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The Animal People – They lived like beasts but rebelled like men! — "The Animal People" was a Star Trek comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1976, the 32nd issue of their TOS series. It was the 29th issue drawn by Alberto Giolitti and the seventh written by Arnold Drake.

In this story, James T. Kirk and Spock became embroiled in a planetary civil war.


"Help! Our world is overrun with packs of maddened animals!" That was the call that brought the starship Enterprise to planet Hercula! But it was only the beginning of a space mystery that was 10,000 years in unfolding and threatened the Enterprise crew and that entire world!


Captain's log, star date 19:26:11. An interstellar distress call has brought our starship to — the planet Hercula!

The call was to help stop wild animal attacks … from cavemen. These were Yerbas, a seemingly non-sentient species often caged in zoos and used for hard labor. Emperor Lidoro had asked for military intervention, so Kirk awaited approval from Starfleet. Overnight, Spock inspected the zoo, only to be knocked out by a group of escaping Yerba. He was brought to a Yerba encampment before their leader Germal, who could speak. The others communicated through sign language. Germal said that the Yerba hated killing but were fighting for their freedom. Spock asked Germal to meet with Lidoro, thinking it would help end hostilities.

Just then, witnessed by Kirk, Colonel Mynota bombed the Yerba camp from a rocket plane. Germal was horrified by the slaughter. As the survivors headed into the mountains for cover, Spock heard sounds — their version of freedom songs. He decided to take preemptive action – he knocked out Germal and started carrying her back down the mountain. Mynota spotted them with a magni-scope and ordered his troops to open fire. Kirk grabbed the scope and saw Spock. Leonard McCoy had to threaten Mynota before the order would be countermanded. Back at the palace, Emperor Lidoro's son General Jivi recognized Germal as the one who saved his life as a child. Kirk recognized the looks between them as love. But Lidoro dismissed Germal as a fluke of nature and demanded she record a surrender message.

Captain's log, star date 19:26.12. Replying to a call for help from the planet Hercula, we offered to assist in putting down wild animal attacks! But the conditions suddenly seem to be strangely shifting!

Walking through the Herculese city, Kirk, Spock and McCoy came across a line of adults carrying infants into a facility. A guard explained that Yerbas required throat surgery early in their lives or they would strangle. The landing party realized that Germal was not a fluke – the Herculese were deliberately compromising the Yerba's development and were now engaged in genocide. Germal agreed to send a surrender message to her people in front of television cameras, and her images were projected above the mountains where the Yerba hid. However, her sign language message was not to surrender, but to go to war – she was afraid for her people. Jivi resigned as general and Kirk withdrew Federation support. Lidoro imprisoned them all. The Yerba fought back, striking at tanks with bows and arrows tipped with small atomic weapons.

In their cells, Kirk married Jivi and Germal. After the emperor was notified, he revealed a secret known only to emperors: the Herculese were not native to Hercula, but had colonized it ten millennia ago. The native Yerba had praised the new arrivals, so they were subjugated, and when they resisted, the adults were wiped out and their children made mute to think they were animals. Meanwhile, war raged outside. Jivi and Germal appeared on television, announcing their marriage and that they had poisoned themselves. They died together onscreen a few seconds later. It shocked the populace and ending the fighting.

Later, Lidoro erected a statue of the married couple. He had agreed to share rule with an elected Yerba. Before the landing party left, Lidoro showed them an undamaged infant Yerba, as the surgeries had been permanently outlawed.



