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I, Emperor was a 12-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 19th weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in four installments in TV21 Weekly in 1971. This was the first of six stories drawn by Vicente Alcázar and Carlos Pino, who together would contribute a total of 106 pages. In this story, a landing party investigated a large, sarcophagus-shaped space station.


Teaser, March 13, 1971
While investigating a moss-covered space station, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Doctor McCoy were transported to a planet resembling Earth during Roman times…


Sensors from the USS Enterprise detected a space station not recorded on star charts. Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Doctor McCoy landed the Galileo (NCC-1701/1) shuttlecraft on its hangar deck and stepped out to explore the station. Oddly, the interior and exterior were covered with a type of red moss that was not lichen- or plant-based. The moss was hypnotic, producing visions of a floating skull in red mist. Further ahead, they became stuck in spider webbing. Giant mechanical spiders approached and the landing party fought their way clear with phasers. They felt the ship moving, endured visions of a large green monster, then located the control centre. When Kirk reached out to override the helm setting, the trio were paralyzed, surrounded by a crystal-shaped transporter chamber and beamed down to a class M planet.

The trio spotted a Roman driving a horse-drawn chariot. He blasted out an alarm with a trumpet. They were immediately trapped in nets by Roman soldiers. The landing party was kept overnight in a prison, then were escorted to an arena, where citizens hailed their Caesar – a robot wearing a red cape. Kirk, Spock and McCoy were forced to participate in a chariot race where all losers would be burned to death. During the race, soldiers fired arrows at the drivers and installed bladed obstacles to the race course for added drama. Kirk won the race, and as he was brought forward to be given his laurel leaf crown of victory, he struck the robot with his racing whip, knocking it down. It broke into pieces, shattering its hypnotic hold over the populace. McCoy thought that the world now resembled ancient Rome in its heyday.

Guards returned the landing party's equipment, and Kirk hailed the Enterprise for beam-up. Hikaru Sulu reported that the shuttle had disappeared along with the coffin ship.



Caesar robotJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhuramechanical giant spidersunnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)
Referenced only 

Starships and vehicles[]

chariotUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Galileo (NCC-1701/1) (class F shuttlecraft) • Mark Theta space station (coffin ship)


Interstellar spaceunnamed planet (unnamed star system)
Referenced only 
Earth (Rome) • Jupiter

Races and cultures[]


States and organizations[]

Starfleet (command divisionoperations divisionsciences division)

Science and technology[]

arrowbladebowcatapultcommunicationscommunicatorcomputercontrol centrelong distance transporternetphaserrobotscannerspearstar chartstunsurvival kittransporterviewscreen

Ranks and titles[]

captaindoctorFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)rankStarfleet ranks

Other references[]

assignment patch automatic pilotbeambioluminescencecapedeathdogexecutionhangarhelmethorsehypnosislanding partylichenlionmazeminutemistmossplantpractical jokeprisonprison cellreplicaskeletonspacespiderspider webstadiumStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)starshipsteeltreetrumpetwhip



Related stories[]




  • Kirk having to explain to McCoy that Spock's "thought processes are different than ours" suggests a placement in 2265, during the characters' early association.

Production history[]

Published Order
Previous comic:
Where Giants Tread
TOS comics
UK comic strips
Next comic:
Slaves of the Frogmen
  • None of the UK weekly installments were printed with titles.
  • Each segment began on the cover and continued onto two interior pages of TV21 Weekly magazine.
February 1971
March 1971
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)


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"

External link[]