Monday, September 03, 2012

NBIM Day 3: Star Trek #34 (1975)

Star Trek #34 (1975)
Somehow I've been blogging for nearly five years and have yet to have posted once about the "real" Star Trek; you know, the one with William Shatner's Kirk and Leonard Nimoy's Spock. This error is all the more grievous as Trek was (like many fanboys, I suspect) among the earliest influences of my television viewing and reading habits... which leads to today's National Back Issue Month read, Gold Key Comics Star Trek #34.

Splash page with crystal dinosaur and
Mr. Scott's (mercifully short-lived) new
Issue 34 features a story entitled "The Psychocrystals" and does the main thing early comic book adaptations of television shows were expected to: deliver familiar characters in unfamiliar (translation: too expensive for television production costs) situations.

While the story reads much like an early Star Trek television episode, through the reuse of common themes and set-ups, the partially Scotty-centric nature of the story is refreshing. Except when there seems to be a clear attempt to cater to the viewer/readers desire for more Scotty-isms.

Throughout the issue, the storytellers (both writer and artist are uncredited) attempt to further develop the lesser Trek cast member with characterization that appears to have been thrown in for marketing purpose. Nearly every other page features Mr. Scott's attempts at adding to his canon of catchphrases ("Ahm givin' 'er all I kin!") with the much less memorialized "Great Moons of Mars!" (used twice in this issue) and "Flaming Lakes of Orion!"

The Gold Key series has the distinction of being just the first of many (Marvel, DC, IDW) attempts at licensing and publishing successful Star Trek properties in comic book form. While more recent series may have more recognizable creators at the helm, few did the "real" Star Trek as closely to the show as Gold Key, at least as represented by this issue. Online this issue, in "Good" condition goes for nearly $10, but I would venture to guess that relatives or neighbors probably have this one lying around for future neighborhood yard sales... the issue I have was acquired when I friend was cleaning out his garage!

Scotty very concerned about a fate much worse than death!

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