GermalJiviJames T. KirkLidoroLeonard McCoyMynotaMontgomery ScottSpock
Referenced only
Germal's mother

Starships and vehicles

rocket planestank
Referenced only
colonial transportsUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Hercula (Room of the Sacred TruthTomb of the Great Ones)

Races and cultures


States and organizations

StarfleetStarfleet Command

Science and technology

arrowatomic weaponbowcameracandlegrenademagni-scopemissilephaserpistolpoisonradiorocketsciencesign languagespacestarshipsurgerytelevisionweapon

Ranks and titles

captainchief executivecolonelcommander-in-chiefemperorgeneralguardkingofficerqueenscientistsoldiertribesman

Other references

assignment patchanimalbraincaptain's logcitycommunicationscoronationcourt martialdistress calldogfreedomgenocidegovernmenthostagekaratehouse of worshiplanding partylivestockmarriagemeatmemorymilitarymilkminutemountainnua thornoperapalaceplanetquartersresignationScroll of Truthsecondsign languageskullslaverysongspeech centerStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)statuewarzoo


10,000 years ago
Herculese colonists first settled Hercula.
Yerba oppression ended after a planetary civil war.


Related media




Gold Key Comics stories and publications
Issues "The Planet of No Return" • "The Devil's Isle of Space" • "Invasion of the City Builders" • "The Peril of Planet Quick Change" • "The Ghost Planet" • "When Planets Collide" • "The Voodoo Planet" • "The Youth Trap" • "The Legacy of Lazarus" • "Sceptre of the Sun" • "The Brain Shockers" • "The Flight of the Buccaneer" • "Dark Traveler" • "The Enterprise Mutiny" • "Museum at the End of Time" • "Day of the Inquisitors" • "The Cosmic Cavemen" • "The Hijacked Planet" • "The Haunted Asteroid" • "A World Gone Mad" • "The Mummies of Heitius VII" • "Siege in Superspace" • "Child's Play" • "The Trial of Captain Kirk" • "Dwarf Planet" • "The Perfect Dream" • "Ice Journey" • "The Mimicking Menace" • "Death of a Star" • "The Final Truth" • "The Animal People" • "The Choice" • "The PsychoCrystals" • "A Bomb in Time" • "One of Our Captains Is Missing!" • "Prophet of Peace" • "Furlough to Fury" • "The Evictors" • "World Against Time" • "The World Beneath the Waves" • "Prince Traitor" • "Mr. Oracle" • "This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" • "Murder on the Enterprise" • "A Warp in Space" • "Planet of No Life" • "Destination... Annihilation!" • "And a Child Shall Lead Them" • "What Fools These Mortals Be.." • “Sport of Knaves” • "A World Against Itself" • "No Time Like the Past" • "Spore of the Devil" • "The Brain-Damaged Planet" • "To Err Is Vulcan" • "The Empire Man!" • "Operation Con Game"
Additional stories "James T. Kirk: Psycho-File" • "A Page From Scotty's Diary" • "Spock: Psycho-File" • "From Sputnik to Warp Drive"
Collections Star Trek Annuals (1969197019721973197419751976197719781979198019831986) • The Enterprise Logs (Volumes 1234) • The Key Collection (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key Archives (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular
Related media "Voyage of Discovery" • "The Exile" • "The Red Hour" • "The Tunnel of Death" • "... Wild Goose Chase!" • "A Hint of Life" • "Space Chase" • "Escape from the Clinging Dags" • "Eye of the Beholder" • "The Menace of the Mechanitrons" • "Trial by Fire!"


Published Order
Previous comic:
#31: The Final Truth
TOS comics
(Gold Key)
Next comic:
#33: The Choice
Previous story:
Dwarf Planet
Stories by:
Arnold Drake
Next story:
The PsychoCrystals
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The World Beneath the Waves
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Trial of Captain Kirk
Previous comic:
The World Beneath the Waves
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
The Trial of Captain Kirk
Production history
July 1975
First published by Gold Key Comics
August 1976
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 4 (Golden Press)
June 2004
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 4 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
September 2008
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
24 May 2018
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #37 (Eaglemoss)
27 October 1976
Serbian: In Denis #24
Dutch: As "Dierlijke Mensen" in the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
German: As "Die Tiermenschen" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #1 (Condor)
Italian: As "Il Popolo Animale" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 8 (Free Books)

External links