Seven of Nine is one of the Star Trek: Voyager characters who really made a mark, both with the creators and the fans. Following her introduction in Season 4, she ended up getting a significant amount of storylines, and pulled focus from her fellow shipmates. She even managed to have a comeback, hanks to Star Trek: Picard making her a key part of its premiere run in 2020.
Pity, then, someone like poor Ensign Harry Kim, who was on the programme from day one, but despite the best efforts of the writers, never really seemed to get anything close to the same popularity or momentum as Seven, nor offer the same kind of potential for development. It would be quite difficult to try and argue he was even as well-rounded a character as the ship’s Doctor; when you are unable to compete with even a hologram in the interest stakes, let alone an ex-Borg, then you just know something is wrong.
Poor Harry is, unfortunately, an easy target, as there are also a few other crew members who were underdeveloped on the screen. Seven had a similar sort of impact here to when Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation was transferred across to Deep Space Nine for its fourth season, upstaging many of the regulars in the process. At least she – and Worf – offered a springboard to push the storytelling in different directions, and offer a new, outsider’s perspective.
With Seven of Nine able to easily carry a story by herself, the third issue of Star Trek: Voyager – Seven’s Reckoning sees her without the involvement of the Voyager crew, other than a brief flashback cameo early on. Having seen for herself the oppression of the Vesh caste being carried out by Septa and all of her acolytes, Seven chooses a side and helps Greeb – a powerful figurehead – to lead the Vesh in an uprising against tyranny and injustice, even though it may ultimately come at a great personal cost to Seven.
One of the major challenges of telling a tale which slots into the show’s established continuity is that you know there can be no major changes either to characters or overall narrative, unless there happens to be a big, shiny ‘reset’ button used at the very end, which often feels like a bit of a cheat. The mark of a good writer is to work within those strict confines, and still manage to deliver something which feels worthwhile, being able to push the envelope, whilst still avoiding any potential for conflict with where the adventure fits into things.
This is where writer Dave Baker actually excels with Seven’s Reckoning, as even though you know Seven’s trajectory, and that she carries on as part of Voyager’s crew until the end of the series, Baker manages to make her place feel precarious and uncertain, placing her directly in conflict with the ethos of the Prime Directive. It really is quite the accomplishment to leave the readers genuinely feeling a character may be in jeopardy, even though logically you know everything will be fine in the end.
Baker also manages to leave things hanging with the climax of this penultimate issue, giving no obvious routes to reach a straightforward resolution; the testament to his skill will be if he manages to deliver Seven’s Reckoning with a wrap-up which is not only a satisfying one, but also manages to stick the landing with no easy outs.
Star Trek: Voyager – Seven’s Reckoning #3 is out on 20th January from IDW Publishing.