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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Khan (Part 1) "Khan" Part 1
Star Trek: Khan #1
Written by: Mike Johnson
Story Consultant: Robert Orci
Pencils and Inks (present day): David Messina
Pencils (flashback): Claudia Balboni
Cover by: Paul Shipper
October 2013


The Federation trial of Khan begins!


Read the story summary at Memory Beta


Notes from the Star Trek Chronology


This issue is stated to open on stardate 2259.246. Yet, it takes place after most of the events seen in Into Darkness, which begins at stardate 2259.55! As usual with the IDW stories, the stardate is off. Better to think of it as stardate 2259.646, maybe.


This mini-series takes place near the end of Into Darkness.


Didja Know?


Star Trek: Khan was a 5-issue mini-series published by IDW. Within the framework of the Federation trial of Khan, the former dictator tells the story of his youth and rise to power. It differs from a previously published interpretation of his past as told in volumes One and Two of The Eugenics Wars, novels published by Pocket Books.


The main covers of all five issues of this series were by Paul Shipper, in a style that seems inspired by that of Drew Struzan, well known for his many movie posters, including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Even Shipper's signature is similar.


Didja Notice?


As the Federation trial of Khan is called to order on page 1, the judicial council appears to be made up of three humans, one Vulcan, and one Andorian.


The lead prosecutor of the case against Khan is Samuel T. Cogley, who appeared in the original timeline in the ST-TOS episode "Court Martial", where he defended Kirk in court when he was accused of the murder of Lieutenant Commander Ben Finney. The depiction of Cogley in this mini-series is based on the countenance of actor Elisha Cook, Jr., who portrayed him in that episode.


On page 3, Kirk remarks that Starfleet has begun a comprehensive effort to eliminate all elements of Section 31. We will see in "After Darkness" Part 1 that they have not been entirely successful.


On page 3, panel 2, Kirk reveals a holoimage of Khan as he looked in the late 21st Century, stating that the current claimant to the identity of Khan looks nothing like the original. The holoimage presents a figure very close to that of the late actor Ricardo Montalbán, who portrayed Khan in the ST-TOS episode "Space Seed" and the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The outfit worn by Khan in the holoimage is one seen in a 20th Century photo of him from "Space Seed".


When one of Dr. Heisen's investors refers to his plans to breed genetically perfect humans as "eugenics", Heisen disagrees, calling it "An ugly word from an ugly time, thankfully behind us." The term was coined by English polymath Francis Galton (1822-1911) in the latter half of the 19th Century, to describe the process of perfecting the genetic quality of Homo sapiens. Some followers of the philosophy advocated the castration, sterilization, or euthanasia of "undesirables" to prevent contamination of the human gene pool, most notably Nazi Germany from 1933-1945.


Young Khan's ability to heal from a fatal wound, due to the re-sequencing of his DNA performed by Dr. Heisen's project, serves to set up his blood's ability to bring the dead Kirk back to life in Into Darkness.


On page 18, Dr. Heisen remarks, in regards to Khan, "...superior ability breeds superior ambition." This phrase was attributed by Spock to one of Khan's creators in "Space Seed".


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