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Old July 31 2009, 08:04 PM   #1
Steve67
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DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I always loved this series, which lasted 56 issues. When DC took on the challenge of bringing Trek to the comic book medium, I was relieved that they didn't have the limitations imposed on them as Marvel did (being limited to the first movie) and DC arguably had a superior film with which to work, so right there were two pluses. Part of the book's appeal is a nostalgia factor, but having re-read the first twenty issues recently, I think they're just fun, entertaining stories. However, I can say that when these comics were published, they helped me in those awkward days of middle school and early high school. I found the stories comforting and enjoyed Mike W. Barr's take on the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trio. I liked the references to TWOK and TSFS, as the films were fresh in my mind after having seen them in the theater.

The build up to the book's premiere was interesting, because the Trek lettercol was packed with thoughtful, intelligent readers wishing the book the best and upon the successful debut, congratulating the DC staff on a job well done. Two pages were set aside for letters and I always looked forward to reading them.

Story arcs I remember fondly include the Federation-Klingon war, with the Excaliban arbitration, the introduction of a "meek" Klingon, Konom to the crew of the Enterprise, and especially the return of the "Mirror, Mirror" universe, which I must have re-read countless times back in 1985. Also noteworthy was the two-part origin of Saavik (#7-8). I had so much hope for that character, regardless of who played her onscreen and followed her adventures here with enthusiasm. Walter Koenig even penned a story in issue 19. The solo stories for Scotty and Sulu were also amusing.

I only have those first twenty issues, but I was glad to see that Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran stayed on the book for the majority of its existence. Don't know about subsequent volumes, or the TNG comics, but I do have fond memories of that first DC Comics series.

Any favorites from this series? Thoughts? Memories?
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Old July 31 2009, 11:14 PM   #2
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I remember getting into this series with issue 49. TNG had just started up on tv, and i found out about a comic book mini-series based on TNG. It was through the letters page I discovered that there was also a TOS comic. I remember the cover, with Kirk and Konom in spacesuits, in front of a klingon battlecruiser.
I remember getting so mad when DC stopped publishing after issue 56. Thankfully they renewed a year later. I remember being so excited as a kid when those TOS and TNG comics would come out every month. My favorite year was the year DC relaunched both series. With the buildup to the Trial of James T. Kirk. Those were good times.
Trek comics today just dont excite me like those old ones would. I guess a sign of my age, being 30 now.
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Old July 31 2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Nice. I was hoping there would be a place to share my thoughts on the DC Volume 1 series, which I've only just started, and issues are sandwiched between my reading of other comic book series (Star Wars Marvel, Buffy Season 8, and the classic G.I.Joe Marvel reprints). This is made even more interesting given all the other ST comics I'm curious about, on the CD ROM. So, in addition to all of the above series I've been bouncing around, I also ventured into The Early Voyages series, with Captain Pike and company. With all that going on, I've only read through the first story arc with the Klingon hostilities, and the issue that follows right after.

Although my attention is divided a bit these days, and the flagship of my reading schedule is the Marvel Star Wars, the new movie has jump started the old Star Trek frenzy. DC Volume has been the strongest draw for getting a ST fix, since the reading commitment is not as huge as with a novel (considering that I'm starting to do college classes again). There's also the fact that I like the look and the feel of The Wrath of Khan and The Search For Spock, so that comic is my preference for now. I will read one more comic from The Early Voyages, the third issue, before I put that on hold and devote my attention more exclusively to DC V1.

I really got a kick out of the first story arc, and it was nice to finally have a proper introduction to characters I came across in my younger days when the series was coming out. In those days, I was left to puzzle about Konom, and his relationship with Nancy, and had no notion that Ensign Sherwood was a regular player. It's nice to have a context for where Konom and Nancy's story starts. I peaked ahead at the letters responding to the story, and some of the people who wrote in gave the creative team flak for rewording phrases from TWoK, which I kind of did feel were punching the fan boy buttons too obviously. Beside that, and what I perceive as narrative haste at interesting moments, I really got a kick out of how the story changed the status quo of the Federation and the Klingons, and the terms of the Organian Treaty. The story nicely contrasts two alien races tendency to manipulate or interfere in different ways, and satisfyingly tests them against each other. The fifth issue follows up cleverly by tying it's story to the aftermath of the Fed vs. Klingon conflict, and additionally showing a third example of a more advance organization's interference with a less developed civilization. I like that the series unfolds somewhat organically in that sense, and shows a version of ST history as it might have originally happened; with Savaak as Spocks "replacement." Saavak is very much involved in what goes on so far, and that's enjoyable to see.

