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"Idol Threats" was the 47th issue of DC Comics' 1984 ongoing series of Star Trek comics, written by Mike Carlin and illustrated by Tom Sutton. A misguided cadet commander tries to copy Kirk's tactics when faced with Romulans.


Captain's log, stardate 9219.7
Minutes ago, this landing crew and myself were safe aboard one of the United Federation of Planets's more decorated vessels—but now...

Captain Edward Fields of the USS Cluster is pinned down by disruptor fire from Romulans on a planet in sector 9. Members of his team lay dead around him, with additional crewmembers being struck down. He calls out to Keller, who dies from a blast. Another crewmember reports that Spithogiannis has also fallen, and is then hit herself. Fields is left alone, and uses his communicator to call the starship.

Fields's signal reaches the Cluster's bridge, under the command of Cadet-Commander Ronald Penn. Upon hearing of the deaths of all the senior officers, Penn recommends retaliatory action against the Romulans. Fields, knowing that only cadets remain aboard his vessel, dismisses that suggestion and orders Penn to retreat with deflector shields up.

Penn immediately disregards Fields's orders and initiates a hastily conceived rescue plan. Penn keeps the shields down and locked onto Fields's signal, ordering an immediate transporter beam-out. Unfortunately, Romulan Commander Lazar has already set his gun sight on Fields and fires. By the time materialization is complete, the transporter crew on the Cluster reports that Captain Fields was dead on arrival.

Penn, infuriated at the Romulans' audacity, announces to the crew that he is the new commander of the vessel, and announces the they will be disobeying Fields's last orders and pursuing the Romulans. Penn also states that he is taking those actions because they are what James T. Kirk would have done in a similar instance. When Communications Officer Ventura reminds Penn of Fields's orders, Penn threatens disloyalty among any of the crew with immediate court martial. Frightened, Ventura signals an incomplete transcript of the days events to any nearby Federation ships.

Nearby, the USS Enterprise-A has recently left the starbase at Christophi IX . Nyota Uhura reports the receipt of the signal Ventura sent, without being able to report an accurate nature of the situation because of the haste necessitating that Ventura could only send a few short phrases.

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Captain's log, stardate 9222.3
Sending the Cluster towards Christophi IX for routine reports and the like, the Enterprise turns and heads deeper into the mysterious depths of the unknown, forever exploring and investigating the far corners of the universe—forever learning about ourselves. Sometimes learning things we'd rather not.



ArexBigelowPavel ChekovEdward FieldsKellerJames T. KirkLazarMarciariMcVeyRonald PennSajakSpithogiannisSpockHikaru SuluTestaNyota UhuraVenturaunnamed Romulansunnamed USS Cluster personnel (USS Cluster personnel) • unnamed USS Enterprise-A personnel (USS Enterprise-A personnel)

Starships and vehicles

USS Cluster (Miranda-class) • USS Enterprise-A (Enterprise-subclass refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Harrier (Z1-class)


Christofi IXsector 9unnamed planets

Races and cultures


States and organizations

FederationRomulan Imperial FleetRomulan Star EmpireStarfleet

Science and technology

alienanatomyatmospherecommand chaircommunicatorcomputerdisruptorenergyhumanoidintercomlifeformmattermedicinephaserphaser pistolpistolsensorspacespacecraftstarstar systemstarshiptimetransportertype-2 phaseruniversewarp drive

Ranks and titles

cadetcaptaincommandercommanding officercommunications officerensignhelmsmanlieutenantlieutenant commanderlieutenant junior grademisternavigatorofficerscience officersecurity chief

Other references

beambridgecaptain's logclothingcolonycommand divisioncommunicationsconnhailing frequencyhelmlanding partylog entrynavigationoperations divisionplanetquadrantraces and culturesranksciences divisionsectorstardateStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2278-2350s)technologytitleuniformweapon


stardate 9219.7, 2286 (2280s chronology, Enterprise voyages)
Enterprise changes course to pursue the USS Cluster.


Related stories

  • TOS movie: The Search for Spock. Penn states in his reasoning for disobeying orders as being that Kirk would have, citing the occasion that he stole the Enterprise to retrieve Captain Spock.


  • The plot of this story bears a great deal of resemblance to the later DS9 episode: "Valiant", of cadets being promoted to commanding officer due to attrition, and making erratic decisions in the hopes of proving themselves. "Valiant" featured a different upshot, with Tim Watters dooming his subordinates on a hopeless mission, but being remembered as a hero despite sacrificing an entire crew for little cause during a harsh war. In "Idol Threats", many of Penn's crew escape death, but Penn is reviled for disobeying an order to refrain from further hostilities in an era of relative peacefulness.
  • The plot point of a cadet officer receiving command of a mostly untrained cadet crew through attrition is also present in 2009's TOS movie: Star Trek, where James T. Kirk became fully-ranked captain of the alternate Enterprise, after being among a group of cadets who were promoted as ensigns and lieutenants when officers were needed.



previous comic:
#46: Getaway
The Original Series
(DC Comics, volume 1)
next comic:
#48: The Stars in Secret Influence
Who Killed Captain Kirk?

External link