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Gold Key-The Devils Isle of Space

Cover of Gold Key's "The Devils Isle of Space" (Issue #2)

For information about comics in the Star Trek universe, please see comic book.

Through a licensing process similar to those granted to create collectibles, novels, and games, Paramount Pictures has granted the rights to market Star Trek merchandise of various sorts, including comics, through a number of different production and design companies, beginning in July 1967 with a series based on Star Trek: The Original Series.

With the success of the Star Trek films and Star Trek: The Next Generation, the licensing office associated with the productions took stricter control of the franchise's image. Designers of Star Trek publications were discouraged from creating depictions that varied from the style and details of the franchise, as seen in filmed productions. Previous comics of the 1960s, '70s and early '80s tend to vary from canon more than later series. Since the comics are produced by artists and writers not affiliated with franchise production staff, filmed productions disregard events and situations in them as completely apocryphal.

The Star Trek universe has been displayed in comic book form in many ways throughout its existence. Gold Key Comics, a subsidiary of Western Publishing, which had put out the first original Star Trek novel, Mission to Horatius, first published Star Trek stories, starting in 1967 with a story entitled "K-G, Planet of Death." This company, which was known for publishing comics based on licenses from TV shows and movie properties, produced 61 Star Trek comic books from 1967 to 1979, which focused on all-original adventures of The Original Series crew of the starship USS Enterprise.

Flesh of My Flesh

Cover of Marvel's "Flesh of my Flesh" (Star Trek: Early Voyages #1)

Since then, many other companies have published different series of Star Trek comic books, including Marvel and DC at multiple intervals. Many are simply adaptations of episodes and movies, while others are brand-new stories involving existing Trek characters, and still others have introduced completely new characters and settings. One of the best examples of the latter is Marvel Comics' series Star Trek: Early Voyages, which featured adventures of Captain Pike's crew on the original Enterprise before Captain Kirk took command.

Canonicity of Star Trek comics[]

While many comic book runs of the Star Trek universe have provided interesting story arcs and situations that would be difficult to show on television, all stories are considered to be non-canon.

In 2012, in an interview with, producer and writer Roberto Orci, pressed by the editor Anthony Pascale to declare that all of the recent Star Trek comics which he had overseen (such as Star Trek: Countdown) were canon until contradicted by onscreen sources, indicated that he agreed with that proposal. [1], although he would later step back from that view, saying "[I] have said a million times that we cant determine what is canon. [On] this day, [I] said something else. 'consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.'" [2]

Gold Key (1967-1979)[]

Gold Key Comics published 61 issues from July 1967 to February 1979. The comics focused on the USS Enterprise during James T. Kirk's first five-year mission. A 62nd issue was written and partially illustrated, but was only published in 2020, when Eaglemoss published it in the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection.

Those were reprinted several times:

  • Golden Press: "Star Trek: The Enterprise Logs" (4 volumes – 1976-1977); in addition to reprints, these volumes also contained four original tales that did not appear in the 61 issues.
  • Checker Books: "Star Trek: The Key Collection" (6 volumes – 2004-2007)
  • World Distributors Limited: Star Trek Annuals (UK 1969/1986)
  • Gold Key: Dynabrite #11357 (reprinted issues 33 and 41)
  • Gold Key: Dynabrite #11358 (reprinted issues 36 and 44)
  • Gold Key: Dan Curtis Give-Aways #2 (reprinted excerpt of issue 14)
  • Gold Key: Dan Curtis Give-Aways #6 (reprinted excerpt of issue 13)
  • Star Trek View-Master (reprinted issue 1)
  • Mighty TV Comic #1292-1352 (reprinted issue #1 [#1292-1303]; #4 [#1304-1316]; #5 [1317-1329]; #6 [#1330-1345]; and first half of #7 [#1346-1352])
  • TV Comic #1353-1381 (reprinted second half of issue #7 [#1353-1358]; #8 [#1359-1371]; and #9 in abridged format [#1372-1381])
  • Star Trek Hardcover Annuals (reprinted issues #1-3 [1969]; #4-6 [1970]; #7-9 [1972]; #11-13 [1973]; #14-16 [1974]; #17, 21 & 24 [1975]; #27 & 30 [1976]; #10 & 34 [1977]; #38-39 [1978]; #36 & 40 [1979]; #54-56 [1980]; #59 & 61 [1983]; #27 & 40 [1986])
  • Star Trek Special (reprinted issues #47-48)
  • Star Trek Television Picture Story Book (reprinted issues #1 & 10)
  • Star Trek Comic Album (reprinted issues #2-3)
  • Star Trek Comic Album (reprinted issues #7-9)
  • Star Trek Picture Book (reprinted issue #6, issued as premium gift at Total gas stations in 1975)
  • Star Trek Mighty Midget (insert in Mighty TV Comic #1293, reprinted half of issue #26)
  • Star Trek Winter Special (reprinted #2-3)

