"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 Chekov • Ferris • James T. Kirk • Morton • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s) • unnamed Planet 656 natives
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
Science and technology
- bomb • communications • communicator • computer • engine housing • environmental suit • force field • intercom • magnetism • missile • PADD • phaser • probe • radio • rocket • scanner • stylus • tele-probe • type-1 phaser • universal translator • vertical thrusters • watch
Ranks and titles
- assignment patch • atmosphere • bioluminescence • bird • cavern • dinosaur • emergency stations • fungus • galaxy • hour • lizard • log • meteorite • meteorite storm • minute • moon • mushroom • orbit • planet • rope • second • space • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • starship • tentacle • water
- TOS movie: Star Trek (2009) – In 2258 in the Kelvin timeline, the Enterprise was shown being constructed on land in Riverside, Iowa.
- TOS movie: Star Trek Into Darkness – In 2259 in the Kelvin timeline, the Enterprise submerged on Nibiru.
- TOS comic: "Where Giants Tread" – The USS Enterprise made an emergency landing using vertical thrusters on Carnak.
- TOS comic: "Aberration on Abaris" – In 2273, 2,000 fungal-based Abaris natives were rescued from Abaris.
- This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Ground Zero") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2.
- Three covers to Valiant and TV21 during this story arc featured people, locations and events referenced in Star Trek. Issue #18 featured J. Edgar Hoover; issue #20 featured Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and John Holliday in Tombstone, Arizona at the O.K. Corral; and issue #22 featured Abraham Lincoln, describing his birth in Kentucky, rise from lawyer to 16th President of the United States of America, and his assassination in 1865.
- The Enterprise landed three other times in the UK comic strips series. The ship was ordered to the surface by a race of robots in arc 1, "Life Form Nonexistent", it soft-landed after being caught suddenly in the gravity well of a cloaked planet in arc #18, "Where Giants Tread", and crash-landed underwater in arc #9, "Nor Any Drop to Drink".
- This was the only instance where the Enterprise landed for maintenance and repairs in the series. The ship usually just stopped in space, as in arc #6 "Skin Deep", arc #8 "Spectre of the Zond", arc #15 "Thorpex", and arc #18 "Where Giants Tread".
- Shuttlecraft NCC-1701/3 made its third of six appearances in the UK comic strips series. It also appeared in story arcs #17, #27, #34, #36, and #37. The shuttle was established to be unarmed and stocked with rope for emergencies.
- In 2269, a man named Ferris served as a lieutenant in security aboard the Enterprise. (TOS video game: 25th Anniversary) Despite Ferris' lower rank in this story, in the absence of contrary information, the two are assumed to be the same person.
- 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.
- This story takes place after Pavel Chekov was assigned to the ship, but prior to Ferris's promotion to lieutenant by 2269, as seen in TOS video game: 25th Anniversary.
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- 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.
- 5 February 1972: Pages 3-4 published in Valiant and TV21 #19.
- 12 February 1972: Pages 5-6 published in Valiant and TV21 #20.
- 19 February 1972: Pages 7-8 published in Valiant and TV21 #21.
- 26 February 1972: Pages 9-10 published in Valiant and TV21 #22.
- 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)