FW Presents: Find Your Joy – DC Comics’ Star Trek

Shag and Rob find their joy on Siskoid’s side of the galaxy by boldly going through the first four issues of DC Comics’ 1980s STAR TREK series! Issues written by Mike W. Barr, with interior art by Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran, and covers by George Perez! The human (comic book) adventure is just beginning.

Join the conversation and find more great content:

Subscribe to the FW PRESENTS:

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades. This week’s selections:

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK:

Thanks for listening! Live Long and Prosper!

26 responses to “FW Presents: Find Your Joy – DC Comics’ Star Trek

  1. I’m a huge fan of the Star Trek Comics. In fact, It and V (The TV series comic) were the only DC Comics I was reading during my great hiatus away from Superhero Comics.
    I think the humor of the comic and the interplay between the characters helped prime me for Justice League International. Certainly Bearclaw was a prototype for Guy Gardner. (Although I think he was based on Lt. Stiles from Balance of Terror)
    To Shag’s question about the v-neck uniforms worn by the ensigns, This was not a Uniform style in the actual series. But Starfleet Cadets did have a different “Jumpsuit” uniform from the standard officer’s uniform.

    1. I meant the movie series…. The best example is the young cadet who sits at the weapons console both during the Kobayashi Maru test and later, during Khan’s attack. You see him right when Kirk is asking if Scott can give phaser power.

  2. Greetings!

    What a great episode! A few notes:
    George Takei noted in his autobiography – a book Rob heard between listenings of DW Washburn – that a scene was shot for TWoK wherein Kirk congratulates Sulu on his appointment as captain of the Excelsior. Takei said Shatner intentionally blew every take of the scene so it couldn’t be used.

    The cover of the first issue – yes, I agree with Rob. Those heads do look a little big for their bodies.

    As to reconciling Saavik – yes, I can picture this as the Kirstie Alley version. Robin Curtis was a good actress? Too. But it if it helps, picture Laura Gemser in the role! Speaking of, when is that Gemser show coming out?

    Whenever Rob chuckles he sounds just like Yoda – which is strange because his Kermit imitation is awful.

    All the best,

    1. Well Yoda was done by Frank Oz (the same guy who did Piggy and Fozzy) Kermit was done by Henson himself. so Rob doing better at Frank’s voices than Jim’s may not be so bad.

    2. As the network’s resident Frank Welker (not my designation, but just going by what others have said), I thought Rob’s Kermit was fantastic. I’m still listening now, and even if the rest of the episode was some kind of audio snafu with an hour of static, that “Rainbow Connection” riff was worth it!


    3. Instead of Saavik, I would rather see Laura running around the Enterprise in the black boots and little red dress of TOS!

  3. This was fun. That’s awesome Shag’s dad was in charge of syndication. I grew up on syndicated tv and black & white reruns. George Perez was one of the best, and he was genuinely nice at conventions, where I’d talk to him all tongue-tied. Dammit Ensign I’m a doctor, not a danish!

  4. Excellent listen. I DID pick these up at the time which may be WHY it’s my favourite comics version of Trek in comics. Afterwards, Roddenberry’s assistant, Richard Arnold, started laying down silly edicts that restricted the storytelling and caused Peter David to quit the book. The DC series did have the edge over Marvel in that DC had the rights to EVERYTHING whereas Marvel only had the rights to the Motion Picture.

    The ship being able to separate its saucer goes way back but was something they couldn’t afford to do in the ’60s and Sulu having (and losing) command of the Excelsior was a subplot in Vonda McIntyre’s novel for the 2nd and 3rd film. Remember, even the holodeck appeared in the animated series first so TNG was just dusting off old ideas in many ways.

    I think these stories taking place in the then present day is what made them so memorable. Nowadays, EVERYTHING takes place in the 5 year mission but this was an unexplored timeline, Sure, after the fact its hard to reconcile them with the films but at the time, they flowed seamlessly into the movies and as such, as far as I’m concerned, they happened!

    There are some great stories in this run such as the 20th Anniversary special by Len Wein and the Annuals which are some of the best Trek conics ever done.

    Anyway, excellent work. Find Your Joy is consistently entertaining and enjoyable. Long may it continue.

    1. There is a letter from a guy named Richard Arnold in issue #3 who hated the first issue. He’s complaining about the lack of a “more-or-less consistent universe.” I wonder if he immediately set off for Hollywood to “fix” these problems…

      1. That’s fascinating. I thought Barr nailed the “more or less consistent universe” of Trek at the time so I’m going to have to dig out #3 and read that letter. If what Peter David said is even half true, it’ll probably be nit-picky fanboy whining.

        1. I did some more digging (okay… google stalking). According to Memory Alpha, the famous Richard Arnold is from Canada and was already working as a tour guide at Paramount when this comic came out. (They have a picture of him as an extra in the TMP Rec Deck scene.) The letter-writing Richard Arnold lists a Colorado address.

      2. I met Richard Arnold a few times at UK Star Trek cons in the late 80’s. Not surprised that he was out to control the comic books as he had built himself a nice little niche as Star Trek consultant.

  5. In the blueprints done by Franz Joseph of the Enterprise in 1973 it states
    “the primary hull is separable from the secondary hull. When separated each unit is fully capable of independent operation.”

  6. Great episode. It’s always nice to hear Rob and Shag talk some Star Trek. This is a series I owned at one point with every intention of reading but never got around to it and eventually they got sold off. Sounds like it was my loss, but I am sure there are trades of this stuff available.

