Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Future Technology of Gold Key's Star Trek Comics!

Here's an amazing device featured prominently-- and with little justification as far as the rest of the plot goes-- in Gold Key's Star Trek #39. The Enterprise crew has just recovered a floating coffin from deep space and now they have to endure "steri-rays."

Which tickle you. This is a moment dauntless space pioneer James Tiberius Kirk did not record in his captain's log.

By the way, the coffin contains the body of one Dr. Alfred Bleikoff, a combination of Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi. He's the deceased leader of a 20th century peace movement, and once revived by the amazing super-tickling science of the 23rd century, he starts all kinds of trouble. If you thought Gene Roddenberry's conceptualization of the United Federation of Planets was something of a liberal's paradise, apparently it's not. According to Dr. Bleikoff, it's practically a fascist police state. The only four who remain unaffected by Dr. Bleikoff's ultra-pacifist teachings are Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott, who, for some reason, also gets to order even his superior officers to take off their clothes for some nude tickling in what appears to be a Radio Shack warehouse.

I'm not sure why he's in charge, but a page or so later he's also calling them "fools" and generally bullying both McCoy and Spock during a medical procedure. I'm also not sure why our heroes dance in the steri-ray machine, but there you have it. Nude, sterilizing, tickling rays and manic disco dancing. So rest assured, comic fans-- science will someday make some great strides in these closely related medical fields.


RAB said...

I was known to read a Gold Key issue of Star Trek every once in a while back in the day...but if I had seen anyething like that panel, I would have put it down in terror and never picked up a comic book again.

Joel Bryan said...

There's something visceral about seeing Mr. Spock naked and tickled, isn't there?

Joel Bryan said...

What really gets me is this scene has no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the plot. It's as if the writer wanted to parody the whole idea of sci-fi technology and then tell a separate story of a dangerous space-messiah.

RAB said...

Here's the problem: if I'm a kid looking at that panel, it doesn't look like tickling but four naked old men dancing. That's just David Lynch creepy. And the dialogue balloon doesn't come across as laughter, but as three men chanting in unison "Hyar! Hyar! Hyar!" which I would probably have interpreted as some kind of ritual invoking a Lovecraftian Old One if I'd been unfortunate enough to have heard of those at that age.

Joel Bryan said...

Your version is AWESOME. That's what we need-- a Star Trek crossover with the Cthulhu mythos scripted by David Lynch and drawn by Charles Burns.