Star Trek: The Q Conflict is a six-part comics miniseries produced by IDW Publishing, started in January 2019. The series was written by Scott & David Tipton with art by David Messina. The series is a crossover between The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
|Title/Number||Issue 1||Issue 2||Issue 3||Issue 4||Issue 5||Issue 6|
|Published||30 January 2019||27 February 2019||20 March 2019||22 May 2019||12 June 2019||24 July 2019|
The Enterprise-E crew investigates an unusually high number of local supernovae—eight within two days—and prepares to evacuate Cestus III before its star explodes as well. Inexplicably, the Cestus star returns to normal, but the ship is caught in a familiar energy web. Q appears and explains that every few thousand eons, some other advanced species challenges the Q for supremacy of the universe. The novae are the result of their war. Picard decries Q and his war threatening the entire galaxy, so Q decides to engage in a proxy war, whisking the crews of the Enterprise 1701, Enterprise-E, Defiant, and Voyager from disparate points in time to serve as champions.
Q assembles everyone in a garden and suggests the proxy war to his opponents—Trelane, the Organian Ayelborne, and a Metron. The Starfleet crews object but grudgingly agree in order to stop the omnipotent war from further endangering the galaxy, and set ground rules—no killing, no altering the timeline, and no cheating by Q. The gods choose their teams. Fighting for Q are Picard, Spock, Dr. Crusher, Seven of Nine, Odo, La Forge, and Uhura. Trelane chooses Kirk, McCoy, Worf, Jadzia Dax, Tuvok, O'Brien, and Quark. Ayelborne is represented by Sisko, Chakotay, Data, Sulu, Bashir, Troi, and Kim, and the Metrons have Janeway, Riker, Kira, Scotty, Paris, Chekov, and Torres.
The first contest is a race to recover Iconian gateway technology from a world where the gateway engine is malfunctioning, causing disparate environments and creatures to converge from many other planets. The four starships with mismatched crews find that the portal nexus prohibits transporter use, so they use shuttles to reach the surface. Riker uses a prefix code to hijack control of Picard’s shuttle, slowing him down. Each team is further delayed by a plethora of alien “monsters” and the random appearances of portals. Janeway’s team scores the first victory by recovering the gateway engine; their prize is to keep the device, but they must figure out how to use it.
Before the next task, Q grants everyone a short break. Trelane, Ayelborne, and the Metron gripe about Q, revealing that they don’t trust him to honor the terms of the proxy war should he lose. As Trelane’s suggestion of a free-for-all battle to the death violates the Starfleet officers’ terms, he settles for a game of spaceborne capture the flag, with Kirk and Janeway paired against Sisko and Picard. Trelane quickly finds the game to be intensely boring without weapons so he throws a wildcard into the mix—a planet killer. The starships quickly move against the massive weapon, but phasers and photon torpedoes are ineffective against its neutronium hull. Quantum torpedoes do some damage, but the only way to defeat the weapon is to fire directly into its maw. With coverage from the other ships, the Enterprise-E manages to destroy the planet killer. Q claims victory as his team dealt the killing blow.
Between challenges, Picard seeks Guinan’s counsel. She can’t predict anything—Q is scared and unhinged, as she’s never seen him—but suspects that he started the war himself as a preemptive strike on the other powers. She thinks he found the conflict to be more than he can handle and is using the proxy war as a distraction while he regroups, and suggests that Picard has more allies than he thinks.
Feeling especially reckless, and against Sisko’s protests, Q declares that the next task is to gain the attention of the Prophets, who already refused to participate in Q’s games. Picard’s team debates firing different energy beams at the wormhole without success. The Emissary tries to meditate/commune with the Prophets while Kira accesses the Orb of Wisdom, but neither make contact. Dax suggests flying the Enterprise 1701 inside the wormhole, and Kirk finds himself surrounded by Prophets wearing familiar faces—Edith Keeler, Gary Mitchell, and Chris Pike—who promise to deal with Q. The Prophets confront Q in the garden, all appearing in his likeness, and provide a show of their strength. They severely warp space-time, obliterating DS9 and the starships and threatening Q, who is powerless to stop them. Spectators Q2 and Amanda Rogers decide they’ll have to act.
In the garden, Q is roused by Q2, who berates him for nearly melting the entire galaxy by provoking the Prophets, who have unequaled mastery over space and time. Thankfully, Amanda convinced the Prophets to return everything to normal and wiped the crews’ memories of their horrific destruction. Though the Continuum was intrigued by Q’s God War, he’s exhausted their indulgence. Trelane provides the next challenge—adding the Borg Queen to his menagerie of exotic creatures. The crews’ protests of the extreme risk and moral repugnancy are ignored and the ships are whisked to the Delta Quadrant. Guinan seeks out more allies against Q. Janeway’s team learns how to operate their Iconian gateway.
Picard, Sisko, and Janeway’s crews engage the Borg Queen’s ship, and two teams beam aboard, while Kirk finds his technology useless against the Collective. Picard’s team chases after Seven, who follows the Queen’s siren call, and run into Wesley Crusher and the Traveler. They capture the Queen but are surrounded by drones. They’re saved when Kirk and Worf ram a shuttle through the ship’s hull (and the drones), and escape to safety through Janeway’s gateway. Amanda, Wesley, and the Traveler bring their powers to covertly aid in fighting Q. Amanda provides Q-weaponry and advises using the weapons’ own powers to disguise them from the gods as more primitive (non-Q) devices. Wesley and the Traveler help to stabilize the Iconian gateway, allowing the combined and well-armed crews to storm Q’s garden.
Q lazily creates feral creatures to defend against the Starfleet attack, with Trelane leading a Napoleonic charge, but they quickly find their beasts are no match against the Q-weapons. Increasingly unhinged, Q summons all manner of alien creatures—mugato, Melkots, M-113 creatures, Borg, bluegill neural parasites, Jem’Hadar, Breen, Kaylar, copies of Armus—to fight Starfleet. While the Starfleet crews defend against (and distract) Q’s armies, their secret weapon readies his endgame move. From the high ground, Bashir aims his sniper rifle at Q and fires a glancing blow. Enraged, Q summons the Talosians but is stopped by Q2, who convinces him to end this madness. A truce is declared and Q promises to leave the other god factions alone if they will do the same for the Continuum. As part of the terms, the Starfleet crews surrender their extra-dimensional weapons and gateway technology, and Amanda and Wesley renounce their powers. O’Brien asks Bashir how he missed his kill shot, but the doctor reveals that he did what he felt was right, reminding Q of his own mortality rather than taking his life.
Q grants all proxies the choice of retaining their memories of the encounter and helps Wesley and Amanda to slip back into corporeal life. He admits that the war was a chance for excitement in his otherwise banal omnipotence, and advises Picard to himself seize opportunities for excitement in the future.