Star Trek #76
DC Comics (October, 1995)
WRITER: Kevin J. Ryan
PENCILER: Rachel Ketchum
INKER: Mark Heiki
COLORIST: Ray Murtaugh
LETTERER: Phil Felix
EDITOR: Margaret Clark
A story from before the successful pilot episode. The Enterprise is sent to make contact with an early industrial society that managed to make interstellar communications, and seeks entry into the Federation. However, the minute Kirk, Spock, and Mitchell arrive they are immediately arrested and put in prison despite not doing anything wrong. It’s a plan on the part of the Prime Minister to show how their “superior” justice system works in curbing crime but as far as the Starfleet officers, including Mr. Scott as the man in charge, they have been kidnapped and work to escape the prison, taking the warden and Prime Minister prisoner themselves to show how the Federation’s “soft” justice system works.
What they got right: Conceptually this is actually a good idea. How do the officers deal with an extreme and excessive justice system. It’s a story featuring Gary Mitchell before his mutation in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, which could give some insight into the character and his relationship to Kirk and Spock, adding extra weight to their contrasting decisions concerning what happens in the pilot.
What they got wrong: Unfortunately that isn’t fully realized. The trio doesn’t stay in the prison very long, and there’s no exploration of the system or the connection between the trio. It’s great on action but light on character, and given the concepts involved as how the Star Trek franchise should work what we end up with are missed opportunities.
Recommendation: Not a bad story but one that isn’t really a must-read. Despite the concept it never really reaches the level it could have.