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The PsychoCrystals — they glitter with death! — "The PsychoCrystals" was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1975. It was the 34th issue of their TOS series of comics, the 8th of 22 stories written by Arnold Drake and the 31st drawn by Alberto Giolitti. In this story, a landing party from the USS Enterprise discovers a world of telepathic crystalline lifeforms.


An innocent scientific expedition becomes a subterranean nightmare when Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise find themselves racing against the clock of their own executions.


Captain's log: star date 19:27.4. On routine mineral and biological survey of space sector 179, sub-sector 23-C...

Spock observes that planet Alpha 23-C is rich in industrial minerals, so Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Montgomery Scott beam down to conduct an overnight topographical survey. The trio split up to climb a plateau. Scott spots a beautiful outcropping of gemstones that he thinks will make a good necklace for a woman he likes, but before he can chop off a sample with a pick axe, it shoots him with a laser beam. Peering into one gem, he is strangely psychoanalyzed — facets reflect various sides of his personality, including fantasies as a heroic Highlander and secret agent as well as images of himself terrified by witches as a child. He yells before passing out. Kirk revives him, then finds McCoy in hysterics.

When they camp that evening, Kirk awakes in paranoia and begins strangling Scott. McCoy stirs and quickly stuns Kirk. Realizing they aren't prepared for this type of psychological assault, Kirk decides to return to the Enterprise, but their communicator signals are jammed. Suddenly a bipedal crystalline lifeform approaches. Scott reaches for his phaser but the being, named Izor, fires a laser beam from its head and disarms him. It calls the landing party kidnappers and attempted murderers, revealing that the crystal gems are its species' infants. Kirk surreptitiously drops his communicator as Izor leads them into deep caverns.

Captain's log: star date 19:27.5. Mr. Spock's "sophisticated crystals" have turned out to be living things! And we are being marched to their underground civilization!

They emerge into an underground crystal city paradise populated with the crystal lifeforms. Despite Kirk's protest of innocence, their president condemns the humans to die. Later, they are brought back to the president's office. Kirk observes from a periscope that Spock has beamed down and begun to inspect the gemstones. However, the infants reflect only geometric images, unable to spark emotions from the Vulcan. Nonetheless, Spock is captured and reunited with the landing party.

The president cannot read their minds to confirm that they are innocent, as only their children have strong telepathy. Suddenly, a large crystalline dinosaur, a rampaging slourda, disturbs the city's peace, retreating tentatively when spears are thrown at it. The dragon is immune to natives' thoughts which generates laser beams, as people are from repeated exposure to bacteria, but Kirk believes that he, Spock, Scott and McCoy can act like foreign germs. Spock proposes to channel new thoughts through one of the crystal infants, but it means carrying a baby gem into danger. When they next encounter the slourda, Spock projects scientific concepts though the gem such as the formula of sulfuric acid, E=MC2, Newton's Third Law of Motion, and theories behind rocket engines, which shatter the dragon into pieces.

Having demonstrated their good intentions, the landing party is allowed to leave. Kirk and Spock provide the natives with scientific texts to produce enough new thoughts to keep them free of slourda forever.



IzorJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockunnamed Alpha 23-C natives
Referenced only
Albert EinsteinIsaac Newton

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Sector 179 (Alpha 23-C)
Referenced only
Earth (Scottish Highlands) • Flaming Lakes of OrionJupiter (Jupiter Colony V) • Mars (DeimosPhobos)

Races and cultures

Alpha 23-C nativeHumanVulcan

States and organizations

Starfleet (command divisionoperations divisionsciences division)

Science and technology

backpackcommunicatorgeometrylasernarco-pelletperiscopepick axeradiorocket propulsionsciencespearswordtechnologytransporterweapon

Ranks and titles

commandercommanding officerFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)guardHighlanderharpistpoetpresidentsecret agentskipperStarfleet ranks

Other references

20th centuryassignment patchbacteriabeambirdbookcakecaptain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2266carboncaverncenturycitycomacondorcrystalculturedeath penaltydevildogdragoneagleemotionexecutionfirefoods and beveragesgoatharpheadachehorseinsanitylanguagelibrarylifeformlightlogicmetalmineralmonthmoonmusicNewton's Third Law of Motionnitrogenoxygenparadiseparanoiapoetryprisonpsychoanalysisratrocksecondsectorslourdasports and gamesStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)sulfuric acidsunspottelepathytransporter roomwitch


Related media




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:
#33: The Choice
TOS comics
(Gold Key)
Next comic:
#35: The Peril of Planet Quick Change
Previous comic:
#33: The Choice
TOS comics (Gold Key original stories) Next comic:
#36: A Bomb in Time
Previous story:
The Animal People
Stories by:
Arnold Drake
Next story:
A Bomb in Time
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Tunnel of Death
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
World Against Time
Previous comic:
The Tunnel of Death
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
World Against Time
Production history
October 1975
First published by Gold Key Comics
Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1977 (World Distributors Limited)
August 1976
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 4 (Golden Press)
Printed in Dynabrite, Issue 11358 (Western Publishing)
June 2004
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 5 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
September 2008
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
21 June 2018
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #39 (Eaglemoss)
German: As "Paradies der Kristalle" in Zack 1976 #17 (Koralle)
Dutch: As "De Psychokristallen" in the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
German: As "Die Psychokristalle" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #1 (Condor)
Italian: As "I Psicocristalli" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 9 (Free Books)

External links