Spectre of the Zond was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip published in 1969. It was the eighth story arc in the UK comic strips series, released in six parts within issues of TV21 & Joe 90. This was the eighth of 11 stories illustrated by Harry Lindfield.
- 1 Publisher's description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Timeline
- 5 Appendices
- Teaser summary, 4 October 1969
- Something strange was happening aboard the Starship 'Enterprise'. Crew members had reported unmistakable physical contact… when there had been nobody else near! Now, in his quarters, Captain James T. Kirk had had his bedclothes ripped off by unseen hands… and watched his uniform flung across the room by some invisible force!
During a routine exterior maintenance check, crewmen felt invisible hands poking at them. That evening, Kirk awoke to see his uniform shirt levitate. In the briefing room, Leonard McCoy suggested trying to contact any invisible beings on the ship. A communicator floated and opened by itself. Over its speaker spoke a disembodied Zond, who said he was from the nearby planet Vartax and asked for their help. Montgomery Scott and Hikaru Sulu accompanied Kirk to the surface, where they found a Zond corpse. The communicator voice explained that primitives had invaded their cities and slaughtered them, but that their personalities survived in a non-corporeal state. It begged Kirk to locate restoration machinery within Vartican caves to rejuvenate their bodies.
Kirk beamed down a security squad. Leaving crewman Tremayne to guard a cavern entrance, the rest explored underground tunnels. Shortly they came upon a group of Varticans, but these beings were terrified, not threatening. Sulu ran back to the cave entrance to retrieve a universal translator, but was surprised to find Tremayne dead. After returning with the device, the landing party was able to communicate with the Varticans – who revealed that the crew had been duped. Zonds were an invading extra-planetary force with invisibility powers who'd captured Vartican cities. At that moment, armed Zond forces turned visible on the bridge and forced Spock to surrender. Using the ship's transporters, Zonds marooned the entire crew.
However, Spock had been able to hide aboard the Enterprise. He surreptitiously began gassing and incapacitating the now visible intruders. In an abandoned city, Kirk located a long-range beam weapon capable of destroying his starship. Uncomfortable with killing Spock without a warning, Kirk hailed him, just as Spock was sneaking onto the bridge through a secondary entrance. Zonds overheard the hail, and Spock was forced to dive at them, then quickly capture the Zond leader. At gunpoint, Spock forced them all into a space bug and off the ship. The Zonds destroyed themselves rather than face an intergalactic court of law.
- Ed • Joe • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Sam • Spock • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Tremayne • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Zonds • unnamed Varticans
- Referenced only
- Pavel Chekov
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
Science and technology
- airlock • communicator • disintegrator • environmental suit • freedom • gas grenade • gun • hammer • phaser • plane of existence • radio • rifle • self destruct • translator communicator • transporter • universal translator • weapon
Ranks and titles
- armaments officer • captain • crew • crewman • doctor • duty officer • envoy • guard • lieutenant • orderly • senior officer • skipper • weapons officer
- atmosphere • briefing room • cavern • century • city • cudgel • ghost • hour • intelligence • intergalactic law • invisibility • magic wand • maintenance • monkey • parking orbit • planet • quarters • science • security squad • shuttlecraft • sickbay • space • space jitters • star • starship • swamp • war • watch • zoo
- The presence of Pavel Chekov places the story after he first came aboard in February 2267. (TOS comic: "Mister Chekov")
"The Eagles Have Landed"
UK comic strips
"Nor Any Drop to Drink"
- The British magazine Joe 90: Top Secret relaunched as TV21 & Joe 90 in September 1969. This was the first Star Trek story produced for the new title and was serialized in two-page sections spanning six issues.
- 4 October, pages 3-4 published in TV21 & Joe 90 #2
- 11 October, pages 5-6 published in TV21 & Joe 90 #3
- 18 October, pages 7-8 published in TV21 & Joe 90 #4
- 25 October, pages 9-10 published in TV21 & Joe 90 #5
- 1 November, pages 11-12 published in TV21 & Joe 90 #6
- April 2016
- Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1 (IDW Publishing)
- 11 May 2017
- Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #10 (Eaglemoss)
- The story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Spectre of the Zond") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1.
- Nyota Uhura assumed command as duty officer during an evening watch.
- Secondary entrances to the bridge were referenced in TOS episode: "Space Seed" and featured in TOS - Log Ten novelization: The Slaver Weapon.
- Although many UK comics strips depicted Kirk wearing an operations division shirt, he wore a command division uniform shirt on the cover for October 18, 1969, and wore one of Spock's extra sciences division shirts during the meeting in the briefing room.
- A space bug was referred in narration as a shuttlecraft and transporter. The entire force of Zonds apparently fit within this one space bug. Although claiming only 12 of them survived, at least 22 Zonds were shown boarding the craft.
- Communicators had built-in universal translators in the UK comic strips, foreshadowing this update in later series.
- Space jitters were mentioned to explain unusual ghostly experiences at the beginning of the story, something Montgomery Scott also thought of to explain Mira Romaine's troubles in TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Lights of Zetar.
- Spock mentioned Vulcan childhood legends of an invisible planet.
- Pavel Chekov was stated as suffering from a throat infection in sickbay, but did not appear.
- Hikaru Sulu was identified as the ship's weapons' officer and armament's officer.
- VOY episode: "Basics" – After a hostile takeover, the crew of USS Voyager were marooned on Hanon IV.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Lights of Zetar – In 2269, non-corporeal Zetarians attacked the USS Enterprise and Memory Alpha.
- TOS comic: "Experiment in Vengeance!" – In 2273, non-corporeal transporter test subjects attacked the USS Enterprise.