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Star Trek: First Contact

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September 22, 2014
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It removes all character and emotion and individuality. No, not the Borg – the dreaded comic adaptation of a movie.

(Linkara is wearing his Starfleet uniform)

Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Today, we're achieving another ending to a long-running series that I've been reviewing for a while now. I am reviewing the LAST Star Trek movie comic– (stops abruptly with resignation) No, we're not. There's still an adaptation of the 2009 movie I have to review. (rolls eyes) Ugh... Whatever. (cheerful again) But hey, today's based on a good movie!

(Footage of Star Trek: First Contact is shown)

Linkara (v/o): Star Trek: First Contact is my second favorite Star Trek movie, though as a kid, it was my favorite because it featured the Borg, and when you're a kid, you only care about stuff like that versus the flawless Shakespearean storytelling that Star Trek II had. That being said, First Contact can be seen as the Wrath of Khan for the Next Generation crew. It features continuations of storylines it was based on, with a heavy emphasis on revenge, emotional scars, and old guys drinking. Now, it's not as good as Wrath of Khan in developing all of that, but hey, it's a different movie made by different people featuring different characters. And considering it's really the only one of the Next Generation films that's actually good, I'm ready to defend the thing, come hell or high water.

Linkara: Especially because some of the critiques I've seen for this film are... head-scratching to me.

Linkara (v/o): (mocking tone) Starfleet doesn't want Picard involved with an attack by the Borg? They've never complained before!

Linkara: (deadpan) Oh, no! It's almost like there might be different Admirals with different opinions, because that was a few years ago.

Linkara (v/o): (mockingly) This movie is all action and not cerebral!

Linkara: As opposed to the very cerebral Star Trek IV, which featured a giant Ho Ho wanting to talk to whales.

Linkara (v/o): (mockingly) Picard has never reacted to the Borg in such an extreme manner before!

Linkara: Um, were we watching different series? Picard has not been all that great when it comes to the Borg.

(Cut to a clip of an episode of Star Trek: TNG involving Picard and the Borg)

Linkara (v/o): Lest we forget that he was the one who thought up the idea of a virus that could infect the entire Borg collective and kill billions of them. And when confronted by the possibility that it might be wrong to use a being who has become an individual to infect the whole...

Picard: (to Guinan, sharply) It's not a person, damn it, it's a Borg!

Linkara (v/o): And the decisions he made in that episode led to the possibility that he may have let the Borg continue to live and assimilate and kill and ruin the lives of even more people.

Picard: I could have rid the Federation of a mortal threat, and I let him go.

Linkara (v/o): And let's not forget just the emotional trauma he had from being assimilated, being used as a tool to murder thousands of people, and just had his individuality, consent and free will completely stripped from him.

Picard: (sobbing while covered in mud) I wasn't strong enough! I wasn't good enough! I should have been able to stop them, I should've...!

Linkara: (exaggeratedly) Gee, do you think Picard might still be just (holds up index finger and thumb close together) a wee bit pissed off at the Borg? (shrugs exaggeratedly)

Linkara (v/o): But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. I take it for granted that any of you could have seen Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation, so let's get the backstory for this movie out of the way.

(Cut to closeups of the covers of Star Trek comics involving the Borg: "Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force" and "Star Trek: TNG/X-Men: #1")

Linkara (v/o): I've actually reviewed two comics with the Borg already: the adaptation of "Star Trek: Elite Force" and the "Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men" crossover, but we've never talked about who they are.

(Cut back to footage of the Borg on Star Trek: TNG)

Linkara (v/o): The basic idea is that they're a race of cyborgs who are all collectively linked together in a group consciousness, billions and trillions of them working together at once. Their goal is to assimilate other races into their collective, bring themselves closer to perfection by uniting as many species together as possible. Well, species they feel worthy of assimilation, anyway.

(Cut briefly to a clip of the Cybermen from Doctor Who)

Linkara (v/o): They're basically Star Trek's answer to the Cybermen, except instead of all having the same metallic doll-like faces...

