Star Trek 762: The Animal People

762. The Animal People

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #32, Gold Key Comics, August 1975

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

STARDATE: 19:26.11 - Follows issue #30.

PLOT: The crew of the Enterprise go to Hercula to help with a wild animal problem only to find out that the animals in question are people! Though essentially mute, Spock spots in these servant cavemen (called the Yerbas) a complex form of sign language and other intelligent behaviors. In the wild, he finds a beautiful redhead who was somehow born with the ability to speak. She leads the Yerbas in their rebellion. She and Spock narrowly escape a massacre by the local military. The crew becomes increasingly disturbed at the Herculans' bloodlust and inability to see the Yerbas as anything but filthy beasts, and uncover a hospital where babies have their "speech centers" systematically removed. As the genocide of the Yerbas ramps up, the emperor's son, sympathetic to their plight dares speak up for the girl, who saved his life when they were both children. Imprisoned along with the peaceniks of the Enterprise, Kirk realizes that they are actually in love and marries them with his captainly powers. The emperor is moved to reveal that the Herculans are actually ancient invaders who took the planet and subjugated the local population. The son and his new wife commit suicide Romeo&Juliet style as a symbol which changes the society overnight. The fighting ends as do the lobotomies, and a statue is built in the couple's honor.

CONTINUITY: None.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Kirk's double-entendres
REVIEW: The word "genocide" is used in this story, and for once, it's accurate, so this is a very adult story for the comics series. The ending is a bit rushed for lack of pages, but the characters' solutions are original and interesting, and acknowledge the political and social dimensions set up in the premise. It's probably the first time I would have liked to see a Gold Key comic translated to the silver screen (for reasons other than camp), though I suppose it has its roots in The Cloudminders.

3 comments:

Kirk Is said...

Hey -
Just started picking up on this after you finished all the shows.

Have you considered a one-page index that linked to all the Trek content (and different indexes for other pursuits)? I'd love to hear what you have to say about specific episodes, but am having poor luck with google in consistently getting to them...

Siskoid said...

Hopefully you can have more luck by doing a search of the blog alone (top of the page).

Siskoid said...

And it occurs to me...

You can just go to the Blog Archive in the right scroll bar, click a year then a month, and it'll list all articles written that month. The Star Treks are clearly marked and numbered, and it should be easy to find what you're looking for. I started on the very first day and went through TOS, TAS, the Movies, TNG, its movies, DS9, Voyager and finally Enterprise in succession.

Hope that helps a little bit more!

 

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