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This article is about the TOS comic. You may be looking for STO mission: "Ground Zero".

"Ground Zero" was a 10-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 28th weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in five installments in Valiant and TV21 in 1972. In this story, a shuttle crew visited an unexplored planet.


Teaser, 5 February, 1972
Damaged in a meteorite storm, Enterprise put down for repairs on one of four moons in orbit around a planet charted merely as 656. As maintenance teams got to work, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and two crewmen went down in a shuttlecraft to investigate the parent planet...


A shower of magnetically-charged meteors disables shields and communications, leading to significant damage to the USS Enterprise's starboard warp nacelle. The starship makes a soft landing on an airless moon to make repairs. Meanwhile, a probe sent to nearby Planet 656 has found a transmitter station near a shoreline, so Kirk takes a team in a shuttle to look for other signs of intelligent life. While they are at the station, a large dinosaur emerges from the water and swipes at Morton. Kirk runs to his aid, then both fall through a sinkhole into a sloping, sand-filled cavern.

Spock and Ferris drive off the animal with the shuttle. Spock discovers that the station is ground zero for an impending missile test. He alerts Nyota Uhura in hopes she can contact the natives in time. He orders Ferris to leave in the shuttle if he doesn't return in two minutes.

Spock tosses a length of rope down the sinkhole to Kirk and Morton, but as they try to climb up, the sand gives way, dragging Spock with them. They descend into a cavern lit by bioluminescent fungus. Flailing tentacles suddenly grab them – Morton thinks they are about to be devoured by giant, flesh-eating mushrooms.

Ferris returns to the Enterprise as ordered. Uhura establishes contact with the Planet 656 natives, but it is too late – the missile will strike in seconds. Below ground, the landing party are hurled into a gravity lift and whisked to safety. The giant mushrooms are the sentient natives. Through Spock's universal translator, they apologize for handling them so roughly in order to save them from the blast.



Pavel ChekovFerrisJames T. KirkMortonMontgomery ScottSpockNyota Uhuraunnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)unnamed Planet 656 natives

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/3 (class F shuttlecraft)


Gamma galaxy (Planet 656)
Referenced only

Races and cultures

HumanPlanet 656 nativeVulcan

Science and technology

bombcommunicationscommunicatorcomputerengine housingenvironmental suitforce fieldintercommagnetismmissilePADDphaserproberadiorocketscannerstylustele-probetype-1 phaseruniversal translatorvertical thrusterswatch

Ranks and titles

captaincrewmanFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)skipperStarfleet rankswatch officer

Other references

assignment patchatmospherebioluminescencebirdcaverndinosauremergency stationsfungusgalaxyhourlizardlogmeteoritemeteorite stormminutemoonmushroomorbitplanetropesecondspaceStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)starshiptentaclewater


Related media



  • Although several captions reiterated that the shuttle crew consisted of four people, artist John Stokes mistakenly depicted five in one panel and six in another.
  • While the setting was stated twice as being in another "galaxy", it was more likely that the term was meant to describe some type of region within the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • In the segment for January 29, 1972, Chekov's dialogue balloon pointed to the wrong character.
  • In the real world, meteorite storms exist only within an atmosphere.




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:
Creeping Death
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next comic:
The Collector
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Aging World
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Collector
Previous comic:
The Aging World
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Three Next comic:
The Collector
Production history
  • This story was serialized in two-page sections over five consecutive weeks in Valiant and TV21 magazine. Each issue was 36 pages, with the Star Trek segment printed in color on pages 18-19.
January 1972
February 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