Jonathan Hickman’s ‘Frontier’ Aims to be ‘Star Trek’ but Depressing
In an interview with Polygon, Jonathan Hickman described his upcoming Image series as "like Star Trek, but super depressing." Star Trek, of course, has historically been about a utopian future where humanity has solved Earth's problems and expanded outward into the cosmos, uniting with other advanced planets to spread civilization across the galaxy. In the future Hickman portrays in Frontier, that plan has apparently not gone so well.
In the backstory of Frontier, just as in Star Trek, Earth joined an interplanetary alliance. But then they got voted out of the group for being too violent and argumentative, which sent Earth culture into a downward spiral that led to a dystopian society that exiles everyone who doesn't fit in to a huge prison colony on the moon. Then the aforementioned interplanetary alliance returns, faced with a war and looking for soldiers. Hoping to get back in their good graces, the Earth government sends them all the prisoners from the Moon, known as the Accursed.
Here's what Hickman had to say to Polygon about the possibilities of the future:
I just wanted the story to reflect kind of how I feel about society right now. Like, why would we assume expansion is going to work out? I mean, I have hope, but that’s it, any expectation I had as a kid when I first started reading this stuff — that the future, or exploration, or colonization is guaranteed — is nonexistent ... I have hope, but the idea that some species would take a long, hard look at humanity and think, ‘Yeah, those guys look awesome, got to have them in our utopian society, immediately’ seems like wishful thinking.
Unlike most of his recent work, Hickman is the artist on Frontier as well as the writer, although Andy Kuhn is helping him with layouts. The first issue arrives in November, and comes in at 56 pages, as will all the issues for its first story arc. Hickman has hopes the series will be an ongoing series if readers jump on board.