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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Operation Annihilate (Part 1) "Operation Annihilate" Part 1
Star Trek #5
Writer: Mike Johnson
Based on the original teleplay by Oliver Crawford and Steven W. Carabatsos
Artist: Joe Corroney
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
January 2012


The Enterprise is sent to investigate the loss of communication with Deneva colony and discovers a spread of insanity from world to world across centuries.


Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Beta


Didja Know?


This two-part story is based on the televised episode of the same name from the original Star Trek TV series.


Didja Notice?  


Pages 1-3 take place on the same day young James Kirk drove his stepfather's Corvette off a cliff in "Parallels".


On page 2, panel 1, several holograms of historical flying vehicles are displayed from an emitter on the ceiling of young James' room. They appear to be:
  • the Spirit of St. Louis, the plane in which Charles Lindbergh flew the first nonstop flight from New York, USA to Paris, France in 1927
  • the Apollo 11 lander from the first manned landing on the moon in 1969
  • one of the U.S. space shuttles from the 20th Century, probably either the Enterprise, which was only a test vehicle for atmospheric flights and not space-worthy, or the Columbia, the first shuttle to go into space
  • the Enterprise NX-01, the first United Earth starship, commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer from 2150-2161 and was the ship featured in the 2001-2005 TV series Star Trek: Enterprise.


On page 2, young James remarks to his mother that his brother George went to live with their grandfather.


Also on page 2, Winona Kirk remarks that Frank is her big brother, not her second husband as previously depicted in deleted scenes from the Star Trek movie and the novelization thereof (see "Parallels"). This makes Frank James' uncle, not stepfather. This interpretation does lend itself to imagining Winona Kirk as a somewhat stronger character rather than someone who would marry a man like Frank, who seems to be verbally abusive to her sons, after she'd been married to a heroic Starfleet officer like George Kirk.


Unlike in the original episode, Kirk does not seem to be aware that his brother and his family are living on Deneva.


The landing party that beams down to Deneva is a bit different than the one in the original episode. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Zahra are the same. Scotty is not included here as he was in the episode and officer Bobby Abrams is replaced here by Edwards.


The faces and clothing of the Deneva inhabitants who attack the landing party are significantly different here from the ones in the episode. In addition, the infected men here repeat only the word "Intruders!" to the landing party over and over. In the episode, the men are actually trying to raucously warn the Enterprise crewmembers away.


On page 10, panel 5, the face of the person speaking to Dr. McCoy is obscured, but it would seem to be Kirk since he refers to the doctor as Bones. But the figure's shirt is colored blue instead of gold! His shirt is also colored blue on page 13, panel 2.


After the landing party is attacked by several of the Deneva colonists, the party stuns them with phasers. Scanning the unconscious bodies with his tricorder, McCoy finds their autonomic activity suggests they're being violently stimulated. "Autonomic activity" is a reference to the autonomic nervous system of the human body, that which controls involuntary functions such as heart rate, respiration, digestion, etc. 


The creatures seen here look a bit different than the ones seen in the original episode.


In the original episode, one of the parasites attaches itself to Spock's back and infects him before Kirk rips it off. In the comic book, a parasite latches onto Spock's face and then completely engulfs his head with its almost protoplasmic body. Possibly the writer and artist wanted to go for a more Alien facehugger feel for this story.


On page 17, panel 3, Kirk appears to be tapping the Starfleet badge on his shirt in an attempt to contact the Enterprise, instead of using his handheld communicator. In the era of ST-TNG, Starfleet did have communicators built into the badges, but this is the first we've seen it in the 23rd Century era of Starfleet. 


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