Written by Scott and David Tipton
Art by Fabio Mantovani
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship…wait, wrong show. This is the one stuck on a space station out in the middle of nowhere. I must give credit to those who wish to continue Deep Space Nine stories after its series finale, what with it not being blessed with post-series life in film like its predecessor Star Trek: The Next Generation. Let’s see where this Fool’s Gold story takes the crew of DS9.
Here we have the crew of the space station Deep Space Nine dealing with a substantial increase of visitation. Random malfunctions happen with ship sensors, folks get rowdy on the promenade and, as usual, Quark is acting suspicious. All in a typical day on DS9.
The Tiptons work well in recreating that feel of the series. Readers familiar with the show will have no problem hearing the voices of the original actors read the dialog (except for maybe a “grrrrr” that Odo exerts). Characters interact as they should, from Sisko and Jadzea’s calm discussions to Odo and Quark continually getting on each others’ nerves. The station itself is true to form in that it’s malfunctioning right from the get-go.
There’s enough mystery in the happenings going on to intrigue readers for the next issue. Something is going on aboard DS9 that hasn’t been explained, and of course, it’s up to Sisko and friends to figure out what’s going on. While the plot feels typical to the series, not too special or unique, it’s nice to slip back into a DS9 story for fans. Seeing Sisko after the final page should alone be enough to pique interest.
For you fans foaming at the mouth to figure out where to place this in the show’s timeline, it’s in the break between seasons three and four. The clues are in the stardate in Sisko’s log, Sisko being a captain and the lack of Worf.
If you need a refresher since the show ended, two travelers boarding DS9 discuss some background information on the station’s Cardassian origin, the Bajoran/Starfleet cooperation in running the place and the wormhole. It’s almost preachy, but it’s only a couple of pages worth, and it has been a decade since the show ended. No telling what people forgot. Doesn’t really present integral plot information though. Not yet anyway.
This art has some major consistency issues. With people in particular, the artist Fabio Mantovani bounces around the level of detail to almost bipolar levels. Heck, O’Brian looks to age almost 10-20 years in this one issue with how wrinkly and boney his face progresses through the book. And if a character is any more than five feet away from the front of the scene, don’t expect much other than to chuckle at the amusingly simplistic caricatures.
Despite the flip-flopping art quality, most of the characters do generally look like their live-action counterparts. It’s an important aspect in maintaining the same feel of the series. There’s even enough distinction to tell apart the Quark and Rom. Bashir, however, is less lucky in matching himself.
Follow all this with some awkward positioning. Some of the characters look flat. Others are contorted oddly (although Odo is really liquid, so I guess he can do that). Kira is far more curvaceous with more ample breasts than I ever recall in the show, and she’s posed in ways to show it off.
People aside, the actual station looks pretty good, especially in the one big outside shot in the beginning. The backgrounds match the set designs as well. Be warned that while not as frequent as the people art, some backgrounds suffer a similar but less severe difference in quality scale the further back they are.
One of the variant covers is misleading (“A cover misleading?! Surely you jest.”). The variant shows Sisko in the black and grey uniform introduced in Star Trek: First Contact, which the DS9 series doesn’t adopt until season 5. I know I was hoping to see Worf or some Dominion War action, but alas, that’s getting ahead of this story. Despite that, it’s a nice enough looking cover. Plus, the black and division colors uniforms look better anyway.
Generally, the art could be a lot better. There’s some promise in here with matching characters and a nice-looking DS9, but there are a lot of weak points that need to be corrected in later issues.
It’s a start to something. The story seems interesting enough. DS9 has traditionally been good with developing its story lines, so I’m interested to see where this goes. The art though leaves much room for improvement. If you’re a DS9 fan, you might want to check the book out just to relive the glory days. If you’re not or just don’t care, you won’t miss much.
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10