Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Too Long A Sacrifice #4
Everyone is a suspect on a space station one murder away from plunging into total chaos. Constable Odo has a suspect in his sights, but there’s one final piece to this dark puzzle that will change everything he thought he knew-not to mention life on Deep Space Nine-forever.
The execution of this last issue of “Too Long A Sacrifice” keeps the formula that has made this comic engaging: dialogues that feel fleshed out and realistic, scenes that feel fitting within the show and a poignant use of nostalgia combined with long-time knowledge to drive the reader into the characters’ perspective. The art is captivating, emotive, noir and realistic. Well, this time the colors (especially of the backgrounds) are too bright on most of it and too homogeneous in the flashback scenes, the revelation. But the strength, intensity and emotional gravitas seem to stand by it. Even the majestic cover is sending you into a resolution of epic proportions. The thing is, that formula and craft work is hardly working this time, I’m not feeling it. Probably cause what those tools are trying to defend is an unoriginal plot that falls into lukewarm politics, moreso within a historical moment where pain, rage and trauma should be appreciated and dialogued with, not dealt with.
Here comes the revelation: the murderer is Bajoran, she’s been enslaved and wants revenge. But it doesn’t end there. To put some component of addiction, or of illness as evil, uncontrollable “insaneness”, she “develops a taste for murder”. The book doesn’t ask itself the questions it has to, and goes for that easy answer. Hurt people hurt people. Evenso, they can turn evil if they don’t watch that enough. Irrationally and disturbingly evil, in a way not the story neither the visual narrative is really showing enough. And in a way it hasn’t spent time in either of the last 3 issues.
In the end, this issue falls into the formulaic work that knows its cliches and how to lure the reader, but has little to tell, and what it has to tell is an old tale, a platitude, and one that is especially lazy in the political background that surrounds this release. “Be careful of how you feel towards your oppressors, or you’ll become a monster” is a risky take, and one that this book is not defending well or getting deep into. There’s, however, in the words of Julian Bashir on this issue, a little space for recognition and kindness and empathy for this victim turned perpetrator.
But it’s an empathy that barely shows in the actual page, visuals or story. She’s outside of us and is not as engaging or humanized by the art or story. And that’s a shame for a run that posed interesting questions, but had a really convenient and flat way to answer them.
While the story follows an engaging noir formula with a deep knowledge of the lore and how to tell it, what it finally has to tell is less than convincing, engaging or relevant.
Star Trek: DS9 – Too Long A Sacrifice #4: Where Does Harm Come From?
Writing - 4/10
Storyline - 1/10
Art - 6.5/10
Color - 6/10
Cover Art - 7/10
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