Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exit Stage Left: Star Trek #61

The final issue of Gold Key's Star Trek series marks the end of an era. It would have hit shelves around Christmastime in 1978. Obviously everyone involved in the upcoming feature film thought it was high time to find a new comic book licensee. Gold Key had been publishing the series for over a decade at this point, and had produced a solid, if unspectacular, collection of stories. The 70s were really the era of the hardcore Trekkie. They were the fans whose insatiable appetite led to various toys, books and cartoons based on the original series. With Motion(less?) Picture on its way, things would never be the same. It is hard to believe that Star Trek comics had such humble roots, and that the series' original artist had never even seen the show. It was a survivor, though, and many fans have a real soft spot for it.

The good is a solid one. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beamed down to investigate a planet and are ambushed by a Klingon. These are still the old-school 99% human-looking Klingons. The Klingons are anxious to get their hands on the planet's dilithium supply and the only thing standing in their way are the three crew members and a face very familiar to fans of the original series. I've always felt that Alden McWilliams was a terribly underappreciated artist. He is a terrific storyteller and there's a certain lushness to his art that I find very appealing. Within a few months, Marvel would have the license and DC would take over a couple of years after that for a long stretch. There's a real charm to these old Gold Key comics and they bring out a real sense of nostalgia in my, as would a Mego Spock or a squirt gun shaped like a phaser.


Andrew Wahl said...


I didn't warm up to Star Trek until Next Gen years later, so the Gold Key issues held little appeal to me as a kid. I agree that the McWilliams art sure looks nice. I'll have to keep an eye for a Gold Key issue or two at future conventions.


Scott M said...

Andrew, I've probably read a dozen of 'em over the years and each one was enjoyable in its own way.

If you can find them at a good price, they are worth a peek.