Synopsis: In Heroes. Lieutenant Talla Keyali returns to a planet she surveyed as an Ensign, when scans suggest significant technological advances since her last visit, only to discover a spacefaring species has subjugated the locals. Stymied by the Planetary Union’s hesitance to provoke hostilities, Talla must consider how far she’s willing to go to help these people and the repercussions of doing so.
Set after the events of season 2. Heroes is a character development arc for Talla Keyali, who joined Orville’s crew midway through the show’s second season. When The Orville returns to a planet that Talla visited as an Ensign. She finds that the peaceful planet has been enslaved by a visiting Alien Race. Talla is disgusted by this and the fact that Orville crew is unable to intervene.
Thankfully, an unofficial answer comes to Talla by way of the planet’s folk hero, which she plans to impersonate.
David Cabeza does a really good job of the artwork and manages to emulate much of the style and decor of the series as well as get character likenesses right. The colorwork by Michael Atiyeh really lifts Cabeza’s linework off the page. The final page is an absolute highlight.
This book is a nice addition to The Orville universe and set it after the events of season 2 is a great move. Especially given that the series hasn’t aired any new episodes since April of 2019. Furthermore, the fact that it is written by Executive Producer David A. Goodman lends some real credibility to it as Canon.
It’s obvious that this story is somewhat inspired by the TNG episode ‘Who Watches The Watchers’ and the writer makes little effort to hide this fact. Subsequently further highlighting how much The Orville was inspired by the second live-action Star Trek series. That said. It is a clever way to make use of Talla Keyali. A character that only joined the crew midway through the second series.
Overall. A pretty good story with some nice moments. Sure, it borrows from ‘Who Watches The Watchers’ but deviates enough to make it fresh.