817. The Wormhole Connection
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #1, DC Comics, February 1984
CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)
STARDATE: 8141.5 (after ST II)
PLOT: The Klingons come out of nowhere and destroy the USS Gallant. Back at Starfleet HQ, Kirk asks for the Enterprise back in the wake of Spock's death and gets her. He's immediately sent to find out what happened to the Gallant. Aboard are some new crew members, including the children of crew lost on the missing ship. The Klingons, led by Captain Koloth, attack the Enterprise, but she prevails as the remaining ships enter a wormhole. Kirk and Ensign Bryce find a way to follow and find a Klingon space station poised to attack the Federation...
CONTINUITY: Occuring soon after The Wrath of Khan, Kirk's log mentions Carol and David Marcus returning to Regula I. Saavik (looking like Kirstie Alley) is part of the cast. Though not explicit, the letters pages inform the reader that Sulu is XO in Spock's absence. Koloth (The Trouble with Tribbles) is back, and ridged (cured of the retrovirus, which fits Blood Oath). The Organians are contacted. This is the first appearance of William Bearclaw, Nancy Bryce and Konom, characters that will appear regularly over the course of the series.
DIVERGENCES: Slight differences in the way the uniforms are drawn (some characters don't have the flapped tunic). Apparently, Starfleet cracked the Klingons' cloaking device years ago.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Those crazy ensigns
REVIEW: The DC series starts with a bang - a George Perez cover! The interiors are by Tom Sutton, of whom I am a big fan, though his work here is less edgy. Still, great likenesses, dynamic outer space battles, and strong storytelling. Mike Barr, for all his faults, creates a good set-up from the status quo left by ST II, and smartly puts the Klingons in the first issue. These guys should be used as the Enterprise's opposite number when possible, and I like that Koloth is their captain - good use of Star Trek lore. The DC series has figured out something none of its predecessors did: Since you can't fiddle with the main cast very much, it creates some lower ranked characters the writer(s) CAN fiddle with. We know Kirk and Uhura can't die, but what about Bryce or Bearclaw? Little more than ciphers now, but hopefully they can grow beyond their ties to the first storyline. Saavik trying to take Spock's place could also be interesting. They're actually trying for psychological depth! The new multi-part format actually makes me excited to see what comes next! Oh Mike Barr, don't fail me now!