809. Eclipse of Reason
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #12, Marvel Comics, March 1981
CREATORS: Alan Brennert and Martin Pasko (writers), Luke McDonnell and Tom Palmer (artists)
STARDATE: 8180.7 (follows the last issue)
PLOT: What you didn't know about Janice Rand - between her last TOS appearance and The Motion Picture, she went and got married to a Phaetonian, a race of telepathic energy beings who can interface with machines. Now she's going off on an intergalactic mission with her husband and 100 of his people, the only human on a trip between galaxies on which she will die of old age. But going through the Great Barrier around our galaxy drives the Phaetonians insane and Janice telepathic and she's able to send a mental mayday to Mr. Spock. The aliens are now returning home to crash their ship into their own planet. It's up to the Enterprise to ram it unless a landing party can rescue Janice and take back control of the ship while the Phaetonians use its machinery to attack them. They of course succeed; Janice's telepathy proves to be temporary; and she annuls her marriage to a mad energy being.
CONTINUITY: Janice admits she left the Enterprise in the middle of Season 1 because of her unrequited feelings for Kirk. The Great Barrier still has an effect on the human mind.
DIVERGENCES: For the second issue in a row, the Vulcan mindmeld is called the mind touch.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Feeling guilty, Janice?
REVIEW: One thing I like is that the issue at least explores Kirk and Rand's relationship from the show. I'm not such a big fan of her marrying a ball of energy, but this is nonetheless an exciting adventure for one of the less seen Star Trek characters. Good for her! There are a number of good character moments, including Scotty telling the crew he's sorry to send them on a suicide mission, and the stakes are certainly high. But the ship battles are drawn a little awkwardly, and we have a wasted idea in the "white hole" to another dimension. Far from perfect, but after a year, this series remains readable in spite of its reputation.