Star Trek 787: No Time Like the Past

787. No Time Like the Past

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #56, Gold Key Comics, October 1978

CREATORS: George Kashdan (writer), Alden McWilliams (artist)

STARDATE: 3275.2 - Follows issue #53 (Season 3).

PLOT: The deposed, insane tyrant Trengur escapes into time via the Guardian of Forever and sets himself up as absolute ruler of Earth in a number of time periods by changing history there (he has the Roman Empire fall to Hannibal, George Washington die during a failed American Revolution, and the Nazis win WWII). Kirk, Spock and McCoy are unable to stop him on his first trip, and returning, find that the Enterprise is under the control of the evil Earth-Fleet (Starfleet seems to also exist, but for rebels and aliens, presumably). Dodging Scotty's suspicions, our heroes find out Trengur has had the Enterprise place bombs at various rebel installations as well as the Guardian planet. Feigning historically-contracted bubonic plague, they manage to return to the Guardian just as the planet blows up, and stop Trengur before he can even start.

CONTINUITY: The Guardian of Forever makes its second comic book appearance. It was last seen in #20.

DIVERGENCES: Despite assurances throughout Trek spin-off fiction that the Guardian is a well-hidden secret, Trengur knows all about it.

PANEL OF THE DAY - It's Mirror, Mirror all over again.
REVIEW: While there are a number of gaps in the story's logic, it's still a rather enjoyable and clever combination of time travel and parallel worlds. There's no way history would be changed so little from period to period, nor is it clear how Trengur managed to survive to the 23rd century (or how long he stayed in each period before moving on), and there's the matter of the paradox at the end (what happened when Kirk and crew went to the past in the first place if they later stopped Trengur before then?), but the story moves at such a pace that you never have time to think about this stuff too hard. McWilliams' costumes still look cheap and awkward (there is such a thing as sticking too close to the source material, you know), but he provides some nice elephant on human action and a gigantic Guardian.

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