Review – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Too Long a Sacrifice #4 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Scott Tipton, David Tipton
Artwork: Greg Scott
Colours: Felipe Sobreiro
Lettering: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 11th November 2020

Despite arguably containing a fair few red herrings, some brutal fisticuffs and sizzling phaser beams, it’s still pretty unlikely that Scott and David Tipton’s supposedly “shocking conclusion” to this murder-mystery mini-series will convince the most recent generation of Trekkies to seek out the old televised adventures of Constable Odo and his crewmates aboard Deep Space Nine. For whilst this twenty-page periodical’s padded out plot provides the Starfleet station’s Chief of Security plenty of spotlight within which to demonstrate his formidable detective skills, the Federation facility’s cold-hearted serial-killer is eventually only seemingly caught because they’re foolish enough to get too close to a telepath.

If anything, the brothers’ narrative for the final issue of this series depicts a hard-learnt lesson in how not to lead an investigation into multiple homicides during the Twenty-Fourth Century, as elderly mind-reader Detective Retlaw incompetently lurches from pillar to post before wrongly accusing one “of the most powerful and well connected people on the station.” To make matters worse, the ordinarily fastidious Odo is no less ineffectual, and even bumbles the arrest of the terror suspect when the lone diner-owner takes on his technology advanced armed guards whilst carrying no more than a small kitchen knife; “Your security team won’t be enough. We’re going to need more help.”

However, perhaps this publication’s biggest disappointment however is the way in which all of the puzzle’s links are pulled together without there ever being a hope of the comic’s readers snatching hold of a clue themselves or even remotely suspecting who the psychopathic slayer might be. True, the elderly Betazoid’s explanation as to what he read in the murderer’s mind makes some sense, but it’s still hard to stomach such a wild mishmash of disconcerting contrivances. Such as Lavin Meryn wooing a Starfleet officer in order to ensure he betrayed his allegiance simply because she was uppity with a fellow Bajoran who during the Cardassian occupation played them against the Ferengi “to line his own pockets and earn himself a softer bed.”

Luckily, artist Greg Scott does provide this book with some enjoyable artwork from time to time, with his ability to project Retlaw’s emotions upon the character’s aged face being one of this series’ highlights. In fact, it’s a real pity that the Tiptons’ script didn’t include a bit more action, as Scott seems to hit a prodigious stride with his pencilling once Lavin takes flight and the pace of his layouts really hammers home the sheer desperation in her insane machinations.


The writer of this piece was: Blax Kleric
Blax Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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