What’s really striking about Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hive, the third volume in the Eaglemoss hardcover collection of IDW graphic novels, is its basis in canonic legitimacy.
Let’s talk about canon for a little bit. Canon is that established collection of lore and historical information within a fictional universe that represents the expected behaviour of significant characters and storylines.
It’s what fans cling to when they evaluate a new submission by creators and other significant contributors. However, what fans fail to realize sometimes, is that canon is at the interpretation of those who have the privilege of adding to that previously established lore and therefore, creating more.
Enter Brannon Braga, the creator of this story (and one of Star Trek’s most established and widely-recognized writers). In terms of legitimacy, Braga created some of the most widely acclaimed Star Trek episodes, so if there’s a comic story that a true-blooded Star Trek fan should pay attention to, then it’s a pretty good bet that it’s this one.
To summarize: this story extrapolates the alternate future of TNG in which Locutus of Borg has achieved Borg conquest of the galaxy in pursuit of perfection, yet he has found that after 500 years of dominance, the Borg have failed in that aim.
This, of course, means that Picard, rather than Locutus, needs to take action far in the future — to change the past — that will allow the Borg to fail at a crucial point in its history, which will prevent their victory and allow the Federation to continue.
Of course, this is a perfect story that not only brings in Star Trek: Voyager fans but also TNG ones as well. Devout Jeri Ryan fans will love to see a post-Voyager appearance of Seven of Nine, especially as a dynamic focal point in this story and that also goes for the return of the Borg Queen as well.
This book can serve as a companion to Braga’s televised and cinematic works. Reminiscent of many of the thematic elements of Star Trek: First Contact, readers enjoy the presence of not only their regular cast of TNG players (as well as the reconstructed presence of a familiar character), but also several familiar faces from Star Trek: Voyager.
Braga, clearly knows which pressure points to push in exacting a simultaneous compellingly nostalgic and entertaining response from fans through the recognizable hallmarks of his storytelling style: time travel, dynamically unique characters like the Borg Queen and complex positioning of story events that forces a reader to pay close attention to it.
Terry Matalas and Travis Pickett (co-creators of SyFy’s 12 Monkeys television adaptation) definitely deserve credit for their adaptive work on the script for this story. With a complicated plot like this, their work in ensuring that Braga’s story gets faithfully told within the confines of the comic medium is not only essential but admirably done.
When it comes to the art in this book, we also have to give Joe Corroney full marks for his absolutely stunning work, particularly his covers. They are rendered fully and with great detail as we explore this vibrant story that deftly closes the loop on the Borg Queen and her machinations. Corroney certainly has a great deal of skill when it comes to illustrating the action sequences, particularly the starship combat ones.
As with the previous two volumes in this collection, a Gold Key Star Trek story is included at the end of this boo: The Invasion of the City Builders. Written by Dick Wood and drawn by Alberto Giolitti, it’s a simple story about the dangers of allowing a society to become too dependent on mechanical or electronic devices. The connection to Hive is obvious, but it’s also very entertaining to see the evolution of sophistication in the last forty years between the two stories.
Hive is a Trek story written by one if its most prolific creators. It completely fits into the canon of Star Trek and does so not only through Braga’s intimate knowledge of the series, but by also bringing back well-loved characters that fans can immediately respond to.
The relationship between Locutus and the Borg Queen is a great recurring storyline to exploit but Seven of Nine’s presence in the story adds another delicious layer of complexity, especially in the different time zones the story inhabits.
Eaglemoss has curated a wonderful assortment of Trek stories and this third volume is clearly a harbinger of more excellence to come.
In Eaglemoss’ US store, TrekCore readers can use promo code TREKCORE at checkout for 10% off any ‘Trek’ collectible purchase $50 or greater (Starships, Plaques, Binders, or Graphic Novels).