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They stand helpless before an alien who dooms them… to infancy! – "The Youth Trap" was the eighth issue of Gold Key Comics' TOS comic book series. It was the last of eight stories written by Dick Wood and the sixth drawn by Alberto Giolitti.


The crew of the Enterprise find themselves guinea pigs for a crazed alien who possesses a fantastic machine! And it appears that no power in the universe can prevent the bizarre transformation of Captain Kirk's men as one by one, they begin an incredible return to infancy!


Captain's log, stardate 31:09.5 - Enterprise under full power in Galaxy Zekbran to investigate the sighting of an uncharted planet. All systems operational…

A mysterious force strikes one of the Enterprise's engines, damaging it and burning out the filament parts required to repair it. The crew has no choice but to beam a landing party to the planet's surface in search of zutotanium to make more. Burns and Lane discover some, but are struck by an energy beam that turns them into children. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to investigate and find two men firing beams at them, one of which strikes McCoy and turns him into a teenager. The de-aged crewmembers are beamed back up while Kirk and Spock make their way towards their attackers; Kirk is struck as well, but is not de-aged. One of the men begins fighting the other and forces him off a cliff. Kirk and Spock rescue the fallen man, who reveals himself to be Laiko, a scientist from Galaxy Trann. He was a member of a starship crew which crashlanded on the planet; an attempt to restore power to the engines resulted in the creation of a machine which reversed aging. They tested it on the Starfleet officers with the intent to learn how to halt the aging process in themselves so they could live long enough to repair their ship or be rescued. Kooba, the man who fought him, uses the age-ray to seize command of the ship's crew, and has them capture Kirk, Spock and Laiko when they accidentally reveal themselves.

Kooba reveals that he intends to use the age-ray to take over his home planet when he returns there after capturing the Enterprise. He has Kirk and Laiko imprisoned while he, Spock and Gorg are beamed up to the ship. Kooba uses the ray on the ship's TV circuits to de-age the crew all at once, but slows down the process so that they will not become babies for a few more hours. He returns to the planet to de-age Kirk, but the captain uses a metal plate to reflect the beam back to Kooba, causing him to de-age instead. With Laiko's help, he returns to the Enterprise, knocks out Gorg and reverses the crew's de-aging. With everyone except Kooba at their proper ages again, Kirk destroys the age-ray. The Enterprise's engines are repaired, but Starfleet Command has trouble believing their report.



BurnsGorgJames T. KirkKoobaLaikoLaneLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockSusan

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Laiko's spaceship


Galaxy Zekbranunnamed planet
Referenced only

Races and cultures

HumanTrann nativeVulcan

States and organizations

Starfleet (command divisionoperations divisionsciences division)

Science and classification

age-raybackpackenergizerengineenvironmental suitguardlifesignnumber two enginephaserscannerstar charttelevisiontransporterviewscreenweapon

Ranks and titles


Other references

acidalienassignment patchasteroidbeambridgebrigcaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2267cavechaincolonycrewdinosaurEsperantaexpedition teamgalaxygovernmentguinea pighome planethostagehourlanguageminingminutemonthmountainnightmareorepetrankrocksciencesecondspaceStarfleet ranksStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)tintransporter roomwhaleyearzutotanium





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:
#7 The Voodoo Planet
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#9 The Legacy of Lazarus
Previous story:
The Voodoo Planet
Stories by:
Dick Wood
Next story:
last story
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Alternative Factor
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Previous comic:
The Alternative Factor
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Production history
September 1970
First published by Gold Key Comics
Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1972 (World Distributors Limited)
Printed in b/w in Star Trek Comic Album (1974) (World Distributors Limited)
August 1976
Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 1 (Golden Press)
31 December 1977 - 25 March 1978
Serialized in Mighty TV Comic #1359 - 1371
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 #8 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 2 (IDW)
February 2017
Remastered in Gold Key 100-page Spectacular (IDW)
13 April 2017
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #8 (Eaglemoss)
June 1972
Portuguese: b/w in "Armadilha da Juventude" in Jornada Nas Estrelas #7 (1st series) (Ebal)
December 1972
Italian: As "La Trappola della Gioventù" in Star Trek Albi Spada #8 (Edizioni Fratelli Spada)
January 1973
French: As "La Machine à Rajeunir" in Star Trek #2 (1st series) (Remparts)
1972 or 1973
French: In the omnibus Star Trek Album #2 (Remparts)
4 August 1973
Spanish: In TV Mundial #254 Viaje a las Estrellas (Editorial Novaro)
German: Serialized over four issues as "Planet der Jugend" in Zack 1973 #2 - 5 (Koralle)
Dutch: As "De Hindelaag der Kinderen" in b/w in Star Trek #3 (De Vrijbuiter)
December 1976
Portuguese: As "Armadilha da Juventude" in Jornada Nas Estrelas #6 (2nd Series) (Abril)
German: As "Planet der Jugend" in the 228-page omnibus Zack Parade #17
10 May 1978
Portuguese: In b/w in O Caminho das Estrela #8 (Aguiar)
Italian: In the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 2 (Free Books)

External links