For nearly as long as Star Trek has existed, so have comics based upon the final frontier’s favorite franchise. The first ones were released by Gold Key in 1967– one year after the series debuted – and they continue to this day through IDW’s various Trek-inspired releases. Regardless of what you think about the actual quality of these things, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that they helped keep Trek alive during those lean years after the show’s original cancellation and before its cinematic revival in 1979. It’s also hard to be overly critical about the Gold Key and Marvel runs because they possess a charm and innocence that elevates them above most published tie-ins. The subsequent comics (which explored not only the original series but The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, as well as Early Voyages and Starfleet Academy-branded titles) nobly attempted to further expand the scope of Gene Roddenberry’s original vision on the printed page. Although the results were mixed many of these are bona-fide classics.
In one form or another, Star Trek comics have been available for nearly 46 years. So with Star Trek Into Darkness hitting theaters this week, it seemed like a perfect time to celebrate them in typical Topless Robot fashion by mocking their often melodramatic covers. That said, today’s Daily List presents 15 comics handpicked from the various Trek runs whose covers are a juggling act of insanity, awesomeness and silliness. Set phasers on, well, snark I guess. Here we (boldy) go.
(Thanks to mycomicshop.com
for being the source of many of these.)
15) Worst. Alien. Ever.
What do you get if you cross a house fly, a stereotypical punk rocker and a Gorn? I have no clue, but it must be better than this lame insectoid alien who appears to be getting off to some intergalactic tentacle porn.
14) Then There Was That Time That the Enterprise Crew Got Abducted by a Giant Aerobics Instructor on a Coke Bender
I’m hardly a fashion maven, but it’s a little disheartening to know that headbands will make a comeback in the 23rd century.
13) They Were Better Before They Got Popular
Fact: The Vulcan Furies are my favorite indie rock band ever. Joking aside, this beautiful (albeit goofy) illustration is a perfect representation of the detail that was put into many of the covers from the Gold Key Star Trek run. It’s fun to think that even with all the technology available to them, Kirk and Spock would have to resort to some good old-fashioned door pushing to keep their crew safe. Wait a minute: the Enterprise didn’t even have doors like the one depicted here. I’m calling bullshit!
12) Devices and Desires (a.k.a. The Secret Sexual Functions of the Medical Tricorder Are Revealed)
Amidst an explosiony backdrop of carnage, Picard and Crusher share a tender moment before they decide to violate the Prime Directive…and each other…to knock some space boots.
Wait, was there a Thundercats/Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover I wasn’t told about? My money’s on the Lion-O looking dude here. Unless it’s a beard-off, in which case Riker is the clear victor.
10) James T. Kirk: Cosmic Misogynist
So now we know what Kirk does with the ladies who turn him down. I’d be impressed by his choice of headgear if he weren’t wearing it while aiming a spear at an unarmed woman. What a space dick.
9) Putting the Wank in Fanwank
That Data, P.I. spinoff never really took off, did it?
8) Bajoran and the Beast
Sigh. Ensign Ro was arguably the strongest female character to appear on Star Trek: The Next Generation, so to see her reduced to a damsel in distress in what appears to be the futuristic equivalent of a Harlequin romance novel makes me want to vomit up my Hasperat.
7) And It’s Gonna Last All Night Long!
In case you were wondering why this list was called “15 Awesomely Silly Star Trek Comic Book Covers,” here you go. A perfect combination of goofy and cool, this one answers the question of whether or not bachelor parties still occur in the more-enlightened future. Speaking of questions, given what we know about Kirk, it is an absolute mystery as to why he isn’t front and center at this thing.
6) Peg Bundy or Lwaxana Troi: You Decide
The surprise was that no one gave a shit about this issue.
5) Scooby Trek
Zoinks! The cover makes it seem like this issue would be better suited for Scooby-Doo than Star Trek. Which now has me pondering what kind of bender Scotty could go on if he chased his Romulan Ale with a Scooby Snack.
4) Cosmic Colic: The Plague of the 23rd Century
As Kirk and Spock quickly found out, there’s nothing like getting sneezed on by a giant disembodied baby head to liven up an otherwise dull work week
3) HULK SMASH PUNY ENTERPRISE
Okay, truth be told it’s not actually the Hulk. (There were however some X-Men/Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover comics). Since I never actually read this issue, I’m assuming that this is an allegorical story about how disco dancing will inevitably turn the youth of America into monsters. Though I could be way off base here.
2) Scotty Gets Some
It’s the story nobody demanded! How many of you wanted to get the, um, skinny on Scotty’s love life? Yeah, me neither, but here it is. My eyeballs canna take much more o’ this!
1) Gnome If You Want To
No list of Star Trek comics would be complete without mentioning that one time Kirk and Spock (who, if this cover is anything to go by, were involved in a disfiguring transporter accident) met up with a cute little gnome for an adventure. Yeah, to paraphrase the great Lana Kane I’m gonna have to say a big gnooooooooopppppe to this one.