Kirk and Spock invade a Klingon warship in—Operation Con Game. – "Operation Con Game" was the sixty-first and final issue of Gold Key Comics' 1970s series of Star Trek comics. The issue was written by George Kashdan, drawn by Alden McWilliams and featured the return of Harry Mudd.
- 1 Description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Appendices
- It began as a petty, almost laughable crime... but behind it was a foe whose cunning and treachery would swiftly lead the galaxy to the brink of war!
- Captain's log, stardate 3504.7.
- While exploring a neutral sector near the Klingon Empire, sensors have picked up rare but familiar emanations.
Detecting dilithium crystals on a class M planetoid in neutral territory near the Klingon Empire, James T. Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy beam to the surface to investigate. Quickly they are ambushed and stunned by three Klingons, but the landing party overcomes them and follows a path toward a gathering. They arrive just after natives sign a mining treaty with a Klingon warship commander. The Klingons pay in gold bars and then transport to the IKS Ectacus with a case of sample dilithium. But Spock's tricorder reports that the material is in a state of flux, indicative of unstable synthetic dilithium, and nearby is an Earth human reading. Pulling the hood from the native's Grand Qaal exposes swindler Harry Mudd.
- Captain's log, stardate 3504.5.
- We have suddenly found ourselves enmeshed in one of the biggest swindle-schemes in the history of the galaxy.
Mudd confesses that he acquired the fake dilithium cheaply from a scientist who knew it had no value, then set himself up as the leader of Eulus expecting Klingon patrol ships to visit. He tosses a keepsake crystal near Kirk, and it blows up. Mudd is shocked — unaware that manufactured crystals are explosive. The case of sample crystals are capable of destroying the Klingon battlecruiser, which could spark a war. Spock uses his communicator to warn the Klingons, but they don't believe him.
With Mudd under McCoy's supervision, Kirk and Spock hope to retrieve the samples, so Montgomery Scott beams them into a hold aboard the Ectacus. But Mudd manages to warn the Klingons, and the commander apprehends Kirk and Spock. Before they can be interrogated, however, Spock explodes a crystal against the hull, and in the ensuing confusion, the two officers escape back to the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Scott has lost contact with McCoy. The natives subdued him, and now he's a prisoner aboard Mudd's transport. Mudd hopes to abandon McCoy on an uncharted asteroid, but the Enterprise tracks and seizes the ship with a tractor beam.
Later, Scott uses the transporter to return Mudd's gold to the Ectacus, and the commander admits that he's disposed of the dangerous crystals. Mudd denies that conning Klingons is a Federation crime, but Kirk cites kidnapping and jeopardizing starship personnel as charges worthy of placing him in the brig.
- James T. Kirk • Spock • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Nyota Uhura • Harry Mudd • unnamed Klingons • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel
Starships and vehicles
Planets and planetoids
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and classification
- class M • command chair • communicator • coordinates • deflector shields • force field • hypospray • impulse engine • medkit • phaser • science • sector • star chart • starship • technology • tractor beam • transmitter • transporter • tricorder • viewscreen • warp drive • weapon
Ranks and titles
- captain • chief engineer • chief medical officer • commander • commanding officer • communications officer • doctor • engineer • first officer • Grand Qaal • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • science officer • scientist • sentry
Materials and substances
- alert status (invasion alert) • asteroid • atmosphere • cactus • captain's log • crew • day • energy • farthing • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2266-2270) • government • heart • hold • humanoid • insignia • law • lifeform • log entry • logic • mining • minute • mountain • nation-state • Organian Peace Treaty • peanuts • planet • planetoid • races and cultures • rank • rank insignia • sign language • snake • space • star • stardate • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • system • title • treaty • uniform • Vulcan nerve pinch • war • worship
- This was the final issue of the Gold Key Comics run of TOS comics. While the series had generally been monthly, there were several bouts of irregular releases and hiatus periods. After 12 years of publication, the run only yielded 61 issues. The price of an issue rose from 12 cents to 35 cents over the run of publication. Monthly production of a Star Trek comic would resume later in 1979 with Marvel's ongoing series that premiered with "The Motion Picture".
- A script and incomplete artwork for the next issue's story was published in 2020 by Eaglemoss in Graphic Novel Collection, Volume 124.
- This issue was slated to be collected in The Key Collection, Volume 7, but that volume was never released after Checker Book Publishing Group ended The Key Collection series with Volume 5.
- This was Harry Mudd's second licensed appearance, following 1978's Mudd's Angels omnibus by Bantam Books.
- The issue's cover was an inked drawing, one of only three in the series that was not painted or illustrated with photographs. The other two were "Death of a Star" and "The Empire Man!".
- The stardates of the captain's log entries progress backward in the story.
- Pavel Chekov and Hikaru Sulu do not appear in this story.
|Media featuring Harry Mudd|
|Episodes||"Mudd's Women" • "I, Mudd" • "Mudd's Passion" • "Choose Your Pain" • "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" • "The Escape Artist"|
|Miniseries||The Return of Mudd • The Return of Harry Mudd|
|Novels and collections||Mudd's Angels • Mudd's Enterprise • Mudd in Your Eye • The Light Fantastic|
|Short stories||"The Business, As Usual, During Altercations" • "A Sucker Born" • "Dilithium Is a Girl's Best Friend"|
|RPGs and Video games||25th Anniversary • 25th Anniversary (NES) • Starfleet Academy (game) • Through a Glass, Darkly m • Trexels • Star Trek Timelines • Fleet Command|
|Comics||"Operation Con Game" • "It's a Living" • "When You Wish Upon a Star...!" • "Mudd's Magic!" • "Mission: Muddled" • "The Sky Above...The Mudd Below" • "Target: Mudd!" • "Made Out of Mudd" • "The Survival Equation" • Discovery - Succession, Issue 1 m • Year Five, Issue 15 • Year Five, Issue 16|
|m : Mirror universe|
#60: The Empire Man
|TOS comics (Gold Key)||Next story:|
The Brain-Damaged Planet
What Fools These Mortals Be..
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
Siege in Superspace
What Fools These Mortals Be..
|Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Three||Next comic:|
Siege in Superspace
|The adventures of Harcourt Fenton Mudd||Next story:|
- March 1979
- First published by Gold Key Comics.
- Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1983. (Stafford Pemberton)
- September 2008
- Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD. (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
- 23 May 2019
- Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #63. (Eaglemoss)