(Cut back again to footage of the Borg)

Linkara (v/o): ...they're crude, with replacement parts for specific functions and lots of random tubes. They're logical and emotionless. Their ships are designed to be basic: a cube, a sphere, a cylinder, etc., decentralized and subsequently more difficult to damage. A single cube was able to destroy 39 Starships in a single battle. The collective intellects of all of them are able to analyze a threat and adapt to it. You fire a weapon at, say, three of them, and by the time you shoot the third one, they've figured out a way to keep the weapon from hurting them anymore. Quite possibly the best episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is a two-parter called "The Best of Both Worlds", where the assimilation idea was first brought forth about them. Whatever method they used to assimilate previously, that changed in this episode. When they decided to go after humanity, they figured that the best approach would be to kidnap Picard, assimilate and rename him "Locutus" – Latin for "one who speaks", and use him as a figurehead to make humanity surrender and join them without resistance. Of course, the Enterprise eventually saves the day, but the amount of tension and fear generated about the Borg created a mystique about them and helped explain why they were chosen to be the main villains of a Star Trek movie.

Linkara: So let's dig into "Star Trek: First Contact" and see if the adaptation will do right by the film.

(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has the Star Trek: First Contact main title theme play in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)

Linkara (v/o): The cover is... ehh... Why is it that "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" had the best covers? That thing wasn't even supposed to originally be a three-parter. It was made for an issue of "Marvel Super Special", and yet it had the most interesting comic covers of all of these things. Hell, this cover feels like it's upside-down. We got our main villain, the Borg Queen... Yeah, I'll get to her later... standing over a sphere, looking imposing and evil, a Borg cube, two drones on either side, dark tubes in the background... and the Enterprise-E flying over them in space. Shouldn't the Queen be standing over the Enterprise, all ominous and crap?

(The comic opens to the first page)

Linkara (v/o): We open with a scene during the aforementioned "Best of Both Worlds", with Picard on the Borg ship.

Narrator: He was transported back... to his worst nightmares.

Linkara: (as Picard, pretending to sleep, tossing and turning in the process) No... No, Wesley, get off the bridge! Agh! Borg children!

Linkara (v/o): Picard wakes up from the nightmare and goes to check himself out in the mirror, but... uh-oh! That was a bad exfoliating cream he used! He wakes up for real this time to get contacted by Starfleet to inform him that, indeed, the Borg are coming again. And thus, we get our first look at the Enterprise-E. Not as iconic a ship as the original Enterprise or the big-ass saucer of the Enterprise-D, but it's still pretty damn spiffy.

Linkara: And just to nerd out for a second, they screwed up the Bussard collectors on (holds up a toy version of the Enterprise) the toy of it and– (stops suddenly as he looks at it closely) Uh, wait, this is the toy version from Insurrection. It's got the correct Bussard collectors. Eh, still probably the only good thing to come out of Insurrection. (beat) Seriously, though...

(Cut to a shot of the Enterprise-E toy in an ad)

Linkara (v/o): ...the Enterprise-E toy from First Contact. What the hell?

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Anyway, time for a meeting with the senior staff.

Riker: How many ships?

Picard: One.

Linkara: (as Riker) That seems like a pretty small number to fight the Borg, isn't it? (as Picard) Well, they figured out that (holds up index finger) one ship usually ends up defeating the Borg anyway, so why waste the others?

Linkara: No, he means there's one Borg ship on its way to Earth. Unfortunately for them, Picard informs them that they're not going.

Picard: Our orders are to patrol the Neutral Zone, in case the Romulans try to take advantage of the situation.

Troi: The Romulans?

Linkara: (as Troi) That's ridiculous, Captain! They're never gonna make a movie with the Romulans as the bad guys!

Linkara (v/o): So yeah, everyone's pretty pissed about them not going, but Picard says their orders stand. Later, Riker is talking with Picard in private and asks for more details.

Picard: Let's just say that Starfleet has every confidence in the Enterprise and her crew, but they're not so sure about its captain.

Linkara: (as Picard) And simply having you take command would be ridiculous, Number One! I mean, when have you ever had to command the ship against the Borg?

Picard: They believe that a man who was once captured by the Borg, and assimilated, should not be put in a situation where he would face them again. It might introduce an unstable element.

Linkara: (as Picard) You never know what I might do, Number One. I could very well just hail the Borg and drop my pants and moon them.

Linkara (v/o): They get word that the battle has begun, and they quickly listen in on the communications from it.

Borg: Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us.

Linkara: Are we sure this is the Borg and not just Comcast?

