Star Trek: Boldly Go #2st_boldlygo_02-pr-page-001
Published by: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Art by: Tony Shasteen
Colourist: Davide Mastrolonardo
Letterer: Andworld Design
Covers by: George Caltsoudas, Tony Shasteen and Marc Lamming (Colours by Mark Roberts)
Edited by: Sarah Gaydos & Chris Cerasi

Release Date: 9th November 2016

Warning:  this review contains spoilers.

Responding to a distress call from the U.S.S Concord, Captain Kirk and the U.S.S Endeavour arrive to find the ship in pieces. A few survivors are rescued, including the Concord’s first officer, Hikaru Sulu. The attackers had only one message: Resistance is Futile. The story continues as Kirk and his crew try to understand who and what the Borg are and the danger they pose, not only to themselves but also the Romulan Empire…

The Story
Introducing the Borg to the Kelvin timeline was a bold move by Mike Johnson. I must admit to being fairy dubious about whether it was the right thing to do or perhaps it was simply a gimmick to launch the second volume of the ongoing series. However, after reading the second issue, having the Borg meet Captain Kirk and his crew works perfectly. In some ways, it felt like watching the first time the crew of the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation met the Borg with the Concord being carved apart, warnings about not being able to resist and the realisation that the Borg are like nothing they have ever met before. There was also a nice nod to the Concord having its own Battle Bridge.

The issue moves along at a steady pace and we find out that possibly the Vulcans encountered the Borg before humanity, that Sulu’s husband and daughter are also aboard the Concord (are families now allowed to serve aboard starships like in TNG?) and importantly that there might be a temporal connection to the destruction of the Kelvin. Could that explain the presence of the Borg? Again, Johnson shows he can handle multiple storylines and therefore his stories are exciting while equally character driven.

The introduction of Terrell as a Borg was reminiscent of Captain Picard being assimilated into Locutus and it will be interesting to see what happens to his character in the rest of the story. Kirk’s relationship with his new first officer aboard the Endeavour is enjoyable to read and you can see how Kirk has grown with his choices in decisions and thinking before he acts. He’s becoming the James Kirk that we know from the Original Series. There’s no room for Scotty in this issue but I’m sure he will be making an appearance before too long.

The Art
The art by Tony Shasteen continues to impress. The way in which the Borg carved out chunks of the Concord was a perfect recreation of the scenes from ‘Q Who’ while the Terrell drone was a nice “take” on the Borg design. The double page drawing of the Borg sphere attacking the Armstrong outpost was drawn well with some great details of the colony. The final page of the issue with the Concord’s crew being assimilated was haunting and was a great image with which to leave the story.

The details that we expect from Shasteen were on every panel; from the bridge to sickbay to the reaches of space and upon New Vulcan. The Vulcan elder who allows Spock and Uhura to investigate the Borg seems very familiar, in fact she looks like Dame Judi Dench. That will be a question for the Holodeck podcast to pose to Shasteen when he next appears on the show.

It’s becoming harder and harder now to imagine Star Trek being drawn by a different artist, Shasteen has made the Kelvin universe his own and everything he works on turns into pure latinum.

The colouring by Davide Mastrolonardo brought to life the Borg, from the familiar green glow of their tractor beams to the darkness of the spheres and those red eye pieces.

The Covers
There are four covers for the second issue with Sulu being the focus of three. The standard cover is by George Caltsoudas with Sulu posing with a very bright orange colouring. The subscription cover is by Tony Shasteen which depicts Spock with his transfer orders in the background (although his says he’s now on leave on Vulcan). There is also a photo cover with Jon Cho from Star Trek Beyond. There’s only one retail incentive cover; like the first issue this is by Marc Laming and shows Sulu in his uniform along with the new survival jacket and him in his orbital suit. There is also a photo of Sulu’s husband and daughter and of course his trusty samurai sword.

Out of the four, the cover by Shasteen stood out for me, the likeness of Spock was spot on although I am beginning to like the style of the covers from Caltsoudas.

Everyone will no doubt have an opinion on the Borg being introduced to the Kelvin timeline but with Johnson at the helm you can be sure the story will be incredible. The second issue was an enjoyable read and much like ‘The Q Gambit’, I can imagine we’re about to go on a roller-coaster of a ride. The art by Shasteen doesn’t disappoint and combined with Johnson’s story, the comics are certainly going boldly…