It’s been another long year of great entertainment. Before we wrap our coverage of 2018, it’s time for the sixth annual round of new honorees for the borg Hall of Fame. We have plenty of honorees from 2018 films and television, plus many from past years, and a peek at some from the future – 40 in all. You can always check out the updated borg Hall of Fame on our home page under “Know your borg.”
Some reminders about criteria. Borgs have technology integrated with biology. Wearing a technology-powered suit alone doesn’t qualify a new member. Tony Stark aka Iron Man was an inaugural honoree because the Arc Reactor kept him alive. The new Spider-Man suit worn by Tom Holland is similar to Tony’s, but as far as we can tell it’s not integrated with Peter Parker’s biology. Similarly Peni Parker, seen outside her high-tech SP//dr suit in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Black Manta from Aquaman (and decades of comics before), seem to be merely wearing tech suits. We’d love a reason for a Mandalorian to make the cut, like Boba Fett, or Jango Fett, since nobody has more intriguing armor. Maybe Jon Favreau’s new television series will give us something new to ponder next year.
Also, if the creators tell us the characters are merely robots, automatons, or androids, we take their word for it. Westworld continues to define its own characters as androids (like Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Commander Data throughout the TV series), and not cyborgs (going back to Michael Crichton’s original story), so we continue this year to hold off on their admittance unless something changes, like the incorporation of living biological (blood, cells, etc.) materials. Are we closing in on admitting individuals solely based on a breathing apparatus that may allow them to breathe to in non-native atmospheres? Only if integrated (surgically). Darth Vader has more borg parts than his breathing filter. We assume new honoree Saw Gerrera does as well. With more biological enhancements we’d allow Tusken Raiders, Moloch, and Two Tubes from the Star Wars universe, and Mordock the Benzite from Star Trek, but wouldn’t that also mean anyone in a deep sea suit or space suit is a cyborg? Again, integration is key. Ready Player One has humans interacting with a cyber-world with virtual reality goggles and other equipment, but like the Programs (as opposed to the Users) in the movie Tron, this doesn’t qualify as borg either, but we’re making an exception this year for the in-world Aech, who is a cyborg orc character, and two Tron universe characters.
Already admitted in 2017 were advance honorees that didn’t actually make it to the screen until 2018. This included Josh Brolin’s new take on Cable in Deadpool 2 and Simone Missick’s Misty Knight after her acquisition of a borg arm in Marvel’s Luke Cage. New versions of Robotman and Cyborg are coming in 2019 in the Doom Patrol series, but they are already members of the revered Hall of Fame. Above are the new looks for these two earlier honorees.
So who’s in for 2018?
Because of the core character description from Marvel Comics of the character that became Ghost in this year’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, we think the integration of biology and tech make the cut. Initially Ghost immersed “his” consciousness into the data networks he created by wiring his own flesh with his flux-state processors, fused with his body. Hannah John-Kamen played a new, female version in 2018’s Ant-Man and The Wasp with similar but different backstory.
We met Walter, a cyborg update to David 8 (already a Hall of Fame honoree). He appeared in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
Karen Voss was a standout Synth in the 2018 season of AMC’s Humans, sacrificing her life for her adopted cyborg son. She joins prior nominees from the series in the Hall, including the other 2018 stand-out Synth, Mia.
Also on Humans in 2018 we were introduced to the new orange-eyed Synths, including the new borg servant Stanley.
The next stage of Predator technology is as much borg as alien and not just because of the cool armor (as seen at end of Shane Black’s The Predator). It looks like we’ll meet an even cooler Predator than the evolved Predator that starred in the film, if the new Predator Killer that appeared at the end of the film is a feature of the next movie.
Andy Serkis returned as black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue after losing his arm to Ultron. In Black Panther he had a vibranium-powered arm cannon.
From Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Liv Octavius, a brilliant new Spider-verse Doc Ock.
Violet Evergarden, from the manga and 2018 Netflix anime series, was a ghostwriter who lost her hands during the war, having them replaced with advanced mechanized arms.
After Finn continually misplaced his arm, he replaced it with a new mechanized version, on Adventure Time.
From the mind of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, next year we’ll meet Alita in Alita: Battle Angel–called “an abandoned cyborg shell” with “the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.” She’ll be arriving with other cyborg characters (as identified in advance marketing)…
an unnamed cyborg hunter…
… Angela, the cyborg hunter…
… and Grewishka.
