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An expedition team discovers its secret—too late… K-G, planet of death!
K-2, planet of death, where cannibal plants stalk animal prey!

"The Planet of No Return" was the first licensed Star Trek story. Published in July 1967, it launched a 61-issue TOS comic book series from Gold Key Comics. Written by Dick Wood and drawn by Nevio Zaccara, it depicted the USS Enterprise's visit to a world of dangerous plant species. The story reran in issue 29 with a new painted cover by George Wilson. It has been extensively reprinted in English and at least eight other languages.

Description

It was the strangest civilization in all the known universe — more awesome than the mind of man could conceive! And the expedition from the star spaceship USS Enterprise soon regretted their decision to explore K-G...

Summary

Captain's log, stardate 18:09.2
Enterprise carrying out exploration mission through Galaxy Alpha. So far we've seen no indication of life anywhere in the galaxy.

The Enterprise's space scope detects a fertile green planet. Scotty comments that it looks "Kelly Green" and Captain Kirk orders a landing party to be assembled. While approaching the planet, the Enterprise passes through a mist, within which float plant spores which fasten themselves to the hull and quickly penetrate the ship. The spores cause the laboratory guinea pigs to transform into tree-like plants which attack Spock and Dr. McCoy, but are soon destroyed by security guards.

While Spock investigates how the transformation occurred, Kirk leads the landing party to the planet, which has been named K-G. While exploring, Crewman Hunt is exposed to spores and transforms into a giant plant. The rest of the landing party are nearly devoured by a carnivorous plant, but the transformed Hunt sacrifices himself to save them. After a brief funeral, the party discovers that K-G is inhabited by intelligent plants. They escape from attacking trees and take shelter in a nearby cave, but Rand is grabbed by a vine and dragged away. The others chase after the plant, which deposits her inside a large enclosure where animals are grazing.

The landing party uses their phasers on the wall of thorns which surrounds the enclosure, but the thorns regenerate as fast as they are destroyed. Kirk sees the plants herding the animals away, and after gaining a vantage point from a rock pinnacle, they see that the plants consume the animals for food. Kirk calls the Enterprise and has Spock fire a pinpoint phaser beam at the thorn wall, destroying it and allowing them to rescue Rand from being eaten. Kirk orders Spock to beam them back up to the ship just before the plants can infect them with more plant spores.

On the Enterprise, Spock tells Kirk that the spores pose a threat to life on all other planets in the galaxy. They therefore use the ship's weaponry to destroy all life on K-G.

Captain's log, stardate 18:10
We are orbiting the planet Kelly Green, performing what will be our last duty here… Total destruction—a mission that must be fulfilled before we can continue our tour of research through the vast reaches of the universe

References

Characters

DeanHuntJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyJanice RandSpockHikaru SuluK-G giant cannibal plantK-G running vine plantK-G cattle beastsK-G tumbleweed plantsUSS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel)

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Locations

Shipboard locations

bridgeteleportation chamberlaboratorybriefing room

Planets and planetoids

K-G

Stellar regions

the galaxy's Alpha or Beta Quadrants (Galaxy Alpha)

Races and cultures

HumanVulcanplant species

Technology and weapons

binocularsidentification braceletphaserspace scopestarshipteleporterTV radioTV scanner

States and organizations

StarfleetUnited Federation of Planets

Ranks and titles

captaincommandercommanding officercrewmanfirst officerlieutenant commanderscientistscience officersecurity officer

Other references

animalbloodhoundcaptain's logcattlecavecobrafilmfive-year missionfoggalaxyguinea piglanguagelifeformlog entrynation-statenightmareorbitplanetplantsheep dogspacesporestarstardatetechnologythornuniverseweapon

