"Weeds" was the first issue of Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor, a four-issue Star Trek: The Original Series 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[edit | edit source]

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!

Summary[edit | edit source]

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 Mikael 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.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

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

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

aircarsgroundcarsJoannaskimmers
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Locations[edit | edit source]

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

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]

AndorianHuman

States and organizations[edit | edit source]

Colonial ControlFrontier Medics ProgramHouse TrelahnPolagirus Trading CommuneStarfleetStarfleet SecurityUnited Federation of Planets

Science and technology[edit | edit source]

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

Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]

admiralcolonistcolony supervisordoctorlieutenantnursepilotprime ministerservantstowaway

Other references[edit | edit source]

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

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Chronology[edit | edit source]

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

Production history[edit | edit source]

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 1996 
Reprinted in Humble Bundle special New Visions comic "More of the Serpent Than the Dove".
6 December 2018 
Reprinted in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #53 by Eaglemoss.

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

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

External link[edit | edit source]

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