IDW may have just wrapped up Strange New Worlds: The Illyrian Enigma, but Star Trek comics never rest! The comic publisher has started Deep Space Nine: The Dog of War miniseries to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It’s been a few years since we’ve had some dedicated DS9 material, and as my favourite Trek series, any comic has a high bar to reach. Issue #1 of The Dog Of War is out now and available by all good comic book stores and Amazon.
Written by Mike Chen, a newcomer to Trek making his mark with the bold pitch, “What if Quark got a dog?”. He’s joined by artist Angel Hernandez, who brings this beautifully absurd pitch to life with panels that stayed in my head for hours. But just how does Mike Chen’s story fit into the show? Is it a worthy ‘missing episode,’ or would you be better off just rewatching the series? Let’s find out!
An Uninvited Guest and a Rogue Computer
The story opens with the station being searched for salvageable Cardassian resources to launch an offensive against the Dominion. From the Stardate, this story is placed before the episode “Valiant”, and from the appearance of Vic Fontaine in the holodeck, sometime after “His Way”. Late Season 6 is the perfect place to set an anniversary story for DS9, at the peak of the Dominion War conflict, and still able to involve Jadzia Dax.
In searching, they track a Borg component to a holosuite. To the surprise of nobody, Quark has schemed his way into having a dog and a Borg headpiece. The whole thing is very in character for Quark. It’s exactly the sort of scheme he’d get caught up in. In fact, all the characters here are really well-written. Juggling and introducing a fresh plot, including all the characters, isn’t easy, but they make it work! I really look forward to the ongoing hijinks with the dog, who’s hilariously and in-affectionately named Latinum.
Just how the dog and Borg components are connected remains to be seen. I don’t know who this mysterious buyer is, but knowing the shady depths of Quark’s connections, it could be anyone. The comic deliberately obscures their identity and that of an even more mysterious interloper. There’s something up with the Borg device, with even its function unknown. If there’s no danger of assimilation, then what could it be?
However, we know that the Borg never really had a role on DS9. Whatever that connection is, it won’t lead the crew to the Borg Queen. If anything, it appears that it’s only of Borg origin to tap into Sisko’s trauma from the Battle of Wolf 359. We’ve been exploring the legacy of Wolf 359 in Star Trek: Picard, too. There are some really powerful panels where the legendary Angel Hernandez’s art shines.
Where Do We Go From Here?
From the show’s story being told in full, we know that they don’t use Borg technology to eliminate the chain of command. We know they don’t command whole armadas with a thought. Something must go wrong, and with Sisko opting to test the device on himself, the possibilities are almost scary. O’Brien cites the events of the episode “The Nth Degree”, which could be a warning of things to come.
I’m also unsure what the dog is doing beyond being adorable. It’s fun to see all the alien characters interact with an element of human culture we don’t usually see. I’m sure it’ll all tie in with the device and the shadowy figures eventually, but it’s too early to tell. For the moment, I’m very happy to stare at the panels with the cute dogs. There’s one with Garak that put the biggest smile on my face. It’s all even cuter than I thought a comic could be. Easily the thing I’m most excited to see more of next time!
I’m more of a cat person, but this story may turn me. With cute animals and an intriguing mystery box plot to boot, it’s a lovely read. It’s certainly an intriguing setup, and I look forward to seeing where the plot leads. Loaded with the sort of fanservice that only an anniversary story can get away with, it’s a lot of fun for fans of the series. Not only is this a worthy addition to DS9 canon, but it’s a story that matches the peaks of the series’ later years.
You can find Deep Space Nine – The Dog of War Issue #1 in all good comic book stores. Additionally, it’s available both in print and digitally from Amazon and IDW’s website. For discussions of all things Deep Space Nine and coverage of IDW’s ongoing Star Trek comics, be sure to follow Trek Central!
In the next issue…
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – ‘The Dog of War’ Issue #2
As Latinum the corgi begins winning over the hearts of the DS9 crew, Quark finds his own greed-filled heart touched by the large-lobed creature. But only a fool passes up a business opportunity! Meanwhile, Sisko tests the mysterious Borg component brought aboard the station in hopes of finding a tactical advantage in the war against the Dominion.
Release Date: May 3, 2023
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