FIRST REVIEW! STAR TREK: The Classic UK Comics Vol. 1

TREK TUESDAYS: Including 13 of the book’s spaciest panels!

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Cyberspace, the Final Frontier. These are the Trek Tuesdays voyages of the website 13th Dimension. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new stories about Star Trek, to seek out new angles and new ideas every week, to boldly go where plenty of people have gone before, but in a funky, fresh, interesting way…

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This week, stateside Trek fans get their first-ever volume of the rare UK Star Trek strips from the late ’60s-early ’70s, thanks to IDW.

We ran a preview last week, so you can check out some of the full strips here, but this is the gist: In 1969, before Star Trek debuted in the UK, an English magazine began running weekly strips that didn’t exactly hew to the basic Star Trek concepts, though they looked great. (Early on, the Enterprise’s bold leader was mistakenly called “Captain Kurt,” for example.)

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They’ve never been collected in the U.S. but IDW’s Library of American Comics imprint is launching a three-volume hardcover set, just in time for the show’s 50th anniversary. The first volume — out 4/13 — features a detailed and informative intro by sci-fi maven Rich Handley (who owns the copies of the strips the pages were scanned from).

The book is a marvelously oddball artifact of Trek lore. The stories themselves are similar to what Gold Key was publishing in America — that is to say, cheesy and clunky but charming nonetheless.

This logo dresses up most of the strips. Marvelous.

This logo dresses up most of the strips. Marvelous.

The difference, though, is that the UK strips are flat-out gorgeous, especially the earlier ones, which feature uncanny likenesses, kinetic layouts and saturated water-color hues. The art alone makes this book worth the $50 list price.

Covers a reprinted too, whenever they're part of the story. Wowza!

Covers are reprinted too, whenever they’re part of the story. Wowza!

The jam-packed, two-page spreads are filled with little nuggets of goofy awesomeness, just like the show itself. So I went through the first volume and picked out 13 of my fave panels. This’ll give you an up-close idea of what you’re in for:

A very Shatner-like Kirk/Kurt!


A very Nimoy-like Spock!


A curmudgeonly Bones!


A badass Sulu!


A very Nichelle Nichols Uhura!


An Enterprise that lands!


A landspeeder!


A Battle for the Planet of the Apes!


A Space Odyssey!


A really cool transporter effect and layout!


This guy!


This poor guy!


This incredibly off-model Enterprise!


STAR TREK: The Classic UK Comics Vol. 1 is available at comics shops 4/13 and at other retailers later in April.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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