Linkara (v/o): Upon hearing more of the ships getting destroyed fairly quickly, Picard orders them to head out. We cut over to the battle, probably around three hours later, since that's how far away they said they were at the meeting.

(Cut to a clip of the movie)

Linkara (v/o): And another thing we're missing is the awesome shot of the Borg cube sweeping over the camera and then Earth. Seriously, the cinematographer for this movie deserved a friggin' Oscar. You want to know how bullcrap the Oscars are when it comes to science fiction? The movie was nominated for one – in Best Makeup! And it lost! TO THE NUTTY PROFESSOR!!

Linkara: And before anyone assumes that I'm saying that to play up the superiority of comic books to movies... well, you haven't watched this show for very long, have you?

Linkara (v/o): At the battle, we see the USS Defiant, a ship expressly built to fight the Borg. Now, before you say that the Defiant is doing badly in that regard, remember, this battle's been going on for a while, and it's still kicking. It's a tough little ship.

(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Next Generation)

Worf: Little?

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Worf is in command of it, since the Defiant is from the series Deep Space Nine, and Worf had joined the cast there at the beginning of the fourth season. The ship's power is dead, and they've exhausted their weapons systems, so Worf decides to ram the cube. Fortunately for him, the Enterprise arrives to help save the day.

Picard: Bridge to Transporter Room Three. Beam the Defiant survivors aboard*!

  • NOTE: Picard actually says "over", not "aboard".

Linkara: (as Picard) I sense a main character over there. We've got to save him!

Linkara (v/o): The vessel in charge of the fleet is destroyed, so Picard orders all the other ships to fall under his command, since he has a plan. Apparently, being linked to the Collective has left a kind of telepathic residual link with them. It's not shown in this scene in the comic, which will make several scenes later on very confusing, but it's in the movie, so I feel I should explain what happens here. Picard's link with them allows him to see a weakness in the cube that all the other ships have overlooked because it's not a vital sector, and he orders them to fire on it. I mean, it has to be the telepathic link that told him this. Otherwise, he waited until this exact second to tell the fleet, "Hey, hit their weak point here for massive damage!", which, admittedly, would be kind of a bitter, childish revenge on his part for being told to go and loiter around the Romulan border. The cube is destroyed, but it launches out an escape vessel, a sphere. The Enterprise goes in pursuit of it, while the rest of the fleet probably needs a vacation after a three-hour battle.

Linkara: Or, given my theory about Starfleet only having two ships active at any given time, maybe everything else was just orbital weapons platforms, and it was only the Defiant and the Enterprise who [sic] were actually ships.

Linkara (v/o): Worf comes to the bridge to rejoin the crew and reassured DS9 fans that the Defiant will be back up and running.

Picard: We could use some help at tactical.

Linkara: (as Picard) We never replaced your job there, because we could never find anybody who was as much of a ragdoll as you were on the series.

Riker: You do remember how to fire phasers?

Linkara: (as Worf) Hmm, I don't know. Do I use (holds up middle finger) this finger for it?

Worf: It's the green button, right?

Linkara (v/o): That... was not in the movie.

(Cut to a matching clip of the movie)

Linkara (v/o): Worf just kind of glared at Riker originally. Point: movie. Actually, so far, most of the points have been to the movie, sorry to say.

Linkara: I don't even know why we still have movie adaptations like this anymore. You could get away with defending their presence in the '70s and '80s because of the lack of a home video market, but this was the mid-'90s! I owned the videotape of this movie! I got it for Christmas in 1997!

Linkara (v/o): The sphere, obviously not going to be capable of fighting off the most advanced ship Starfleet has to offer, and one that hasn't taken any damage from the battle, decides, "Eh, why not?" and figures its best strategy is to travel through time and eliminate humanity in the past.

Linkara: Now, some might say that this is a ridiculous premise that comes right the hell out of nowhere. And it is. But I don't care, because this movie rocks.

(More matching footage of the movie is shown)

Linkara (v/o): Also, this could have been a hell of a lot worse. The initial ideas for the screenplay were calling it "Star Trek: Renaissance" and having the Borg invading Earth at the beginning of the Renaissance period. It featured swordfights against the Borg, a medieval castle being transformed by them, and Data becoming an apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci.

Linkara: Which, admittedly, sounds like an awesome premise – for a Doctor Who episode, (becomes annoyed) not Star Trek!

