If you haven’t read the four-issue limited series Star Trek: The Next Generation “Hive,” tomorrow IDW Publishing releases a trade edition at comic book stores everywhere. “Hive” reads every bit like the next television episode of Star Trek featuring The Borg–the fearsome race of half machines/half organic lifeforms that assimilate species across the galaxy. With the best of their stories found in the Next Generation two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds” and the Jonathan Frakes-directed big screen blockbuster Star Trek: First Contact, long-time series writer Brannon Braga returns to tell his untold epic story of Locutus, Seven of Nine, and the return of Data, with scripts by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas. Below we are previewing the trade edition courtesy of IDW Publishing.
After the events in Star Trek: Nemesis, Will Riker now captains the Titan. Lieutenant Commander Data is dead, sacrificing himself to save Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E. “Hive” occurs after Star Trek: Nemesis and explains events that led to the absence of Seven of Nine in the Star Trek Voyager finale, “Endgame.”
The Borg Queen contacts the Federation, requesting to speak to Locutus, the name given to Picard’s identity as an assimilated member of The Borg in “The Best of Both Worlds.” Federation leadership is perplexed, and questions asked about Picard’s loyalty after his assimilation at Wolf 359 are asked again. Riker urges them to listen to the Borg Queen–and she tells them that both The Borg and the Federation are in danger from the Voldranaii–a chaotic species that have followed The Borg after failed assimilation, now dead set to make sure no species tries to conquer them again.
Five hundred years later Locutus lives as the Borg King having conquered the universe finally with the Borg Queen. But at the end of conquest Locutus feels a great loss. He re-creates Data from the knowledge he brought to the collective from the Federation and now he plans to send Borg Data to try to prevent the universe from being assimilated in the first place.
And in the past, Captain Picard meets Annika Hansen–once Seven of Nine–and enlists her on a mission to infiltrate and finally destroy The Borg from the inside.
The entire Next Generation crew returns: On the Titan, Captain Riker, with his chief tactical officer Commander Tuvok and Commander Deanna Troi, and on the Enterprise, Captain Picard, Geordi LaForge, and Worf, along with new faces, like Lieutenant Kira Archer, who lost her brother to The Borg and presumably is a descendant of the Enterprise series captain.
Well-known Star Trek comic book artist Joe Corroney reveals “Hive” as a lavish and familiar environment that fans of the various series will easily get sucked into. Down to LCARS panel details and readings on tricorders, to costumes and crew complements, Corroney knows his source material and delivers characters that closely resemble their actor counterparts. And Corroney’s covers are some of the best designed of any Star Trek comic book series to date. Alternate covers by well-known artists show iconic American imagery disrupted by The Borg.
Star Trek notable producer, director, and screenwriter Brannon Braga is the award-winning writer of more scripts than any other person in the Star Trek franchise. He wrote some of the best time travel/parallel universe episodes, concepts he clearly had a nice grasp on using “time” as a science fiction storytelling tool throughout Next Generation, moving on to use time as an element in episodes of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. These included “Cause and Effect,” “Timescape,” “Parallels,” and “All Good Things…” on Next Generation, the movies Star Trek Generations and First Contact, “Year of Hell,” “Living Witness,” “Timeless,” and “Endgame” on Voyager, and “These are the Voyages” on Enterprise.
Braga penned the finale to every series from Next Generation on. “Hive” feels very much like a finale episode. It has much in common with “Endgame,” where Admiral Janeway uses time travel to try to save Seven of Nine. It also pulls much from the episode “Timeless,” one of the best episodes of any series in the Star Trek franchise. “Timeless” found Commander Chakotay and Ensign Harry Kim returning to a snow-covered planet where the doomed Voyager lay destroyed. With the help of the Emergency Medical Hologram Doctor, they work to undo the past yet again.
You can’t go wrong with Braga’s newest offering in the world of Star Trek’s The Borg, which he personally developed as key villains through so many stories. Although what is and what isn’t canon is usually pretty clear, readers will find it difficult not to view “Hive” as part of the Star Trek canon.
Click here to check out a high-resolution, seven-page preview of Star Trek: The Next Generation “Hive,” courtesy of IDW Publishing. Find the trade edition at your local comic book store tomorrow, or you can find it online, including here at Amazon.com.