Star Trek 883: The Final Voyage

883. The Final Voyage

PUBLICATION: Star Trek Annual #2, DC Comics, 1986

CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Dan Jurgens and Bob Smith (artists)

STARDATE: 5995.7 (at the end of the 5-year mission)

PLOT: As the Enterprise's current 5-year mission ends, the ship picks up Will Decker who will be in charge of her refit. On the way, it is waylaid by Klingons who have discovered how to use Talosian illusions. It's Captain Koloth again. He's killed most of the Talosians, used the ones that were left to teach his men how to broadcast illusions, has a habit of torturing Captain Pike, and now has Kirk and crew submit to illusions of their greatest fears. What he doesn't know is that strong emotions can break the illusions (it's how the fierce Klingons got the upper hand on the Talosians in the first place). Kirk and crew rescue the rest of the Enterprise by pumping a gas that simulates strong emotions into the air, and take the Klingons by surprise. The Talosians are all too happy to brainwash the Klingons so they forget about Talos IV, and the Enterprise reaches Earth where her crew members part ways.

CONTINUITY: Scotty started growing his moustache sometime before the end of the 5-year mission. Commodore Stocker appears (The Deadly Years). Will Decker will later appear (chronologically, that is) in The Motion Picture. The TMP uniforms and communicators are starting to be phased in. The Enterprise has a holodeck as per the Animated Series. Talos IV, Christopher Pike and Vina were last seen in The Menagerie. Koloth (The Trouble with Tribbles) has appeared a number of times in the present series. Among the nastiest visions, Kirk must relive Edith Keeler's death (The City on the Edge of Forever). The end of this story prefigures the big three's positions at the start of The Motion Picture, and more or less make the visions they suffered the motivation for the change.

DIVERGENCES: A Starfleet ship called the Kobayashi Maru II seems... odd. The Talosians' power is teachable.

PANEL OF THE DAY - And the ship was happiest of all.
REVIEW: Placing this story at the very frontier of the 60s and 70s eras gives this story a unique feel, and Barr does a relatively good job of integrating elements from both TOS and TMP, though I do get the feeling the end of the 5-year mission should be farther away from TMP than that. Seems like the next few years will have Kirk age very quickly and Decker not at all. The tale loops the end with the beginning as we essentially revisit The Cage via The Menagerie, though the premise (telepathic Klingons) isn't believable. The visions are for the most part well chosen for each of the characters (Uhura fears for her beauty, as she has in at least one other story, for example), though I wonder what Sulu's WWII dream is all about. Kirk's vision sends him into a rage through which he kills a Klingon with his fists! Don't mess with Keeler! Spock's loyalty to Captain Pike is also well represented. Despite the odd scene or plot point here and there, it's a loving look back at the original series, with some humor thrown in like Uhura being eager to wear the new unitards just to get out of the mini-skirt, with nice clean Dan Jurgens art.

2 comments:

Bill D. said...

This was the only Star Trek comic I ever owned as a kid (well, this and the two Trek Who's Who issues), but I must've read it a couple dozen times. Don't know why it never inspired me to seek out other Trek comics, but I sure enjoyed this one.

googum said...

Hell, I think I lost this one, since I was looking for the last panels, where Kirk takes the red plaque of the ship--the side and top-down view.

 

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