Linkara (v/o): The Enterprise is caught in the wake of the sphere's time travel, which protects them from changes the Borg made in the timeline. They spot an Earth that's been completely assimilated and... Wait a second. I know that image. That's the rust-covered Earth from last week!

Linkara: You know, the one I mistakenly said was showing North America because the cloud cover made the bottom of Africa look kind of like the USA. And why is it that I have storage space in my brain for inane Star Trek trivia, but none devoted to geography?! (frowns)

Linkara (v/o): They arrive in orbit on April 4, 2063. Yeah, in a rarely-seen time-travel twist, we're still traveling from the future to... the future. In this case, it's several years after the end of World War III. And here we meet Zefram Cochrane, who was drinking because somebody named him "Zefram", of all things, and he's with Lily, his copilot for a flight he'll be conducting the next day. Specifically, he's going to fly a ship into orbit and engage warp drive, the first warp drive for humanity. This will attract the attention of an alien race who will make first contact with humanity – hence, the title – and thus begin revolutionizing Earth's culture and technology. Buuut the Borg have shown up and start firing at the shantytown where they're doing this. Lily runs off to the Phoenix, their warp ship, to secure it, thinking it's an attack by the Eastern Coalition, whoever the hell that is. But Cochrane is drunk and just runs like hell. Fortunately, the Enterprise manages to destroy the sphere before it can do any further damage and they realize where they are. Picard takes an away team of most of the senior staff down to evaluate the problem. The Phoenix was converted from a nuclear missile – and I don't just mean in-universe, either; they filmed with an actual Titan missile in the movie – and it's taken a bit of damage, leaking radiation. Fortunately, this is the future, so they'll be able to effect repairs. But first, they have to deal with Lily, who is firing a machine gun at Data and Picard. Fortunately, Data is able to just walk right up to her and deal with her gun without taking any damage. Apparently, at some point, they decided coat him with bulletproof material...

(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Next Generation)

Linkara (v/o): ...since one time, Troi shot an arrow into him and it actually pierced him.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Lily falls unconscious from the radiation poisoning, and Dr. Crusher decides to take her back to the ship for treatment. Geordi assembles an engineering team to come down and repair the ship while they continue to search for Cochrane.

Geordi: Porter, you're in command here until I get back.

Porter: Aye, sir.

Geordi: And take a look at the environmental controls. It's getting a little warm in here.

Linkara: Incidentally, (makes "air quotes") "Star Trek: First Contact" is also the name of this film's porno spoof.

Linkara (v/o): The engineering team on the ship discovers that the environmental control systems have been screwed around with, and they soon find themselves hearing lots of strange skritching and chirping noises. Over in sick bay, the same sounds begin to be heard. And we cut a bit out of the movie where Picard's Borg telepathy alerts him that the Borg are still alive and gets him to beam up to the ship. Here, he's just back on the ship for no reason, where Worf is about to send a security team to Deck 16 to figure why they've lost contact with it. Picard realizes the Borg beamed over before their sphere was destroyed and are now assimilating the ship. He gets Data to lock out the main computer.

Data: I will isolate the main computer with a fractal encryption code.

Linkara: You just know that the code is (makes an "air quote") "password". They'll never think of it.

Linkara (v/o): In sick bay, they revive Lily so they can move her and escape into the Jefferies tubes. However, in their rush to get out, Lily gets separated from them. Over to Picard, Data and Worf, they're briefing everyone on their plan. Now, you might think it's stupid to take Data with them when he's the only one who can break the computer encryption, but consider the following: Data establishes later that the code can't be forcibly removed from him and he can't be assimilated. In addition, Data is super strong and is a bit faster and smarter than the average bear. The Borg may be able to adapt to energy weapons, but it's kind of hard to adapt to a robot snapping you in half like a toothpick. In addition, their plan is to get to the warp core and puncture one of the plasma coolant tanks, which will flood the area with coolant that will liquefy organic material. The Borg may be enhanced by technology, but they still need their fleshy bits to operate. As such, you might want the guy who's immune to the plasma coolant to get in there and fix it once all the Borg are dead. Hell, you might want him to be the one to puncture the coolant tank anyway, since, again, he'd be immune to it. SF Debris, in his review of the film, speculated that they should have just rigged up some plasma coolant to some kind of spray and then use it as a weapon that way, but I'm guessing any spare coolant they have was kept on the same deck as engineering, so it could be replaced easily if they needed to, and thus they don't have access to it.

