Star Trek 777: Sweet Smell of Evil

777. Sweet Smell of Evil

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #48, Gold Key Comics, October 1977

CREATORS: Arnold Drake & Doug Drexler (writers), Alden McWilliams (artist)

STARDATE: 5716.4 - After Devil in the Dark.

PLOT: Kirk ferries an old friend, his assistant and two of his rivals to a scientific conference, but poor Professor Moore is poisoned on the way. When everyone seems equally guilty, Kirk tries to draw out the killer by saying he has a copy of the Professor's stolen speech. Spock pays for it when a bomb blows up, but he's fine enough to figure out it's the assistant who doesn't want his employer to tell the world a discovered plant that can be harvested for perfume is actually sentient. The guy gets nerve pinched trying to shoot Kirk at the conference.

CONTINUITY: Andorians make their first comic book appearance. Dr. M'Benga gets a mention. There's a scientific conference on Beta Aurigae (Turnabout Intruder). Kirk met Professor Moore during his time on the Farragut (Obsession). Moore did seminal work with silicone life-forms on Janus IV (Devil in the Dark).

DIVERGENCES: However, the Horta were from Janus VI, not IV.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Strict rules at the table
REVIEW: It's hard to hide key information in a short comic book story. As soon as they start talking about the perfumed tree, you just know it'll be the why Prof. Moore is killed. Still, there are enough red herrings to keep it a mystery. Well, sorta. There's too much attention on the two rival scientists, which obviously means it has to be the assistant. Still, it could have been the tree itself. Drexler's "consulting" seems to serve only one purpose: Lacing the stories with a lot of references to old episodes. Keeps it interesting for nerdfans, but in such large amounts, they also seem to shrink the Trek universe.

3 comments:

Austin Gorton said...

...two of his rivals to a scientific conference...

What does it say about me that when I see the words "rival" and "scientific conference" near one another, my first thought is "Wormstrom!"?

Also, I love the tag line on the cover of this issue: MURDER Boards the Enterprise! Classic.

Siskoid said...

I can safely say Gold Key's cover captions are better than any of their stories.

hiikeeba said...

I think this was the first issue that actually felt like the TV series. After this one I started looking for the new issue.

 

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