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Beware the Beast was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip published in 1969. It was the third story in the UK comic strips series, and was released in four parts, in issues of Joe 90: Top Secret.

In this story, the crew of the USS Enterprise searched for missing families of sentient apes on the planet Angoma.

Publisher's descriptionEdit

Teaser summary, 12 April 1969
Captain Kirk and members of the Starship Enterprise’s crew are captured by Mantis insects and placed in a zoo.

SummaryEdit

UK3-dinner-w-king-kut

Dinner with King Kut

A friendly sword-fight with James T. Kirk and Gif in a stadium full of gorillas was just the start of the USS Enterprise’s diplomatic visit to Angoma. During a dinner with King Kut, a Angoman reported that his family had vanished, another of a series of unexplained disappearances. Kirk volunteered to investigate, and brought a team of crewmen with him to the gorilla’s house. But, once there, they were suddenly transported off-world, rematerializing behind the bars of a cage.

Aboard the Enterprise, David Bailey tried to track the mysterious transporter beam but was unable to find its source, so Spock ordered the ship to travel along the path of interference caused by the beam.

Kirk and his men were confronted by three Mantis, who entered the cage and shocked the people unconscious with metal rods. Hours later, when they awoke, they were just one of numerous exhibits in a zoo. All attempts to communicate with the giant, sentient praying-mantis species were ignored. After nightfall, the crew used their lasers to disintegrate their cage bars and escape. They released one of the missing gorillas and inadvertently released an enormous Nogik spider, who threatened to crush one of the crew with its pincers until it was killed by weapons fire. A pair of Mantis chased the crew and the gorilla into a building. They located a transporter with an extremely long-range and set it to return them to Angoma, but instead materialized on the rocky terrain of an unknown planet. Spotted and chased by savage humanoid natives, the group fled into underbrush, but were captured in a large net.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise arrived in orbit of the Mantis planet. Hinton, Spock and three others took a space wagon to the surface and repelled a wave of attacking Mantis, firing needle-guns set with non-lethal paralyser charges. Spock released a caged humanoid, a government official from Dobrovia, who said that Kirk’s group had already escaped to another world. The official led Spock’s team to the Mantis transporter and beamed them where Kirk went. Spock’s team spotted a large fire and tracked down Kirk’s group, who had been tied to posts and were about to be burned alive by the savages, now revealed to be cannibals. The natives fled at Spock’s approach, and Kirk’s group was released.

The next day, back on Angoma, a team from the Enterprise played a game of soccer with one of the gorillas, losing to the ape’s far greater agility by a score of 16-2.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

David BaileyGifHintonKutJames T. KirkSpock • Unnamed DobrovianUnnamed crewmen

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprisespace wagon

LocationsEdit

Angoma (stadium) • Mantis planet (Mantis zootransporter) • Unnamed planet of cannibals
Referenced only 
DobroviaEarthNogik

Races and culturesEdit

AngomanDobrovianHumanMantisVulcanunnamed races and cultures

Science and technologyEdit

long distance transporterneedle-guntransporter

Ranks and titlesEdit

cabinet membercaptaincrewmandiplomatEarthmanking

Other referencesEdit

cagecannibalgorillainsectNogik spidernetshieldsoccerspearspidersportsswordzoo

TimelineEdit

ChronologyEdit

The presence of Bailey on the Enterprise places this story early in the year 2266, before the events of "The Corbomite Maneuver".

Published Order
Previous comic:
The Crucial Element
TOS comics
UK comic strips
Next comic:
The Third Party

Production historyEdit

  • This story was published in two-page sections over four consecutive weeks in Joe 90: Top Secret magazine.
March 1969
April 1969
  • 5 April: Pages 3-4 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #12.
  • 12 April: Pages 5-6 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #13.
  • 19 April: Pages 7-8 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #14.
April 2016 
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1 (IDW Publishing)
11 May 2017 
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #10 (Eaglemoss)

AppendicesEdit

BackgroundEdit

  • The story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Beware the Beast") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1.
  • Authorship of this story was attributed to Angus Allan. (ST reference: New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics)
  • It was unstated, but based on everyone having a celebratory soccer game one day after Kirk returned to the Enterprise, it seemed that the other missing gorillas had been rescued and returned.
  • An inconsistent number of crewmen were seen with Kirk. Two entered a building with Kirk, yet four were seen dematerializing. Between three and five were seen in the zoo cage. After a missing gorilla was released, four were seen. Going forward after the encounter with the Nogik spider, three were seen. Yet none of the crewmen were killed or left behind.
  • The writer seemed unfamiliar with Starfleet weapons terminology. Spock ordered the use of needle-guns with paralyser charges to avoid killing, rather than using phasers set to stun.

Related storiesEdit

ImagesEdit

ConnectionsEdit

UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637
Annual stories 12Captives in SpacePlanet of RejectsGateway to the Future67Planet of the DeadWhat Is This Thing Called Spock?The Gods Have Come!11

External linksEdit

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