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.
- 1 Description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Timeline
- 5 Appendices
- 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 joins two shuttlecraft crews to explore the surface. Before they can land, however, growths of wild fungus suddenly appear and spread rapidly across the ships' hulls. The excess weight destabilizes the ships, destroying one against a mountain, while the other crashes into a lake. The fungus dissipates 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 saves them – he thought they were invading Themerians. He apologizes deeply for the mistake and loss of the other shuttle's crew and extends them full hospitality. But the group soon discovers that the planet's defensive fungus has also been set on the Enterprise, disabling their communications, engines and shields. The starship is being pulled helplessly into the gravity well of the star Kappa.
To rescue the Enterprise, Kirk, Spock, and Lektor blast off with a crew in a Graktan battle cruiser. They are forced to disable two attacking Themerian raiders, then approach the crippled starship. They explode probes against the ship's communications array to clear it of fungus. Now able to contact the ship, Spock tells Montgomery Scott to flood the fungus with water. Scott diverts the full output of the ship's water-generating plants onto the hull through airlocks, dissipating the fungus. Scott is then able to restart the ship's engines and pull away from the star.
Kirk considers the bright side of the near-disaster: they have 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 vehicles
- aircraft • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Graktan battle cruiser • life raft • NCC-1701/3 (class F shuttlecraft) • NCC-1701/5 (class F shuttlecraft) • raider
- Kappa system (Graktan/Kappa Delta)
- Referenced only
- Kappa Alpha • Kappa Beta • Kappa Epsilon • Kappa Gamma • Kappa Zeta • Sol system (Earth) • Themere
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- 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 titles
- 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 2267. (TOS - New Visions comic: "Mister Chekov")
- The loss of Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/5 suggests a placement after "The Void of Storms" (story arc #34), in which that 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. Later, 10 were shown in front of the firing squad.
- 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 USS Enterprise-D were ingested and disintegrated by an alien lifeform.