Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Star Trek TNG: Hive

I picked up the trade paperback collection of the Star Trek: TNG series “Hive” from artist Joe Corroney at a local signing event.  Star Trek comics are currently being published by IDW, a company that has a lot of works from licensed properties in addition to some great original comics.  Hive tells a story that I’d say seems to be the ultimate confrontation with and conclusion to the Borg, a species of androids that have been a nemesis in the Next Generation continuity for a long time.  The Borg is a species of automatons that assimilate other species.  So they turn other species into Borg.  The Borg have no emotions and don’t do anything except try to assimilate more species.  They are apparently controlled by a leader but are otherwise not supposed to think independently.

One of the hooks of any Borg story is that Jean-Luc Picard, the captain of the star Ship Enterprise, was once assimilated but somehow escaped (I don’t remember how).  So Jean-Luc has a unique perspective when dealing with the Borg.  The Hive story takes us forward in time to a time when the Borg have won and Jean-Luc works with the Borg queen, then back to a time that I think is shortly after the last of the Next Generation movies (I never did see the last one).  The story, written by Brannon Braga,  has some great twists, so I don’t want to spoil anything by going into great detail.  I will say the comic is well written, and I never felt like I was lost despite not being a full-fledged Trek Geek.  I liked the characterizations in the story, and I thought Jean-Luc was spot on.  This is very important to me, because the main reason I watched TNG on TV was the incredible job Patrick Stewart did in the role!

The art did a wonderful job telling the story.  With something that can be effects-heavy like any sci-fi, it can be difficult to show the action sequences well.  Joe does well by combining big panels with lots of stuff going on in them and pages with lots of smaller panels to show intense action sequences.  My only slight criticism with the art is something I’ve seen in many other books that involve likenesses of actors.  That is, sometimes the characters’ faces do not seem very expressive.  I think this is because an artist is trying so hard to keep the characters on model, and the more extreme the expression the less the characters seem to look on model.  Anyway, that’s a very minor quibble in an otherwise excellent book.

Anyway, I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s seen at least a little Trek in their lives.  If you haven’t seen any Trek, you should watch some Patrick Stewart Trek episodes or movies, then read this book.  You’ll like it, I’m sure!

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