A new unofficial Star Trek comic has hit the interwebs, and we’ve gotta say – we’re hooked. Take a look at Star Trek Beta Fleet, a beautifully illustrated comic created by Taylor Hord, which focuses on a crew of Starfleet “misfits” and the troubles they find themselves running into around the galaxy.
These are the voyages… of the B team
“Beta Fleet is about the ships and crews we don’t see,” Taylor Hord, artist and creator of Star Trek Beta Fleet, tells TrekMovie.
“It is about the ‘Misfits’ and ‘Black sheep’ that Starfleet would just rather not deal with, and subsequently sends them out to patrol the Beta Quadrant in antiquated and beat-up starships. Now, by Misfits, I do not mean ‘worthy of just being fired,’ rather ‘the paperwork to do that would be too cumbersome, and they can at least clean up a shuttlebay and do the leg work nobody else wants to.'”
Personally, this is a concept that I’ve always wanted to see fleshed out in the Star Trek universe. TNG does give us a glimpse into the less than glamorous world of the not-so-senior staff in “Lower Decks“, which I’ll admit is a favorite episode of mine. Beta Fleet combines the right amount of sci-fi ambiance and plenty of classic Treknobabble with just enough humor to keep me coming back.
Beyond the story of the comic, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous. Hord has captured the look and feel of 24th century Trek with a comic book flair and an organization that is easy to follow.
The story follows our hero, Captain T’Prong, and her ragtag crew of the Federation Starship Soyokaze.
“Beta Fleet: They are truly the ‘B’ Team,” Hord told TrekMovie. “Our main character, Captain T’Prong, a vulcan who lost both her husband and son to Starfleet, will be placed in charge of this ragtag fleet with the challenge of commanding such a group of individuals,” says Hord. “Her first officer is Colonel Roketh, a Klingon Priest serving by way of the Klingon/Federation exchange program.”
“The 3 main vessels in the “Beta Fleet” are the Oberth class USS Lico, the original USS Excelsior, which served as a run down museum and more or less forgotten during the dominion war, and the Primary Ship on which our main crew serves; the Constellation class USS Soyokaze.”
When asked about the setting of the comic, Hord is quite clear: “The timeline is absolutely the Prime timeline. The first episode, “Wagon Train,” begins in 2388, after the destruction of Romulus. Obviously I do not have the audacity to say ‘This is how it should be!’ however that is all I have personally wanted so badly to see: lets pick up where Nemesis and Voyager left off. I disagree that in order to ‘move forward’ Star Trek has to either be ‘in a totally different time’ or an ‘alternate reality’. I would rather move forward in the timeline I grew up with, and one that feels like home.”
At the time of writing, the first “episode” of Beta Fleet is 35 pages long. Hord says he has treatments written up for 20-30 full episodes and that he will keep publishing the comic so long as his hands can draw them. Hord says that, while it is indeed a comic, it will be presented as episodes within seasons, just like we are used to seeing on television.
“This project started as a series of conversations with my fellow Star Trek fan, as well as oldest and best friend, Richard Hansen,” says Hord. “We met in high school in 1996, when we both saw each other drawing Star Trek ships. Our favorite thing to do was nerd-out and design our own Star Trek ships and come up with episode and TV show ideas. Star Trek: Beta Fleet is my humble attempt to offer, in the very least, a story that I know I would be excited to read, as a fan of Star Trek writ-large.”
Beta Fleet is not an officially licensed comic, and so Hord is basically creating the webcomic equivalent of a fan film. “I do not intend to make a single penny off of Beta Fleet,” he said. “It will be absolutely free, posted regularly, and is 100% for all Star Trek fans.”
Check out Star Trek Beta Fleet at its current home on tumblr, which Hord says he will eventually migrate to it’s own website.