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.
- 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!
- 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 Chapel • Freyer • Giant Brain • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Spock • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
Starships and vehiclesEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Ranks and titlesEdit
- captain • doctor • geologist • lieutenant • medical officer • nurse • officer • orderly • science officer • short order cook
Science and classificationEdit
- asteroid • anatomy • chemistry • class M planet • communications • energy • evolution • galaxy • geology • life force • lifeform • logic • matter • medicine • orbit • organism • physiology • planet • quadrant • space • star • star system • stun • technology • time • universe • weapon
Materials and substancesEdit
- Akwood's syndrome • antibody • brainwave • brain • disease • insanity • poison • spray-cylinder • serum • tranquilizer • virus
Technology and weaponsEdit
- computer • flame thrower • medical tricorder • phaser • radio • spacecraft • spray-cylinder • starship • transporter • tricorder
- assignment patch • cave • civilization • clothing • colony • coordinates • government • log entry • nation-state • synchronous orbit • Prime Directive • races and cultures • rank • ring system • science • sector • Starfleet General Orders and Regulations • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • title • uniform • Vulcan neck pinch
- 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".
- 107,600 years ago
- Giant Brain first became infected with Akwood's syndrome.
- Enterprise crew discovered the Giant Brain within a class M asteroid.
- The cover painting was by Chuck Liese. (Chuck Liese Star Trek #58 Cover Painting article at Heritage Auctions.)
- Freyer was one of a handful of Enterprise crewmen who sacrificed their lives in Gold Key Comics stories. Others were Hunt in "The Planet of No Return" and Jinz in "Planet of No Life".
- While referred to as an asteroid, the stellar body appeared more like a dwarf planet or planetoid.
- Kirk stated that regulations prohibited them from interfering in local activities unless their lives were threatened.
- Although Montgomery Scott was given command while the landing party explored the asteroid, he and Nyota Uhura each appeared in three panels and had one line. Christine Chapel appeared in two panels in sickbay with one line. Hikaru Sulu appeared on the bridge in two panels without dialogue.
- When Kirk made first contact with the indigenous humanoid population, he announced to them that the landing party came from another world.
- Spock stated that the Prime Directive could be circumvented in situations such as experienced in this story, where an invading alien virus had disrupted the development of civilization.
- This story was recently reprinted in English and has been translated into German and Dutch.
- TOS comic: "The Hunger" – A massive force of life energy inhabited the core of the Hollow Planet.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 9 novelization: The Return of the Archons – Rampant violence was celebrated during "Festival" times on Beta III.
- TOS comic: "A World Gone Mad" – Inhabitants developed bouts of temporary insanity from exposure to gases from Sanduy's Comet.
- TOS comic: "It's a Living" – An enormous organism erupted out of the core of a planet.
- TAS episode & Log One novelization: One of Our Planets Is Missing – Huge antibodies within a cosmic cloud acted to defend it against the invading Enterprise.
#57 Spore of the Devil
|TOS comics (Gold Key)||Next comic:|
#59 To Err Is Vulcan
No Time Like the Past
Operation Con Game
No Time Like the Past
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
Death of a Star
- 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)
- The Brain-Damaged Planet article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- The Brain-Damaged Planet article at Curt Danhauser's Guide to the Gold Key Star Trek Comics.