Star Trek 738: Sceptre of the Sun

738. Sceptre of the Sun

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #10, Gold Key Comics, May 1971

CREATORS: Len Wein (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)

STARDATE: 12:48.6 - Follows the last issue.

PLOT: In the classic mold of "Lincoln in Space" and "Greek Gods in Space", this adventure starts with a "Genie in Space" that grabs the Enterprise and forces the command crew to beam down to a planet ruled by Chang, a mighty wizard. He requires them to go on a quest to find the Sceptre of the Sun so he can defeat an enemy holding his city for ransom. The quest has Kirk and crew battling giant statues, a robot and barbarians who turn out to be the original colonists, enslaved and subjugated by Chang. They help Kirk complete the quest so that they might use the Sceptre to topple Chang, but it's a fake. In fact, everything but the robot and a tractor beam (under the genie) are illusions. After Chang is killed in battle by stray lightning (don't hold your swords up during a thunder storm, kids!), the ship destroys the tractor beam and everyone is freed.

CONTINUITY: The story features escapees from the Eugenics Wars (a defeated peace movement) who took to space just like Khan's people did.

DIVERGENCES: Kirk expressly says that if the Enterprise enters the atmosphere, it will burn up, contradicting the comic series thus far, but in line with the show.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Nyahh nyahh!
REVIEW: Since the sorcery is proven to be a "trick", this might well have been an actual Star Trek episode (of the animated series, due to brevity and simplicity) and Len Wein even includes a pretty girl that Giolitti unfortunately doesn't get to draw enough of. If it's Kirk's Trek, I want to see a pretty girl every issue, got me? Giolitti is also getting way better at drawing the actors' likenesses, all except for Scotty, who's still totally off-spec. The plot is just a runaround, with various set pieces strung together, as these kinds of quest stories are wont to be. Still, the series is starting to feel authentic under Wein's pen, references to Trek history and all, and from now on, we have some very nice painted covers to look forward to.


De said...

I wonder how many more exiles from Earth we're going to see. There have been three in the last five issues alone.

Siskoid said...

How do you think all those human-like colonies started? I guess living on Earth sucked for a lot of people.

One man's paradise is another man's hell, I guess.


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