Appendices

Background

  • This is Janice Rand's sole Gold Key Comics appearance, aside from a one-panel cameo in issue #24, TOS comic: "The Trial of Captain Kirk", and the first of her very few appearances in any Star Trek comic.
  • A new cover painting created for the reprint edition depicts the attack on the landing party by a K-G running vine plant. It showed Dean's arm and leg mutating into tree branches. In the story, this transformation actually happened to Hunt during a prior attack by a K-G giant cannibal plant.
  • In 1975, Gold Key began augmenting its Star Trek run by reprinting occasional issues. This was the first issue to be reprinted.
  • This story has been released 32 times. In English, it was printed 14 times, scanned for a DVD and reproduced on filmstrips. In other languages, it was printed 16 times: French (3x), German (3x), Portuguese (3x), Dutch (2x), Italian (2x), Finnish, Serbian and Spanish.
  • As the first Star Trek comic story, produced while the series was still brand-new and on TV, the story contains several notable departures from established canon. Spock, for example, is depicted as fully emotional, even exclaiming in relief when the landing party returns. His resolution to the dilemma - decimating all life on the planet - is also out of character. The Enterprise also has some notable differences, with her warp engines depicted as standard rockets - with a third rocket motor expelling flame from what should be the shuttle bay. The transporter is also depicted differently, with the beam emitters at the sides rather than above. Such deviations from the TV show would continue through the early issues of the comic.
  • The 1969 board game "Voyage of Discovery" incorporated the K-G running vine plant battle in the middle of its game narrative.

Images

Connections

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!"

Timeline

Published Order
Previous comic:
first issue
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#2: The Devil's Isle of Space
Previous comic:
#28: The Mimicking Menace
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#30: Death of a Star
Previous story:
first story
Stories by:
Dick Wood
Next story:
The Devil's Isle of Space
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Voyage of Discovery
part 1
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Voyage of Discovery
part 3
Previous story:
Voyage of Discovery
part 1
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next story:
Voyage of Discovery
part 3
Production history
July 1967
First published by Gold Key Comics
1967
Reproduced on b/w filmstrips for Star Trek Movie Viewer (Chemtoy Corporation)
1969
Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1969 (World Distributors Limited)
1971
Printed in oversized hardcover in Star Trek Television Picture Story Book (PBS Limited)
1972
Printed b/w in Australia in Star Trek #22063 (Rosnock Publications)
1972
Printed b/w in Hong Kong and the Philippines in Star Trek #22063 (South Pacific Publications)
March 1975
Reprinted with a new cover image by Gold Key Comics as issue #29
August 1976
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 1 (Golden Press)
18 September 1976 - 4 December 1976
Serialized weekly in Mighty TV Comic #1292 - 1303
1978
Printed b/w in Australia in Star Trek #28004 (Rosnock Publications)
1978
Printed b/w in Hong Kong and the Philippines in Star Trek #28004 (South Pacific Publications)
June 2004
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 1 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
2004
The cover, two images and a quote were reprinted on Gold Key Chase Card #1 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)
5 January 2017
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #1 (Eaglemoss)
February 2017
Remastered in Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular (IDW)
Translations
December 1971
Portuguese: As "O Planeta da Morte" in b/w in Jornada Nas Estrelas #1 (1st series) (Ebal)
18 March 1972
Spanish: As "El Planeta de la Muerte" in TV Mundial #218 Viaje a las Estrellas (Editorial Novaro)
April 1972
Italian: As "KG, Pianeta della Morte" in Star Trek Albi Spada #1 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
11 June 1972
French: As "Planète de la Mort" in Les Héros de L'aventure #2 (Remparts)
1972
French: In the omnibus Star Trek Album #1 (Remparts)
1973
German: As "Der Staat der Mörderischen Pflanzen" in Zak Comic Box #8: Neue Adbenteuer De Enterprise (Koralle)
1974
Dutch: As "De Staat van de Bloeddorstige Planten" in Star Trek #A1 (De Vrijbuiter)
1974
Finnish: As "Kasviolennot" in Avaruusmatka Star Trek #9 (Apulehti)
14 June 1975
Serbian: in TV 3AБABHИK
August 1975
Portuguese: As "Os Monstros Vegetais" in Diversões Juvenis Presents Jornada Nas Estrelas #1 (Abril)
15 March 1978
Portuguese: In b/w in O Caminho das Estrelas #1 (Aguiar)
August 1978
French: As "La Planète sans Retour" in Rin Tin Tin et Rusty #103 (Sagédition)
1979
Dutch: In the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #3 (De Vrijbuiter)
1979
German: As "Der Staat der Mörderischen Pflanzen" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #3 (Condor)
1980
German: As "Der Staat der Mörderischen Pflanzen" in some editions of Condor Superheiden #1: Star Trek Jahrbuch (Condor-Verlag)
2005
Italian: In the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 1 (Free Books)

External links

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