Sunday, October 30, 2016

Star Trek: Peter Pan Comic Records

The Star Trek Peter Pan comics/records ran from 1975 to 1979. Half of the stories were writing by Alan Dean Foster which is cool, and a handful of the artwork was done by Neal Adams which is awesome. That being said, I was surprised at how much I hated the stories and found the artwork just OK. Not all of the stories had comics for them, so those ones I actually found the record audio on YouTube. Let me tell you, they were boring as shit. Some of the early one's seemed to literally be recorded in old-timey radio style. Like a bunch of guys standing around one microphone and some other guy in the corner smacking coconuts together. In most of the comics Sulu was a black guy and Uhura was a blond white woman... I mean, it's 1975.. by now I assume everyone has heard of Star Trek. Explain to me, why and how they messed this up! They do however manage to reference small details from both TOS and TAS??

The comics from 1979 show the crew in the gray uniforms from The Movie. All characters look as they should.

1. "Passage to Moauv" (1975 comic) - Not a very original plot. It seems to happen frequently in most of the Star Trek comics. The Enterprise ends up getting some animal on board that turns out to be a telepath and it makes the crew go insane.

2. "In Vino Veritas" (1975 audio) - Insufferably boring. I actually fell asleep and then had to re-listen to it. It's the Enterprise crew sitting around a table with dignitaries talking.... That really seems to be all that happens.

3. "The Crier in Emptiness" (1975 comic) - I'm not sure if I was supposed to laugh at this one, but I did. The Enterprise is assaulted by a being of pure sound. The only solution is to have Lt. Connors play a giant keyboard like he was Jeff Lynne from ELO.

4. "The Time Stealer" (1975, comic) - Corny, but I liked it. A Wizard and Barbarian end up  battling the Enterprise. After making peace with them, Kirk soon discovers that magic may indeed be real. This was written by Cary Bates and Neal Adams. Typically I hate 99% of the writing involved with Neal Adams but not this one. Don't get me wrong, I love Neal Adams art. In fact, his Lantern/Arrow comics are one of my all-time favorites. Though even those, the ultra-hippy b-s writing made we want to die.

5. "To Starve a Fleaver" (1975, audio) - A dignitary from a newly discovered colony accidentally infects the crew with lice. Something like that.

6. "A Mirror for Futility" (1975, comic) - The Enterprise happens upon two gigantic alien starship's locked in an eternal battle. The race is long dead but these two ships are on computer power and will fight on forever. Not a bad story, it's been done before however.

7. "The Logistics of Stampede" (1975, audio) - A planet needs help killing off a stampede of cattle because they keep killing their crops. Something like that.

8. "The Man Who Trained Meteors" (1979, audio) - This was by far the best audio story. The Enterprise is about to meet the ruler of Perinda IV when suddenly the city is destroyed by multiple meteor strikes. The Enterprise is also threatened by a voice, saying that they too will be destroyed. Kirk finds out that this is the former ruler of Perinda IV. He has crazy telekinetic powers. He turns the crew into zombies and begins his coupe of the planet. Luckily Spock is unaffected. He stops Zombie-Scotty from blowing up the ship and subdues the crazed ex-ruler.

9. "The Robot Masters" (1979, comic) -  Ehhh. The Romulans steal a shipment of robots meant for Scotty in order to start a robot army. First of all, they never use robots on the Enterprise. At least not ones that look like B-9. Secondly, the Romulans are green and resemble Genghis Khan. Again.. it's 1979, nobody remembers what the Romulans liked like on TOS?

10. "Dinosaur Planet" (1979, comic) - Kirk and crew encounter intelligent dinosaurs. Not a bad idea I guess.

11. "The Human Factor" (1979, audio) - Uhura and others are taken by a race called the Garrusians. This planet worships computers so they need to steal people in order to keep them programmed. Kirk works out a compromise to have The Federation assist the culture.

On a scale of 1-5 Saurian Brandy's. I give the Star Trek Peter Pan comics a 1.5

Next Up: Star Trek: UK Comic Strip

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gold Key Comics - TOS #42- 61

The final run of Gold Key comics were fantastic. They rehash and/or expand on classic Star Trek characters and episodes. Lots of fun, beautiful artwork by Al McWilliams and great writing by George Kashdan. This batch also has great ads in them, such as Star Wars movie paraphernalia ones and disco album advertisements. Picking five top ones was tough, there are many good comics here. One with a ghost and cyborg in it, a few undercover operation episodes (which I love) and an Andorian murder mystery.

I also read the script for the never made issue #62 Trial By Fire. Kirk and Bones are trapped on a planet about to be obliterated by a fireball. Has an appearance by the USS Exeter post Omega Glory. Check it out, it's at least interesting to see what a comic book script looks like. Way crappier than I expected.

I decided to read the Whitman Dynabrite Comic (reprint of The Evictors/The Choice) and the Dan Curtis Mini-comic Giveaway (reprint of Enterprise Mutiny/Dark Traveler).

The best of this bunch:

 #43 1977 "World beneath the waves"
The crew visit a planet where the inhabitants live underwater. This environment is not used much in Star Trek, so it was interesting to see. These people had to adapt to the water after their land was devastated by radiation. Kirk discovers that there are indeed land people, but a cover up seems to be afoot. Barbara McCoy is in this comic and she is a great character. I love how she seems to really hate her father.

#49 1977 "A warp in space"
Bringing back our old friends Zefram Cochrane and the Companion from the episode Metamorphosis. Kirk needs assistance from the famed scientist in order to figure out the disappearance of several experimental starships. They are all attempting to push the limits of warp. The Companion, however, seems hell bent on sabotaging things.

#50 Jan 1978 "The planet of no life"
Kirk and a rich snobby ensign are trapped on a planets surface. Unfortunately for Kirk, his recent nemesis The Evictors are back to torture him. The young ensign quickly turns on Kirk in order to save his own head.

#56 Oct 1978 "No time like the past"
A crazy ex-dictator escapes into the Guardian of Forever and changes history. Kirk, Spock and Bones go back in time in order to set things right. They must make sure the encounter between Hannibal and the Romans goes the way history planned.

 #61 Mar 1979 "Operation con game"
Kirk loses out to the Klingon's on an important bid for a planets dilithium. They discover that this dilithium seems to be fake, and a surprising old foe is behind the ruse. Lets just say, things get a little muddy...

These Gold Key comics are a diamond in the rough. People talk shit about them, but I feel they never really read them. They get increasingly better and better as the run goes on. I enjoyed the art and writing, as well as the heavy use of Scotty.

On a scale of 1-5 Saurian Brandy's. I give Star Trek Gold Key series a 4