Star Trek #45
DC Comics (December, 1987)
“The Return Of The Serpent” finale: “Devil Down Below!”
WRITER: Michael Carlin
PENCILER: Tom Sutton
INKER: Ricardo Villagran
COLORIST: Michele Wolfman
LETTERER: Helen Vesik
EDITOR: Robert Greenberger
Underground, the away team learns that Spock has linked himself to Vaal’s systems and is using his own life to restore the computer. However, it needs to be fed and Akuta decides Kirk and company should be the first sacrifice. On the ship Vaal/Spock has taken over the ship’s systems and refuses to let the security team return to the planet. However, McCoy convinces him to send his mount from the arena back down, which weakens Vaal just as Makora’s forces invade the cave. Makora destroys the uplink so Akuta has to sacrifice himself, merging with and fully restoring Vaal. He names Makora his new feeder and sends the Enterprise crew to the ship, basically telling them to get lost.
What they got right: Given Arex, from the animated series, something to in the comic by making him a linguistics officer (now that Chekov is back at the conn) is something I approve of. I only hope M’Ress is there somewhere too. It acknowledges the cartoon and I like that. The story itself is classic Trek and has a satisfying conclusion.
What they got wrong: I’ll go into more detail into my problem with the arc overall later tonight but specifically in this issue is trying to tie in Sargon (from the episode “Return To Tomorrow“) into the planet’s origin feels a bit forced to me. Also the artist can’t seem to remember what order he drew the characters in when Vaal/Spock has them in the rock prisons. They seem to move around depending on who is talking in that scene and who needs to be in the forefront.
Recommendation: Despite the issues I have with the story that I’ll get into later it is overall a very entertaining story arc. It’s worth a read.