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REVIEW – Star Trek Issue #8

IDW’s Star Trek returns! Eight issues in, this series continues to incorporate elements from all eras of Star Trek in meaningful ways. It’s not simply fan service – it’s using the world and familiar elements to tell a captivating story. Star Trek Issue #8 is here, and it works well. It is also a sequel to the stories told in 90s Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. And somehow, they’ve even included aspects of The Original Series and, recently, Lower Decks.

Available from: Star Trek: Issue #8 via Amazon

Kicking off the action

It’s the Star Trek crossover we never knew we needed. When we left off, Captain Sisko was arrested for his role in the Cardassian Genocide while the USS Theseus searched for the missing Bajoran orbs. 

Star Trek issue #8 takes a page from the episode “Tribunal” from DS9, in which Chief O’Brien is arrested and imprisoned by the Cardassians. In that episode, we learn that the Cardassian justice system is one-sided: all on trial are found guilty, and the verdict is decided before the trial begins. With that in mind, the odds of Sisko making it out of this conundrum are slim. Interestingly, the deterministic nature of the Cardassian courts is not brought up in this issue, as Sisko’s fate has not yet been pre-ordained. Perhaps the Cardassian justice system sought reform after the genocide. 

A Simple Tailor

Star Trek issue #8 Cover C – Rod Reis

Star Trek issue #8 sees the return of one of Star Trek’s fan-favorite characters, Elim Garak. Garak is as charming and clever as always – the writers really nailed his voice. They really nailed all the character’s voices, to be fair. Garak volunteers to act as Sisko’s advocate, or lawyer. Even though one is never quite sure to trust Garak, Sisko is forced to accept his help. In all honesty, having Garak as a lawyer doesn’t sound too bad. I can’t think of anyone more cunning in all of Star Trek.

Back on the Theseus, the crew must travel into a nebula that renders warp drive impossible. Not sure what to do, Jake Sisko offers a solution: rigging ancient Bajoran solar sails to the hull of the ship. It’s so crazy it just might work. This is, of course, a reference to the DS9 episode “Explorers”, in which Sisko and Jake sail an old Bajoran solar ship. This is a great callback and a great use of bringing back an old storyline for a modern, relevant purpose. 

Down for the count

Star Trek issue #8 Cover A – Mike Feehan

One of the most shocking pages of Star Trek issue #8 is the Obsidian Order’s War record on Sisko. Each battle listed involves hundreds or thousands of Cardassian casualties, the final battle numbering 800 million – a mind-boggling number. This is such an interesting page because while it is very simple in content, it gives immeasurable depths to the numerous conflicts we see throughout the Dominion War. It’s easy as a viewer to see starships being destroyed left and right and not think much of it, but this page is an important reminder that there are hundreds if not thousands of people on those ships that die the moment Sisko yells “Fire!”. 

One of the most visually interesting moments in Star Trek issue #8 is when we hear the prosecution’s many witnesses to Sisko’s supposed crimes. We see 29 unique Cardassian faces give 29 unique comments on Sisko’s guilt. It’s such a unique way to do the film equivalent of “quick-cuts” in a comic book. These panels also demonstrate just how many Cardassians loathe Sisko and blame him for the genocide. Suffice to say, it’s not looking good for the Captain. 

Star Trek Issue #8 Preview

Brutalist architecture

One small but cool moment worth calling out is when the USS Theseus finds the Cardassian station holding the Bajoran orbs in the middle of the nebula. The station looks like a smaller Terok Nor but still maintains that classic Cardassian design. It’s an evolution of the original design that makes sense for a different type of facility. Just a cool progression of Cardassian architecture. 

Star Trek issue #8 concludes as the Theseus team encounters the members of the Red Path on the station, who look to be crazed Cardassians wielding bat’leths. Who these people are or what they want is unclear, but clearly, their presence is important as their namesake is the name of this arc of the series. 

Overall this was a fantastic issue that continued old storylines, introduced new ones, and elevated the stakes for Sisko and the crew.

Available from: Star Trek: Issue #8 via Amazon

Issue Credits

Writer: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Mike Feehan
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Cover Artists: Malachi Ward
Caspar Wijngaard

Star Trek Issue #9

Cover Artists: Mike Feehan
J.J. Lendl
Daniel Bayliss

In the next issue: After a surprise encounter with the adrenaline-jacked Red Path while infiltrating the hidden Cardassian facility, the Theseus‘ crew must recover the Orb of Destruction. And make it out alive, if they’re to put a stop to Kahless’ bloody reign. But with Captain Sisko standing trial on Cardassia Prime with Commander Data by his side, can his crew succeed when they are divided?

Release date: June 14, 2023

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