754. The Trial of Captain Kirk
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #24, Gold Key Comics, May 1974
CREATORS: Unknown (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)
STARDATE: 19:26.2 - Follows issue #22.
PLOT: Ok, I'm going to go into more detail than usual here, because it gets real crazy. The Enterprise investigates illegal mining in a pure iron asteroid field where all the rocks look like jewels. Kirk and Spock in evac suits find a ship disguised as an asteroid and roll off it before it goes to warp. It fires on the starship and is destroyed. Kirk is shortly thereafter arrested and brought before the "Supreme Council" on video evidence of his carousing with the miners. Kirk goes to a plastic surgeon friend tired of fixing wrinkles who gives him a new face and afro. The good captain puts chewing gum in the works of an elevator where he traps a secretary and seduces her. She gives up the name of the amateur videographer who caught the secret meeting on tape. He breaks in to the guy's house and finds special effects gear. Proof that he didn't do it. The special effects man shows up, but Kirk lets him believe he's a new client, except the surgery reaches its time limit and he's recognized by one of the council members, the actual big bad of the story. Meanwhile, Spock takes a navigational tech assignment so he can basically chart any course he wants, and goes to the asteroid field. They follow another asteroid ship to a planet where it jettisons key evidence. Except the planet is covered in deadly radiation. No problem, Spock and McCoy upload their minds into robots who go down to the planet, fight a huge tentacled, headless monster (called a "dragon"), and bring back the proof of the big bad's identity. His plan to make Kirk's death like a suicide are foiled when the captain uses an aquarium model in the fx studio to wash away his gun and all the evidence is uncovered.
DIVERGENCES: The Federated Planet Security is the Federation's police force. The writer overestimates the value of iron.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Kirk gets dowwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnn
REVIEW: Certainly imaginative! The story takes so many crazy twists and turns that you have to admire it as a piece of pure comics. And the plot is actually a little better than Court-Martial's! Giolitti makes some odd choices, like the chicken-billed prosecutor (who made me think of Futurama's hyper-chicken), the crystalline "iron" asteroids and the starfish-like "dragon", but they pay off in much the same way as the story does. Weirdly entertaining.