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In Harm's Way, by Mark Moretti

The plot to frame Sinclair continues in this DC comics issue, which introduces new complications to the story.


On Minbar, Ambassador Sinclair stands accused of attempting to assassinate the new Minbari leader. Meanwhile, on Babylon 5, Dexter Hall - the undercover Psi Cop who stumbled into Talia's quarters - lies dying, in a coma, in Medlab.

Captain Sheridan is contacted by Senator Hidoshi, Sinclair's old ally. But Hidoshi is not contacting him on Sinclair's behalf. Instead, Hidoshi is urging Sheridan to drop his investigation, and painting Sinclair as a difficult man with a deep hatred of the Minbari. Sheridan speaks with Garibaldi, urging him to return to full duty. Garibaldi declines, stating that his restricted duty allows him the freedom to do what no one else is attempting to accomplish - find evidence to clear Sinclair.

With an Earthforce Colonel coming to the station to take the investigation away from him, Sheridan urges station telepath Talia Winters to scan the dying man. What Talia discovers casts a troubling light not only on the current situation, but on the death of President Santiago.


I noted in my review of the last issue, Treason, that it was difficult to review that issue because it was all set-up. Here, we begin to see some follow-through on the plot. It's shaping up to be a fairly strong plot, that ties in quite well with the overall arc of the series.

It is nice to see a story that involves both Sinclair and Sheridan, even if Sinclair's involvement is currently at the level of "passive victim." Sinclair does remark upon what we observed throughout Season One: he made a lot of enemies while commanding Babylon 5, and there are many people - people who are currently highly-placed in President Clark's government - who are probably none too sad about his current predicament.

But this issue is a far stronger one for Sheridan than for Sinclair. Writer Mark Moretti has a good handle on Sheridan's character, and uses him well. Sheridan shares some of Garibaldi's traits: he's very stubborn when a situation sticks in his craw, and he isn't one to let go of a problem easily. In his conversation with President Clark in Revelations, Sheridan already got a sense of something wrong in Earthdome. Here, in his conversation with Hidoshi, his unease grows even further. We also see development of Sheridan. In Revelations, he fairly readily acquiesced to Clark's orders to turn over the evidence. Here, Sheridan actively attempts to stall Colonel Rabock's arrival, sensing what Garibaldi puts into blunt words: that once Rabock arrives, the entire mess will just get swept under the carpet.

The key sequence in this issue is Talia's scan of Dexter Hall (which is, not coincidentally, used as the cover image for the comic). This sequence does much to advance the current plot, but it also casts a new light on Santiago's death. We learn that the dead ship was a luxury liner, presumably solely catering to a very rich and exclusive clientele. We also learn that these powerful individuals were all members of a pro-Earth splinter group, all of whom were celebrating the death of Santiago, denouncing him as a "Minbari stooge" (similar to certain groups' opinion of Sinclair, as indicated in both And the Sky Full of Stars and Points of Departure). Though no specifics are revealed about the group, one anticipates that they would have enjoyed more active influence under Clark's administration than they did under Santiago's.


The artwork... yada, yada... see my comments on previous issues and just assume that they're recycled here. This is simply not an effectively-drawn comic, and I fear that will remain the norm for the comic's entire run. A pity, as thus far every issue has been extremely well-written. If the level of the artwork was up to the level of the storytelling, one suspects DC would have been onto a winner with this title.

There is one scene in which writer Mark Moretti doesn't quite capture the characters. The scene in the council chambers, with Sheridan meeting with G'Kar, Londo, and Kosh, finds the characterizations not quite matching up with their television counterparts. Londo is written fairly closely to Season One's characterization - as a sympathetic drunken carouser - but does not fit with the character's new, much darker direction seen in the first part of Season Two. G'Kar is similarly portrayed as a troublesome meddler. Once again, this woudl fit if the story were set during Season One, but it's dead wrong for Season Two. As for Kosh's one line... "Shrewd, Captain. Very shrewd." That line is not Kosh. Kosh never says anything that's so clear as that, and he never says anything without purpose. Moretti would have been better advised to have simply let Kosh stand, silent and impassive, in the background.

Finally, Senator Hidoshi's sudden turn against Sinclair seems oddly motivated. Admittedly, Hidoshi is a political creature; even in Season One, we saw many occasions where he refused to aid Sinclair. But I always took it for granted that, when it came down to it, Hidoshi was on Sinclair's side. His sudden eager character assassination of Babylon 5's former commander seems very strange. Hidoshi may be self-serving, but he never struck me as a Clark stooge. I would be more comfortable with this scene if Hidoshi had been replaced by the woman seen at the end of Chrysalis.

Despite the continuing weak artwork and the problematic scene with the Ambassadors, In Harm's Way does do both of its jobs well. It develops the plotline begun in Treason, adding new and intriguing twists to what we already knew; and it ties this individual story in with the larger series' mythos in a way that fits the series quite well.

My Final Rating: 7/10. I'm now looking very forward to the final installment of this storyarc.

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