Star Trek 804: The Expansionist Syndrome

804. The Expansionist Syndrome

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #8, Marvel Comics, November 1980

CREATORS: Martin Pasko (writer), Dave Cockrum and Ricardo Villamonte (artists)

STARDATE: 7523.5 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: The Enterprise is attacked out of nowhere and paralyzed by a ship from the planet Agena IV and Spock is kidnapped. Going down to the planet, Kirk's landing party discovers two races vying for control. The Orgs are humanoids planning to rid their world of the Mox (or Machs), insect-like robots holding Spock. Turns out the Mox are actually the good guys, merely defending themselves by asking Spock to meld with telekinetic bugs who could create a force field around their city. Spock uses the creatures to destroy the drone ship holding the Enterprise hostage and Kirk has his ship stun the attacking Orgs with a phaser beam. McCoy's heart patient then goes crazy, escapes sickbay and beams down to become a peacemaker.

CONTINUITY: Dr. Chapel makes her first Marvel comics appearance. Navigator DiFalco from issue 6 appears again. Are we going to see the start of a Marvel ST supporting cast? The Orgs are descendants of genetically engineered humans who escaped the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s (just how many of these people made it to safety anyway?).

DIVERGENCES: Mr. Kyle is a redhead, if that is indeed the same Mr. Kyle.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Best teleport effect since Losira's!
REVIEW: Cockrum is back on the art, but without Janson in inks, his work isn't quite as strong. Spock, in particular, is a little creepy:
But otherwise, the likenesses are fine and the Mox design pretty cool. As for Martin Pasko's story, it suffers from the usual problems these series tend to have - there's entirely too much exposition to explain the plot, and twists often feel contrived. In this case, Kirk's justification for breaking the Prime Directive (the Orgs are descendants of humans, so not protected) is a howler, and I really didn't need to see another Omega Glory-type reveal, like, ever (oooh Orgs are ORGANICS, wow!). On top of that, I'm not entirely convinced the regulars are in character. Kirk siding with the machines?! McCoy and the starring Org's motivations sometimes come out of nowhere, and never mind the bizarre motivations of the heart patient. It's diverting (especially the stuff with the robots), but in no way a quality piece of fiction.


hiikeeba said...

I thought Kirk's dressing down of DeFlaco after trying to shoot the little armadillo things was a little odd, considering they had just used their phasers to make a path through the dense forest. Pasko almost got it right. Still, it's one of the better issues.


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