Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Pencils: Mike Feehan
Inks: Manuel Bracchi
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Covers: Mike Feehan; Phil Murphy; Justin Mason; Malachi Ward
Release Date: June 12th, 2023
Sisko and the Theseus crew found themselves in dire straits at the end of the last issue. The captain faced execution. His crew faced fanatics ready to gun them down. It wasn’t a great day on the final frontier. STAR TREK #10 resolves these cliffhangers and their story arcs in convincing fashion in the series’ most effective issue yet.
STAR TREK #10 opens on a quiet moment with T’Lir talking to the Prophets before cutting back to Cardassia and resolving last issue’s cliffhanger. Instead of executing Sisko, the firing line turns its guns on the audience. Damar used the trial to bring out Cardassians who stood in the way of change by blaming outsiders for their people’s actions. And then he killed them to get them out of the way. Meanwhile, Sisko’s crew is still in a desperate fight with Red Path fanatics in their attempt to secure the Orb of Creation. Fortunately Sisko, Damar, the Jem’Hadar, and the Vorta arrive in the nick of time with reinforcements and make short work of the opposition. Along the way, the Vorta finds a Changeling and executes it. But now that the Orb of Creation is secure, Sisko has to decipher how it can help him against Kahless.
Killing off the people who refuse to move forward to improve society is an especially Cardassian way to approach healing. STAR TREK #10 showcases this as an effective way to move Cardassia into a better place. Growth can’t happen without honesty, and the new Cardassian leader shows he understands that. But he’s also not so forward thinking that his people’s journey is going to follow the same egalitarian path as the Federation. This is an excellent mini arc within the larger ongoing story. And it’s a good example of just how well Kelly and Lanzing understand this universe.
Kelly and Lanzing use a similar theme later in the issue when the Vorta who defended Sisko in the trial comes upon the Changeling kept prisoner in stasis. He frees it, only to kill it. He used to view Changelings as gods only to realize that it was the Changelings who were not worthy of the people who worshiped them. The Vorta makes a pointed comment that this was something Sisko taught the Vorta and Jem’Hadar and which he might someday learn himself. The scene holds up a mirror to Sisko with regard to the characters’ faith in the Prophets’ role for him. It’s an effective means of providing further development for Sisko without him not doing anything at all.
The Art & Letters
Feehan, Bracchi, and Loughridge deliver some fun action in STAR TREK #10. There are some very good hero moments during those sequences, especially for Sisko who makes a grand entrance. Him standing center page, flanked by the Jem’Hadar Zero and Cardassian leader Damar, with a smoking phaser and the red of his uniform standing out from the more drab colors surrounding him, is a stirring moment that would be accompanied by a musical crescendo were this a movie.
The Changeling’s death is another memorable sequence. When freed by the Vorta, its emergence from its prison has a kind of monster vibe. It has a few humanoid features–a recognizable arm, something that is almost a face–but it’s swirled and almost looks like it could be screaming (though nothing is written to suggest it’s making noise). It quickly takes its more nonthreatening, human-like form. When the Vorta blows its head off, gunk from the Changeling, now with a purplish tinge to almost match the phaser fire, flies everywhere and the Changeling’s body twists around itself. The visuals really push the idea, fairly or not, that the Changelings have a definite inhuman quality. This issue is particularly wordy, both with dialogue and narration. At times it threatens to distract from the visuals. Cowles does a good job at keeping these dialogue bubbles and caption boxes distributed and out of the way of the art.
STAR TREK #10 is a culmination of story and theme that, alongside very good art, creates the best issue the series has delivered to date. It’s both exciting and contemplative. It makes for an excellent lead-in to the Day of Blood crossover.