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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

Steel sentries challenge a returning space traveler and his Enterprise guests!"Dark Traveler" was the 13th issue of the Gold Key Comics series of Star Trek: The Original Series comics.


Part I[]

In the ruins of an advanced city, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are being fired upon by a robot in a flying sled, on which their phasers have no effect…

Captain's log, star date 14:83.4—We are passing the uninhabited planet Zeron II on our way through the Sigma star-system—nothing unusual to report…

Spock detects an energy discharge from the planet's surface. A man wearing a dark, hooded robe and carrying a long golden staff appears in Kirk's captain's chair. He claims to be a traveler who wishes for the Enterprise to take him home. He has placed the helm under his own control; when Scotty objects to this, the man stuns him with a beam from his staff. As Kirk threatens the man with a phaser, the ship accelerates to warp eight. Spock realizes that the traveler has altered the ship's atomic structure to enable it to withstand the speed. McCoy arrives on the bridge to be told by Spock that their guest is an "inter-galactic nomad". The man explains that his home planet is a paradise where robots do all the work, allowing the people unlimited leisure and causing them to stagnate. The Nomad left in search of knowledge and has traveled the universe, but is now weary. He would not have commandeered the Enterprise had he not lacked the power to journey home on his own.

The ship arrives at Nomad's planet and establishes standard orbit. Nomad has enabled the computers to guide the ship home. Spock and McCoy, however, express the desire to visit the planet. Nomad transports himself, Kirk, Spock and McCoy to the surface, where, to Nomad's shock, they find themselves in a ruined city. A man approaches, shouting at them to run and pursued by a robot flying in a "porto-sled". The robot fires at the man and mortally wounds him. Nomad pulls the man into cover, but the robot has seen the Enterprise officers. Kirk orders phasers set at destruct level, but they have no effect...

Part II[]

Captain's log, star date – Unknown – We have been mysteriously boarded by a black-garbed alien we've named Nomad – who has commandeered the Enterprise to return him to the utopian planet he calls home! Upon reaching the planet, First Officer Spock, Doctor Leonard McCoy and I beamed down with Nomad – only to discover that the gleaming crystal towers that once stood here have been reduced to ashes...

Nomad destroys the robot and its porto-sled with his golden staff. The wounded man is still alive and recognizes Nomad, telling him as he dies that he has returned too late. Niklon, Nomad's brother, who ran the robot production plants, took control of the robots and used them to conquer the planet, destroying this city as an example. Nomad vows to stop his brother, and Spock suggests that they use the Enterprise's power to help him. However, Kirk cannot contact the ship, and Nomad realizes Niklon must have control of the Enterprise.

Nomad, Kirk, Spock and McCoy travel to the City of the Thousand Lights aboard a metal craft like a flying carpet. They hide the vehicle and approach the government seat, which is guarded by robots. Nomad uses his staff on the robots, but it needs time to recharge, and the four men are captured and led inside. Niklon, a diminutive man, is seated inside a transparent control dome. He has conquered the planet in revenge for being sent to the robot works so that others would not be bothered by his appearance. The four prisoners are led down to the cells, where other captives recognize Nomad. McCoy tricks a robot into thinking Kirk is ill; when it opens the cell it is short-circuited by the light fixture Spock attached to the door.

The other prisoners, also freed, wish to attack Niklon. Spock devises a strategy: he disguises himself in the robot's casing and escorts Kirk, McCoy and Nomad to Niklon's chamber, which is attacked moments later by the other prisoners. Niklon's control dome rises from the floor, revealing that it is the top of a giant robot. Spock takes Nomad's staff from the robot which had confiscated it, and Nomad uses it to melt Niklon's robot, in the process destroying the controls for all the robots on the planet. The Enterprise is freed, Niklon is turned over to the people for justice, and Nomad remains on his planet to help rebuild it. Back on the Enterprise, McCoy compliments Spock on his success at playing a robot.



