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"By Order of the Empire" was an 18-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 26th weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in nine installments in Valiant and TV21 in 1971. In this story, Klingons used mass hypnosis to control the crew of the USS Enterprise.


Teaser, October 30, 1971
The starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Kirk, had been ordered to the planet Lothor. Kirk's mission was to persuade the Lothorians to make a defense alliance with the space Federation against the hostile Klingon Empire ...


A spy at Starfleet Command informs the Klingon Empire of Kirk's assignment. Seeing an opportunity to mortally wound Starfleet, the Klingons immediately dispatch a D7-class battle cruiser to Lothor. Klingon Professor Karkax uses a new invention to hypnotize the entire Lothorian government. When the USS Enterprise arrives, the Lothorians can act normally but cannot disobey Klingon orders. The Lothorian president gives Kirk, Spock and Montgomery Scott a tour of their capital city and invites Kirk's crew to a banquet. Appreciating the hospitality, and needing to cement an alliance, Kirk brings down nearly the entire ship's complement.

At the banquet, the crew are subjected to Karkax's machine, and then ordered to crash the Enterprise into Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. They return to the ship to carry out their orders. However, Spock's Vulcan physiology overcomes the hypnosis, and he secretly meets with Pavel Chekov's skeleton crew that had missed the banquet. Kirk discovers their plotting and floods their room with anesthesia gas. Spock clogs the vent to allow time for the crewmen to escape through a maintenance duct, yet they are still captured.

Spock makes his way to the transporter room and beams down. He locates the Klingon commander and Karkax, but not quickly enough; Kirk has already warned them. Karkax orders Kirk to shoot Spock, who telepathically reaches out to Kirk, breaking his hypnotic spell. Spock knocks out the Klingon commander with a karate chop. Karkax flees with the mechano-hypnotiser. Eventually he lifts off in an aircraft, and in desperation Kirk rams it with a hovercar. The explosion kills Karkax and destroys the device, breaking the hypnotic hold over the Enterprise personnel before they can crash into Earth.



Pavel ChekovJathtarKarkaxJames T. KirkSpockHikaru SuluMontgomery ScottNyota UhuraVoyseyunnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)unnamed Klingons (Klingon commander) • unnamed Lothoriansunnamed Starfleet personnelunnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

aircraftUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Galileo (class F shuttlecraft) • five other class F shuttlecrafthovercarunnamed D7 class starshipsunnamed Klingon starships (Klingon raider) • Survey Ship 365B
Referenced only
Klingon shuttlecraft


Sol system (Earth) • Monades Complex (Lothor)
Referenced only
Alpha CentauriCanis Major constellationCentaurus constellationColumbaLepus constellationMonoceros constellationOrionSirius

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Klingon EmpireFederation CommandUnited Federation of Planets

Science and technology

airlockcommunicationscomputerforce fieldlong distance transportermaintenance ductmechano-hypnotisermissilephaserrifleself destruct devicetransportertype-1 phasertype 2 phaserventilation system

Ranks and titles

admiralambassadorcaptaincommanderensignFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)clerknon-commissioned officerofficerpersonnelweapons specialistpresidentprofessorsentryskipperspyStarfleet ranks

Other references

allianceanesthesia gasassignment patchatmospherebattle stationsbeambluffbrainbridgecapital cityconstellationdress uniformduty watchgasgovernmentgovernment househangar deckhelmethourhypnosisinspection channelkaratekitchensmenekmeteoriteminuteparachuteparking orbitplanetrevolutionspacestarStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)stuntoroktransporter roomtreatyuniformVulcan neck pinchwaryear


Related stories



  • The author did not distinguish between Starfleet and the Federation, instead referring to Starfleet as Federation Command. Voysey's office was located in the Federation's capital city, later established as Paris, France. However, Starfleet Headquarters was later established to be in San Francisco. As those distinctions hadn't been made when the story was written in 1971, it's become unclear whether the Klingons ordered the Enterprise to crash into Paris or San Francisco.
  • The story was unclear regarding how far Lothor was from Earth. During the time it took for the Enterprise to travel from Earth to Lothor on their urgent diplomatic mission, a spy message was relayed to the Klingon Empire, a plan was hatched, a Klingon ship traveled to Lothor, and the leadership of Lothor was hypnotized. Yet when the Klingons ordered the Enterprise to crash on Earth, Montgomery Scott managed to get the ship there in less than an hour. That may have been dramatic license by the author, to depict Earth being saved "at the last minute".
  • Kirk and Spock beamed back to the Enterprise from Lothor while the starship was still in the Sol system. If that were possible, Admiral Voysey could have beamed a full ambassadorial party to Lothor instead of dispatching a starship. That also may have been dramatic license, to end the story with Kirk and Spock back aboard the ship.



UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs "Life Form Nonexistent" • "The Crucial Element" • "Beware the Beast" • "The Third Party" • "The Children of Stai" • "Skin Deep" • "The Eagles Have Landed" • "Spectre of the Zond" • "Nor Any Drop to Drink" • "Menace of the Moloth" • "The Klingon Ultimatum" • "The Marshall Plan" • "Mutiny on the Dorado" • "The Ageless One" • "Thorpex" • "Under the Sea" • "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" • "Where Giants Tread" • "I, Emperor" • "Slaves of the Frogmen" • "Key Witness" • "Nova-Thirteen" • "Prison Break" • "Vibrations in Time" • "The Aging World" • "By Order of the Empire" • "Creeping Death" • "Ground Zero" • "The Collector" • "To Swiftly Go..." • "The Mindless Ones" • "The Perithees Alliance" • "The Saboteur Within" • "The Void of Storms" • "Spheres of War" • "Shell Game" • "To Rule the Universe"
Annual stories "Target: Zargot" • "A Bite of the Apple" • "Captives in Space" • "Planet of Rejects" • "Gateway to the Future" • "The Zodian Sacrifice" • "Smoke and Mirrors" • "Planet of the Dead" • "What Is This Thing Called Spock?" • "The Gods Have Come!" • "Rock and a Hard Place"


Published Order
Previous comic:
The Aging World
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next comic:
Creeping Death
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Hollow Man
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Savage Curtain
Previous comic:
The Hollow Man
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Four Next comic:
The Savage Curtain
Production history
  • This story was serialized in two-page sections over nine consecutive weeks in Valiant and TV21 magazine. Star Trek remained the only color feature in the publication and was printed on the center spread. Each issue was 36 pages, except for #8, which was 40 pages.
October 1971
November 1971
December 1971
December 2016
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2 (IDW Publishing)
1 February 2018
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #29 (Eaglemoss Collections)

External link