Creeping Death was a 12-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 27th weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in six installments in Valiant and TV21 in 1971 and 1972. In this story, an enveloping fungus threatened to destroy the USS Enterprise.
- Teaser, 25 December, 1971
- Two shuttlecraft had left the starship Enterprise to begin exploration of a planet classified Kappa Delta in a previously unexplored system. As they entered thick cloud cover, the men inside little knew that the sinister defences of the planet had already claimed them! Strange, fungus-like growth, spreading fast from the point of impact of tiny, light-accelerated particles…
Excited about a newly-discovered planet, Kirk joined two shuttlecraft crews to explore the surface. Before they could land, however, growths of wild fungus suddenly appeared and spread rapidly across the ships' hulls. The excess weight destabilized the ships, destroying one against a mountain, while the other crashed into a lake. The fungus dissipated in water, allowing Kirk, Spock and five crewmen to escape in a life raft, only to be captured and deposited in front of a Graktan firing squad.
At the last moment, Graktan's leader Lektor saved them – he thought they were invading Themerians. He apologized deeply for the mistake and loss of the other shuttle's crew and extended them full hospitality. But the group soon discovered that the planet's defensive fungus had also been set on the Enterprise, disabling their communications, engines, and shields. The starship was being pulled helplessly into the gravity well of the star Kappa.
To rescue the Enterprise, Kirk, Spock, and Lektor blasted off with a crew in a Graktan battle cruiser. They were forced to disable two attacking Themerian raiders, then approached the crippled starship. They exploded probes against the ship's communications array to clear it of fungus. Now able to contact the ship, Spock told Montgomery Scott to flood the fungus with water. Scott diverted the full output of the ship's water-generating plants onto the hull through airlocks, dissipating the fungus. Scott was then able to restart the ship's engines and pull away from the star.
Kirk considered the bright side of the near-disaster: they had forged a friendship with the Graktans.
- Pavel Chekov • James T. Kirk • Lektor • Leonard McCoy • Mork • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s) • unnamed Graktans
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- aircraft • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Graktan battle cruiser • life raft • NCC-1701/3 (class F shuttlecraft) • NCC-1701/5 (class F shuttlecraft) • Themerian raider
- Kappa system (Kappa • Graktan/Kappa Delta)
- Referenced only
- Kappa system (Kappa Alpha • Kappa Gamma • Kappa Beta • Kappa Epsilon • Kappa Zeta) • Sol system (Earth) • Themere
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- airlock • artificial gravity • autophonic danger alarm • communications • computer • deep-range scanner • engine • grappler • gun • gyroscope • hydro-product plant • mathematics • missile • PADD • particle accelerator • pea-shooter • radio • rifle • stabilizer • translator communicator • weapon
Ranks and titlesEdit
- captain • crewman • commander • engineer • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • pilot • professor • scientist • skipper • Starfleet ranks • technician
- assignment patch • atmosphere • brain • bridge • capital city • cargo hold • execution • firing squad • freedom • fungus • gravitational field • gravity • history • hornet • hornet's nest • hull • landing party • molecule • mountain • parking orbit • peace • planet • radiation • rocket • shuttlecraft bay • space • spore • star • star system • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • sun • water • year
- This story took place after Pavel Chekov was first assigned to the ship in February 2267. (TOS - New Visions comic: "Mister Chekov")
- The loss of Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/5 suggests a placement prior to "The Void of Storms" (story arc #34), in which this vessel also appeared. The shuttle's name was not provided in either story.
By Order of the Empire
UK comic strips
- This story was serialized in two-page sections over six consecutive weeks in Valiant and TV21 magazine. Each issue was 36 pages, with the Star Trek segment printed in color on pages 18-19.
- 18 December 1971: Pages 1-2 published in Valiant and TV21 #12.
- 25 December 1971: Pages 3-4 published in Valiant and TV21 #13.
- 1 January 1972: Pages 5-6 published in Valiant and TV21 #14.
- 8 January 1972: Pages 7-8 published in Valiant and TV21 #15.
- 15 January 1972: Pages 9-10 published in Valiant and TV21 #16.
- 22 January 1972: Pages 11-12 published in Valiant and TV21 #17.
- 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)
- This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Creeping Death") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2.
- Class F shuttlecraft were established to have flotation chambers and a life raft aboard.
- Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/3 made its second of six appearances in the UK comic strips series. Although it crashed into a lake, it was salvageable. While the vessel's name was not visible, it was possible that it could be a replacement for the shuttle Icarus, an Enterprise shuttle of that registry which was destroyed in 2254.
- Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/5 made its first of two appearances. It also appeared in "The Void of Storms" (arc #34).
- Although a caption said Kirk's shuttle had 12 aboard, only seven people were shown escaping after the crash, with no apparent casualties.
- DSC episode: "Context Is For Kings" – En route to Tellun, Michael Burnham's prison shuttle was enveloped by a swarm of Species GS54, an electrical power-siphoning lifeform.
- TOS comic: "Siege in Superspace" – A society's ultimate defensive weapon ended up destroying its own civilization.
- TOS comic: "Rock and a Hard Place" – The Enterprise was disabled by missiles and drifted towards an asteroid belt.
- TNG novel: Grounded – In 2368, large sections of the Enterprise-D were ingested and disintegrated by an alien lifeform.
|UK comic strips|
|Weekly story arcs||1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34 • 35 • 36 • 37|
|Annual stories||1 • 2 • Captives in Space • Planet of Rejects • Gateway to the Future • 6 • 7 • Planet of the Dead • What Is This Thing Called Spock? • The Gods Have Come! • 11|