The Enterprise crew and their enemies are trapped in a world that does not exist! — "Museum at the End of Time" was the 15th issue of the Gold Key Comics TOS series. Published in August 1972, the story was written by Len Wein and drawn by Alberto Giolitti.
- 1 Description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Appendices
- Throughout time, there have been legends of missing ships — crafts that left their homes never to be heard from again! What happens when the famous starship Enterprise becomes one of these vanished vessels? Can Captain James T. Kirk and his companions, Spock and McCoy, rescue their craft from this timeless fate?
- Captain's log, star date 24:53.2 – Our sensors have detected a Klingon battle cruiser trespassing in Federation territory, apparently on a scouting mission – we are commencing pursuit...
The Enterprise keeps losing the Klingon ship's signal. Sulu detects something else on the sensors, and the Enterprise encounters a cosmic storm. The ship is sucked into the vortex but slingshots out of it. Spock's readings show that the Enterprise is nowhere. A genial elderly man appears on the viewscreen and invites Kirk to follow his receiving beam; when Kirk hesitates, the man tells him he has no choice. The ship is pulled through the void to within sight of a giant chunk of earth floating in space, bearing an elaborate structure with many spaceships parked outside. The old man says this is the Museum of Missing Ships.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam over to the Museum, Kirk ordering Scotty to attempt to get the ship away if he does not hear from them in an hour. There is a breathable atmosphere outside the Museum, where the three officers are greeted by the old man, who calls himself the Curator, and his "bodyguard", a frightening yet friendly-looking creature named Hilliard. The Curator explains that the Museum was once located on Krugar III, which was destroyed by a comet. The land surrounding the Museum was carried into space and through "a hole in the stars". Inside the Museum are spacemen of many races, once the crews of the ships outside.
The Curator introduces Kirk to a human named Sprang and an alien with light blue skin, J'Karl. Sprang is interested to learn that the Federation has finally been organized. The Curator explains that they are in Limbo, "a place between places – a time without time." The spacemen whose ships strayed into Limbo have given up trying to escape. Suddenly, the crew of the Klingon ship enters the room, their commander declaring that Kirk is a dead man...
- Captain's log, star date – None – Caught in the cosmic storm, the Enterprise has been hurled through a hole in space – and into the netherworld called Limbo! And to add to our problems, the Klingon battle cruiser has found its way here as well...
Hilliard attacks the Klingons, but is brought down by a sonic disruptor blast. Kirk, Spock and McCoy also attack; J'Karl wants to help them, but Sprang does not want to get killed. The three Enterprise officers are knocked out. As the group is led away to be guarded, J'Karl accuses Sprang of cowardice. Kirk, Spock and McCoy awaken to find the Klingons have taken their phasers and communicators, which their commander throws into an ancient vase. The Klingons do not realize they are prisoners in Limbo. Hilliard, still alive, frees the three officers from their bonds, and they retrieve their equipment and are beamed back to the ship.
Back on the Enterprise, Kirk explains the situation to Scotty, who beams aboard the Curator and some of the spacemen, including Sprang and J'Karl. Kirk offers them the chance to help defend the Museum; Sprang is still reluctant, but the others agree. Kirk leads them to Weaponry, but Spock remains behind to investigate some possibilities that have occurred to him. Kirk, the Curator and the spacemen return to the Museum and battle the Klingons. Spock arrives and grabs the Klingon commander from behind, securing a truce. The Enterprise computer has determined that Limbo will explode within hours, but that the dimensional gate to Limbo can be reopened if sufficient force is applied to a focal point.
The Enterprise and the Klingon ship both fire their weapons, reopening the gate to normal space. Kirk urges the Curator and the other residents of the Museum to escape in their own ships, but they have decided to die with Limbo, since they would be out of place in Kirk's world. The Enterprise and the Klingon ship leave Limbo, which explodes. Kirk and the Klingon commander agree to part without further fighting for the present.
- Captain's log, star date 24:53.8 – Further investigation of the Klingon craft proved it was not hostile. We are returning to Star Base 9 for minor repairs – nothing unusual to report...
- The Curator • Hilliard • J'Karl • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Sprang • Hikaru Sulu • unnamed Klingons
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and classification
- battle cruiser • cloaking device • communicator • computer • deflector screen • phaser • receiving beam • sensor • sonic disruptor • spaceship • starship • transporter • transporter room • warp drive
Ranks and titles
- barbarian • captain's log • carousel • carpet • comet • cosmic storm • energy • engine • fish • galaxy • legend • Limbo • mausoleum • museum • prison • purgatory • slingshot • space • star • stardate • star-node • time • vase • war • warp-gate • weapon
- This story is remarkably similar to TAS episode: "The Time Trap", which aired the following year.
- Due to artists unfamiliar with the Star Trek series, this issue features Scotty, with reddish-brown hair, wearing a command division green-gold Starfleet uniform, rather than his proper engineering division red 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.
- This story has been released seven times in English and has been translated 12 times into other languages: French (3x), Italian (3x), Portuguese (2x), Dutch, German, Serbian and Spanish.
- The reprint in The Enterprise Logs, Volume 2 omitted page 4, which showed the Enterprise navigating through the cosmic storm vortex.
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- August 1972
- First published by Gold Key Comics
- Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1974 (World Distributors Limited)
- August 1976
- Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 2 (Golden Press)
- 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)
- Cover art reproduced as a 9x13 embossed tin wall sign (Open Road Brands)
- 17 August 2017
- Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #17 (Eaglemoss)
- French: In the omnibus Star Trek Album #4 (Remparts)
- March 1974
- Italian: As "Il museo alla fine del tempo" in Star Trek Albi Spada #15 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
- April 1974
- French: As "Le Musée des Vaisseaux Perdus" in Star Trek #9 (Remparts)
- Dutch: As "Het Museum aan het Einde der Tijden" in b/w in Star Trek #6 (De Vrijbuiter)
- Italian: As "Il Museo alla Fine del Tempo" in Raccolta Superspada #8 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
- March 1976
- Portuguese: As "O Museu da Eternidade" in Jornada Nas Estrelas (2nd Series) #3 (Abril)
- 30 March 1976
- Spanish: In Domingos Alegres #1133 Viaje a las Estrellas (Editorial Novaro)
- German: Abridged as "Das Geheimnis der Fremden Planeten" in the omnibus Zack Comic Box #21: Enterprise (Koralle-Verlag)
- 31 August 1977
- Serbian: In Denis #68
- 17 July 1978
- Portuguese: As "O Museu Perdido No Espaço" in b/w in O Caminho das Estrelas #18 (Aguiar)
- January 1983
- French: In the omnibus Présence de L'Avenir #2: Les Mutinés de L'Espace (Sagédition)
- Italian: In the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 4 (Free Books)