Star Trek: Voyager has long been considered a controversial entry in the Star Trek canon, with some fans of the franchise failing to take to it for a variety of reasons; however, with the show having recently marked its quarter century, there does now seem to have been something of a shift to reappraise it, no doubt in part due to the fact that there is a whole lot more Trek out there for the aficionados to take a strong dislike to, and enough time having passed for Voyager to now attract a more nostalgic feeling.
This move has perhaps been helped by the reappearance of Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Picard, with sufficient character development to enable Jeri Ryan to do more than just strut around in a figure-hugging catsuit and act emotionless for the most part; however, Seven has still been one of the few highly regarded elements of the series (perhaps due in part to those same outfits), so her return in new Trek might have helped in kickstarting some of those wistful reminiscences of an earlier, simpler age, and a style of storytelling seen as more faithful to Roddenberry’s ethos.
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This redemption tour for Voyager looks set to continue with the forthcoming appearance of Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway in new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, coming up on Nickelodeon in 2021. Voyager also shares some of its DNA with Star Trek: Discovery in its latest iteration, as both vessels are a long way from home and having to deal with the unfamiliar and new – in Voyager’s case, it was a case of their being adrift in the Delta Quadrant, whereas in Discovery the ship’s crew now find themselves almost 1,000 years in their personal future.
One of the most recent episodes of Discovery – ‘Die Trying’ – even tried to do its part to bridge the divide between the current and earlier Star Trek series, not only by putting in a Deep Space Nine Easter egg as a tribute to that show’s cast member Aron Eisenberg who died in 2019, but also setting fanboy hearts a flutter by offering a glimpse of the future’s USS Voyager NCC-74656-J, showing that the ship endures – in some form or other – far past the era of Janeway and all of her compatriots.
With all of this newly-found love going around for Star Trek: Voyager – which is not as bad as you think – then now is the ideal time for IDW to bring out a new Voyager story in comic book form. This new tale – focusing upon Seven – is actually IDW’s first multi-part Voyager comic book since taking over the Star Trek licence back in 2006, although they have done the one-shot Mirrors And Smoke, as well as having the crew and ship turning up in other Trek comics, like Waypoint and The Q Conflict.
Here, we go back to a point shortly after Seven became part of the series line-up, following her liberation from the Borg collective. She is still having to prove herself to all the crew, and earn their trust, as she has only recently regained her humanity and had her connection with the Borg hive mind severed. With Voyager picking up a message coming from a long-dormant spacecraft, Seven sets about engaging with the revived occupants and helping effect repairs, while also noticing an imbalance in the class and power structure that she feels compelled to address.
Dave Baker’s writing captures the more dispassionate and logical Seven we first met after her rescue by Voyager, and there is some lovely riffing on the similarity between Seven and the equally rational and matter-of-fact Tuvok. We get something of an insight into this wholly new species – the Ohrdi’Nadar – and the conflict which is set to arise between Seven and these aliens, as well as potentially her shipmates, with the title promising some form of reckoning for her over the course of the story.
With everything being vividly realised by Angel Hernandez’s art, assisted by the colouring of Ronda Pattison, and Baker’s plot promising some potentially intriguing twists, this may be the beginning of a whole new run in comic books for Star Trek: Voyager; hopefully, the momentum will be carried on through the next three issues, and help continue the show’s critical revival.
Star Trek: Voyager – Seven’s Reckoning #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.