Star Trek (1st DC Series) #37-56

I guess when I start reading the second DC Star Trek series, which I have entirely in digital format (except for the adaptations of the fifth and sixth movies), I’ll get to read an official lettercolumn explanation as to why the first series ended as abruptly as it did, because I went into the final issues blind and figured that there would be some sort of editorial note when it came to the end of the book. But there’s nothing. The last issue is a “flashback to the original series” issue written by Marty Pasko (with solid Gray Morrow artwork and a gorgeous cover by Jerome K. Moore) and the lettercolumn talks about upcoming Trek news and more or less treats things as business as usual, so I think the hiatus was abrupt.

According to Memory Alpha, it definitely was, as the series was put on hiatus due to Paramount wanting stricter control over its adaptations and licensed property comics, and as I understand it, the original character crew members that were created for this series, such as Konom and Bearclaw, did not show up at all in the second series. It’s a shame, too, because I felt that the writers were having some fun playing with them and developing them, especially since they couldn’t do too much to the main cast.

And what did they do during these issues? Well, they’re kind of hit or miss, because after the end of The Voyage Home, we get a return to a new Enterprise and a few storylines where the book does seem to spin its wheels a little bit, especially during the issues that are written by Mike Carlin. I will forever love the guy for his stewardship of Superman during the early 1990s, an era when I first started reading comics, but I found the writing on his issues to be pretty stiff. I also wasn’t too hip to the Harry Mudd storyline that lasted a couple of issues; then again, I’m not much of a fan of Harry Mudd.

But then Peter David takes over and it’s a lot more dynamic of a series. There’s a mystery involving someone apparently impersonating Bearclaw and causing him to try and kill Kirk, a return to a planet from a prior episode wherein Spock winds up merging with a supercomputer that once ruled the place, the wedding of human crew member Nancy and Klingon crew member Konom, and a freaky two-parter where a telepathic crew member gets sick and turns part of the ship into something out of Dante’s Inferno. They’re multi-part storylines that bleed into one another in the way that some of the better comics of this era did; you can pick one up at random and be caught up pretty quickly, but would feel rewarded for following along the entire time.

I personally loved reading all of these comics, even the books that I wasn’t too keen on. The time from 1986-1993 or so is “my” era of Star Trek, and the feature films are the place where I “played in” the most. I dipped in and out of the original series on reruns on WPIX (and still have to watch the entire series in order on blu-Ray) and while there were stretches of a few seasons of TNG that I watched in the early 1990s, I have never seen every episode of that show, either. I even read a bunch of the novels. But the comics were, with the exception of a few issues I owned, a huge blind spot, and I’m glad I took the time to go back to these. I’m sure that there are some that I will reread, especially since having them all in digital format means that I don’t have to have them take up so much physical space.

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?

Keep the digital books but Sell/Donate the paper copies.

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