Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Art: Ramon Rosanas
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: April 12th, 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 #6 Review.
Ben Sisko is caught between two worlds. On one hand there is the corporeal world of humanity. On the other there is the “divine” world of the Prophets’ Celestial Temple. While there have been glimmers of Sisko’s humanity in the series, he’s largely been an instrument of the Prophets in his quest to stop Kahless. Now, with the situation growing worse in STAR TREK #6, Sisko’s life as a son and father comes to the fore and it might make all the difference.
Events are dire in STAR TREK #6. Captain Sisko, Doctor Crusher, and Jake are trapped on the God City of T’Kon as it warps toward Earth with Theseus just barely behind. Starfleet is calling as many ships as possible, but a full fleet rendezvous will happen well after the God City arrives. Sisko tries reaching out to the Prophets. He makes contact with the God City instead and finds nothing but fury. Theseus, using experimental engine technology, catches up to the God City and nudges it out of warp. Ultimately, Sisko–when expressing love and regret to his son–convinces the God City not to attack. But Kahless is still out there with a super weapon that the Prophets helped build, so Sisko and his crew have to develop a new strategy.
Ben Sisko’s life isn’t really his own. It hasn’t been since the Prophets returned him to go on this mission for them. Sisko and Jake’s relationship is strained. His intensity pushed Worf away. His behavior made Crusher question his motives. STAR TREK #6 sees Sisko reconnect with his humanity in a way he hasn’t to this point. As the God City hurtles toward Earth, Crusher calls on her experience of losing her husband and watching her son depart to push Sisko to connect with this son while there’s still time. Sisko expresses to Jake his regret at missing his daughter’s birth and his father’s death. Finally Sisko has directly addressed this part of his life, and for just a moment he’s an ordinary man again. Jake tries to let his father off the hook, but Sisko won’t have it.
Kelly and Lanzing make the smart choice of pushing Sisko beyond simple regret and into guilt. He believes he could have pushed back against the Prophets–could have fought to stay with his family. Sisko said that he, Jake, Kassidy, and his unborn daughter were a family. But then he allowed the Prophets to take him away. Tying this emotion into the main story by making it the reason the God City rethinks its decision to attack Earth is also a good use of story economy. Taking time for pure character moments is always a valid choice. But this accomplishes both, and reinforces the value of what Sisko is saying to his son about the importance of family and of, if nothing else, simply being there.
Data also gets a couple nice moments as Theseus chases the God City toward Earth. There isn’t in-depth character examination as such, but Kelly and Lanzing’s script shows off why Data’s skill in command would make him a good captain–a chance we know he never gets.
The Art & Colors
Rosanas continues to shine in closeup moments on characters. Sisko’s moment with Jake is a centerpiece of the issue, and Kelly and Lanzing deliver solid dialogue for it. But as is the case in many critical points in STAR TREK, Rosanas adds the visual emotion that makes the most affecting scenes work. Sisko looks almost physically pained as he talks with Jake. His expressions match regret and even failure that he confesses to his son. Indeed, Rosanas’s art ultimately sells Sisko’s deep feelings. Her depiction of Sisko convinces us that his emotions are powerful enough to impact the God City.
STAR TREK #6’s colors are again a major highlight in the issue. The transition from darker purple to shining bright blue as Theseus accelerates from normal warp to proto-warp conveys the power behind this experimental technology. Loughridge frequently knows how to use color to support moments of wonder, fear, and power. Sisko’s attempt to contact the Prophets is another such moment. Loughridge starts with the full white of the Prophets’ realm. He pulls the white away over the course of the next five panels, replacing it with wild, disruptive blues. This precedes the God City hijacking Sisko’s attempt at communication and highlights the lost connection between Sisko and his own “gods”.
Cowles’ work in STAR TREK #6 can’t be understated. The full page devoted to the God City communicating with Sisko is filled with phrase after phrase overlaid on top of each other, the white of the words varies from dull to bright to convey a feeling of depth. The God City says a lot. But the most important elements float to the top and crescendo at “And I will not be caged again”. It’s really the only moment in the issue where the God City communicates. Ultimately Cowles’ lettering is primarily why we can ascribe any emotion to the entity.
There’s another standout letting moment that isn’t as showy. The bulk of Data’s command instruction as Theseus chases the God City is depicted over a two page spread with Data’s head dominating the center and panels filling either side. Dialogue fills the spread. Data issues order after order, and his officers respond. With a full third of the two page spread devoid of dialogue, fitting in everything Kelly and Lanzing has written is a tall order. But Cowles manages to do it in such a way that the dialogue is linear and easy to follow without obscuring any of the necessary character reactions. These dialogue heavy sequences can showcase a letter’s skill better than the more showy moments because a poor layout can handicap the art.
STAR TREK #6 is another strong issue in a consistently strong series. Kelly and Lanzing’s script again balances action and character emotion. In this case they weave them together to work symbiotically to advance the plot. The full creative team’s efforts continue to elevate every issue. This is the strongest that Star Trek comics have been in a long time.