Star Trek 851: Uhura's Story

851. Uhura's Story

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #30, DC Comics, September 1986

CREATORS: Paul Kupperberg (writer), Carmine Infantino and Ricardo Villagran (artists)

STARDATE: 9142.50 (follows the last issue) and 1297.80 (flashback before Where No Man Has Gone Before)

PLOT: When the Excelsior finds an old Enterprise shuttle orbiting the dying planet of Tally, Uhura tells the story of how it came to be there. When she had just joined the Enterprise crew, she detected a Klingon base on Tally, and then proved herself by stealing a shuttle to save the landing party from the Klingons' neural disruptor. Today, that weapon is useless thanks to frequency technology she developped on the fly. Her shuttle, heavily damaged by disruptor fire was left around Tally.

CONTINUITY: Taking place before TOS actually began, Lee Kelso and Gary Mitchell (Where No Man Has Gone Before) are actually on board.

DIVERGENCES: If the adventure is that early, all uniforms should be gold. The shuttlecraft Keppler has the Galileo's insignia (NCC-1701/7). The Klingons shown are TOS-era, but with pointed ears and very different uniforms.

PANEL OF THE DAY - The last thing the Klingons would ever see...
REVIEW: I love Uhura, she's one of my favorite characters, so I was happy to read her first adventure. Kupperberg gives her trouble fitting in, echoing how many thought of her at the time, as just a telephone operator. But he also makes her just as competent as her male cohorts, and gives her more action than she's ever seen in canon productions. This flashback to Star Trek's technicolor past should be enhanced by a guest artist from the 1960s, Carmine Infantino, but it isn't really. First, Villagran's inks, while maintaining the series' house style, takes a lot of Infantino's signature strokes away. It doesn't quite look like his work most of the time. But worse, Infantino is allowed to make a lot of mistakes, reversing helm and navigator positions, putting the wrong rank on characters, and seriously screwing up the ending with characters in the "present" being drawn as their "past" selves (sometimes in the same panel as characters dressed in movie-era costumes). It almost works as an "intruding memory", but since it creates confusion, I can't say it actually does.

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