Star Trek 865: The Corbomite Effect!

865. The Corbomite Effect!

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #42, DC Comics, September 1987

CREATORS: Michael Carlin (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)

STARDATE: 8953.7 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: When the ship starts acting screwy, placing the crew in danger at every turn, Scotty starts believing in gremlins. But are ancient gaelic spirits really mucking about with the vessel, or is he just having a hard time coping with his recent injuries/old age/drinking problem? Kirk doesn't lean in favor of the former. In the middle of the night, Scotty overrides Kirk's authority and shuts the ship down for 15 minutes, enough time to turn on a petrol engine, capture the gremlin with it, stuff it in a torpedo casing, and once the ship is active again, shoot it at a space marker where it can have all the fun it wants.

CONTINUITY: The Federation president from ST IV sends the Enterprise to Gamma Trianguli VI (the planet in The Apple) though it only arrives in the last panel. Scotty takes to calling the gremlins "corbomites" in homage to the mythical substance invented by Kirk to bluff enemies with (The Corbomite Maneuver, The Deadly Years).

DIVERGENCES: It's the first time we've seen bug-like "repair drones" help the crew repair hull damage.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Commander Lizardo, stop sucking on Ensign Bryce's neck.
REVIEW: There are two weird things about this story. The first is, of course, that "gremlins" exist in the Star Trek universe. Carlin does an excellent job making us wonder just what is causing the malfunctions, and making us expect some kind of sci-fi explanation, that it is very strange to see a windy spirit fly into Scotty's engine at the end. The second is that the night shift bridge crew is almost entirely populated by odd-looking aliens. I'm not against this kind of diversity on the Enterprise, but it makes it seem like Kirk is putting all the ugly people on the shift opposite his. Regardless, the issue is still fun. The focus on Scotty is entertaining, and there's a brisk pace and lots of action. Carlin also writes a "done-in-one" that still has enough of a cliffhanger to make us come back next month (or for us, tomorrow). Star Trek hasn't quite been written this way as yet.


hiikeeba said...

I remember thinking the same thing when I bought this issue. While it isn't Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, it was better than most past attempts.

Alden said...

It is surprising to see the large number of comics that spin episodes titles and yet seem to have nothing to do with the episode.

You would expect any comic with corbomite in the title would involve either an explanation of what happened to the giant balls-within-ball ship or a story about Kirk getting over an addiction to Tranya.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

As I remember, the Gorn(-ish?) night shift commander was named Captain Kommodo, or something similar enough to Kommodo that you can get the joke. Years later. When you find out what a Kommodo Dragon is. Hey, I can't know everything, ok?

This was also the first DC Star Trek I owned, and I ended up getting all of the next arc, so I'm curious to see Siskoid's reactions.

Siskoid said...

His name is Codobach, not sure how close that is to Kommodo.


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