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For other uses, see Mirrors and Smoke.

Smoke and Mirrors was an eight-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip published in 1972. It was the seventh of 11 annual stories in the UK comic strips series, and appeared in Valiant and TV21 Summer Special 1972 in black and white.

Publisher's description[]

Omnibus teaser
When a Klingon commander named Tharrk attempts to enslave the planet Fornia, Kirk and Spock work to sabotage the Klingons' destructive new weapon and free the planet's population.


Kirk and Spock meet with the president of the peaceful planet Fornia during a diplomatic visit. Suddenly a Klingon battle cruiser bombards their cities from orbit. Klingon Commander Tharrk appears, declaring himself military governor of Fornia, now part of the Klingon Empire. Should there be any resistance, orbital attacks will resume. The forward section of Tharrk's battle cruiser contains a new Klingon weapon: an energetic light beam.

After a fight, Kirk and Spock escape. Kirk orders the USS Enterprise to leave orbit and assume they are dead if he doesn't contact them within 12 hours. To get a better look at Tharrk's ship, they visit an observatory run by Professor Markan. Spock studies the battle cruiser and develops a plan. That night, while Markan spreads rumors, Kirk and Spock steal two crates of bombs from a munitions storage area. Tharrk concludes that the Federation men will use the bombs against his ship.

That morning, Kirk and Spock launch a weather satellite covered with solar panels, but draw attention. Tharrk brings Markan and two Klingon guards to the observatory. He orders everyone to watch as the satellite approaches his cruiser. But when the cruiser fires its weapon at the satellite, the beam reflects off its mirrored solar panels and hits the cruiser, heavily damaging it. Kirk and Spock disable the Klingons and hand them over to Markan. Kirk promises that the Federation will defend Fornia against future attacks.



James T. KirkMarkanSpockTharrkunnamed Fornia natives

Starships and vehicles[]

Tharrk's battle cruiser
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)



Races and cultures[]


States and organizations[]

FederationKlingon Empire

Science and technology[]

armorbombcommunicatordamexplosiveobservatoryproberocketsolar panelsweather satellite

Ranks and titles[]

ambassadorcaptaincommanderFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officerguardintelligence officermilitary governorpresidentprofessorspyStarfleet ranks

Other references[]

atmospherebeamcitydiplomacydoggalaxygovernmenthostagehourlightmirrororbitpeaceplanetsecondslaverysnakespaceStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)starshipsunVulcan nerve pinch



Published Order
Previous comic:
"The Zodian Sacrifice"
TOS comics
UK comic strips Annuals
Next comic:
"Planet of the Dead"

Production history[]

July 1972 
First printed in Valiant and TV21 Summer Special 1972 (IPC Magazines)
September 2017 
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 3 (IDW Publishing)



  • Valiant and TV21 Summer Special 1972 was a 96-page comic book omnibus released in Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Rhodesia, South Africa and West Africa. Its only Star Trek story, "Smoke and Mirrors", was printed on pages 18-23.
  • This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Smoke and Mirrors") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 3.
  • It and "The Marshall Plan" were the only stories printed entirely in b/w in the UK comic strips series. The last six stories of the US Comic Strips series were also printed entirely in b/w, beginning with "Taking Shape" and ending with "Getting Real".
  • The initial release date was July 1972. (Valiant and TV21 Summer Special 1972 article at the Star Trek Reading Order website)
  • The story had many parallels to TOS episode & Star Trek 2 novelization: Errand of Mercy. In both stories, a Klingon occupation force overran a peaceful planet with strategic value. Kirk ordered the Enterprise to leave orbit. The military governor considered Kirk and Spock spies and threatened to kill hostages. Kirk and Spock also sneaked into a munitions storage area at night.
  • The story stated that Fornia was in another galaxy, though it seems unlikely that two advanced civilizations would send ships to the same planet in another galaxy at the same time and not notice each other along the way. It's possible the author misused the word galaxy.

Related stories[]



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 links[]