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"Weeds" was the first issue of Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor, a four-issue TOS comic book miniseries written and drawn by John Byrne. This story was set in 2271 and published by IDW Publishing in April 2010.

Publisher's description

From solicitations
Space, the final frontier… and on that frontier and beyond, humans and aliens alike need medical care. Enter Leonard McCoy, Doctor of Space Medicine, late of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE… his first assignment: save the human colonists from a mysterious plague on a distant world whose only native lifeform is a vast and suddenly hostile jungle. Shipped with a special variant Byrne “gag” cover!


In San Francisco, while reading up on the refitting of his former starship the USS Enterprise, Rear Admiral James T. Kirk received a handwritten letter from retired Doctor Leonard McCoy, who had taken Kirk's advice to get out of the house and joined the Frontier Medics Program. McCoy had been traveling with fellow doctor Jon Duncan aboard an ancient ship he'd christened Joanna, and spent several weeks helping the sick and injured out on the frontier. On their last stop, they picked up a stowaway, Theela, a privileged young Andorian woman looking for adventure. Before McCoy could turn back, they were forced to respond to a distress call from Ophiucus III. He locked Theela in a cabin.

At the colony, they learned that a plague had spread from workers at the perimeter fence, a massive retaining wall shutting out vegetation which covered the rest of the planet. Flying over the fence in skimmers, they rescued workers spraying defoliant on walking Jampala Trees, which had smashed through the fence. When the doctors returned, they found all of the colonists infected.

Symptoms began advancing more rapidly. Recalling the origins of the Irish Potato Famine on Earth, McCoy had an inspiration and confirmed that the infecting organisms were genetically identical. The planet was actually covered by one huge megaplant, not diverse species, just as the potatoes in Ireland were essentially the same plant because they'd all been spliced from one potato. The megaplant was defending itself from human incursion.

As McCoy and Duncan saw fungal growths begin to cover their bodies — the final symptom of the disease — Theela escaped from her cabin and confronted McCoy at gunpoint. But he was in no mood for her. He knocked her weapon aside and directed her to help him make an antidote. Since the affliction would only target humans, she was immune. She obeyed, quickly learning what needed to be done and coming to enjoy the work. She followed McCoy's instructions and produced a cure. Later, when she asked McCoy if she could remain with them, he allowed it, reluctantly.



CruzJon Mikael DuncanJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyTheelaLars VandernetChen Wa VandernetBen Wilkesunnamed Starfleet personnel
Referenced only
Harry Mudd

Starships and vehicles

Referenced only
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Earth (San FranciscoStarfleet Headquarters) • Omicron Testus IVOphiucus III
Referenced only
Earth (GeorgiaMississippi RiverIreland) • Starbase 23

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Colonial ControlFrontier Medics ProgramHouse TrelahnPolagirus Trading CommuneStarfleetStarfleet SecurityUnited Federation of Planets

Science and technology

airlockartificial gravitybiobedbiochemistrybotanyrocketcomputerdaggerhologramhyposprayphaserphaser rifleq'ss'lvav'ascannerseat belttransportertricorderwarp drivewarp field

Ranks and titles

admiralcolonistcolony supervisordoctorlieutenantnursepilotprime ministerservantstowaway

Other references

19th centuryacreagricultureanimalatmospherebeambirdbloodcolonycourierFederation lawfungusGreat Bird of the Galaxyharan toporhourJampala Treekilometerlifeformmedical schoolmegaplantmeterminutemonthmoonorganismplanetpotatoIrish Potato FaminequartersSaurian brandySymbalene blood burnvegetationwarp fouryear



Published Order
Previous story:
First issue in the series
TOS comics
Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor
Next story:
Previous story:
Schism, Issue 3
Romulans: Schism
Stories by:
John Byrne
Next story:
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Sorrows of Empire
Chapters 12-14
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:

Production history

14 April 2010
First published by IDW Publishing.
9 October 2010
Reprinted by IDW Publishing in the Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor miniseries omnibus.
4 June 2013
Reprinted in hardcover in The John Byrne Collection omnibus.
29 December 2015
Reprinted in paperback in The John Byrne Collection omnibus.
September 2016
Reprinted in Humble Bundle special New Visions comic "More of the Serpent Than the Dove".
3 January 2019
Reprinted in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #53 by Eaglemoss.



  • This issue was released in four covers, all by John Byrne. The two primary covers were available equally. The third cover, an uncolored version of the B cover, was available as a retail incentive. The fourth cover, which featured the B cover art from all four issues of the miniseries, was released exclusively at the Diamond Retailer Summit at the 2010 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.


Related stories


Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor stories and publications
#1: "Weeds" • #2: "Error" • #3: "Medics" • #4: "Hosts" & "Scalpel"

External link