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REVIEW – Star Trek: DS9 ‘The Dog of War’ Issue #4

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The Dog of War has been a wild ride, and issue 4 of the event series is now from IDW Publishing. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing every episode of this event miniseries, and it’s only gotten better as time goes on. It’s almost sad to think that this is the penultimate issue. Writer Mike Chen has crafted a so-far amazing series to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. However, heading towards the final act, does the ending live up to the hype?

In concept, it should. The series created a new original character in the form of Latinum, the cutest Corgi in existence. The last issue, we saw the dog unfortunately taken, and the DS9 crew started a rescue mission. There’s no more exciting way to set up some cool action pieces in a story. Slotting itself into the middle of the series’ sixth season, it fits right in with the later episodes of the series high-stakes Dominion War action.

Warning: This review contains Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Dog of War #4 spoilers!!

The Dog of War (Via IDW Publishing)

On the Defiant

Although it’s not involved in a firefight in this issue, it’s cool to see the USS Defiant back in action. For now, we’ll have to settle with navigating an asteroid field, hiding from the enemy. I guess it’s taken a page out of Empire Strikes Back here. Of course, there’s another Star Trek: Defiant series where they always get fights. However, it’s just not the same as having the DS9 characters aboard.

After so many issues aboard the station, it’s only fitting the miniseries end here. It features heavily at the start of this issue, transporting the crew to the Brokers’ ship. As much as the first few pages were a lot of exposition, explaining all the ins and outs of their plan to get the dog and Borg device back, it was done genuinely excitingly. What could have been a boring wall of text became something almost out of Mission: Impossible in the best possible way.

For the rest of the issue, though, it leaves characters like O’Brien and Nog on the sidelines. I’m sure they’ll have something to do next issue, though, with the Dominion themselves on the way. Another subplot would have crowded the issue a little too much, so I totally understand. Seriously, from the second they beam down, the comic does not stop.

The Dog of War (Via IDW Publishing)

Heist Time

Aboard the Broker ship, our heroes split into two teams. Basically, it’s a means to get both plot devices (the Borg device and the dog) as efficiently as possible. There’s some vent crawling, except it’s far more accurate than the popular Die Hard version. Not only is it really cramped, but it’s full of dog hair. As someone who has pets, never have I felt more seen. That stuff seriously gets everywhere.

I would criticise the electric floor stunts, but considering the spy antics of just about every Garak episode in the series, I can’t get mad at all. If anything, it’s cool for Dax and Kira to kick ass in a way that (if this were on screen) would have been one of the most complex stunts in Trek history. It was also awesome to get more callbacks to Dax’s previous hosts, which works to increase the plausibility of what we see.

Sure, Dax and Kira find Latinum as well, but more on that later. Sisko gets to finally gets to use that Borg device. While it’s not actually happened yet, I’m starting to see why this device might not be in the series at all. It completely overwhelms Sisko, with even the experienced Bashir unable to get him to take it off. One of Filardi’s covers for this issue is a screaming Sisko wearing the device, and it’s all too real. The mental strain on show here puts the training simulation from earlier in the series to shame.

The Dog of War (Via IDW Publishing)

Genuinely Worried About That Dog Of War

After Dax climbed back up with the device, my heart sank. We see dog hair in the air as the floor electrifies. For whatever reason, it wasn’t immediately evident to me what happened. Obviously, it’s some of the dog hair from the air vent, and Latinum’s later found perfectly fine. It was around this part in the comic that I realised just how attached I am to this dog and how not ready I am for whatever reason; Chen pulls out for Latinum not being in the rest of the series.

It’s also not just me that’s gotten far, far too attached. Right up with the issue credits is a recap log from Odo. This log is the closest thing our favourite constable gets to a presence in the issue; there’s a good chance most people will miss it. Instead of taking the chance to make fun of Quark, he acknowledges the station’s universal love for this dog. I think that’s beautiful.

Sadly, despite being out of the hands of the Brokers, Latty’s not safe yet. Kira and Dax enter a firefight, and Latty gets scared and freezes. That, combined with teases of the Dominion with a beautifully done final panel of a Dominion armada, was awesome. It’s all down to whether or not Sisko can stop the transmission, and he might, but regardless this is a fun tease of what might lie ahead in the finale.

The Dog of War (Via IDW Publishing)

Issue Preview

Conclusion

The plot has kept me guessing at every turn here. I’m excited to see what happens in the final issue next month. There have been some teases of potentially massive battles and of course, saying goodbye to Latty. As far as anniversary celebrations go, I’m happy that not only is this satisfying, but it’s also not overindulgent in cameos and references. Instead, the original story and beloved original side characters slot into the series perfectly.

It’s a testament to the entire creative team that this has been received as well as it has. As a Deep Space Nine fan, this is everything I wanted from an anniversary special. I will be reading the next issue as soon as I can, and I hope we get to see more DS9-specific stories in the future.

You can pick up your DS9 – The Dog of War #4 copy from Amazon and IDW Publishing’s website. It’s also available now in all good comic book stores. For coverage, reviews, lore, and talking about Star Trek, follow Trek Central!

Issue Credits

Writer: Mike Chen
Artist: Angel Hernandez
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters & Design: Neil Uyetake

In the next issue…

Cover Artist: Angel Hernandez
Jewel
Andy Price

Dogs of War Issue #5: With stolen Starfleet data on its way to the Dominion, Captain Sisko dons the mysterious Borg headset in an attempt to stop the transmission! Meanwhile, Major Kira and Lieutenant Commander Dax race to keep their new crewmember and prized corgi off the black market.

Release Date: August 2, 2023


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Connor Schwigtenberg
Connor Schwigtenberg
All round science fiction geek and a passionate Star Trek enthusiast. Can reliably be found nerding out online. Currently exploring the expanded media. A writer at heart, look out for deep dives, reviews, and feature articles.

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