Monday, 26 December 2016

Star Trek: Boldly Go #2 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO No. 2, November 2016
The potential for permanently disillusioning this “blockbuster” series’ dedicated 9,012 readers must have played merry upon the mind of Mike Johnson when he penned the script for Issue Two of “Star Trek: Boldly Go”. For although the “IDW Publishing” author’s narrative is not the only piece of published fiction to feature James Kirk and Mister Spock encountering the collective species known as the Borg, this twenty-page periodical is the first time that the U.S.S. Enterprise’s “brash” captain from the Kelvin Timeline does so.

Indeed, much of this comic’s captivating charm stems from the somewhat unusual situation that the vast majority of the book’s audience almost certainly knew far more about the Federation’s ‘newest’ adversary than the Starfleet officers themselves, and it definitely wouldn’t have come as a shock to many bibliophiles that the “entire saucer section” of the significantly underpowered U.S.S. Concord is literally ‘carved up’ by the cybernetic organism’s craft just as soon as the Freedom-class starship encounters it; “They called themselves the Borg. They locked us in a tractor beam immediately.”

Fortunately however, despite a sense of familiarity with a storyline that harks back to that of the 1990 “Star Trek: The Next Generation” two-part television serial “The Best Of Both Worlds”, Johnson still manages to include the odd agreeable surprise within this Trekkie tome by having Kirk’s latest command, the U.S.S. Endeavour, face a Borg sphere rather than one of the “recurring antagonists” cubes. This long-range tactical scout ship is no-where near as formidable a threat as the Collective’s much larger primary vessel, and makes for a far more ‘believable match’ when James Tiberius interferes with the aliens’ assimilation of the outpost Armstrong courtesy of a “full torpedo spread on my mark”.

Equally as enjoyable is Clark Terrell’s materialisation on board the Endeavour’s bridge after the Concord’s captain has apparently had his “biological distinctiveness” added to the extra-terrestrial hive mind. This alternative version of the character from the 1982 America science fiction film “Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan” is wonderfully rendered by artist Tony Shasteen and embodies all of the cybernetic species’ arrogant apathy towards the outpost survivor’s would-be rescuers.  In fact, the graphic illustrator’s pencilling throughout the comic, with the notable exception of the sedentary scenes set on New Vulcan, genuinely imbue the plot’s proceedings with a scintillating sense of speed and palatable tension.
The variant cover art of "STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO" No. 2 by Marc Laming

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