836. The D'Artagnan Three
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #17, DC Comics, August 1985
CREATORS: L.B. Kellogg (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)
STARDATE: 8263.5 (follows the last issue)
PLOT: Excelsior stops dilithium smugglers apparently running crystals for a man Uhura was involved with in her youth. She, Sulu and Bearclaw take the smugglers' ship, dubbed the D'Artagnan, and fly to meet this Kabaka Buganda while Kirk backtracks the smugglers to a dry planet where slaves are digging up the precious mineral. Kirk also finds a race of fish-people, a civilization he promises to help relocate since their world is evaporating. Uhura discovers the nasty truth - her old boyfriend is a slave trader. After a narrow escape in the D'Artagnan, Buganda follows with his fleet of ships. Thanks to Sulu's savvy piloting, the ships destroy each other and the trio beams to Buganda's ship before their own is destroyed. Freeing slaves in the lower decks, they stage a revolt and capture the slavers in time for their rendezvous with Excelsior.
CONTINUITY: Sulu's desire to get his own command prefigures ST VI.
DIVERGENCES: None if you can buy the whole Excelsior mission.
PANEL OF THE DAY - How the fish came out of the water
REVIEW: This first of many one-shots between now and ST IV tries to put a little more meat on Uhura, including a bad boyfriend and a sympathetic loneliness. Is Uhura the first old maid of the Trek universe? Sulu also gets some nice attention, with his first command ending in success, and yet the loss of his ship. He gets to win on both mental and physical planes, including a bit with a cutlass. Other subplots proceeding apace include the education of Bearclaw and a budding romance between Bryce and the Klingon Konom.