Every Trek nerd ever has had the classic debate: “which captain is better?” IDW is out to settle that argument once and for all with The Q Conflict.

Star Trek: The Q Conflict Variant Cover

Written by Scott and David Tipton, the same team behind Mirror Broken, The Q Conflict delivers a strong entry into the Star Trek universe. A war between several advanced races (The Q Continuum, Trelane – The Squire of Gothos, the Organians, and the Metrons) has spilled over into normal space. The result? Several stars go supernova and destroy their systems. While investigating the unusual activity, Picard realizes Q is involved. Of course, he inadvertently puts himself and other notable characters from Trek’s past directly into the middle of the conflict.

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Star Trek: The Q Conflict, Issue 1

Most of the first issue spends its time on the Enterprise – D with Captain Picard and his crew. They’re on their way to evacuate a planet that’s in danger from an upcoming supernova, and to investigate the cause. During the mission, Picard sees a barrier in space much like the one in Encounter at Farpoint. He realizes Q is involved and calls him out. (From here we get a bunch of exposition about the conflict. It’s due to a few “slightly more advanced races” believing themselves to be equals to The Q .)

The Q, consequently, feels the need to put those other races in their place. Picard, being who he is, takes a jab at Q’s perceived superiority and gives him crap for going to war over their egos. As a result, Q decides humanity should be the intermediary in the conflict. He takes Picard to meet the reps from the other races who all agree to a “game”.

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Then, with a flash, everyone else is whisked away from their ships (or space stations) to this new playground. The issue ends with each of the captains having been assigned to represent one of the races in the games. Picard, of course will be playing for the Q. Kirk for Trelane, Janeway for the Metrons, and Sisko for the Organians. The issue ends with a cliffhanger asking the obvious question: who is going to fill out the teams?’

Overall Thoughts

As I mentioned in the headline, this is all very “Battleworld”. The premise take all of our favorite characters and pits them against each other to see who will come out on top. I’m pretty sure that over the course of the series we’ll see them try to outsmart their captors and work together to make sure they all make it out in one piece. Predictability isn’t always bad though. Just because I know (or think I know) what the basic plot points are going to be, that doesn’t mean I know exactly how they’re going to play out or who might pop up down the line.

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One complaint I had is that I felt like the issue ended a little too quickly. I’m not going to throw out my fan-fic suggestions for what could have been added. Nevertheless, there’s definitely a few different options they could have chosen to extend it an extra page or two. I’m sure now that the set-up is over, the following issues will feel more substantial, so I’m not going to knock it for that. If this were a 2-part episode of the show, the end of the issue would have been somewhere around the 3rd commercial break or about halfway through the first part. It was more than enough to hook me for the rest. It’s just that instead of having to wait a few minutes through the ads, I have to wait a month for the next issue. . . but I’ll definitely be back for the next issue.