The crew of Voyager
discover Borg that aren't really Borg; a medieval society
threatened by the catastrophic effects of alien intervention;
a deadly trial by fire for a new elite security force; and
an enemy that once challenged James T. Kirk...
collection brings together three one-shot specials and a three-issue
first story, False Colors, is an interesting spin on
the threat of the Borg. Writer Nathan Archer mostly gets the
characters of the Voyager crew right, although there
are some clunky lines of dialogue. "I can't be sure," says
Torres early on in the tale, "but it appears this ship was
destroyed by the Borg." "The Borg?" asks Janeway, "Are you
sure?" No, Captain - Torres just said that she couldn't be
sure, didn't she?! Writers can just about get away with this
kind of dialogue on TV, but not on the printed page.
art, by Jeffrey Moy, Philip Moy and W.C. Carani, is mostly
nice and well defined. There is one slight goof, however:
when disguising themselves as Borg drones, Chakotay, Tuvok
and Seven retain their hair, when they should have been bald.
On the other hand, the visual strengths of the medium are
ably demonstrated by some holey-headed aliens, which would
have been difficult to realise on TV!
Rising ties in with that sub-genre of Trek that
Voyager has made its own: accounts of the crew's exploits
as seen from an alien point of view. In this instance, the
perspective depicted by writers Janine Ellen Young and Doselle
Young is that of a young medieval squire. The story also focuses
on the character of the Doctor, who once again toes the line
of Starfleet's non-interference directive.
third story, Elite Force, is based on the Star Trek:
Voyager computer game of the same name. As such, there
is little in the way of plot, besides shooting things in the
style of Doom or Resident Evil. Some of the
creatures encountered owe a debt to the warrior bugs in Starship
Troopers. There are also unfortunate similarities to False
Colors in that both stories feature the Borg plus another
alien presence that seeks to scavenge spare parts from space
likenesses of the TV series' actors are reasonably rendered
in each of the first three stories. The trouble with transferring
screen characters to comics is that artists cannot afford
to take liberties with the look of the original show (as opposed
to the vast diversity of styles that have graced the pages
of Superman or Judge Dredd) or they will invite
the wrath of fans.
collection is rounded off by the three-part Planet Killer,
a sequel to one of my favourite Classic Trek episodes,
The Doomsday Machine. The likenesses here are the most
accurate in the entire collection, although the stylised artwork
of Robert Teranishi and Claude St. Aubin makes it difficult
to decipher what is actually happening in certain frames.
to the previous three stories, words are few and far between
in Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith's script.
Even so, several text panels opt to tell rather than show
the reader information. Planet Killer is a magnificent
example of style over substance. However, its conclusion is
as tense as the brilliant climax to the original Doomsday
varied and enjoyable collection.
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