Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Dog of War #1 Review

Writer: Mike Chen

Art: Angel Hernandez

Colors: Nick Filardi

Letters: Neil Uyetake

Publisher: IDW

Price: 4.99

Release Date: April 5th, 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 Deep Space Nine: The Dog of War #1 Review.

The Dispatch

Cute dogs and Borg technology. It’s a combination that most people would never think of. And it’s especially a combination that seems out of place during the Dominion War. But it’s precisely the basis for STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE DOG OF WAR #1. It’s also a surprisingly compelling one.

STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE DOG OF WAR #1 interweaves two very different story tracks. The issue takes place during the Dominion War, after the Romulans allied with the Klingons and the Federation against the Dominion and Cardassians. The crew discovers Borg technology interfaced on the station. The investigation takes Sisko, Odo, and Captain Pearl of the Magellan to one of Quark’s holosuites. They discover Vic Fontaine surrounded by a number of dogs they believe are holograms. Upon ending the program, though, they discover that one of those dogs is real. Sisko, Odo, and Pearl also find the piece of Borg technology. This introduces two questions: what does the dog mean for Quark’s sales prospects, and what does the Borg technology mean for the Federation?

Latinum–the name Quark gives to the dog–is no doubt key to the series’ main plot (Quark is seen negotiating with someone hidden in shadows over the acquisition of this rare genetic purebred). But in this issue Chen primarily uses the dog to bring out the good humor of everyone on the station. A captain’s log at the start of STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE DOG OF WAR #1 places this series during the war, but beyond that little is established about the characters’ emotional state. Chen relies on readers’ knowledge of the television series and its character arcs to have a basis for the interactions with the dog.

Knowing how the war is affecting the characters on the station, Latinum’s presence proves to be a treat. Jake creates a wide open holographic dog park. Bashir gives Latinum a collar. Odo transforms into another dog to play with Latinum. Even Garak gets in on the fun. This is a lovely group of scenes for all the characters involved.

The meat of STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE DOG OF WAR #1, though, is the Borg technology. It’s a device that may be able to help the allies in their fight against the Dominion. But its presence and potential use brings up two considerations. The first is whether Sisko can even evaluate the device objectively. Has he put his own experiences from Wolf 359 behind him? And the second–not surprisingly any time the Borg are brought up–is it possible to use any of their technology and retain one’s humanity?

The Art, Coloring, and Letters

Hernandez’s art has a remarkable fidelity to Deep Space Nine’s setting and characters. This pays dividends throughout the story. One of the more consequential ways being any time Sisko is focused on the Borg. The character looks more serious and takes on a dark mien. Most enjoyable, though, is Hernandez’s depiction of all the characters with Latinum. They radiate joy. Filardi does a good job contrasting the holosuite with the rest of the station. Deep Space Nine’s ambient lighting in the television show always leaned darker. Filardi reproduces that look for all the scenes on the station. The result is that the sequences on the holosuite, all of them bright, help convey the happiness that Chen’s script calls for in these instances.

Uyetake has a difficult job here because Chen’s script, for all its strengths as a story and related character arcs, is very dialogue heavy–especially when it comes to the Borg technology scenes. Uyetake does his best to make the dialogue bubbles unobtrusive, but there are a number of panels where this is impossible. This may be more a problem with the script than it is the lettering, but is a detraction from an otherwise strong first issue.

Final Thoughts

There is something about having a dog on Deep Space Nine that is both alien and fulfilling. The show was frequently a dark one, and something as joy-giving as a dog and a holographic dog park at first seems out of place. But it adds such a new flavor to the setting and the characters that the Borg plot almost seems unnecessary. But whether reading the issue for Latinum or the Borg, STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE DOG OF WAR #1 is a start to what looks to be a fun Star Trek outing.


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