    It’s always interesting when a writer has to deal with a licensed property that is in the midst of a major storyline. Rob mentioned Star Wars and I think it’s fair to say that most of the writers of both Trek and Wars did some cool stuff between movies. It probably was frustrating for the writers, but sometimes pressure makes diamonds and you get some cool comics out of it.

    Again, great episode. I’ve known of Shag’s love of Trek for years, but it’s cool to hear Rob get to geek out about his love of Trek as well.

  7. Fun show, guys.

    I didn’t buy this run either. I don’t think I was buying any licensed comics at the time. Weird, since I was a Star Trek fan. A friend bought me one of Len Wein’s issues at a flea market, so I picked up the rest of his run. I’m kind of hot-and-cold on Barr. On other titles, he wrote some great stories and some I despise, but I may give that Mirror Universe storyline a shot. Mirror, Mirror is one of my favorite episodes.

    As for the Gold Key comics, I bought the hardcover reprints. They aren’t good Star Trek but the early issues are fascinating and entertaining in a Spock’s Brain/Way to Eden kind-of-way. It is fun to see what the comics’ creative team came up with when they hadn’t seen the show and only had a few still photos for reference. Some of Len Wein’s earliest published stories are for Gold Key’s Star Trek, and his issues range from good to very good. He was obviously a fan of the show.

  8. I absolutely LOVE Volume 1 of DC Star Trek. I got into it after Star Trek 4 (with issue 37) but when I went back and read the earlier issues I thought that it was brilliant how it fit between the movies. If you watch the movies without the comics, it’s perfectly fine and you aren’t missing anything, but if you read the comics between the movies it also works really well. Once Mike Carlin comes on board, the revisiting of the original series gets ramped up to 11, and we see that not all of Kirk’s decisions turned out well (see issues 43-45).

    A few other points that I thought of while listening:

    1. The TWOK Away Jackets, believe it or not, are NOT commercially available. My friend Ed Tunis (aka “The Captain” on “Tales of the Seventh Fleet”) had one custom made, and we used it in the episode “A Touch of Home”. Considering just how intricate the design is, I can see why it wouldn’t be a viable product. It would be much too expensive.

    2. Yes, I like Bearclaw (and, no, I don’t mean the desert, Rob). As we saw with Kirk in Star Trek 6 and Lieutenant Stiles in “Balance of Terror”, there is some racism left in the 23rd century. It is not tolerated, but it is there. When we were creating TotSF, one of the things that I came up with was that my character would be racist against Klingons, and that would be something that would eventually be addressed. The reason behind this was that he grew up on Sherman’s Planet and the direct competition with the Klingons bred a lot of resentment. Bearclaw, similarly, has that outlook and his journey butting heads with Bryce, Konom, and Kirk is great reading.

    3. This series, along with the expanded universe novels, is probably what turned me from a casual fan into a fairly obsessed one. Reading books like “Strangers From The Sky”, “Prime Directive”, and “The Rift” drove me to fine the Franz Joseph and “Mister Scott’s Guide” technical manuals (both of which show that the saucer is able to detach, but only as a “life boat” and would need to be reattached at a star base, if possible).

    I’d love to hear you guys go further into this series, even beyond the Mirror Universe stuff. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

  9. Great show guys! I really enjoyed this Star Trek series, although my collection is spotty. My usual comic haunt, Eastside Pharmacy, rarely got the book, but my Mom would pick them up for me from the Begley’s drugstore in the shopping center where she also worked. The art wasn’t always my cup of tea, but I didn’t care, it was Star Trek, and when there wasn’t a new movie, or TOS reruns had cycled off the local syndication channel, it was my only fix!


  10. Excellent, excellent show. These are absolutely my favourite Star Trek comics and this run is a classic. Thanks for another great episode.

  11. If it helps, Memory Alpha says that the Excalbians have never been identified by name on screen (the name apparently isn’t even from the *script* for The Savage Curtain, although I gather that the planet did get named), so it’s more than a little understandable that you’d have difficulty figuring out how it should be pronounced. Full disclosure: I’ve always used “ex-ca-LAY-bee-uhns,” never realizing until now that there’s no “a” between the “l” and the “b” in the name!

    This DC run is, IMHO, the best run of comic Trek out there, although the first dozen or so issues of the 2nd DC run (once again penned by Peter David… who closed out the first run) is another strong contender (oh, and issue #19 of the second run is one of my all-time favorites!). I only place that later run second because I don’t think the whole of that run was as strong as this run, taken as a whole. There’s a DVD-ROM out there, probably more than a decade old now, that collects nearly *all* Star Trek comics up to that point in time as PDFs, that’s very much worth your time if you can track one down.

    Thanks for taking the time to rediscover these and share your joy with us.

  12. I’ve never been able to give a care about Star Trek expanded universe stuff (although I definitely bought one of the Trek Who’s Whos and the Voyage Home adaptation) but I enjoyed this episode as a one-off.

  13. Holy smokes this was so much fun to listen to this episode. My only exposure to Star Trek comics were the Star Trek motion picture movie comic (based on). It was sooooooo boring! Maybe Rob as a kid remembered those issues and saw the DC Comics version and shunned it.

    Please continue with more episodes of this!

  14. Rob, I’m with you… I have a big run of the 1980 Marvel comics and a big run of the 1989 DC run, but where in the world was I during the 1984 DC run?!? I’m not sure I realized it existed until you did this show. And it sounds like I need to hunt them down…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *