Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Scott Tipton, David Tipton
Artwork: Greg Scott
Colours: Felipe Sobreiro
Lettering: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 7th October 2020
As comic-long conversational pieces go, Scott and David Tipton’s narrative for issue three of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Too Long A Sacrifice isn’t quite as plodding as it initially appears, thanks largely to the cold-blooded murder of a pair of unfortunate Ferengi outside Docking Port Five. However, up until this latest in a long line of despicable deaths on board the Federation facility, this twenty-page periodical arguably consists of nothing more than a disconcertingly word-heavy dialogue between Odo and Detective Retlaw as the two men seemingly try to outdo one another in a bid to demonstrate their superior investigative ability.
Such a conversational piece may well have proved a pleasant enough sub-plot if penned in moderation, but sadly a good two-thirds of this publication follows the Changeling and the “past-his-prime” Starfleet official as they sip tea, criticise one another’s work ethics and generally try to score cheap points during their meanderings throughout Terok Nor. Indeed, even when this publication suddenly reveals that Ensign Schroeder has been “greasing the wheels for the Nausicaans”, all the ‘odd couple’ do is talk some more about how the junior officer is inconveniently blocking Retlaw from reading his mind; “He’s… blocking me somehow. I have nothing. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he’s keeping me out.”
Perhaps this book’s biggest disappointment though, is the so-called “shocking discovery” its publisher promised turning out to be the fact Vedek Teler is somehow connected to the series of murders. This surprise was arguably telegraphed straight from the mini-series’ opening instalment, and the only bombshell it drops is just how suspiciously poor a shot the mysterious killer suddenly becomes when the he unsuccessfully tries to assassinate Odo and the Betazoid in a deserted corridor, just before the pair pay the Bajoran religious leader a visit.
Thankfully adding a little bit of animated life to the proceedings is Greg Scott’s artwork, which genuinely seems to come to the fore when illustrating the craggy-faced, white-haired Retlaw. As expected, Scott does a competent job of depicting the science fiction franchise’s televised characters, yet somehow adds even more to the aged investigator’s personality as he scowls and scolds his way through the space station’s considerable supporting cast.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]