The final installment – ‘The Dog of War‘ Issue #5 – is out now from IDW Publishing! It’s been a hell of a wild ride with this series, which has been consistently stellar. Can writer Mike Chen, in this final issue, stick the landing? In reviewing every issue in this miniseries celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I’ve become rather attached. Not only to revisit this lovely world, full of characters we know and love but also the side characters and story it’s been telling.
Set in the middle of the sixth season of the series, it follows Quark getting the station embroiled in an intergalactic incident. In other words, just another day on DS9. The big difference is the introduction of a dog, a dog that wasn’t in the show. As a dog lover, I was pretty scared to get into this one. So let’s see what fate has in store for everyone’s favorite Star Trek dog in this review of the final installment of Deep Space Nine- ‘The Dog of War’ Issue #5!
SPOILER WARNING: This issue contains spoilers for the entire Dog of War series, so if you’re not fully caught up, read at your own risk. There are moments in this issue that you really don’t want to be ruined!
There have been two major plot devices in this series – a Borg interface device, supposedly severed from the collective, and the dog Latinum. As we know from the series ending 24 years ago, these aren’t things that appeared in the show. They had to be written out by the end, it was just all a matter of how.
Sisko has had a few run-ins with the Interface device throughout this comic, but this was definitely the biggest. Saying he was working quickly here would be an understatement. He had the use down to responding to his smallest thought, in control of the entire Broker ship. The massive explosions he caused on his own perfectly represent the power and horror of the collective.
The Borg never properly appeared in DS9, but Sisko’s trauma from Wolf-359 is almost famous. It’s almost fitting then that he’s the one interfacing with the Borg here. Sisko’s a dedicated father and is probably the greatest captain in the history of any Star Trek series. While it’s not actual assimilation, it’s said to be similar. The fact he opted to field test a device like this, to save a dog of all things is so awesome. I’ve been hearing Avery Brooks’ voice in my head from the beginning, so this was pretty much the coolest thing ever.
Brokers and Poachers
I mentioned it above, but the stuff fighting the Brokers was absolutely explosive. I’m a little surprised that they got so little focus in the comic, though. Outside of a single door being broken down, they’re silent, nameless figures who are lucky to be in the background. What we’re left with then is a series of panels with explosions and our heroes firing out into the distance. If these were any other characters, that would be a complaint. But it’s so much fun to see these characters in action together again.
It shouldn’t be surprising that a series so focused on animal welfare should end with a final showdown with some animal poachers. As explosive as the stuff with The Brokers was earlier in the comic, it was this subplot that ended up impacting me the most. Seeing Quark bend the Rules of Acquisition seemingly out of love was very fitting. I’m a little mixed on the genetic modifications made by Bashir, but it is in character and was done out of desperation.
The Fate of Latinum
I’ve seen and read my share of dog stories. For the most part, they don’t end all too happily. This story’s teased poachers on Latty’s tail since way back in the first issue. Coupled with the fact that this dog isn’t seen or referenced in the series, I had some pretty good reasons to be worried. Anything could’ve happened to this dog, and I just didn’t know how emotionally prepared I was for this final issue.
By the end of this issue, I thought I would be in tears. I was, but not in the way I expected. Somehow, the dog ends up okay. Funnily enough, he’s still around on the station, living with Morn. I’m infinitely glad the dog’s alive, presenting a rare happy ending to a story in a series at the peak of the Dominion War. It also presents the chance for Morn’s new companion to appear in future DS9 stories, something I would adore further down the line.
I appreciated how it didn’t dodge the responsibilities that come with dog ownership as well. It’s one thing to play with a dog, but something else entirely to be responsible for its wellbeing. As far as morals at the end of Star Trek comics go, that’s not a half-bad one. Seeing Bashir, Dax, Kira, Sisko, and O’Brien turn down owning Latty was responsible and very well-handled. It also led to a joke about Morn never shutting up, and you cannot find better last words for a celebratory DS9 story.
‘The Dog Of War’ Issue #5 Preview
I’m really glad that this story managed to have a satisfying conclusion. It’s not like I thought it wouldn’t, but my concerns about not contradicting the canon of the series were pretty big. It was obvious that Latty and the Borg Interface needed to be done away with, it was the ‘how’ that I was worried about. Thankfully, it all turned out okay.
In only really featuring the core DS9 characters, the whole issue had a focus unlike any other. Literally, everyone got at least one cool line or moment. As a longtime fan of the TV show, it’s the best thing to get as part of anniversary celebrations. It was an explosive, satisfying end to the story. In fact, it’s up there with the highs of the series at this point. Also, Chen absolutely nails the voices and motivations of these characters. It would slot into a series rewatch perfectly. I recommend this series wholeheartedly.
You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: DS9 ‘The Dog of War’ Issue #5 from all good comic book stores. It’s also available both physically and digitally from Amazon and IDW’s website. For all news, reviews. and talking about all things Star Trek, be sure to follow Trek Central!
Written by: Mike Chen
Art by: Angel Hernandez
Colors by: Nick Filardi
Letters & Design by: Neil Uyetake
Edits by: Heather Antos
Editorial Assist by: Vanessa Real
A New Series Begins…
Strange New Worlds finishes its Season 2 run next week, but there’s a new 5-part series on the way!
The Scorpius Run – Issue #1 – Come back to Strange New Worlds for IDW’s new mini-series by Star Trek comics veterans Mike Johnson, Kirsten Beyer, and Angel Hernandez exploring a never-before-seen adventure of the hit Paramount+ show!
Set course with Captain Pike and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise to the Scorpius constellation! As they venture into the unknown, the Enterprise crew learn what it truly means to traverse through the strange and unfamiliar when they lose contact with Starfleet and find themselves trapped in unexplored space!
Release Date: August 23, 2023
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