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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

"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.

In this story, the Starfleet 2nd Fleet attempted to destroy the USS Enterprise.


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 receives 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 bombard the Enterprise, then prepare to launch nucron missiles. Suddenly they are hailed by Nyota Uhura, and they break off their attack.

A false message sent to Starfleet is signed with Kirk's password, Thorpex. Everyone knowing the password is tested and confirmed not to be under hypnotic control. Meanwhile, a team of robots begin to repair the ship, but one robot leaves the others and begins opening airlocks. It is disabled with a phaser rifle, leaving ashen remains from an extinct felinoid species known as Varkans.

Six small, glowing spheres enter the bridge and aim a floating phaser at Kirk. Through a universal translator, these disembodied Varkans admit to being able to manipulate equipment. They intend to kill the crew, then use the Enterprise to take over machines on Earth and destroy the Human civilization. Montgomery Scott shuts off the bridge lights, and in the confusion the disembodied intruders are vaporized.

Varkans reside 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 aims the asteroid at the Enterprise. The crew quickly dons environmental suits while Hikaru Sulu fires nearly three dozen missiles at it, attempting to alter its trajectory. Kirk loads all of the ship's class F shuttlecraft with bombs, and the combined blast destroys the asteroid along with the Varkans.



Pavel ChekovHarveyThar KaptaJames T. KirkMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraGreat Zulk"metal mob" robotsunnamed Starfleet personnel (Starfleet 2nd Fleet officers)

Starships and vehicles[]

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • class F shuttlecraftTiger FS-100Tiger FS-101Tiger FS-102 (strike fighters) • Varkan asteroidunnamed Alpha and Beta Quadrant starships


EarthSector H-100
Referenced only 
VenusVarkaVarkan asteroid

Races and cultures[]


States and organizations[]

FederationStarfleetStarfleet 2nd Fleet

Science and classification[]

airlockbombcomputerenvironmental suitforce fieldhelmetintercomjetpackmagnetismMeissner testmetal mobmissilenacellenucron missileobservation portphaserphaser riflepliersradiorobotscannersensortranslator communicatortype-2 phaserviewscreenwelder

Ranks and titles[]

admiralcaptainchief of staffcommandercrewmemberduty watch officerengineerensignFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)rankskipperStarfleet ranksstowawaytraitor

Other references[]

alert status (action stationsred emergency) • armadaassignment patchasteroidbeambloodboarding partybridgebriefing roomcenturycivilizationcommunicationscourt of enquiryextinctionfelinegravityhourhullhumanoidhypnosisidentity transferencemetalminutemoonS.O.S.secondsecond-phase watchsectorsecurityspaceStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)


Varkans attacked the USS Enterprise when it neared Sector H-100.




  • 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.

Related media[]



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"

Production history[]

Published Order
Previous comic:
"The Ageless One"
TOS comics
UK comic strips
Next comic:
"Under the Sea"
  • This story was serialized three pages per issue over a period of seven weeks.
August 1970
September 1970
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)

External links[]