"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 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 ChekovHarveyThar KaptaJames T. KirkMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraZulkunnamed Starfleet personnel (Starfleet 2nd Fleet officers)

Starships and vehiclesEdit

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


EarthSector H-100
Referenced only 
VenusVarkaVarkan asteroid

Races and culturesEdit


States and organizationsEdit

FederationStarfleetStarfleet 2nd Fleet

Science and classificationEdit

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

Ranks and titlesEdit

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

Other referencesEdit

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 mediaEdit



UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637
Annual stories 12Captives in SpacePlanet of RejectsGateway to the Future67Planet of the DeadWhat Is This Thing Called Spock?The Gods Have Come!11

Production historyEdit

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 linksEdit

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