Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hive…
“In the distant future the entire galaxy has been completely assimilated by Borg and it’s king… Locutus! The only hope for the future lies in the past, in the hands of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise-as Picard faces off against the Borg collective in one final, terrifying, and definitive encounter!“
Hive was a four issue mini-series from IDW. Published from September 2012 it ended in February 2013. Headline writing goes to Brannon Braga and art was done by Joe Corroney. This review is based upon the graphic novel bringing all parts together as one, as the Borg would.*
Now let me start by saying Mr Braga wrote some of my favourite (or at least most memorable) episodes of ST:TNG like ‘Cause and Effec’t, ‘Schisms’ and ‘All Good Things…’ He has had a handful of good Voyager episodes (no really) too. Joe Corroney I’m not so familiar with, though having a look around Google you can see a lot of his work and his artist history includes Star Wars and Star Trek, and publications for Dark Horse Comics and IDW.
Going by the Braga being attached, I expected to be entertained with this graphic novel, however I wasn’t. If anything I was confused.
Set after the Nemesis movie the story goes something like this: Picard as Locutus, 500 years in the future, decides he’s had enough and sees now as the time to destroy the Borg from within, albeit after the entire galaxy has been assimilated already. We fly back 500 years and Picard pops to see and old friend Vash, has a tumble and hears the word “Locutus”. He then ends up on the Enterprise, speaks to Starfleet, and it turns out Borg are massing on Earth. Starfleet stands ready to attack but the Borg want an alliance as they have messed it up and brought (again) big creatures from a different dimension, who are in the business of destroying anything in their path. Starfleet agree. It goes wrong. Oh and there is a time traveling B-4 in there too.
The story is awful and I was constantly going back a page or two to see if I had missed something. Two thirds of a way through I thought to myself “How is this going to end?” and when it did I was left with the bad taste of “Is that it?” in my mouth and thought “Janeway did that same trick years back and without having to be spooned by a naked 7of9!” (That’s right we get slash fiction in here too). The story references a lot of old Star Trek episodes, or as I liked to call it after a while, ‘Names Drops’. It Name Drops more than a giddy Z-list celebrity ever could… Vash, B-4, Nexus, Typhon Expanse and on and on. It’s a good job I have Memory Alpha on bookmark to help with refreshing my misfiring braincells about set locations. Not that it really matters as soon as we’re introduced Braga goes on to the next Name Drop.
Flipping around from some alternative future to the Trek present seems rather empty andit forgets itself as well as tales it’s told a few pages back. For example, The Sentinel is a nasty bugger in the future, but rather dead in the past. That’s just one obvious example.
Now I fall to the art. The main players are easy to see – Picard, 7of9, Data – however the other characters, due to art and colouring, are easily mistaken for somebody else, especially the female roles, “Is it Troi / Crusher / Other Woman? Who knows, but it doesn’t matter as they serve no purpose here.” The art is messy, all over the place and I’m sorry to say rather ermmm basic. There is nothing that stands outs, no one panel that can be the saving grace and when the naked 7of9 spoons the clothed Picard I checked the age range of the comic to see if I had to be a lonely male teenager again to read this.
Bad story and bad art. Having to wait for each issue to appear, one by one, must have been extremely annoying and depressing. A steer clear, I’m sorry. I expected more story from Mr. Braga and not rehashes of old Trek programmes.
* A joke.
Villordsutch is married with kids and pets. He looks like a tubby Viking and enjoys science fiction. Follow him on Twitter.