"Thorpex" was a 21-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip published in 1970. It was the 15th story arc in the UK comic strips series, released in seven parts within issues of TV21 Weekly. This was the third of four stories drawn by Mike Noble.
- Teaser summary, August 15, 1970
- During a mysterious communications breakdown aboard the starship Enterprise, space Federation strike fighters had launched a baffling and nearly fatal attack on the vessel...
Starfleet received an emergency distress call from Captain Kirk aboard the Enterprise, reporting the loss of all hands to intruders and requesting that the ship be destroyed. Four strike fighters led by commander Harvey bombarded the Enterprise, then prepared to launch nucron missiles. Suddenly they were hailed by Nyota Uhura, and they broke off their attack.
A false message sent to Starfleet was signed with Kirk's password, Thorpex. Everyone knowing the password was tested and confirmed not to be under hypnotic control. Meanwhile, a team of robots began to repair the ship, but one robot left the others and began opening airlocks. It was disabled with a phaser rifle, leaving ashen remains from an extinct felinoid species known as Varkans.
Six small, glowing spheres entered the bridge and aimed a floating phaser at Kirk. Through a universal translator, these disembodied Varkans admitted to being able to manipulate equipment. They intended to kill the crew, then use the Enterprise to take over machines on Earth and destroy the Human civilization. Montgomery Scott shut off the bridge lights, and in the confusion the disembodied intruders were vaporized.
Varkans resided on an asteroid, formerly a moon of Varka to which they'd added a propulsion system. To retaliate for Kirk's attack, the Varkan leader aimed the asteroid at the Enterprise. The crew quickly donned environmental suits while Hikaru Sulu fired nearly three dozen missiles at it, attempting to alter its trajectory. Kirk loaded all of the ship's class F shuttlecraft with bombs, and the combined blast destroyed the asteroid along with the Varkans.
- Pavel Chekov • Harvey • Thar Kapta • James T. Kirk • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Zulk • unnamed Starfleet personnel (Starfleet 2nd Fleet officers)
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • class F shuttlecraft • Tiger FS-100 • Tiger SF-101 • Tiger SF-102 (strike fighters) • unnamed Alpha and Beta Quadrant starships
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and classificationEdit
- airlock • bomb • computer • environmental suit • force field • helmet • intercom • jetpack • magnetism • Meissner test • metal mob • missile • nacelle • nucron missile • observation port • phaser • phaser rifle • pliers • radio • robot • scanner • sensor • translator communicator • type-2 phaser • viewscreen • welder
Ranks and titlesEdit
- admiral • captain • chief of staff • commander • crewmember • duty watch officer • engineer • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • rank • skipper • Starfleet ranks • stowaway • traitor
- alert status (action stations • red emergency) • armada • assignment patch • asteroid • beam • blood • boarding party • bridge • briefing room • century • civilization • communications • court of enquiry • extinction • feline • gravity • hour • hull • humanoid • hypnosis • identity transference • metal • minute • moon • S.O.S. • second • second-phase watch • sector • security • space • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270)
- In Sector H-100, the Varkan civilization was annihilated by unidentified forces.
- Disembodied surviving Varkans rigged propulsion on a moon and left their star system.
- The story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Thorpex") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1.
- Nyota Uhura took command during the night shift, having done so previously in story arc 8, "Spectre of the Zond". She was also given command in arc 12 "The Marshall Plan" and arc 26 "By Order of the Empire". In this instance, Hikaru Sulu relieved her in the morning.
- Harvey used an environmental suit and an airlock to board the Enterprise rather than land his fighter in the shuttle bay. Possibly the fighters required different facilities for takeoff and landing.
- The universal translator was used according to TOS canon for the first time in the UK comic strips series. Previously, it was a built-in function of a "translator communicator".
- The Starfleet 2nd Fleet admiral and his staff wore 20th century-style jackets and rank braids.
- Strike fighters had registries beginning with "SF" in the strip published on August 1, but "FS" in the strip published on August 8. The registry for Commander Harvey's fighter was legible only in the latter strip, resulting in its inconsistent registry.
- Turning off lights should not logically affect disembodied entities, as they did not have eyes and ought to have some type of extrasensory perception. Nonetheless, the story explicitly stated that Varkans relied on a sense of vision.
- TOS comic: "Spectre of the Zond" – Disembodied Zonds appeared to manipulate equipment and levitate a communicator, similar to the disembodied Varkans who levitated a phaser.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 11 novelization: The Squire of Gothos – In 2267, the planet Gothos pursued the Enterprise, powered by the will of Trelane.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 9 novelization: Return to Tomorrow – In 2268, disembodied Sargon, Thalassa and Henoch were found residing inside lighted spherical receptacles by the Enterprise.
- TOS movie: The Wrath of Khan – In similar circumstances in 2285, James T. Kirk did not raise shields when "friendly" but uncommunicative Starfleet vessels approached, allowing the Enterprise to be crippled by weapons fire.
- TAS - Log Eight novelization: The Eye of the Beholder – Propulsion systems were added to six moons of Boqu II.
|UK comic strips|
|Weekly story arcs||1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34 • 35 • 36 • 37|
|Annual stories||1 • 2 • Captives in Space • Planet of Rejects • Gateway to the Future • 6 • 7 • Planet of the Dead • What Is This Thing Called Spock? • The Gods Have Come! • 11|
- The appearance of nacelle spikes on the USS Enterprise and sciences station printouts might suggest a placement for this story in 2265. However, Pavel Chekov was also aboard and wearing a blue shirt, which places this story after his arrival aboard the Enterprise in February 2267. (TOS comic: "Mister Chekov")
"The Ageless One"
UK comic strips
"Under the Sea"
- This story was serialized three pages per issue over a period of seven weeks.
- 1 August: Pages 1-3 published in TV21 Weekly #45.
- 8 August: Pages 4-6 published in TV21 Weekly #46.
- 15 August: Pages 7-9 published in TV21 Weekly #47.
- 22 August: Pages 10-12 published in TV21 Weekly #48.
- 29 August: Pages 13-15 published in TV21 Weekly #49.
- 5 September: Pages 16-18 published in TV21 Weekly #50.
- 12 September: Pages 19-21 published in TV21 Weekly #51.
- April 2016
- Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1 (IDW Publishing)
- 28 September 2017
- Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #20 (Eaglemoss)