I've already talked elsewhere about DC V1 as a series where you get a chance to see the original intentions of the creative team behind ST II, III and IV fulfilled as they might have been. I'm particularly looking forward to the issues where Kirk and crew are assigned to the Excelsior in a situation where they are not completely redeemed in the eyes of Starfleet. To a lesser extend, I also look forward to the post-TVH issues, where the new Enterprise doesn't break down right away. My excitement about these eras are what is motivating me to reluctantly put The Early Voyages on hold. Good topic, btw, just what the doctor ordered.
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Old August 1 2009, 01:06 AM   #4
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I've been reading through them on the DVD and really enjoying them. They're a lot better than the Gold Key and even Marvel's first run. I'm about to start on #21 right now.
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Old August 1 2009, 01:17 AM   #5
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I wouldn't be a Star Trek fan today if it weren't for the first run of DC Comics. At the time, the comics were my regular Star Trek fix; I couldn't watch the repeats on television, as I couldn't pull a television station broadcasting them.

It's ironic these classic comics should come up now. Over the weekend, I was going through some old folders on my hard drive, and there was an outline for an SCE story with Nancy Bryce and Liz Sherwood that I worked on for a long time. The outline is horrifically long -- even in its unfinished state, it's thirty pages -- but it was very much a labor of love, and certainly a valentine, to these characters who so were formative in my Star Trek experience.
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Old August 1 2009, 04:27 AM   #6
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I got the comics a few months back, and this has been one of the series I've been working my way through, along with Starfleet Academy, Early Voyages, Unlimited and the various WildStorm minseries. So far I've loved it, it's very interesting to see how Trek was looked at back in those days, and the stories are also good, so that helps too.
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Old August 1 2009, 04:52 AM   #7
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
My favorite year was the year DC relaunched both series. With the buildup to the Trial of James T. Kirk. Those were good times. Trek comics today just dont excite me like those old ones would. I guess a sign of my age, being 30 now.
Interestingly enough, IDW Publishing (which now holds the rights to print Trek comics from Classic Trek and TNG) last Wednesday released an omnibus as "The Best of Captain Kirk." It was a series written by Peter David that included the trial of my favorite starship captain.

Also this week was the conclusion of the five-part "Mission's End," which showed why Kirk, Spock and McCoy went their separate ways after the five-year mission ended.

And wasn't everything better when we were younger? All I can think of is the kids of "the next generation" recoiling in horror because the earlier Trek wasn't available in 3-D.
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Old August 1 2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Steve67 wrote: View Post
I was glad to see that Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran stayed on the book for the majority of its existence. Don't know about subsequent volumes

Any favorites from this series? Thoughts? Memories?
http://homepage.mac.com/mmtz/stcomix/dc1tos.html

Diane Duane's hilarious "Double Blind", #24-25, is an all-time favourite, even if Naraht the horta is given the glowing eyes of a Tholian. Also loved Tony Isabella's "The Trouble with Bearclaw" (#29), where the Enterprise's atypically 23rd century "angry young man" is tamed by an elderly Andorian crewmember, about to retire.

I was thrilled when Len Wein reintroduced Arex and M'Ress to the post-ST IV stories, loved the way Peter David was developing them up to the hiatus, and then devastated when M'Ress had to be redrawn as an antelope woman (from Issue #1 of Series II).

Peter David's unfinished Cognocenti/Bernie storyline was completed in a TNG novel, "Strike Zone", in such a way that TNG readers who knew nothing of TOS - or the DC Comic - would know any different, or miss out on anything.
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Old August 1 2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Steve67 wrote: View Post
I was glad to see that Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran stayed on the book for the majority of its existence. Don't know about subsequent volumes

Any favorites from this series? Thoughts? Memories?
http://homepage.mac.com/mmtz/stcomix/dc1tos.html

Diane Duane's hilarious "Double Blind", #24-25, is an all-time favourite, even if Naraht the horta is given the glowing eyes of a Tholian. Also loved Tony Isabella's "The Trouble with Bearclaw" (#29), where the Enterprise's atypically 23rd century "angry young man" is tamed by an elderly Andorian crewmember, about to retire.

I was thrilled when Len Wein reintroduced Arex and M'Ress to the post-ST IV stories, loved the way Peter David was developing them up to the hiatus, and then devastated when M'Ress had to be redrawn as an antelope woman (from Issue #1 of Series II).

M'Ress (below left, b/w) was redrawn (original art was previewed in "Amazing Heroes" magazine #170, Aug 1989, page 99), and replaced by Lieutenant M'yra (below right, in colour), a reddish hominid woman with antelope horns and a devil's tail, in the first issue of Series II.




Peter David's unfinished Cognocenti/Bernie storyline was completed in a TNG novel, "Strike Zone", in such a way that TNG readers who knew nothing of TOS - or the DC Comic - would know any different, or miss out on anything.
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Old August 1 2009, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

[QUOTE=Captain Randy Hall;3252131]
indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
And wasn't everything better when we were younger? All I can think of is the kids of "the next generation" recoiling in horror because the earlier Trek wasn't available in 3-D.
Not everything. There are a lot of TV shows and yes, comics that just don't hold up for me. I don't hold the same high regard for Marvel's 18-issue Star Trek run, and I love artists Dave Cockrum and Klaus Janson--just not togther! Janson tends to dominate whomever he's inking, though the Mad M'Gora of issues #4-5 looks just like a Cockrum creation. Anyway, DC's Trek worried me at first, as it did many others, that Trek would yet again receive a sub-par rendering in comics. I was thrilled to be wrong, and Trek was actually the last great comic book of my comic-obsessed youth. And I've already mentioned the nostalgia factor, but if these DC Trek books weren't any good to begin with, I doubt I'd be warmly remembering them today.