Linkara: Me, personally, though? I know exactly what I would rig up that the Borg couldn't adapt to... (grins)

(Cut to a clip of the original version of The Thing)

George Bennings (Peter Maloney): (bursting in on Childs) Mac wants the flamethrower!

Childs (Keith David): Mac wants the what?

Bennings: That's what he said. Now move! (runs off)

Linkara: (holds up hand) Think about it: flamethrowers are relatively low-tech weapons, I'd imagine gasoline or a similar flammable material would be easier to manufacture for them, it still kills the fleshy bits, and they can't just turn on the sprinkler system since the water will damage their technology!

Picard: (to Worf) Warn your teams they may encounter Enterprise crewmembers who have already been assimilated. They mustn't hesitate to fire. Believe me, you'll be doing them a favor.

Linkara (v/o): Another criticism lobbed against the film is why Picard, who was freed from the Borg, would give that order.

(Cut to matching footage of the movie, showing what Linkara is talking about)

Linkara (v/o): Well, for starters, they were only able to free Picard from the assimilation after cutting him off from the Collective and then have him undergo microsurgery to remove all the implants. And all of that was done from a functioning sick bay, which is now in the hands of the Borg.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): I'd also like to hear anyone's suggestions for the stun setting they would be using against the highly adaptive cyborgs who may or may not be their former colleagues who have become slave to the will of the hive and are dedicated to continually throwing themselves at you to assimilate you.

Linkara: Also, (scoffs) hey, it's not like they're main characters. Who cares?

Linkara (v/o): They begin their approach of the assimilated sections. You'll recall that in Generations, Data had the emotion chip installed in him that got fused to his neural net. Fortunately, he now has the ability to switch it off, which is something you would definitely want when one of the sounds that the assimilated section makes is "SLURP!" Worf and Picard are leading different teams that meet up outside engineering. It's a common thing for the Borg to ignore people until they're considered a threat, which you'd think they would be at this point, but whatever. They're not attacking them, is the important part.

Picard: All accounted for?

Worf: Yes, and we found Dr. Crusher and her staff in a Jefferies tube.

Linkara: (as Worf) She felt pretty pissed off that that part of the movie was cut for the comic, as brief as it was.

Linkara (v/o): They head over to the manual release for the doors in engineering, but apparently the Borg fused it or something because Data rips it out... which gets all the Borgs' attention. They retreat, but unfortunately, Data is overwhelmed by about four Borg... despite this panel showing him lifting one into the air and snapping its neck. Maybe his super strength is on a meter like in a video game and he needs to recharge it.

(Cut to another clip of the movie)

Linkara (v/o): It is somewhat better than in the movie, where they grab him from under a door that he was conveniently standing in front of.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): The group retreats, with some Redshirts getting assimilated while Picard ends up in a Jeffries tube. He's attacked by Lily who steals his phaser and tells him to get her out of there. Data is taken to engineering, where he tells the Borg they're basically wasting their time by taking him, but surprisingly, a voice answers him, telling him that they have heard those words before and they will get what they want. Back on Earth, Troi is making herself useful by... getting drunk with Zefram Cochrane. Keep up the good work, counselor. We condense a few scenes down, unfortunately, but the gist of it is that they tell the truth to Cochrane about who they are and what they're doing here and then use his telescope to show the Enterprise and prove it to him. They talk about all the great things that his flight will bring about, and he's like, "Eh, why not?"

Linkara: You'll forgive me for rushing through this. We're only now past the halfway point, and, well, hey, they're rushing stuff, too.

Linkara (v/o): Picard proves who he is to Lily by showing her an airlock overlooking Earth, and she hands him back the phaser.

Picard: It was set to level one. If you'd shot me, it would've given me a rather nasty rash.

Linkara (v/o): Forgiving for a second that in the movie, it's actually the complete opposite...

