Review: Odo Cracks The Case In The Conclusion Of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Too Long a Sacrifice’

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Too Long a Sacrifice #3 and #4
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by: Greg Scott
Color by: Felipe Sobreiro

In the final two issues of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Too Long a Sacrifice, the Tipton brothers deliver a satisfying, yet predictable ending to their noir murder mystery. Four issues were just enough to tell the story and leaving me wanting more. It’s been a great year for Trek comics and I do hope that IDW brings us back to the Denorios Belt again sometime in 2021.

With Odo and Worf’s investigation essentially going nowhere and the stakes at an all-time high, Starfleet sent in their own investigator, a Betazoid named Retlaw. A new character, Retlaw is old, stubborn, and a bit prejudiced especially when he meets Odo for the first time. His wife and daughter are refugees on Earth after the Jem’Hadar attacked Betazed. Since Odo is a Changeling, it takes a bit for Retlaw to warm up to him. But because Retlaw takes his job seriously, they soon begin to work together much better than Odo and Worf. That was a disaster.

If the name “Retlaw” sounds at all familiar, you may be a TAS fan. The Retlaw plant first appeared in the Walter (Retlaw spelled backward) Koenig-penned “The Infinite Vulcan.” That’s a nice deep cut from the Tipton brothers. There’s also a reference to Sentok Nor, which was a station in orbit around Betazed, as depicted in the novel “The Battle of Betazed.”

With Retlaw now on board, Worf is off the case and, in fact, doesn’t even appear in the last two issues, even though he was a prominent fixture in the first two. The Tiptons make it very clear that this is Odo’s story, which is not a bad thing. Would I have liked to have seen more from the other characters? Sure, but just like an actual episode of the series, this story was perfectly fine without focusing on everyone. While at first, I was hesitant to accept a Betazoid investigator, the Tiptons did a good job of explaining how and why that isn’t a problem from a storytelling perspective. Why not just have every investigator be Betazoid so they can read everyone’s minds? Well, that’s addressed in a perfectly acceptable way.

The dynamic between Odo and Retlaw is what keeps the story going. Retlaw is direct, opinionated, and a bit of a know-it-all. He’s done it all and now that he’s on DS9, the case can be solved. He’s dismissive of everyone, including Odo, but the story takes a turn when he realizes that he doesn’t have all of the answers and that Odo is really, really good at his job. There’s a point where Retlaw is so convinced he’s solved the case that when he’s wrong, you can actually see the moment his hubris was shattered.

Besides Odo, another person who’s very good at his job is artist Greg Scott. Not only are the actors’ likenesses on point, but the new characters he created are also very well done and believable. It’s apparent that he took inspiration from several actors for Retlaw, and from what I see, my guesses include names like Marlon Brando, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rip Torn. 

I won’t spoil the ending, but as I said in the beginning, it’s predictable, and at the same time, satisfying. What I love is that as with the show, nothing is black and white. While their actions are absolutely reprehensible, you understand the killer’s motives and why they did what they did, especially in a time of war. It’s very well done and I really hope IDW brings us more DS9 comics.

Issues available now, collection coming soon

Issue three of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Too Long A Sacrifice was released on October 7th, with the fourth and final issue arriving on November 11th. You can pick up both final issues at TFAW for $3.19.

And all four issues will be released in a trade paperback collection on December 8th. You can pre-order that at Amazon for $15.99.

Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.

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This has been a rather disappointing series. I’ve come to expect better from the Tipton brothers. I’m a great fan of theirs, but frankly, I think their early work was much better than what they’ve been producing for the past few years. It’s so by-the-numbers and predictable now.