In a year full of anniversaries, the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is among the most important. To commemorate the occasion, we’re getting the trip down memory lane that is The Dog of War. I raved about the first issue last month. Now, DS9 ‘The Dog of War’ #2 is here. From its lighthearted tone to how much fun it had with the “Quark gets a dog” pitch, it was the most fun a DS9 fan could have with a comic book. But can Mike Chen keep up the quality? And what does the end of this story look like? Read on to find out! Spoilers ahead.
A Classic Holosuite Adventure
We spent some time playing with the dog, affectionately named Latty (after Latinum, of course) last issue. However, this time around, he finally gets some proper exercise, and there’s something all too familiar about it as well. While it’s not quite playing baseball, one of the other best uses of the holosuites was roleplaying and entertainment. Nobody on the station encapsulates that spirit of play and adventure more than O’Brien and Bashir, which is exactly what happens here.
Not only are they drawn in some amazing costumes by Angel Hernandez and Nick Filardi, but as some rarity we actually get to see a bit of the adventure they were having. It’s nowhere near the focal point of the issue, but it’s so much more than the tv budget would have allowed for in the 90s. So cool that we get to see that. It’s even cooler that, due to Quark being Quark, that they take Latty with them. Given the warlike nature of the roleplay, it could be said that he really became a dog of war at this point.
However, this play session in the holosuite unfortunately gets interrupted. It’s initially unclear who by, which I found a little jarring to read. However, the next panel shows us Sisko and Jadzia (who for entering a holosuite looks especially badass). They’ve come in to find a safer playground to test the Borg device, and I guess there’s only suite available, or maybe they wanted O’Brien’s expertise. Regardless, the fun little adventure is over, and we now need actual plot.
Borg Device Investigations
Following liaising with Dr Erin Macdonald at Daystrom (named after the real-life Star Trek science consultant), and Bashir’s medical analysis, the purpose of the device is a lot clearer. It’s a two-way communicator, allowing the wearer to command a whole network at once, with only their mind. As cool as it is, both Sisko and Jadzia recognise the need for an actual test. To figure out the hardware’s limits, someone needs to properly try it on. Speeding up the process, assisting the war effort and trying to beat his own trauma, Sisko nominates himself
Crashing the aforementioned holo suite adventure, they set up a weapons test with some holographic Borg drones. About two weeks ago now, we saw the inside of assimilation in Star Trek: Picard. Surrounded by voices in a void of soul death, which Jack (Ed Speleers) found peaceful. Sisko finds making these same connections anything but, with the screaming and effort, and also the almost shock at the amount of control he has. I’ve always enjoyed the parallel between Sisko’s experiences with the Borg and Picard’s.
There’s something really interesting going on here though. Our favourite dog Latty didn’t like the Borg. Perhaps the Borg are familiar to him? The dog’s past and the headpiece’s past are clearly linked. We’d need an explanation for why Latty’s not in the show and why they don’t use the Borg tech. Perhaps they both end up leaving together? This could actually end up being a heartbreaking ending. For such a seemingly innocuous, fun comic series, that’s upsetting. I’m already in love with the dog, and so, it appears, is the station.
Part of the Family
Latinum, Latty, everyone’s new favourite space dog. He’s a part of the station’s family now, whether Quark wants to admit it or not. Whilst most of Quark’s schemes end up falling apart, this one falling apart because he’s falling in love with a dog is pretty heartwarming. It’s just the right sort of feel-good plot that an anniversary story deserves, even if I am worried about an upsetting conclusion to it.
As much as all the main characters are used well, it’s the moments with supporting characters like Vic and Garak that make this feel like the lived-in station we all know and love. Garak especially gets a funny line about not trusting the dog because he’s too cute. It’s really lovely to see how quickly embraced a dog has been on the station, with Jadzia even calling him a part of the station’s family. I think it’s cool that they’re emphasising the station as a (dysfunctional) family, something the show portrayed really well.
However, all is not as well as it seems. Quark’s getting rid of the dog in a week. The buyer’s coming around, and it seems like a taxidermist in Latty’s future if Quark doesn’t do something about it. Quark being worried about someone else’s welfare is as funny as it is concerning. As far as Star Trek comics go, it’s a really effective cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read the next issue to see how it’s resolved.
I’m not at all surprised that this series has hit it out of the park again! The mix of humour, action, and twists makes for a really fun read. Being a limited series, it’s really moving the plot along nicely. It’ll be fun to see how all of this ends up concluding. We’ll have to wait until next month to find out who that shadowy figure is and if they can stop the buyer from hurting the dog I’m now far too attached to.
You can find Star Trek DS9: The Dog of War #2 in all good comic book stores, as well as from both Amazon and IDW Publishing’s website. For reviews of all of IDW’s ongoing Star Trek ranges, and for coverage of all things Star Trek, be sure to follow Trek Central!
Star Trek DS9 – ‘The Dog of War’ #3
In the next issue: The Deep Space 9 crew throws a farewell party worth a corgi’s weight in latinum! But just as they prepare to send off Latty, they are met with the screaming siren sounds of a security breach, and not only is the prized corgi nowhere to be found the Borg headset is missing as well. Now the crew must put their heads together to retrieve their pup and keep the tech out of enemy hands!
Release Date: June 7, 2023
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