Star Trek 1301: Elite Force

1301. Elite Force

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, Wildstorm Comics, July 2000

CREATORS: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers), Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani (artists)

STARDATE: 53854.7 (between Live Fast and Prosper and Muse)

PLOT: Voyager's "Hazard Team" trains to fight the Borg, but its field leader, Alex Munro, can't bring himself to kill an assimilated crewmate, even in a simulation. An unknown alien ship then attacks and brings Voyager to a pocket dimension full of ship hulks and scavengers, including a Borg Cube. The Borg steal some of Voyager's components, and the Hazard Team loses a member getting them back. Again, Munro can't fire on the his assimilated friend and Tuvok is put in charge of the team. The alien ship responsible for this predicament also attacks, and the Hazard Team infiltrate it to get back to "the Forge", the ship's station, which is growing an army of alien monsters primed to invade the galaxy. It is only with the Borg's help, thanks to the assimilated bond between Munro and his friend, that the Forge is destroyed and Voyager returned to normal space, a good two years closer to home. Munro is put in permanent charge of the team.

CONTINUITY: Based on the Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force computer game, and includes the same characters and threat. Chell is apparently a member of the Hazard Team (various episodes, from Learning Curve to Endgame.

DIVERGENCES: Of course, the Hazard Team (and their distinctive uniforms and anti-Borg weapons) have never been seen or mentioned outside this comic and the video game.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Overused:
REVIEW: Another terrible comic in the Voyager range, rather disappointing when Abnett and Lanning are involved, since I tend to like their stuff. Maybe there just wasn't really a way to adapt such an off-canon video game into a satisfying graphic novel. The art once again features a teen Janeway and other youngish characters, something I'll lay at the feet of False Colors inker W.C. Carani. Otherwise, the art is strong and can carry off both aliens and action. Of which there is a lot. Too much, even. Given that the characters of the Hazard Team (why is the game called Elite Force if that's not the name of the team?) don't exist outside of the game/comic (except Chell who is unlike his characterization on the show), it's hard to care about losing any of them. They take part into so many gun battles that Voyager seems like the invader here, shooting first and only later realizing that they are indeed in the right to do so. The writers don't play fair with us from the beginning, staging an interesting Borg battle that turns out to be a holographic simulation, except that outside shots of Voyager and a captain's log indicate this was really happening. Later, we have the Collective deciding that Alex Munro, our nominal hero, deserves to live (but not get assimilated?). When did the Borg become sentimental? And I must say I'm a tired of seeing the basic premise of the animated episode The Time Trap, which even Voyager has used. Now, perhaps the plot problems are the game's fault, but certainly not all of them. Elite Force just doesn't seem to fit the Star Trek tone, never mind the show itself. Game over.


LiamKav said...

I do remember liking the game, although it does jump through quite a lot of hoops to make "shoot everything in site" work in the Star Trek universe. The main thing that surprised me is when you end up on a Mirror-universe Constitution-class starship. It's never directly addressed, the cut scene shots don't make it overly obvious what it is (the ship is attached to several others and slightly obscured) and none of the characters ever mention it. It exists purely as quite cool fanwank, and what's wrong with that? Do they have it in the comic?

Siskoid said...

No, the story's been compressed into a couple of Borg fights and a finale against the Forge.

De said...

I liked the Away Team game a lot better than Elite Force.


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