We weren’t exactly sure what was going on in Netflix’s Extinction, but we were pretty certain every character was cyborg, with the ability to reproduce and have memory and some biology. Since it’s not clear and they aren’t expressly called robots or androids, we’re assuming the biology. Shown above are Peter and Alice, who defended their home planet Earth from the human invasion.
In the Netflix movie Anon, advanced biosyn implants make everyone a futuristic, rudimentary (yet advanced from today’s view), but mentally invaded form of cyborg. The most advanced of all of these was Amanda Seyfried’s character, referred to only as The Girl.
From Marvel Comics, we have Gabrielle Kinney aka Honey Badger, a clone sister to X-23 and clone of Wolverine. She is incapable of feeling pain, the result of nanites implanted in her body that are slowly killing her. She’s entering the Hall this year with her clone sisters…
… and Bellona.
As with prior years, we’ve looked back to pick up some borgs from the past.
Aaron Aikman is another version of Spider-Man from the comic Edge of Spider-Verse. He didn’t get his powers due to an accident like Peter Parker–he was part of an experiment that spliced his DNA with that of a genetically-altered spider. Aikman also augmented his abilities with a cybernetic suit of armor. He first appeared only in Edge of Spider-Verse Issue #3, and is featured in the 2018 PS4 Spider-Man video game.
Kickpuncher (played by Don “The Demon” Donaldson), cybernetically enhanced to fight back against the criminal element overrunning his city, his punches had the power of kicks.
From Dungeons & Dragons, the Machinamancers, the embodiment of technological progression. Grafted with carbon-based warforged weapons and armor, it’s said “nothing will halt their progress.”
Part fey, part metal, it’s the Cold Iron Corruptor, also a D&D character.
A D&D Augmented Cyborg Monster adds another monster to the Hall.
And from the early Gygax, Mentzer, and Mohan roleplay game, it’s Cyborg Commando.
You never know what classic character will be transformed in the future, like Long John Silver, seen in Treasure Planet.
From the Star Wars universe, Saw Gerrera, the freedom fighter who helped Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and most recently appeared in Star Wars Rebels, stayed alive because of the help of various borg implants.
Aurra Sing, mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story as being killed by Tobias Beckett, had several cybernetic parts, the most prominent being the antenna sticking out of her head, which also contained a Rhen-Orm biocomputer.
From Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we have the bright red armored Guavian Death Gang members (backing human leader Bala-Tik above)–cybernetically augmented soldiers, who were pursuing Han and Chewie.
Garren Kho, a cyborg from Star Wars Galaxies.
And also from Star Wars Galaxies, the cyborg Damaera Mills.
Mort, a cybernetically enhanced clone of Jango Fett, from Star Wars Galaxies.
Former Imperial pilot and cantina bartender Florn from Last Call at Zero Angle, a Star Wars Legacy character.
And we learned more about the device earlier Hall honoree Lobot wore in The Empire Strikes Back. Lucasfilm calls it “The Borg Construct Aj^6,” a cybernetic implant produced by BioTech Industries prior to the onset of the Galactic Civil War.
From the world of Inspector Gadget (already an honoree), it’s his nemesis, Dr. Klaw.
From Neuromancer, we have Johnny Mnemonic, who had cybernetic implants in his brain…
… and also the mercenary cyborg Molly Millions.
Kevin Flynn was first broken down and his biological self was teleported into The Grid and integrated with a gamesuit in 1982’s Tron. His biology and the cybernetic world became one and we’re thinking he became a (very tiny) form of cybernetic organism.
But he wasn’t the only human User that made it to the microverse of The Grid, becoming part of the game.
The other human teleported inside The Grid with a special suit and identity disc was Kevin’s son, Sam Flynn, who arrived years later in Tron: Legacy. The rest of the characters? Digital avatars of outside humans, or merely digital programs.
And finally, here is Aech from inside the Oasis in Ready Player One. You might think this is another digital avatar like the programs in Tron. And you’d be correct. Here we’re talking about the character itself, not Helen Harris playing through the avatar. Aech is a cyborg orc–a borg character.
Give them all a (cybernetic) hand, the 40 new members of the borg Hall of Fame!
Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!