Star Trek 748: The Haunted Asteroid

748. The Haunted Asteroid

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #19, Gold Key Comics, July 1973

CREATORS: Unknown (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)

STARDATE: 24:92.5 - Follows the last issue.

PLOT: Kirk and crew visit an apparently haunted asteroid tomb, a shrine to a long-dead queen from which looters never return. With the help of the expert Dr. Krisp, a lovely lass who sometimes needs to the fear slapped out of her...
...they navigate the dungeon, fighting robots, harpies, ghosts and flaming fountains along the way. Eventually, they get to the heart of the tomb where the queen is found still alive after centuries. She reveals all. Born with a mutation that would make her nearly immortal, her loving husband created this palace for her when he found out to spare her the paparazzi and resentment, later joining her after his own faked death. Since then, she's turned looters into permanent guests and will soon die anyway, taking the asteroid with her. Kirk and crew escape and she dies a peaceful death triggering the explosion.

CONTINUITY: Kirk finally gets some. After slapping Krisp into submission, he invites her to dinner. Now that's the Kirk we know and roll our eyes at.

DIVERGENCES: Sulu is apparently a former gymnastics gold medal winner (chalk it up to another completely unrelated sphere of interest). Scotty's more into weight-lifting, able to get a half-ton robot over his head and spinning it round.

(ODDLY EROTIC) PANEL OF THE DAY
REVIEW: A real mess, this one. Though it features a couple of shocking images - the room full of human remains, Spock on fire - it's also full of plot holes and contrivances. The madness some looters have returned with is never explained. Nor is Kirk's school chum's missing memory, or the fact he's going barefoot. Spock mistakes robots for zombies, twice. Kirk and Krisp's cell isn't locked, apparently on purpose, but the rest of the crew's is. And of course you have the contrived abilities of both Sulu and Scotty, the latter verging on the super-human. One to read for the camp of it all.

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