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Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock save a planet from extinction, but are doomed by its war-mad leaders! – "The Ghost Planet" was the fifth issue of the TOS Gold Key Comics series. Published in September 1969, it was notable for being the first American story released after the original televised run of the series. It was the fifth story written by Dick Wood and the third drawn by Alberto Giolitti. The story reran in issue 37 in May 1976 with a new painted cover.


High above the strange unpopulated world the crew of the star ship Enterprise battle to save a doomed planet ... but they cannot know of the fate that awaits them once they succeed!


Captain's log, stardate 26:06.4. Enterprise moving deep into galaxy Zelta… We have sighted a strange ringed area… it may conceal a planet… investigation under way…

Spock discovers that the rainbow-colored rings are composed of copper and are circulating around a planet. Investigating, the Enterprise discovers high levels of radiation and a deserted city. Kirk, Spock, Denton and another crewman beam down to the surface, where an automated voice welcomes them and a robot-controlled vehicle arrives to pick them up. It takes them through the ruined city to the central communications building, where Justin I and Justin II, the rulers of the planet, communicate with them over a viewscreen. They explain that the planet's natives were forced to leave after the radioactive rings formed around their planet. Two artificial satellites were constructed to house them, but they are now overpopulated, and with no way to construct more satellites or destroy the rings, the Justins ask Kirk for help. Spock says that destroying the rings is possible, but he will need time to make the calculations. The Justins thank the landing party and sign off.

However, Spock wonders to Kirk why two satellites were built, and the other two crewmen find a room guarded by robots which react with hostility when they try to enter it. After disabling the robots, Kirk and Spock enter and discover evidence that the Justins had been fighting a war against each other in which more than 500,000 were killed, and only stopped when the rings forced them to call a truce. Realizing that the war will resume after the rings are destroyed, Kirk confronts the Justins on the Enterprise. They insist that there are no weapons left, and suggest that the Enterprise leave visual detectors on the planet to observe them and ensure that no weapons are ever produced again, to which Kirk agrees.

The Enterprise succeeds in destroying the rings, and a landing party transports down to test the surface for radiation. While there, they discover a stockpile of nuclear weapons belonging to the Justins, proving that they had been lied to again. The two rulers come down to the planet and attack the landing party while jamming the transporter, preventing them from beaming away. Spock contacts McCoy and has him play films made of the rings in the planet's atmosphere, making it look like the rings have returned. Convinced that the Enterprise can bring back the rings at any time, the Justins stop fighting and agree to let their weapons be destroyed.



DentonJustin IJustin IIJames T. KirkLeonard McCoySpockrobot guard

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • groundcarUnoite spacecrafttank


Galaxy ZeltaNumero Unospace stations

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Green ArmyOrange ArmyStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets

Science and classification

airlockbatterybombcameracanteencommunicationsGeiger counterlaboratorylasernuclear weaponphaserphaser riflepower generatorrobotspectroscopestabilizertractor beamtransistortransportertricorderviewscreenweapon

Ranks and titles


Other references

armyatmospherebeambluffcaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2266centurycitycivilizationcopperdaydeathelectronic fieldFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)Starfleet uniform (2265-2270)Esperantaextinctiongalaxygovernmenthourlanguagelight speedlog entrylogicmilemonthmountainnovaorbitpeaceplanetradiationrainbow ringsseat beltsecondspacetruceuraniumwarwateryear





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" • "Spock: Psycho-File" • "A Page From Scotty's Diary" • "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:
#4: The Peril of Planet Quick Change
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#6: When Planets Collide
Previous comic:
#36: A Bomb in Time
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#38: One of Our Captains Is Missing!
Previous story:
The Peril of Planet Quick Change
Stories by:
Dick Wood
Next story:
When Planets Collide
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Destination Annihilation
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Open Secrets
Chapters 29-30
Previous story:
Destination Annihilation
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next story:
The Edge of the Sword
Production history
September 1969 
First published by Gold Key Comics
September 1970 
Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1970 (World Distributors Limited)
May 1976 
Reprinted with a new cover image by Gold Key Comics as issue #37
August 1976 
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 1 (Golden Press)
12 March 1977 - 4 June 1977 
Serialized in Mighty TV Comic #1317 - 1329
June 2004 
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 1 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
The cover, two images and a quote were reprinted on Gold Key Chase Card #5 in the card set Quotable Star Trek (Rittenhouse Archives)
September 2008 
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
August 2014 
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Gold Key Archives, Volume 1 (IDW)
2 March 2017 
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #5 (Eaglemoss)
December 1972 
Portuguese: As "O Planeta Fantasma" in b/w in Jornada Nas Estrelas #13 (1st series) (Ebal)
September 1972 
Italian: As "Il Pianeta Fantasma" in Star Trek Albi Spada #5 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
1 October 1972 
French: As "La Planète Fantôme" in Les Héros de L'Aventure #18 (Remparts)
1972 or 1973 
French: In the omnibus Star Trek Album #2 (Remparts)
3 February 1973 
Spanish: As "El Planeta Fantasma" in TV Mundial #241 Viaje a las Estrellas (Editorial Novaro)
Dutch: As "De Spookplaneet" in b/w in Star Trek #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
German: Serialized over two issues as “Der Geisterplanet” in Zack 1974 #51-52 (Koralle)
Italian: As "Il Pianeta Fantasma" in Raccolta Superspada #3 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
March 1976 
Portuguese: As "Os Gêmeos Guerreiros" in Jornada Nas Estrelas #3 (2nd Series) (Abril)
10 April 1978
Portuguese: In b/w in O Caminho das Estrelas #5 (Aguiar)
December 1978 
French: As "Les Jumeaux Suprêmes" in Rin Tin Tin et Rusty #107 (Sagédition)
Dutch: As "De Spookplaneet" in Strip-album #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
German: Abridged as "Der Geister-Planet" in Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Album #1(Condor)
Turkish: B/W digest-size in Uzay Yolu #2 (Alfa)
Turkish: In Star Trek #2 (Alfa)
Italian: In the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 2 (Free Books)

External links