Star Trek 729: Invasion of the City Builders

729. Invasion of the City Builders

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #3, Gold Key Comics, December 1968

CREATORS: Unknown (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)

STARDATE: 20:14.6 - Follows the last issue.

PLOT: Kirk and Spock beam down to Alpha Z-21 aka Planet Questionmark aka Zarta where massive building machines have built empty cities across most of the globe. They meet up with Krill, the leader of the few remaining people who's trying to stop the machines. The story goes that his indolent people surrendered their lives to machines, eventually even allowing machines to design machines. So when they went crazy, no one knew how they even worked. Through trial and error, Kirk and Spock find an acid that can dissolve the metal they use, and though often at odds with Krill who fears losing his leadership position, the machines are eventually stopped.


DIVERGENCES: The Enterprise flies through Zarta's atmosphere. The Interlac of the Star Trek universe is apparently Esperanta. Even undiscovered planets use it, so yeah, it beats the universal translator.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Telling time in the 23rd century
REVIEW: Not much of a Star Trek story, really. The aliens' little tale is a classic cautionary tale that works alone in a Twilight Zone kind of way. Krill is an annoyingly fickle character that is alternately friend and foe, and who ultimately takes the last heroic act out of their hands. Worse, the miracle acid that solves the situation is technobabble at its worse. Alberto Giolitti takes over the art chores from Zeccara, with whom he worked, and he's quite good with futuristic machinery. His likenesses are poorer than Zeccara's though, his style more expressionistic. There's a really nice opening shot of Kirk working on the hull in his spacesuit, but the insides are crowded and obviously pulled from Zeccara's take on the ship rather than the show. Still, they're not so far apart that it destroys the visual unity of the comic, and this issue at least plays on Giolitti's particular strengths.


snell said...

I was reminded of The City from Death To The Daleks!

Jayunderscorezero said...

The plot sounds very Philip K. Dick to me (very "Autofac" ). Still, as you say, it is a rather classic cautionary tale.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Snell, actually. With a few minor differences, this could be a Doctor Who story.

Siskoid said...

Good comparisons all.


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