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"The Third Party" was the 4th story arc in the UK comic strips series. It was released in four parts in 1969 within issues of Joe 90: Top Secret.

In this story, James T. Kirk agreed to mediate a dispute between warring planets.


Teaser summary, 10 May, 1969
Trapped between the warring Hytar and Nuofo Aliens, Earth Starship USS Enterprise is seriously damaged and unable to move until repairs have been carried out. Suddenly, even as Captain Kirk speaks to his repairmen, they are attacked – and invaded …


Nuofo ships assaulted the Enterprise.

While investigating an unexplored star system, the USS Enterprise was suddenly shot at by missiles which breached the starboard warp engine. Hundreds of small interplanetary spacecraft approached, and one landed in the shuttle bay. Its pilot, General Ari of the planet Hytar, apologized for the missile attack, having assumed the Enterprise belonged to their warring twin planet of Nuofo. Ari appealed for Kirk to mediate in their war. Spock suggested that diplomacy might buy time for repairs, so Kirk agreed. While engineers in repair wagons tended to the damage, Kirk departed for Nuofo aboard a small exploration rocket. Ari had provided neutral markings for the ship, but when Kirk approached Nuofo, his ship was immediately fired upon, receiving a direct hit on its starboard propulsion unit. Kirk quickly ejected before his craft blew up.

In sickbay, Kirk was checked over by Leonard McCoy. Ari had departed, leaving a mystery as to why Kirk was attacked. Kirk beamed a party of four to the surface of Nuofo to investigate, but the officers were seized and brought to General Irf, who told them Kirk's ship had been attacked because it had Hytar markings on it. Kirk offered to mediate the war, but Irf rejected diplomacy and refused to give up the landing party.

Repairs were interrupted from an assault by another fleet. Shots penetrated the hull and intruders boarded the Enterprise. Eventually the Starfleet crew was able to apprehend the boarders and repel the fleet. Kirk requested that Ari return. He did, and could not believe the prisoners were Hytarans despite being saluted by them.

Retaliatory strike.

Kirk had had enough. He proceeded to launch an all-out invasion of Nuofo. Repair wagons and space bugs launched from the Enterprise, scattering the Nuofo fleet, and Kirk captured Irf. But Kirk had an idea, and he brought Irf and Ari together to test it. The two generals realized that the recent attack ships originated from Desta, a mutual enemy from a third planet in their star system. Irf and Ari promised free elections if the Enterprise scattered the Destan ships. The landslide victor was Juf, a third-party candidate, who reunited the twin planets in peace.



AriDavid BaileyBatesIrfJufKirbyJames T. KirkLeonard McCoySpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles[]

Destan spaceshipUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Hytaran spaceshipNuofon spaceship
Enterprise shuttlecraft
repair wagonspace bugexploration rocket
Referenced only 
rescue capsule


Referenced only 

Races and cultures[]


States and organizations[]

Federation Starfleet

Science and technology[]

airlockbulkheadcommunicatordocking portgeneratorhull platinglasermonitormissilerifleshuttle bayspacesuittransporter

Ranks and titles[]


Other references[]

alert status (action stations) • alienbloodbridgebrigcitycivil warcoordinatescorridordemocracyelectionfirefleethourminuteorbitoxygenpeaceplanetratrocketsatelliteshuttle bayStarfleet General Orders and Regulationstransporter roomuniversewar


The presence of Bailey on the Enterprise places this story early in the year 2266, before the events of "The Corbomite Maneuver".


Related media[]


  • The story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("The Third Party") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1.
  • Authorship of this story was attributed to Angus Allan. (ST reference: New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics)
  • In one panel, a crewman shooed two young children out of the way as a boarding party approached.
  • Nyota Uhura appeared in one panel as Kirk ordered her to contact repair crews. Leonard McCoy appeared in one panel as he tended to Kirk’s injuries.
  • The crew painted neutral markings on Kirk’s space bug, a significant story point. While these marking were clearly visible according to the dialogue, no markings were visible on the artwork.
  • Due to the creative team being unfamiliar with the layout of the Enterprise, the starship was shown launching space bugs and repair wagons from ports along the side of the saucer section, out of a bay wide enough to house four bugs and a repair wagon side-by-side.



UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs "Life Form Nonexistent" • "The Crucial Element" • "Beware the Beast" • "The Third Party" • "The Children of Stai" • "Skin Deep" • "The Eagles Have Landed" • "Spectre of the Zond" • "Nor Any Drop to Drink" • "Menace of the Moloth" • "The Klingon Ultimatum" • "The Marshall Plan" • "Mutiny on the Dorado" • "The Ageless One" • "Thorpex" • "Under the Sea" • "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" • "Where Giants Tread" • "I, Emperor" • "Slaves of the Frogmen" • "Key Witness" • "Nova-Thirteen" • "Prison Break" • "Vibrations in Time" • "The Aging World" • "By Order of the Empire" • "Creeping Death" • "Ground Zero" • "The Collector" • "To Swiftly Go..." • "The Mindless Ones" • "The Perithees Alliance" • "The Saboteur Within" • "The Void of Storms" • "Spheres of War" • "Shell Game" • "To Rule the Universe"
Annual stories "Target: Zargot" • "A Bite of the Apple" • "Captives in Space" • "Planet of Rejects" • "Gateway to the Future" • "The Zodian Sacrifice" • "Smoke and Mirrors" • "Planet of the Dead" • "What Is This Thing Called Spock?" • "The Gods Have Come!" • "Rock and a Hard Place"


Published Order
Previous story:
Beware the Beast
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next story:
The Children of Stai
Previous story:
Beware the Beast
Stories by:
Angus Allan
Next story:
The Children of Stai
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Beware the Beast
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Children of Stai
Production history[]
  • This story was published in two-page sections over four consecutive weeks in Joe 90: Top Secret magazine.

April 1969

May 1969

  • 3 May: Pages 3-4 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #16.
  • 10 May: Pages 5-6 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #17.
  • 17 May: Pages 7-8 published in Joe 90: Top Secret #18.
April 2016 
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1. (IDW Publishing)
11 May 2017 
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection, Volume 10. (Eaglemoss)

External links[]