Mysteries, monsters mark remainder of Marvel’s 1980s “Star Trek” series
Star Trek #6-#18
The 13 final issues of Marvel’s 1980s “Star Trek” series feature stories from writers including Mike W. Barr, Martin Pasko and J.M. DeMatteis. These issues (along with Nos. 4 and 5) were collected by IDW in 2009′s “Star Trek Omnibus.”
In Star Trek #6, the variation on a “locked-room” mystery by writer Mike W. Barr and artists Dave Cockrum and Klaus Janson features an apparent transporter-beam murder.
When Ambassador Phral of Yannick VI is dead upon beaming to the Enterprise, it jeopardizes the planet’s plans to join the Federation. It’s up to Spock and McCoy to find out who killed Phral, and what Captain Kirk’s connection is to the man’s past.
The mystery is solved a bit too neatly, but it’s got its charms. A decent issue.
With Star Trek #7, Tom DeFalco and Mike Nasser take over the reins of the continuing adventures of the Starship Enterprise. Klaus Janson remains the inker. When the Enterprise goes to attempt to save a planet from an oncoming radiation cloud, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to the surface. They find the seemingly primitive race on the planet built statues honoring Kirk, Spock and McCoy, years before they ever arrived.
Martin Pasko writes Star Trek #8 from Marvel, which returns Dave Cockrum as the penciller. But with Ricardo Villamonte replacing Klaus Janson on inks, the artwork takes on a flatter look.
The Enterprise is racing an agricultural engineer to a starbase for a heart transplant, but en route the crew is hit with a stasis beam – and Spock is transported off the ship. Kirk, McCoy and a team beam down to the planet, where they find two civilizations in conflict. They must rescue Spock without violating the Prime Directive, if possible.
The pacing on this one is a little off and the art’s taken a turn for the worse. It’s probably still acceptable for the era, but less necessary to seek out.
Martin Pasko remains the writer, Dave Cockrum the artist, being inked in Star Trek #9 by Frank Springer. At times in his career, Springer was fantastic, but he doesn’t seem to help out the actor likenesses in this issue. Still, the storytelling in the artwork is fine. The story has too many coincidences for my liking, but Pasko has a decent handle on the voices of the characters.
In issue 9, the crew of the Enterprise are attacked by some madness-causing phenomenon after visiting the surface of a planet. Kirk, Spock and McCoy have to solve the mystery, which seems to involve a new crewmember who used to date Kirk.
Michael Fleisher (“The Spectre”) steps in to write issue No. 10 of “Star Trek,” with art by Leo Duranona, inked by Klaus Janson.
Captain Kirk can’t go down to the surface of Barak-7 since he’s recovering from the flu. So Spock and McCoy will make the trip without the captain. After their shuttlecraft has problems, they’re forced to crash-land on the planet, where they come in contact with its alien, barbarian culture.
Spock and McCoy proceed to violate the crap out of the Prime Directive, but the art looks good. Unfortunately, this was the only issue in the Marvel run illustrated by Duranona.
Joe Brozowski and Tom Palmer, artists, join Martin Pasko for issue #11 of Marvel’s “Star Trek.” A former girlfriend of Scotty’s comes on board the enterprise as the assistant to the eccentric psychiatrist Dr. Wentworth, who is being escorted from his clinic, where he may be in danger of radiation poisoning.
But once he’s on board, strange monsters attack, and Wentworth leads the crew into insubordination. As even Captain Kirk falls under Wentworth’s spell, it’s up to Spock and McCoy to save the Enterprise.
Lots of convenient coincidences in this one, though the art and the monsters are pretty decent.
Alan Brennert is the plotter and Martin Pasko the scripter for “Star Trek” #12, with artists Luke McDonnell and Tom Palmer. The former Yeoman Rand has apparently married a ball of light and plans to go on a deep-space mission with her husband, where she expects to never see another human being.
When something goes wrong on the trip, however, it’s up to the Enterprise to step in – perhaps even at the cost of the entire crew’s lives. The ending to this one is callous, though perhaps unintentionally, but it did have a “Trek” feel to it.
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