Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: Star Trek (Gold Key) #39

Star Trek (Gold Key) #39

This is one of the very first comic books I ever owned as a small boy. I recall that it was purchased by my parents (potentially as part of a 3 pack) at a side of the highway shop somewhere in upstate New York while we were on a camping trip when I was 3 (turning 4). I have no idea what happened to my original copy, which I don’t think I’ve seen for 25 years. I was thrilled to see a copy at a local shop. $1.99 seemed liked a pretty small price to pay for a trip down memory lane, so I scooped it up.

I sat down to read it with a very deliberate goal in mind. I was going to take my time, and focus on each page (including ads) to see what memories were stirred. Right off the bat, the ad for old movie posters (Creature for Black Lagoon, Lauren & Hardy) brought very vivid feelings to mind. When I was little, I used to actually think the world had been black & white in the ‘olden days’ and snapped into colour at some point. It was this ad that made me dream up that whole concept. From there, each page brought new memories – the full splash of the crew on a spacewalk, the fairly homoerotic bacteria shower, and the ad for patches featuring various cartoon characters (of course, I knew Bugs Bunny and Casper back then – but who the heck was Snuffy Smith?).

The thing is, the story isn’t half bad either. The Star Trek crew revives a cryogenetically frozen Nobel Prize Winning Scientific Genius from the past. I can’t recall his name, but it might as well be Dr. Lennoneinsteinghandi. Kirk, Spock and & Company are the only ones who can save the Earth from lowering it defenses due to mass hypnosis. It’s quite a lot of fun, as much like the TV show, present day societal issues are explored. In this case, it seems that ‘Peace through Vigilance’ is actually the best route to follow. It’s pretty good stuff, and Alden McWilliams does a decent job making sense of a fairly off-the-wall story.

I won’t let this one get away again.


Anonymous said...

Ugh! How can you get past that bizarre cover? Tell us, did the purple face character ever show up in the story at all? I missed all the Gold Key Star Trek issues. Were they ever collected?

Scott M said...

That alien is really just a representative of an evil alien race who performed a little brain surgery on the guys in the tube.

As far as I know, the Gold Key issues were never collected (legal hassles, I imagine) - but if you see one for cheap, snap it up - there are pretty fun and quirky reads, and I am no Trekkie.

Shamus said...

I have a Star Trek collection of the first 12 or so Gold Key issues that was compiled in the late 1970s. I love that cover myself.