Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen’s new Kelvin Timeline series introduces the Borg. With his crew separated awaiting the construction of the Enterprise-A, Kirk must depend on a new group of officers to solve the mystery of what destroyed the USS Concord. Resistance is of course, futile.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 47634.44. With the Enterprise crew reassigned while awaiting construction of their new ship, Kirk is now acting captain of the USS Endeavour,with Bones and Chekov joining him. Sulu is Captain Terrell’s first officer aboard the USS Concord, Scotty has accepted a teaching post at Starfleet Academy, and Spock and Uhura are on sabbatical at New Vulcan. Researching the destruction of the Concord, Kirk has encountered a new threat. The only clue, an audio recording – one indicating that “resistance is futile”.
Taking a page out of Shakespeare’s book – in which readers know more about what’s happening than the characters in the story – Mike Johnson has taken the Federation’s greatest nemesis, the Borg, and introduced them into the Kelvin Timeline 100 years earlier than the Prime Timeline, heightening the story’s drama to a level never realized in the franchise’s 50-year history, which is no simple feat.
Warping out of space dock with the launch of Star Trek: Boldly Go (published by IDW) last month, Johnson and artist Tony Shasteen immediately thrust the Enterprise crew into the most dangerous situation they have yet to experience.
Readers will appreciate just how high the stakes are in issue two, as Kirk and the Endeavour crew learn what happened to Sulu as the Enterprise’s former helmsman relays his story. The stakes, as always when it comes to the Borg, are high, but Johnson has brought it to a place unexplored since Picard was assimilated in “The Best of Both Worlds.”
Demonstrating the elevated crisis perfectly, as well as Johnson’s excellent use of dramatic irony, Shasteen illustrates page 13 with individual Endeavour crew members in separate panels updating Kirk on the Borg sphere’s status and that of the captured Concord crew members. With just four simple close ups on the crew, Shasteen and Johnson have amplified the drama as the reader knows what is to come next.
The joy in reading often comes from encountering unpredictable elements, and Star Trek: Boldly Go #2 offers a new twist to the Borg phenomenon. Shasteen once again draws a terrific comic, adding some nifty modifications to the assimilated Concord crew members and utilizing the film’s special effects as the Endeavour goes to warp in pursuit of the Borg.
Lifelong fan Johnson, once again places Easter eggs in Issue 2, one of which is a nod to the aforementioned TNG episode. With its ominous final page and Kirk’s declaration he will rescue the Concord’s surviving crew, readers are left worrying that his efforts will be – yes, we’re saying it again – futile.
Also available this week from IDW Publishing: the Star Trek Ongoing volume 13 trade paperback, which collects issues 55-60, including the poignant four-part “Legacy of Spock”, as well as the two-part series finale.