek series a run for its money.



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