Star Trek 735: The Youth Trap

735. The Youth Trap

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #8, Gold Key Comics, September 1970

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

STARDATE: 31:09.4 - Follows the last issue.

PLOT: The ship is damaged forcing the crew to search a nearby planet for minerals. The landing party are turned into children by a de-aging ray created by chance by a shipwrecked crew. They're trying to make themselves immortal in order to survive, but one of them sees an opportunity to conquer his homeworld by threatening to turn everyone into babies. His first act is to hijack the Enterprise by sending the ray over its monitor screens. Yes, tv turns you into children. Kirk, captured on the planet, turns the tables on the evil Kooba and smashes the raygun.

CONTINUITY: An ore expert named Burns appears here. Someone with that name would appear later, in Star Trek (DC) #19 and in the novelization of The Survivor, but it's unlikely these are the same character. There's a "I'm a Doctor, not a..." moment when Kirk tells a de-aged McCoy: "You're a top-flight space medic, not a teenage kid!" While this story reminds one of TNG's Rascals, there'll be a proper TOS Rascals in Gold Key's 42nd issue.

DIVERGENCES: The usual.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Let's not stand on formality
REVIEW: Another ridiculous Silver Age plot with fortuitous science, but instead of a technobabble solution, Kirk uses some ingenuity and a shiny silver plate to beat the villain at his own game. It's too bad there are so few women featured in the series, because Giolitti draws them lusciously pretty, and I hope we see "Susan" again if only for that reason. A few dynamic set pieces keep the story alive, including one where the heroes ride a rock slide into camp. Yes, it's silly, but harmless fun nonetheless.

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