It’s been another long year of great entertainment. It’s time for the tenth annual round of new honorees for the borg Hall of Fame. We have several inductees from 2022 films, television, and various print media – 35 in all, new borgs or groups of borgs, or updated variants of past members, bringing the borg Hall of Fame total to 316.
You can always check out the updated borg Hall of Fame linked at the bottom of our new re-designed 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. Tony Stark aka Iron Man was named an honoree because the Arc Reactor kept him alive, not because of his incredible tech armor. The Spider-Man suit worn by Tom Holland is similar to Tony’s, but it’s not integrated with Peter Parker’s biology.
Also, if the creators tell us the characters are merely robots, automatons, or androids (as in Westworld, the Synths of Star Trek: Picard, and the new Dark Troopers of The Mandalorian), we take their word for it. Again, integration is key, but in the Hall, once a member, always a member.
So let’s get on with it. Who’s in for 2022?
In 2022 we saw the return of past inductees in new shows, like Darth Vader in Kenobi, Saw Gerrera in Andor, Doc Ock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jean-Luc Picard, Seven, and the Queen of The Borg in Star Trek Picard, Keyla Detmer in Star Trek Discovery, Sam Rutherford in Star Trek: The Lower Decks, DynoMutt in Scoob!, Robotman in Doom Patrol, plus more Daleks and Cybermen in Doctor Who and Replicants like Elle in Blade Runner: Black Lotus comics, the Spartans in the new Halo TV series, Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Isaac in The Orville, Ash in Army of Darkness comics, and Synthetics from Alien in tie-in novels like Davis and Mae in Alien: Inferno’s Fall. And best of all was probably the return of Fennic Shand and Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett.
For new members of the borg Hall of Fame, let’s begin with that cyborg gang referred to as the Mods who assisted Boba Fett against the Pyke Syndicate in The Book of Boba Fett. This included several characters led by Drash, who has a cybernetic replacement for her left arm:
And this is Skad, who had a cybernetic eye modification:
Also in The Book of Boba Fett was backstory showing the Mod doctor in Mos Eisley known only as The Modifier, who saved Fennec Shand with cybernetics.
Cad Bane, a Duros bounty hunter and borg known from the animated series The Clone Wars, made his first (and last?) live-action appearance.
There were Burton Fisher, Connor Penske, and others in the Haptic Recon Force from The Peripheral, a squad of elite soldiers who had been voluntarily altered with cybernetic implants to become super-soldiers with a connected, neurologically linked ability to think and feel as one.
Returning from the animated series Gargoyles to the comics pages this year is Coldstone, a cyborg gargoyle created by Xanatos and Demona from the shattered stone remains of three members of the Wyvern Clan:
Frank Archer is a cyborg villain with super strength in the anime universe of Fullmetal Alchemist:
Ultron is a borg already in the Hall of Fame, but this year in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness we saw several Earth-838 Ultron sentries. We would learn later from the film’s creators that they were created in that timeline by Tony Stark in the more docile manner he had intended in our timeline.
In the animated series Pacific Rim: The Black, we met a new Jaeger-Kaiju hybrid, part giant robot, part giant beast, called Apex. Bio-mechanical in its design, it was built using Kaiju blood, and a Kaiju’s secondary brain built within a Quantum Data Core.
Jankom Pog is a Tellarite with cyborg modifications on Star Trek Prodigy:
The Afternova card game introduced several anthropomorphic characters called the Hired Paws, each with visible borg enhancements, although most are not explained. These include mercenaries Spike Hornby, Buzz Ardrin, Rhett Reaver, Vlad Batson, Tabitha Furman, and Chester Beatty.
Let’s go back in time a little bit. In the popular 1970s Japanese live-action Spider-Man series, Professor Monster was the leader of the Iron Cross Army. He destroyed Planet Spider and was the arch-nemesis of Takuya Yamashiro, who transforms into Spider-Man to fight his Machine Bem monsters.