(Cut to a clip of the matching scene in the movie)

Picard: Maximum setting. If you'd fired this, you would have vaporized me.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Why the hell is there a "rash" setting for your phaser? Back in engineering, we have our formal introduction to the Borg Queen, who has quite a showy intro of being lowered, shoulders and up, down into a body. The Borg Queen bothers people for obvious reasons, and I understand that. It was established many times in TNG that the Borg don't have a leader. The idea is that that the collective consciousness doesn't require one and makes less mistakes when you have trillions of minds working together like that. However, as she says, she "brings order to chaos," which I think basically means she makes sure that the trillions of voices stay on task. I mean, think about it: you ever have a conversation with somebody that goes off on a gajillion tangents from the original thing you were talking about? Try doing that with trillions of conversations. Now, that doesn't excuse what they do with her later on in Voyager, but that's a different thing altogether. What I'd like to know is, why the hell the Borg Queen has breasts? It's a simple question. Why does she need a body featuring those when she's perfectly functional without anything below the neck?

Linkara: Hell, if I had a choice of bodies I could reattach my head to and was the queen of a race of horrific cyborgs, I'd make myself (makes a walking motion with his fingers) a kick-ass spider body with (makes pincer motions with hands) attached claws and stuff. Why stick to the humanoid, is all I'm saying.

Linkara (v/o): The Queen reactivates Data's emotion chip... somehow and shows him that they're grafting human skin onto his body. The idea is that since they can't force him to join up, they'll offer him the temptation of making him closer to humanity than he's ever been by giving him organic components. Back over to Lily and Picard...

Picard: It's all right. They won't attack unless we threaten them.

Linkara (v/o): And then RIGHT IN THE NEXT PANEL, he shoots one! I mean, yeah, he does the same thing in the movie, but he at least waits a minute to do so and only does it after he comes up with a plan. With this, it's just (as Picard) "Don't shoot them! Agh! He's coming right for us!" So what is his plan? They go into the holodeck and recreate a 1940s noir detective novel series that Picard frequently used on the show in order to create a tommy gun to shoot out the Borg. Unfortunately, another terrible cut here is that we see him shoot out the Borg without, well, the emotion.

(Cut to a comparable clip of the movie)

Linkara (v/o): As well as Lily realizing that one of the dead Borg has one of their uniforms on.

Picard (Patrick Stewart): (scanning uniform) Yes, this was Ensign Lynch.

Lily (Alfre Woodard): Tough luck, huh?

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): He killed the Borg to get access to one of their circuits, one that tells him what their plan is: to reconfigure the Enterprise's deflector dish into a long-range communication system that will allow them to contact the Borg of this century and tell them to haul ass to Earth to assimilate it. Back down on Earth, Cochrane becomes overwhelmed by all the hero worship everyone has around him and runs off into the woods. Riker and Geordi pursue... aaaand shoot him off-panel to take him back. Geez, and I feel like I'm rushing through this thing. And then back up again to engineering. Data makes an escape attempt, but it fails, and the Borg Queen starts making out with him. I like to think this was just a ruse on her part to manipulate him, since otherwise it's just the otherwise emotionless beings get the hots for the mandroid. To make another long story short, Picard, Worf and a named Redshirt, Lieutenant Hawk, head out to the deflector dish to deal with the Borg, ejecting it into space and blowing it up. Oh, and Redshirt Hawk gets assimilated and killed.

Linkara: I'll give you all a moment to recover from the shock of that.

Worf: (firing his gun) Assimilate this!

(Cut to a clip of True Lies)

Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger): You're fired.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Back on the Phoenix, Zefram complains to Riker about everyone has some weird ideas about him, but unfortunately, this comic has not included any of those weird ideas, aside from people praising him for inventing the warp engine. So really, it's coming down to being whiny about people complimenting him.

Riker: Someone once said... "Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make its own judgements."

Zefram: Rhetorical nonsense.

(Cut to the RiffTrax crew watching The Revenge of Dr. X)

Kevin Murphy: (as Dr. X) How dare you answer my insane rages with kindness! Dear God, why can't you die?!

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Uh-oh, but Riker says Cochrane was the one who said it! In ten years!

Linkara: (laughs uproariously) Oh, time paradoxes! (laughs) Seriously, though, this is why you guys meet the X-Men when this movie is over with.