James T. KirkLeonard McCoyNiklonMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluThe Traveler

Starships and vehicles[]

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Sigma systemZeron IIunnamed planet (City of the Thousand Lights)
Referenced only 
Delta IIIHeavenHell

Races and cultures[]

HumanVulcanunnamed species
Referenced only 

States and organizations[]


Ranks and titles[]

captaindoctorfirst officer

Science and technology[]

cement mixerchemicalcommunicatorcomputerenergyenginegalaxyorbitphaserporto-sledrobotsensorstarstar systemstarshiptransporterwarp factor

Other references[]

captain's logcrystalfactorygodgoddessgnomegoldgolfhelmintergalactic combatlogicparadiseplanetprayerstardateutopiawater


Related media[]


  • Due to artists unfamiliar with the Star Trek series, this issue features Dr. McCoy wearing a command division green-gold Starfleet uniform, rather than his proper sciences division blue uniform. Scotty is also shown, with reddish-brown hair, wearing such a command uniform, although in his case the uniform is explainable – as second officer, he can properly wear command colors as an alternative to his regular operations division uniforms. Scotty makes switches between command and operations uniforms in his last few movie appearances.
  • Scotty is at the helm of the Enterprise in the opening scene.
  • Nomad claims to have learned the method he uses to board the Enterprise while visiting the Organians.
  • Although Nomad comes from an unknown alien planet, people there are seen playing golf, and Niklon alludes to the Earth parable of the prodigal son.
  • Kirk's inability to determine a stardate on Nomad's planet supports the theory that stardates are partly a function of position in the galaxy.
  • Spock's suggestion that the Enterprise help Nomad free his people is in blatant violation of the Prime Directive.
  • This story has been released ten times in English and has been translated 12 times into other languages: French (3x), Italian (3x), Portuguese (2x), Dutch, German, Spanish, and Turkish.




published order
Previous comic:
#12: The Flight of the Buccaneer
TOS comics
(Gold Key)
Next comic:
#14: The Enterprise Mutiny
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice Planet
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
Reap the Whirlwind
Previous Adventure:
War Dragons
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15
The Captain's Table
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
UK comic strips, second story arc

Production history[]

February 1972 
First published by Gold Key Comics
Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1973 (World Distributors Limited)
Abridged in Dan Curtis Giveaway #6 (Western Publishing)
August 1976 
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 2 (Golden Press)
July 1978 
Printed b/w in Australia in Star Trek #28023 (Rosnock Publications)
July 1978 
Printed b/w in Hong Kong and the Philippines in Star Trek #28023 (South Pacific Publications)
June 2004 
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 2 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
September 2008 
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
August 2014 
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Gold Key Archives, Volume 3 (IDW)
6 July 2017
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #14 (Eaglemoss)


October 1973 
French: As "Le Voyageur de L'Univers" in Star Trek #7 (1st series) (Remparts)
October 1973 
Italian: As "Il Nomade delle Galassie" in Star Trek Albi Spada #13 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
French: In the omnibus Star Trek Album #4 (Remparts)
German: Serialized over three issues as "Überfall im All" in Zack 1973 #46-48 (Koralle)
Spanish: In Domingos Alegres #1111 Viaje a las Estrellas (Editorial Novaro)
Dutch: As "De Zwarte Reiziger" in b/w in Star Trek #5 (De Vrijbuiter)
Italian: As "Il Nomade delle Galassie" in Raccolta Superspada #7 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
March 1978 
Portuguese: As "O Nômade do Espaço" in the omnibus Jornada Nas Estrelas Special (Abril)
19 June 1978 
Portuguese: In b/w in O Caminho das Estrelas #14 (Aguiar)
January 1983 
French: Part 1 in the omnibus Présence de L'Avenir #2: Les Mutinés de L'Espace (Sagédition)
April 1983 
French: Part 2 in the omnibus Présence de L'Avenir #3: Le Voyageur du Cosmos (Sagédition)
Turkish: Part 1 in Star Trek #1 (Alfa)
Turkish: Part 2 in Star Trek #2 (Alfa)
Italian: In the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 4 (Free Books)

External links[]