820. Deadly Allies!
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #4, DC Comics, May 1984
CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)
STARDATE: 8151.7 (follows the last issue)
PLOT: The Excalibians didn't find their last experiment conclusive and have staged the Klingon-Federation war as a way to finally discover which is strongest - good or evil (though Kor rightly doesn't see the Klingons as evil). As the ship's engines are set to overload, Kor and Kirk join forces to stop them, though they first have to break up the riot Konom caused. Working together, the crews manage to penetrate the black barrier and land on Organia. Kirk makes one of his patented speeches to the Excalibians, telling them they have more to learn from doing than from watching, and proposes they go to war with the "evil" Organians. The two races start their ultimate battle, sending Organia out of time and space.
CONTINUITY: Kor. Excalibians (Yarnek specifically). Organians (including Ayelborne). Scotty's back-up plan involves saucer separation (which was mentioned in the movie-era technical specs, so not a divergence).
DIVERGENCES: If you thought Trekker was a term only used for TNG fans, you're wrong. Somebody in the letters page calls himself one... in 1984!
PANEL OF THE DAY - Excalibian paratroopers
REVIEW: The story's finale involves Kirk making a speech and convincing aliens to leave humanity alone. How old school is that? Perfect, in fact, though I would also have been interested in an extended conflict with the Klingons blamed on Kirk. It would probably have caused more than a few divergences. At least tensions are a touch higher, which is a fair lead into ST III. As things come to a head, characterization scenes are few and far between, but a contrast is adequately created between Bryce and Bearclaw (with Konom as the catalyst). She forgives and he holds a grudge. I hope their characters go beyond that.