Star Trek 1392: Alien Spotlight: Cardassians

1392. Alien Spotlight: Cardassians

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Cardassians, IDW Comics, December 2009

CREATORS: Arne and Andy Schmidt (writers), Augustin Padilla (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (after the Dominion War)

PLOT: In the wake of the Dominion War, a fearsome Cardassian freedom fighter called Demos infiltrates the Federation detention facility where the Founder Leader is being held. As his team's mission proceeds, he recalls a mission in which he "died" and became black ops. As his assassination plans against the Founder go awry, he starts to think there's a traitor in his team, but is then surprised by former resistance colleague Garak. The two hold each other at gunpoint.

CONTINUITY: Kira considers Demos (an original character) the best resistance fighter she trained (When It Rains...). Kira and Garak appear in flashbacks taking place during their stint with Damar's resistance. The Founder Leader surrendered in What You Leave Behind.

DIVERGENCES: Demos is an "old friend" despite our never having heard of him.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Warning! Zombie wall!
REVIEW: Train wreck! And it's really too bad. There's a LOT of potential in the premise, after all. Though the DS9 II novels pick up the threads at the station, What You Leave Behind leaves Cardassia a smoking ruin. What now for that once (too) proud people? And using an elite Cardassian resistance fighter still making the Dominion offers a strong support structure on which to hang stories about that. Unfortunately, the story is divided in two, with neither coming to a clear resolution. The past thread has Demos whispering a secret in Kira's ear (apparently that he was going to fake his own death), but we never really know why. The later story has no resolution whatsoever, just a lame Mexican standoff and a question mark on the words "The End?". Sure, the question of which Cardassia will survive - vengeful or hopeful - is a good one to ask, but is Garak even the right person to represent the latter after his "My Cardassian is dead" speech? I lay much of the blame on the art, which is murky and unclear. I'm never sure who's talking to whom (Demos is said to be half-Bajoran but looks just like Garak, who incidentally, looks nothing like Garak) or where and when those characters are. The action is hard to follow and then leads the reader nowhere. Even the lettering leaves me wanting. I wouldn't mind a follow-up - the premise is worthy - but with a different artist/colorer/letterer team.

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