Wednesday, June 22, 2011

STAR TREK (1979-80) Marvel Comics Cover Gallery - Part 1

Bob Larkin
Steve Leialoha

Dave Cockrum/Klaus Janson
Bob Wiacek
Dave Cockrum/Klaus Janson
Frank Miller/Klaus Janson
Dave Cockrum/Klaus Janson
With the release of Star Trek - The Motion Picture, Marvel Comics got their hands on the license to produce Trek comics. Their agreement with Paramount only allowed them to use elements that appeared in the first movie (or so they believed), so there were no overt references to events or incidental characters from the original television series.

After the three-issue movie adaptation (also sold as a collected edition in the Marvel Super Special magazine format), they moved onto original adventures.  The artist of the first few issues, Dave Cockrum, was a big Trek fan, and managed a pretty fair job of rendering the familiar cast and settings in a "Marvel" manner, although later artists weren't quite as successful at finding the right balance between appropriately Star Trek-like storytelling and the company's standard super-hero aesthetic.

Here's a gallery of the covers to the first six issues, plus Bob Larkin's cover to Marvel Super Special #15. I'll post the remaining covers soon.


  1. I had a few issues of the DC version in the mid-80's, but I didn't know that these older Marvel comics existed.

  2. These Marvel Super Specials weren't widely available the UK. A shame because Marvel's movie adaptations were usually pretty good, particularly Star Trek TMP and Blade Runner. We tended to get them in some other form. The Star Trek TMP adaptation came out as a paperback I seem to recall. Not the ideal format

  3. The late David Cockrum was also an avid sci-fi model builder.He was involved with doing work with the Aurora Model company on a proposed series of new science fiction kits that sadly never got produced.He did several articles for the short lived model magazine produced by Starlog called Fantasy Modelling in the early 80's.

  4. I really enjoyed the cover to the Super Special (only one of two I ever bought, the other was Empire Strikes Back). The V'ger portion almost looks like a photo on this image, and the whole overall look resembles the first cover of Bantam's Star Trek, the adaptations written by James Blish (unnumbered in early editions, but the first collection of stories).

    I still have a number of the 18-issue run from Marvel. Very mixed bag, like the original show's third season.

    The covers of 2 (especially the lighting effect from the energy bolt) and 3 were excellent (although the saucer of my favorite ship wasn't quite wide enough...too bad they didn't tilt the cover 90 degrees!). I liked 4, although it always made me laugh (both for Spock's comment, and Man-Thing's cousin), and the horror creatures were interesting (but why was the crew running around like scared kids? Were they horror fans, or did they actively believe in what they saw?).

    On 5, Uhura's pose is awkward, but the girl's pose is absolutely awesome, and this is one of my all-time favorite comic covers, from any series: the girl really looks like she is getting hit by the blast of the phaser. Six had the most intriguing cover of these first stories, and inside was best story of what you have posted to this point: The Enterprise Murder Mystery, I think it was called. And The Next Generation actually ripped off this entire plot for an episode!

    Great memories, thanks!

    Gordon Long

  5. I loved the cover of the Super Special as it was inded a riff on the famous James Bama promotional art for NBC ( which was used as the cover art for the first of James Blish's episode adaptations ).

    Everything is designed to corespond with an element of Bama's original art. So good ( with the exception of using a reversed photo of Shatner as a reference for his likeness )they should have marketed a poster of it


  6. I especially liked #6 because of the murder mystery aspect of it. These first few post-adaptation issues weren't bad, but Marvel couldn't keep up the consistency.