Linkara (v/o): Speaking of cut dialogue, the entire emotional buildup of Picard's issues with the Borg are supposed to come to a head here, as he demands everyone stay and fight the Borg, hand-to-hand if they have to, even though they have clearly lost the battle. Their only chance is to activate the ship's self-destruct and then evacuate. Picard just refuses the idea without anything else to say about it. And then he skulks off without calling Worf a coward like he did in the movie, and when Lily confronts him about it, here he says...

Picard: We must draw the line, this far and no further!

Linkara (v/o): ...without yelling and breaking his ships. Seriously, there is no emotion here, no anger, nothing!

Lily: This is about revenge! The Borg hurt you, and now you're going to hurt them back.

Linkara: How do you even know that? They cut out the dialogue where he talked about being assimilated. He didn't have either of his temper tantrums, so nothing about his behavior is all that unusual for a guy who still thinks they have a chance!

Lily: You're like Captain Ahab.

Picard: Have you read Moby Dick?

Lily: Actually, no.

Linkara: (arms crossed, scoffs as Picard) Fake classic literature girl!

Linkara (v/o): And this convinces him to go ahead with blowing up the ship, while Riker, Geordi and Cochrane take off in the Phoenix. Aaand Cochrane puts in a rock 'n' roll disc, despite this comic never establishing his love for "Magic Carpet Ride".

Cochrane: TWANG-DA-DA-TWANG! Let's rock!

Linkara: Somewhere, Batman punches a wall and he doesn't know why.

Linkara (v/o): As the self-destruct sequence begins, Picard finally hears the Borg telepathic voice. For one line. In part of the comic. Smooth. It's from Data, and Picard heads out to engineering. And of course, they cut off the part where they mention the Queen was also on the cube during "Best of Both Worlds", so in this, she asks Picard if she recognizes him, and thus anyone who only read this comic and not seen the movie is scratching their head and going, "The hell are you talking about?" Data pretends to have gone along with the Borg and fires torpedoes on the Phoenix, but of course, they miss and... Wait, he says he's firing quantum torpedoes, but quantum torpedoes are blue!

Linkara: (throwing up hand) I take it back! First Contact is the worst movie of the bunch, even though in the movie, (crosses arms) they were blue! (sighs) Completely ruined the entire damn film! For shame, comic!

Linkara (v/o): So Data punctures the plasma coolant, all his new fleshy bits melt off, and the Borg are defeated. The alien detects the warp signature from Cochrane's ship and lands in the shantytown, revealing themselves to be Vulcans.

Vulcan: Live long and prosper.

Cochrane: Um, thanks.

Linkara: (as Vulcan, imitating hand pose) May our meeting here lead to a mediocre prequel series.

Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with the Enterprise heading off to their crossover with the X-Men and Cochrane introducing the Vulcans to the glory of twang-da-da-twang.

Linkara: (listlessly) And frankly, I could use some rock music right now because this comic sucks.

Linkara (v/o): Ugh! I mean, it hits all the plot points of the movie, but it cuts out all the emotion and character development of the film, the jokes aren't as well told, and it feels very rushed. The artwork is decent, but it's that same kind of decent where they only have the characters in one facial expression, and they never vary it up. The human face is capable of multiple expressions, you know! That's more realistic than just everyone looking stoic! Still, gotta love the gray uniforms.

Linkara: Sometime, we'll take a look at the 2009 movie adaptation, possibly even the (makes "air quotes") "Countdown" miniseries that explains all the villain's backstory that wasn't in the film, too, but in the meantime–

(Suddenly, he is interrupted, however, as blue-white swirls of light appear in the room. Concerned, Linkara tries to scan the light)

Linkara: Huh. Something tells me this is going to lead to shenanigans. I'd better change clothes. (gets up and leaves)


(End credits roll)

Holy crap the music in this film is really damn good. Cannot emphasize that enough.

If I was going to cut anything from the movie for the comic, I'd cut out the space-walk scene at the deflector dish. It's an enjoyable action setpiece, but really not necessary for the story.

(Stinger: A clip of the movie is shown)

Cochrane (James Cromwell): I'm not going back.

Geordi (LeVar Burton): Look, Doc, we can't do this without you.

Cochrane: I don't care. I don't want to be a statue.

Riker (Jonathan Frakes): Doctor...

Cochrane: You stay away from me! (runs off)

Riker: (to Geordi) We don't have time for this.

(Frakes fires a laser gun at Cochrane to stop him. He falls over into a stream)