I re-read issue #1, the "Wormhole Connection" last night and loved the TWOK references all over again, with Kirk reading A Tale of Two Cities in his quarters with his glasses (though it looks like sunglasses in the comic!) and I always noticed the elegiac feel of the book, as if James Horner's gentle (TSFS version) main title were playing over the proceedings. Perhaps that's just my emotional attachment to those two films, but I was the perfect age (13-14) in 1984-85 to take such things seriously, or at least at face value. That's one of the things that make childhood perceptions so magical, is that we often took things on their own terms if they were done well, or if we believed in the material and the characters enough.
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Old August 1 2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Those Series 1 comics were some of the best 'Trek stories ever.

-- The issue, post ST IV, where Kirk has to face up to the fact that his "legend" might be a bad example to younger cadets. I think the title was "Repercussions" (probably got it wrong), where a young ensign is thrown into command of a training ship when the senior officers are killed in a Romulan attack and the kid spends the whole issue trying to do what Kirk would do, only to get his ass handed to him.

-- Spock's tenure as captain of the USS Surak

-- The "Death" of Captain Kirk, and the "ghost" of Christopher Pike warning him to give up command before it destroys him.
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Old August 1 2009, 02:06 PM   #12
indianatrekker26
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

TheGallifreyanSith wrote: View Post
Those Series 1 comics were some of the best 'Trek stories ever.

-- The issue, post ST IV, where Kirk has to face up to the fact that his "legend" might be a bad example to younger cadets. I think the title was "Repercussions" (probably got it wrong), where a young ensign is thrown into command of a training ship when the senior officers are killed in a Romulan attack and the kid spends the whole issue trying to do what Kirk would do, only to get his ass handed to him.

-- Spock's tenure as captain of the USS Surak

-- The "Death" of Captain Kirk, and the "ghost" of Christopher Pike warning him to give up command before it destroys him.
Yeah that issue was called "Idol Threats." My two favorite story arcs were the Mirror Universe(#9-16) and Who Killed Captain Kirk(#48-55). What I liked most about the first series is how well they were able to integrate their stories between Star Trek II, III and IV.
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Old August 1 2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
My two favorite story arcs were the Mirror Universe(#9-16) and Who Killed Captain Kirk(#48-55). What I liked most about the first series is how well they were able to integrate their stories between Star Trek II, III and IV.
I just started reading the series recently, I'm somewhere in the 20s a the moment. I found the Klingon War story line and the mirror universe stuff particularly impressive, and agree how well they integrate into the films is really well done. I've found the stand-alone issues less engaging, but overall I'm impressed, this sort of strong building of a distinct continuity and development of secondary characters is something I associate with the modern age of trek-lit and am pleasantly surprised to find in older material.
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Old August 1 2009, 02:26 PM   #14
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

8of5 wrote: View Post
indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
My two favorite story arcs were the Mirror Universe(#9-16) and Who Killed Captain Kirk(#48-55). What I liked most about the first series is how well they were able to integrate their stories between Star Trek II, III and IV.
I just started reading the series recently, I'm somewhere in the 20s a the moment. I found the Klingon War story line and the mirror universe stuff particularly impressive, and agree how well they integrate into the films is really well done. I've found the stand-alone issues less engaging, but overall I'm impressed, this sort of strong building of a distinct continuity and development of secondary characters is something I associate with the modern age of trek-lit and am pleasantly surprised to find in older material.
Well in the time before TNG, Trek lit had a bit more freedom. It was really with the TNG era that-- I felt-- that Trek Lit took a step back.

Now I will admit that DC Comics run had some clunkers: Sulu in a giant Mech Fight; Kirk and Co. keeping the BoP stored inside Excelsior (which was turned into a massive starship); things like that. But on average, the series was some of the best "Trek out there.
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Old August 1 2009, 02:29 PM   #15
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Diane Duane's hilarious "Double Blind", #24-25, is an all-time favorite, even if Naraht the horta is given the glowing eyes of a Tholian.
I've never seen the appeal of "Double Blind." I don't find the story particularly interesting. None of the characters "felt" right to me. The story had an awkward tone that was off-putting to me at thirteen. At thirty-six, I look back on the story as an exercise in fanwank. (Seriously, we just had to see Duane's novel characters in the comics? Seriously?)

Also loved Tony Isabella's "The Trouble with Bearclaw" (#29), where the Enterprise's atypically 23rd century "angry young man" is tamed by an elderly Andorian crewmember, about to retire.
I liked this one, though in retrospect it's stories like this that led to Richard Arnold dropping the hammer on the licensees a few years later.
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