815. The Long Night's Dawn!
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #17, Marvel Comics, December 1981
CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Ed Hannigan, Tom Palmer, and Dave Simons (artists)
STARDATE: 8124.5 (follows the last issue)
PLOT: A Federation probe crashes on the medieval planet Goran IV, releasing a dangerous toxin. The crew of the Enterprise has an anti-toxin, but must scout ahead to make sure the natives' physiology is 1) harmed by the toxin and 2) not harmed by the antidote. They soon get embroiled in a conflict between a Galileo surrogate and Inquisitors who see witches behind every bush. They prevail thanks to McCoy's determination, Kirk's usual attributes, and Spock's primitive radio transmitter, and the antidote is released into the air just as "demons" were "punishing" the world for its evil with poison air.
CONTINUITY: Something of this plot winds up in Voyager's Friendship One.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Haha, Kirk makes a funny.
REVIEW: Mike Barr surprises me with the best issue of the run. The art has a lot to do with it, starting with an understated Walt Simonson cover, and on through the mag with Ed Hannigan's dynamic use of angles and strong but not slavish likenesses. However, I do have to give credit where credit is due. Barr's story does a good job of integrating the Inquisition with the premise, while never resorting to the coincidences that are usually part and parcel of these one-off stories. There are some great action pieces, in particular McCoy being dunked in a river to prove he's a witch, and the clerics themselves are especially funky, if one-dimensional.