740. The Flight of the Buccaneer
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #12, Gold Key Comics, November 1971
CREATORS: Len Wein (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)
STARDATE: 32:46.3 - Apparently right after The Enterprise Incident.
PLOT: Looking for stolen dilithium buried by a pirate ship, the bridge crew pose as pirates to join forces with Black Jack Nova. He's to lead them to the treasure, but plans on betraying them at the last second. During the voyage, Spock and Scotty are caught spying by the first mate, but Kirk blows the whistle on them first to keep his cover intact. They're made to walk the space plank, but are rescued by the Enterprise's transporters. As things go awry on the planet, Black Jack is killed when Kirk's cutlass stays lodged in the pirate shuttle's machinery. The dilithium is rescued and the Federation is saved, so no one thinks of investing in alternative fuels.
CONTINUITY: Scotty finally looks like his real self. The Enterprise is carrying a Romulan cloaking device. Kirk found his half of the treasure map on Pollux IV; since he was at Pollux II in The Brain Shockers, I may have misplaced that issue in continuity.
DIVERGENCES: I doubt the entire bridge crew have their ears pierced.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Arh!
REVIEW: Tortuga VI is a really silly planet where pirates seem to have walked right out of the 18th century. But that kind of odd historical/genre juxtaposition is standard fare in the Gold Key comics, as they were in the animated series. Truth be told, it's an ok little tale, with a couple of good twists and maybe a couple of dull ones. I'm happy to report someone finally sent Giolitti some photo reference for Scotty, and though there's nothing spectacular about the artwork, there are still some good full-page spreads, like the bar brawl.