British strips (1969-1973)[]

Concurrent with the Gold Key strips, a series of weekly comic strips based on Star Trek was released in the United Kingdom. Published in the pages of Joe 90: Top Secret, TV21, and Valiant, these strips appeared as two- and three-page spreads in magazines printing Star Trek and other adventure-based titles. 256 issues were published over the course of five years, with additional stories running in one Joe 90 annual, three TV21 annuals, a Valiant Super Special, two TV Comic annuals, and an issue of Radio Times magazine.

Peter Pan Records (1975-1979)[]

From 1975 through 1979, Peter Pan Records (and Power Records, a division thereof) released eleven stories. Six of these stories were accompanied by comic books, and some of the stories reference the continuity of both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series. Peter Pan Records released the stories on a total of 23 record sets, some featuring one story, others featuring as many as six on one release.

Marvel Comics v1 (1979-1982)[]

Marvel Comics took over the franchise in 1979 and published a series of comics based on the crew of the USS Enterprise in the 2270s after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

McDonald's (1979)[]

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, McDonald's released its first-ever set of Happy Meal Boxes, featuring comic strips adapting scenes from the film, on six separate boxes. Additional strips were included in special Star Trek Communicator toys included with the Happy Meals.

Newspaper comic strip (1979-1983)[]

Around the same time as Marvel Comics was publishing its comic books, a newspaper comic strip based on Star Trek appeared. Like the Marvel publications it, too, told of the adventures of the USS Enterprise after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It lasted four years and consisted of twenty story arcs.

DC Comics v1 (1984-1988)[]

DC Comics published a series of comics based on TOS, the movies, and TNG.

DC Comics v2 (1989-1995)[]

After stopping the publication in 1988, DC Comics renewed the license in 1989, publishing comics based on TOS (2260s-2280s) and TNG.

Malibu Comics (1993-1995)[]

Concurrent with DC's license for TOS and TNG comics, Malibu Comics acquired the rights to publish Star Trek: Deep Space Nine comics.

Malibu had also apparently obtained rights to produce Voyager comics, but stopped comic production (due to a buyout from Marvel) before any issues were released.

Marvel Comics v2 (1995-1998)[]

Done under the imprint "Marvel Presents Paramount Comics", Marvel had rights to produce comics based on all the existing Star Trek properties at the time.

WildStorm Comics (1999-2001)[]

DC Comics, through their WildStorm Comics imprint, obtained rights to the Star Trek comics for the third (and to date, final) time. Again published as "Paramount Comics", WildStorm limited their releases to single issues and limited series.

Tokyopop (2006-2009)[]

Tokyopop published Star Trek: The Manga and Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Manga. The first volume of this series, titled "Shinsei Shinsei", was a collection of five Star Trek manga stories published in August and September. The stories are based in the TOS-era. A second TOS-based five-story volume, "Kakan ni Shinkou", was released in 2007 with a third following mid-2008. The TNG-era series was released in April 2009.

IDW Publishing (2007-current)[]

IDW Publishing – publishers of comics based on the CSI, Doctor Who, and 24 TV series – reached a deal with CBS/Paramount to release new Star Trek comics. IDW initially limited their releases to mini-series until the ongoing series based on the 2009 film.

The first book, a six-issue mini-series based on The Next Generation, was released in January 2007. A second, a TOS-era Klingon-based five-issue mini followed in April 2007, [3](X) [4] with a "Star Trek: Year Four" miniseries following in July 2007 and an "Alien Spotlight" miniseries starting in November 2007. [5](X) [6]

Wired magazine (2009)[]

The September 2009 issue of Wired magazine, issue 17.05, contained an online mini comic tied in with the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek film. The comic is available online. [7]

See also[]

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