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Can Dr. McCoy cure the Brain-Damaged Planet? – "The Brain-Damaged Planet" was a Star Trek comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1978, the 58th issue of their TOS series. It was the 19th issue drawn by Alden McWilliams and the ninth written by George Kashdan.

In this story, McCoy must help a planet fend off huge parasites, or its inhabitants will all be driven mad.


In one moment, there was peace and tranquility… in another, havoc reigned! And behind it was a force as insidious as a cosmic plague, more explosive than a super-nova!


Captain's log, star date 3313.5.
On exploratory mission to a little known sector of the galaxy, sensor readings indicate an asteroid with life forms...

Having found an inhabited, ringed, class M asteroid, Captain James T. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and geologist Freyer beam down. Strangely, peaceful-looking towns coexist with devastated portions. Kirk introduces his landing party to the indigenous humanoid population, showing them how McCoy takes readings with his medical tricorder and how Freyer takes soil samples. When Freyer tastes one of the samples, one of the locals panics. Suddenly, everyone in the town goes insane and starts to attack the landing party. The Starfleet officers flee into a cavern on a hillside. McCoy wants to analyze the erratic brainwave patterns he detected in the humanoids. Freyer himself goes insane and threatens to kill them with his phaser. Spock knocks him out with a Vulcan nerve pinch. In sickbay, McCoy diagnoses Freyer with Akwood's syndrome, a curable viral infection that causes temporary insanity. However, the antidote isn't working.

Captain's log, star date 3315.9.
Mr. Spock has summoned us to the bridge, where an even stranger sight has been projected onto the main view screen!

Spock discovers that a Giant Brain organism lives within the core of the asteroid, one which generates large quantities of life energy into the lifeforms on the surface. This brain entity had been infected by Akwood's syndrome 100 millennia ago. Since then, the viral agent has mutated into a huge strain. As the senior officers discuss how or whether the Prime Directive applies, Freyer experiences a second spell of insanity, requiring a tranquilizer to calm him. Kirk decides to try to cure Freyer and the Giant Brain. Freyer's infection allows him to sense the location of the viruses, so he accompanies Kirk and McCoy as they materialize within the brain entity. Huge antibodies pursue them. Freyer leads Kirk and McCoy toward a crevasse containing a large concentration of the viruses. Freyer leaps into the crevasse and lures the remaining viruses into one spot. At Freyer's urging, and with antibodies surrounding them, McCoy sprays the antidote all through the crevasse. All of the viruses collapse and die, but not before they kill Freyer.



Christine ChapelFreyerGiant BrainJames T. KirkLeonard McCoySpockMontgomery ScottHikaru SuluNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Giant Brain asteroid (unnamed class M asteroid)

Shipboard areas

bridgesickbaytransporter room

Races and cultures

HumanVulcanunnamed races and cultures

States and organizations


Ranks and titles

captaindoctorgeologistlieutenantmedical officernurseofficerorderlyscience officershort order cook

Science and classification

asteroidanatomychemistryclass M planetcommunicationsenergyevolutiongalaxygeologylife forcelifeformlogicmattermedicineorbitorganismphysiologyplanetquadrantspacestarstar systemstuntechnologytimeuniverseweapon



Materials and substances





Akwood's syndromeantibodybrainwavebraindiseaseinsanitypoisonspray-cylinderserumtranquilizervirus

Technology and weapons

computerflame throwermedical tricorderphaserradiospacecraftspray-cylinderstarshiptransportertricorder

Other references

assignment patchcavecivilizationclothingcolonycoordinatesgovernmentlog entrynation-statesynchronous orbitPrime Directiveraces and culturesrankring systemsciencesectorStarfleet General Orders and RegulationsStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)titleuniformVulcan neck pinch


107,600 years ago
Giant Brain first became infected with Akwood's syndrome.
Enterprise crew discovered the Giant Brain within a class M asteroid.


Related stories




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:
#57: Spore of the Devil
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#59: To Err Is Vulcan
Previous story:
No Time Like the Past
Stories by:
George Kashdan
Next story:
Operation Con Game
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
No Time Like the Past
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Come Away, Child
Previous comic:
No Time Like the Past
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
Come Away, Child
Production history
December 1978
First published by Gold Key Comics.
September 2008
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD. (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
11 April 2019
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #60. (Eaglemoss Collections)
Dutch: In the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #3. (De Vrijbuiter)
German: As "Das Gehirn des Asteroiden" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #3. (Condor)
German: As "Das Gehirn des Asteroiden" in some editions of Condor Superheiden #1: Star Trek Jahrbuch. (Condor-Verlag)

External links