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"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.


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 ChekovJames T. KirkLektorLeonard McCoyMorkMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhuraunnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)unnamed Graktans

Starships and vehicles

aircraftUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Graktan battle cruiserlife raftNCC-1701/3 (class F shuttlecraft) • NCC-1701/5 (class F shuttlecraft) • raider


Kappa system (Graktan/Kappa Delta)
Referenced only
Kappa AlphaKappa BetaKappa EpsilonKappa GammaKappa ZetaSol system (Earth) • Themere

Races and cultures


States and organizations


Science and technology

airlockartificial gravityautophonic danger alarmcommunicationscomputerdeep-range scannerenginegrapplergungyroscopehydro-product plantmathematicsmissilePADDparticle acceleratorpea-shooterradioriflestabilizertranslator communicatorweapon

Ranks and titles

captaincrewmancommanderengineerFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)pilotprofessorscientistskipperStarfleet rankstechnician

Other references

assignment patchatmospherebrainbridgecapital citycargo holdexecutionfiring squadfreedomfungusgravitational fieldgravityhistoryhornethornet's nesthulllanding partymoleculemountainparking orbitpeaceplanetradiationrocketshuttlecraft bayspacesporestarstar systemStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)sunwateryear


Related media



  • 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.




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:
By Order of the Empire
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next comic:
Ground Zero
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Collector
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
To Rule the Universe
Previous comic:
The Collector
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Three Next comic:
To Rule the Universe
Production history
  • 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.
December 1971
January 1972
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