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"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, 15 August 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 UhuraZulk"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.


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"


Published Order
Previous story:
The Ageless One
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next story:
Under the Sea
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Marshall Plan
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Under the Sea
Previous comic:
The Marshall Plan
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
Under the Sea
Production history
  • 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, Volume 20. (Eaglemoss Collections)

External link