Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Star Trek Origins And Endings

Amazing that in all the years, it wasn't until DC Comics had the Star Trek property that the beginnings of Captain James T. Kirk's five-year mission were explored....and that DC also explored the end of the five year mission as well, and DC did it in their first two annuals for Star Trek (and had something special for the third Annual as well....).

Let's take a look back at those future events, that haven't happened yet.....

Star Trek: First Mission

Star Trek Annual #1 (1985) features the story "All Those Years Ago..." had a plot by Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum, was written by Mike W. Barr, and drawn by David Ross and Bob Smith, who also drew the cover.

This issue dealt with Kirk's first mission on the Enterprise in 2264, taking over from Christopher Pike.  The issue also bid farewell to Pike's first officer, only referred to as Number One and Doctor, Phillip Boyce, eventually allowing Spock (who had served with the ship under Captain Pike) to become Kirk's first officer.  Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy does serve as the Enterprise's medical officer, but he would have to leave for his daughter's graduation, allowing Dr. Mark Piper to be the medical officer of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Kirk's Star Trek pilot episode, that introduces ). 

This issue also allows the reader to see Lee Kelso and Gary Mitchell in action for a bit, two characters introduced in Star Trek's second pilot, that do not survive to the series.  It's also a great establishing story for the rest of the five year mission...though it doesn't quite match up with the Enterprise: The First Adventure novel of 1986.

Star Trek: Final Mission

Star Trek Annual #2 (1986) features "The Final Voyage", with the last mission of the five year assignment of Captain James T. Kirk aboard the starship Enterprise in 2270 by writer Mike W. Barr, Dan Jurgens and Bob Smith, under a cover by Denys Cowan and Ricardo Villagran.

The crew thinks it is headed home to Earth, with a refit to be supervised by Commander Will Decker (familiar to those who have seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or read the first three issues of Marvel Comics' Star Trek, and the son of Commodore Matt Decker, from "The Doomsday Machine"), but ends up on Talos IV, where the Captain Koloth and the Klingons have taken over, putting Christopher Pike back in his chair, and use the powers of mind over matter on the crew, torturing Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Decker with some of their worst moments, including for Decker encountering the corpses of the crew of the U.S.S. Constellation, Spock dealing with rejection from his human mother, McCoy dealing with the idea of his daughter Joanna dying while he was adventuring in space, and Kirk facing the death of Edith Keeler...until Jim cannot take it anymore, and he breaks free, freeing the Talosians as well, who wipe the Klingons minds of memories of Talos IV, allowing Kirk and crew to leave.

Kirk is shaken by this experience, looking for a quieter desk job as an Admiral, Spock leaves Starfleet for a time to go to Vulcan to purge himself of the emotions he experienced, McCoy also retires the service to reconnect with his daughter, and Decker goes to prepare to take over the Enterprise.

In Between
Star Trek Annual #3 (1988) sets the stages for the Star Trek Annuals that follow in DC's second run of Star Trek books, in that it focuses on one crew member, this time around, on Montgomery Scott, chief engineer of the Enterprise, with the story "Retrospect", by Peter David, Curt Swan and Ricardo Villagran, and a cover by Gray Morrow.

This issue starts in the current time of Scotty, with the man suffering medical problems...which we find out is due to his wife, Glynnis Campbell's, passing.  During the course of the issue, we find out about his wife (introduced in this annual) by looking back at times of Scotty's life, like soon after Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (and his nephew, Peter Preston's funeral in 2285) when Scotty plans to go back into service (but Glynnis wants to remain on Earth, foreshadowing a breakup between the two); years earlier, in 2273, with Montgomery and Glynnis rekindling their relationship after her divorce from Angus while young Peter Preston things of joining Starfleet; Scotty finding Glynnis married to Angus McFarlane in 2267 at an agricultural colony the Enterprise is checking up on; Scotty leaving Glynnis behind in as he goes into Starfleet in 2247; young Montgomery picking a fight with Angus McFarlane over Glynnis in 2237; and Scotty meeting Glynnis for the first time in 2229, where she realizes she will love Scotty forever.

Star Trek Annuals #2 and #3 are reprinted in The Best of Star Trek from 1991.


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  2. I bought Annuals 1 & 2 when they 1st were published. I liked them. Annual Number ONE gets a favorites vote -- because the cover art mimicked The Original TOS ad art - which was also previously used in the 1st Novelization of the TOS Episodes.