825. Blood Fever
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #8, DC Comics, November 1984
CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)
STARDATE: 8185.35, immediately before ST III (follows the last issue)
PLOT: While Saavik is in the throes of pon farr, her fiancé Xon is undercover as a Romulan in a secret base near the Great Galactic Barrier. Romulan scientists have found a way to leech energy from the Barrier and give their test subjects psionic powers. Saavik lands on the planet, drawing Xon out and getting him captured as a spy. The Enterprise shows up, rescues her and Xon, and engages the Romulans in battle. At its climax, the Romulans' ship is lost in the Barrier's energy field, their discoveries lost with it.
CONTINUITY: Tal (The Enterprise Incident) has made it to commander. Romulan ships are back to their original design (Balance of Terror). The Great Barrier can give humanoids psionic powers (Where No Man Has Gone Before). Xon was the name of a character in the Star Trek II series that eventually became The Motion Picture. Same guy? Saavik and David Marcus board the USS Grissom at the end of this issue.
DIVERGENCES: The title is also that of a Voyager episode. The Enterprise's cloaking device again. The Romulans have a "Council" rather than a "Senate".
PANEL OF THE DAY - "We reach." Kirk joins the space hippies.
REVIEW: While I think the space battles could use more dynamic art (battle between large ships isn't something comics seem to do very well), the story's a good second chapter to Pon Farr. I thought for sure Xon was a goner, but Barr surprised me by keeping him around (for later issues?). The Romulan ploy was an interesting use of continuity, though the series is starting to suffer from over-continuity at this point. There's nerdy and then there's the bleeding big coincidence that is Mike Barr's Star Trek universe. Anyway, now that we've rejoined ST III already in progress, I wonder what they can do with the series (III and IV are pretty watertight).