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.

Description[edit | edit source]

Teaser page
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!

Summary[edit | edit source]

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.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Christine ChapelFreyerGiant BrainJames T. KirkLeonard McCoySpockMontgomery ScottHikaru SuluNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Giant Brain asteroid (unnamed class M asteroid)

Shipboard areas[edit | edit source]

bridgesickbaytransporter room

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]

HumanVulcanunnamed races and cultures

States and organizations[edit | edit source]


Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]

captaindoctorgeologistlieutenantmedical officernurseofficerorderlyscience officershort order cook

Science and classification[edit | edit source]

asteroidanatomychemistryclass M planetcommunicationsenergyevolutiongalaxygeologylife forcelifeformlogicmattermedicineorbitorganismphysiologyplanetquadrantspacestarstar systemstuntechnologytimeuniverseweapon

Lifeforms[edit | edit source]


Materials and substances[edit | edit source]


Measurement[edit | edit source]


Medicine[edit | edit source]

Akwood's syndromeantibodybrainwavebraindiseaseinsanitypoisonspray-cylinderserumtranquilizervirus

Technology and weapons[edit | edit source]

computerflame throwermedical tricorderphaserradiospacecraftspray-cylinderstarshiptransportertricorder

Other references[edit | edit source]

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

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • The existence of life energy was postulated by the Leiber-Kurtzberg Theory but dismissed as a crackpot idea until it was proven and measured, in TOS comic: "The Hunger". In "The Brain-Damaged Planet", Spock presented life energy and life forces as proven ideas to Kirk and McCoy. Consequently, this story might take place after "The Hunger".

Chronology[edit | edit source]

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

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Related stories[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Connections[edit | edit source]

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:
Death of a Star

Production history[edit | edit source]

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)

Translations[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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