Trek, Jim, but not as we know it

SFX - - Reviews - Nick Setch­field

re­leased 14 April Pub­lisher IDW Pub­lish­ing

Writ­ers An­gus Al­lan and oth­ers

Artists Harry F Lind­field, Ron Turner,

John Can­ning

Af­ter 50 years you might imag­ine that the fi­nal fron­tier is all too fi­nite. Surely ev­ery last de­tail of Star Trek his­tory has been sen­sor- scanned, ev­ery dilithium de­posit ex­ca­vated, ev­ery Trib­ble in the cos­mos spayed?

Think again. This col­lec­tion of long- lost Bri­tish comic strips re­minds us there are still strange new worlds to dis­cover. And they were rarely stranger than th­ese.

Orig­i­nally seen in the ev­er­merg­ing pages of Joe 90, TV 21 and Valiant, the strip brought Trek to Blighty six months ahead of its BBC pre­miere in the sum­mer of ’ 69. It’s a par­al­lel five- year mis­sion, taken from a cracked mir­ror uni­verse seem­ingly sum­moned into ex­is­tence by mighty be­ings who over­heard some­one talk­ing Trek in the boozer one night.

Canon vi­o­la­tions fly like pho­ton tor­pe­does: in early in­stal­ments it’s Cap­tain Kurt who com­mands the En­ter­prise. The star­ship lands on plan­ets – its crew dis­em­bark­ing by ramp – and dives un­der­wa­ter ( hi, JJ Abrams!). Per­plex­ingly, McCoy cries, “For Pete’s sake, Scott! You can’t af­ford to be so emo­tional!”

It’s Tech­ni­color Trek from an age where the 23rd cen­tury was beamed to the UK in black and white. Filled with sabre- toothed sea mon­sters and gi­ant ants, pro­pelled by glo­ri­ous art, th­ese off- key ad­ven­tures have a giddy, pulpy charm. Un­bound by the show’s lore, they’re a true jour­ney into the uncharted reaches.

Writer An­gus Al­lan penned nearly ev­ery strip in ’ 70s kids mag Look- In, in­clud­ing Space: 1999 and Buck Rogers.

Have a giddy, pulpy charm

Maybe he left a blue sock in the wash…?

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