Ulysses Solomon Archer was the star of U.S. 1, a 1980s Marvel comic book series based on Tyco slot cars. After attending college he was run off the road and his skull was replaced by an experimental alloy, which gave him the ability to pick up radio frequencies.
In Bionic Showdown, one of The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman movies, Sandra Bullock played Kate Mason. Confined to a wheelchair due to congenital disease and muscular deterioration, she volunteered for an OSI bionics program with updated technologies, and was trained by Jamie Sommers.
In Matt Wagner’s Grendel universe, Grendel-Prime was a body-armored, solar-powered cyborg created by Orion to protect his son Jupiter.
This year we’re honoring several more borgs from the past from DC Comics. In the movie Superman 3, one of the Man of Steel’s nemeses is Vera Webster. In an attempt to subdue Superman, the supercomputer called the Ultimate Computer seizes her and turns her into a cyborg zombie:
The late Jack Kirby created OMAC, which stands for (take your pick) Omni Mind And Community, originally Observational Metahuman Activity Construct and One Man Army Corps. The first of these was Buddy Blank, who was changed via a “computer-hormonal operation done by remote control” by an A.I. satellite called “Brother Eye” into a super-powered hero.
Later the OMACs were humans transformed by a virus into “living machines” to assassinate any and all beings with superpowers. One of these OMACs was Sasha Bordeaux:
and Kevin Kho:
Sy Borgman aka Sy-Borg was a U.S. government agent. In defeating a terrorist group a large part of his body was destroyed and it was replaced with cutting edge cybernetics. He later helped Harley Quinn and became her neighbor.
Referred to as one of the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals, Tharok was once a thief on the planet Zadron. After he was wounded in a crime by the police, a rushed rescue left him with cybernetics that left him disfigured. Seeing himself as a monster he returned to a life of crime.
John Corben was the Kryptonite-powered cyborg called Metallo. Once a journalist who worked with Lois Lane, he became a small-time supervillain. Superman would learn the best way to disable his powers was to remove his head.
Turning to the realm of Wonder Woman is Vanessa Kapatelis aka the Silver Swan. First her brain was reprogrammed by mad scientists, then she was abducted and turned into a cyborg as a weapon against Wonder Woman. Ultimately Wonder Woman rescued her and helped her to remove the cybernetics and recuperate.
Ultimax or The Brain has a long history in DC Comics, and he returned as the villain in the third season of Doom Patrol. A cruel, arrogant, and self-indulgent supervillain genius and the founder and former leader of the Brotherhood of Evil, he’s basically a brain in a special container, the result of a doctor who transferred his brain to a computer to survive many decades ago.
Finally, we reserve the right to honor as borg those characters from classic science fiction whose specific nature is uncertain. In this case we’re including the Beta Unit from The Last Starfighter. The Beta Unit was a Simuloid, which was designated as a synthetic lifeform. Synthetic is technology, and lifeform presumes some kind of living matter. He helped Alex by mimicking his form while he went off to defend the Star League from the Kodan Armada.
Finally, to celebrate our tenth yar of the borg Hall of Fame, we’re honoring the first known borg to be specifically called a borg–the Unnamed Borg that Han Solo and Chewbacca agree to bury in Issue #7 of Marvel Comics from January 1978, drawn by Howard Chaykin and written by Roy Thomas.
Note: A creation of Marvel Comics was Brute Force, tied into the Deadpool character. They included Boomer, Lionheart, and Soar, Bear, Doctor Echo, and Weapon II, each an animal with enhanced superpowers and communications abilities. We’re not counting these as borg quite yet, as the members only wear cybernetic suits, which enable their abilities, and the technology isn’t integrated into the organic matter, such as with Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor. We’ll wait and see if the characters return with more specifics down the road.
That’s it for this year!
Give them all a (cybernetic) hand, the 2022 inductees–our 10th year--of the borg Hall of Fame! Find the entire list updated here. And don’t miss all our Best of 2022 lists here.
Thanks for reading borg this year!
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg