Comic Book Review – Star Trek The Next Generation – Hive
Star Trek The Next Generation – Hive is the full story (all four issues of HIVE, as originally published), weighing in at a hefty 106 pages.
We first meet Locutus of Borg, for he is what Jean Luc Picard has become. No sooner do we learn he has a mission, than the story skips 500 years back to the time after he first returned to the federation as Jean Luc.
We are taken into memes more commonly seen in fantasy than SF – alternative timelines, parallel worlds, other realms (and the demons who live within); all far beyond that seen in the Q days, and further still than from within the likes of Babylon 5.
Swiftly reintroduced are a range of familiar characters – seven of nine is the Borg Ambassador, Riker is a Captain, Data is reborn as Borg; and the ubiquitous Dr Beverly Crusher. A fresh character appears, a Lieutenant whose brother was also assimilated at an unspecified time in the past.
The sequence flips back and forth in time, with clever use of parallel panels and cross break speech bubbles to show the same character spilt across two different time streams, and to visually and verbally smooth the passage between the two. It soon emerges that there has been a massive Borg ‘trick’ and we move into the realms of concurrent time streams where the future intervenes & uses temporal anomalies to time travel and destroy themselves as the strip hops back and forth, with fewer panels between.
The result is a balancing of worlds, and a return to the expected past and future, thus preserving the space-time continuum and the canon of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a whole.
Star Trek The Next Generation – Hive has artwork, by Joe Corroney and David Messina (with colours by Ilaria Traversi and Hi Fi) which is superb and makes good use of the verve and pace supplied by writer Brannon Braga. However this is firmly aimed at the 18+ end of the comics market, and contains themes that might be considered unsuitable for a younger person.