Thursday, 20 September 2012

1981: STAR TREK SUMMER SPECIAL (Marvel UK)


This is the other one (of two) STAR TREK one-shot specials published by Marvel UK in the early 1980s.

It reprints two supernatually-themed US tales (originally published in issues 11 and 12) along with several pages of Star Fleet uniform designs (originally from US issue 10). The cover originally adorned US issue 12.

I've struggled a bit to date this one.  The copyright inside is 1979 but that's clearly not correct (M-UK published their first ever Summer Specials that year and Trek definitely wasn't one of them.  Indeed, these reprints didn't even hit US shelves until late 1980/ early 1981).  Presumably 1979 refers to the year that Marvel acquired the license.  THE (online) COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE FOR GREAT BRITAIN says 1979, presumably based on this date.

There's no other date reference inside.  Nor is there any house ad for Marvel's other specials that season to give any clues.

Other online resources say this appeared in Summer 1982.  I don't think that's right either.  It doesn't appear in M-UK's House Ad for that summer's extra offerings.  And, they all sold for 55p whilst this has a cover price of 45p.

So I think this appeared in the Summer of 1981!  Does anyone know better?

I LOVE a mystery!

If that date is right, M-UK were also running Trek weekly (monthly from the August dated issue) in the pages of FUTURE TENSE but there's no attempt to link the two titles... or even cross-promote the chance to follow further adventures of Kirk and co.  This shows a remarkable lack of commercial savvy on Marvel's part.  No wonder FT was gone by the beginning of 1982.

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