Review by C.J. Bunce
Star Trek Voyager’s Seven of Nine takes center stage in a new limited series from IDW Publishing. In Star Trek Voyager: Seven’s Reckoning, writer Dave Baker (Action Hospital, Star Trek: Waypoint) and artists Angel Hernandez (Star Trek: Picard Countdown, Star Trek/Green Lantern) and Ronda Pattison have created one of those rare tie-in stories that is solidly believable as a missing episode of the TV series. In Seven’s Reckoning, the Voyager crew encounters an alien vessel filled with a cryogenically frozen crew, which should evoke thoughts of Star Trek Into Darkness and its source story, the original series episode “Space Seed” (it also might conjure images from the Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence movie, Passengers). As Captain Janeway and the crew attempt to assist the peoples, called the Ohrdi’Nadar, Seven lands in the middle of an uprising of the worker aliens–the Vesh–against Septa, their oppressor and leader, getting a close encounter with the Prime Directive.
Baker knows these characters well and reflects their voices, emotions, and relationships identical to the characters in a late-season episode of Voyager. The writer infuses a real-world struggle, social positioning and economic power, that was touched on in the “Workforce” episodes, and more aggressively in the TNG episode “Symbiosis” and Deep Space Nine episodes featuring the Hunters vs. Tosk in “Captive Pursuit” and the Founders’ control of the Jem’Hadar beginning in the episode “To the Death.”
Count me a new fan of Hernandez’s pencils and inks with Pattison’s color choices–each issue looks like a Voyager episode–with characters that reflect the actors who played the parts and settings, costumes, and even new aliens that reflect the series aesthetic. Like JK Woodward’s various painted Star Trek comic book series, Hernandez’s work is instantly recognizable as Star Trek.
We’ve seen the main trope of the story in countless instances–a Federation crew finding a stranded ship in space–like the Exeter in the original series story “The Omega Glory,” an alternate Enterprise-C in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” the Tsiolkovsky in “The Naked Now,” the Boseman in “Cause and Effect,” an alternate Defiant in the two-part Enterprise episode “In the Mirror Darkly,” the Glenn in the Discovery episode “Context is for Kings”–for starters. Star Trek Voyager has had its share of the trope, including finding an Earth probe in “Friendship One” and the Mars mission command shuttle Ares IV in “One Small Step…” That’s why the trope works again here. It’s always a great part of “going where no one has gone before” to see exactly where that new encounter will take viewers or readers. A lesser tapped trope that surfaces is for a crew to be required to communicate with a new alien race without the benefit of typical language or technology like universal translators, relying on an individual’s story and storytelling as a guiding tool of life. Ideas of this sort have best been covered in Star Trek via the NextGen episode “Darmok” and the Enterprise episode “Acquisition.”
Here is a preview of the covers and some interior pages from Star Trek Voyager: Seven’s Reckoning:
Although Seven takes center stage, familiar characters get significant coverage as in a character-focused episode, especially Tuvok, Janeway, and Chakotay, with lesser appearances from Ensign Kim and the EMH, and other characters taking a backseat this round. Look for some good emotional beats, especially from Seven’s primary contact with the Vesh, a worker named Greeb. Readers will probably get attached to Greeb as they did Mullibok in the DS9 episode “Progress,” or Macias in the TNG episode “Preemptive Strike.”
The four issues include three variant options: an “A” cover by Angel Hernandez, a “B” cover with a cast member photo, and a stylized retailer incentive cover by Jeffrey Veregge.