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…Well, okay, perhaps that quote from Star Wars Episode IV: Remember When There Was Just the One Movie is overstating things a bit, but it was kind of odd to have my former boss Ralph from the previous place of employment come to my shop and fill in for me for most of this Thursday. Yes, I was my old boss’s boss for part of a day, and yes, that seemed strange. But it was quite nice of him to step in, as I was attending funeral services for my girlfriend’s mother at that time. He reported that there were more than a few shocked faces after walking into my store that day and seeing him behind the counter…some folks hadn’t seen Ralph in years got to catch up with him again! (And he’s still selling comics, but just doesn’t own a store, so it’s not like I handed the keys over to a competing shop or anything.) (Or did I? Dun-dun-DUNNNN.)
Anyway, I’ve had a long Thursday, and a long week in general, I’m pretty wiped out, so I’m putting a cap on this week here at Progressive Ruin Industries. I’ll let the batteries refresh over the weekend and I’ll be back in fightin’ trim on Monday.
Though, just so there’s some actual Star Warsian content to justify the title of this post, there’s a couple of things that came up on Twitter last night that I’d been thinking about for a while, and wanted to pose to you folks.
1. It seems like (to me anyway) it’s only a matter of time before Marvel starts mixing the Star Wars license with the regular Marvel Universe. I mean, beyond special variant covers…I’m talking actual comic book stories like Super-Villain Team-up with Darth Vader and Magneto or a Vision/R2D2 crossover or something. How likely do you think that’ll happen?
2. I believe that within my lifetime, I will see an official Star Wars/Star Trek crossover of some sort…probably in the comics, maybe in a novel, almost certainly not in live action. Now, with Disney having dumped four billion smackers into the franchise, there’s almost certainly no need for Star Wars to “team up” with anything, as the films don’t need any sort of gimmicky sales boost, beyond the gimmicky sales boost of being a Star Wars movie. But I think all it takes is one or two or a half-dozen box office crashing turkeys to drive either property to such desperate measures. Star Trek certainly hasn’t been shy about crossing over with other company’s properties, so it feels like that side of the deal wouldn’t say “no.” Think this will happen? In my lifetime? In any of our lifetimes? In the far-flung fuuuuuture?
So my pal Bully, the little bull stuffed with lovin’, is a bit down in the dumps at the moment, and he can use a little support. I posted that above image, made long ago and posted on this site before, to my Twitter account (with a link to Bully’s account), and have been asking people to retweet it. Hopefully, when Bully peeks in on his own Twitter feed, he’ll see all the support he’s been getting there. If you’ve got a Twitter account and can retweet that tweet, please do. You can “like” it, too, but definitely retweet so it gets around. Thanks!
• • •
In other news…this is a hell of thing:
Life goes on, and this weekend life brought me a whole lotta boxes of old Star Wars and (to a much lesser extent) Star Trek goodies…boxes shown here:
Mostly unopened action figures, with some other related items, like that Vanity Fair with the — Star Wars cover, I think? — peeking out the translucent plastic , there. And there are some TV Guides, with multiple covers for one issue featuring lenticular images of the Star Wars cast…can’t remember ever seeing those particular Guides before. Anyway, I’ll have plenty to look at and almost certainly post here once I figure out a strategy of how I’m going to deal with all these items. I mean, aside from keeping all the droid toys for myself. Oh, man, if there’s an intact Droid Factory playset in here, I’m closing for the day and just building droids ’til the wee hours.
Of course, the real trick here is determining prices, since it’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with Star Wars/Trek figures, with not much of an idea of the secondary market on some of these things. I have vague memories of there being some collector demand for certain figures with particular part/run numbers and so on, but I can see that driving me crazy in short order. But that’s just a matter of research…and frankly, both I and the person I’m selling these for are more interested in moving the majority of them out for bargain prices rather than trying to sell that one special Ugnaught w/Variant Purple Speckled Overalls for an extra dollar or two on eBay. But the plan is that some will go on eBay, most will go in the store for relatively inexpensive prices, what with the Christmas holiday coming up…though I’m not sure how many kids are going to want to find a Phantom Menace Ric Olié action figure under the tree, regardless if it’s the “closed-hand variant” or not.
And then there’s the problem of me wanting any of these for myself. For the most part I’ve been pretty good about not buying toys for myself (aside for those toys of a Swamp Thing-ish persuasion, of course) but the little droid figures are just so appealing to me. If I’d had my wits about me as a young Mikester, I could have restricted myself to just buying the droid figures from the Star Wars line all this time and amassed a tiny robot army. Alas, I can only collect so much, what with the comic books, buttons, and glow-in-the-dark novelty socks I’m already gathering. Despite all that, I bet I’ll probably keep something out of these boxes. I’m weak, I can’t help myself.
One thing I probably won’t be keeping is that sealed package of promotional Star Trek: Voyager popcorn, pictured above. From what I understand, while unpopped kernels can last indefinitely if stored in an airtight container and kept cool and dry, kernels in a microwave package can go bad relatively quickly. Don’t eat these at home, kids! I’m wondering if I can get away with selling this on the eBay as long as I put a bit warning in the listing: DO NOT POP OR CONSUME – BAG IT UP, PUT IT WITH YOUR OTHER STAR TREK STUFF. …Actually, between typing that last sentence and typing this one, I did check the eBays and found a couple packs of these for sale there, between $10 and $27. Guess I’ll be throwing my hat into the highly competitive Promotional Popcorn Packaging arena.
• • •
Blogging pal Tim continues his series of essays with this latest installment, “Someday We Will All Be Free
.” Maybe contribute to his Patreon
. (ooh and maybe mine, too
Star Trek: The Next Generation, despite being set long after the adventures of the original Enterprise’s crew in the Star Trek TV series and movies, established in the very first episode that at least one of those characters, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, was still around. And then, a few years later, Spock pops up in a couple of Next Gen episodes, and then Scotty joins the Next Gen party his own self eventually.
There were some novels bringing bringing together the Original Series characters in the Next Generation context…1995’s Crossover, and some of the “Shatnerverse” novels by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. I believe the earliest storytelling endeavor to put Old Spock and Old McCoy face-to-face (leaving out Old-ish Scotty, since his return was still a year in the future) was the Star Trek The Next Generation: The Modala Imperative mini-series from DC Comics in 1991. This series itself was part of the 25th anniversary celebratory crossover with Classic Trek, in that tied in directly to the previous Star Trek: The Modala Imperative mini.
Looking at the timing, it seems that Spock’s appearance in this Next Gen comic series (released in the summer of 1991 or thereabouts) actually predates his return in the Next Generation TV episodes (original airdate of November 1991), which is interesting. Of course, given the long lifespans of Vulcans, he would be the most, ahem, logical choice of the original cast to also appear in the Enterprise-D’s time.
Anyway, here are Spock and McCoy, reunited at last in the pages of issue #2 of the second Modala series:
Ah, if only we could have had this happen in live action.
• • •
Another loss to the Star Trek family this week was producer Harve Bennett
, who helped revitalize the film franchise with his involvement beginning with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
. So long, Harve.
from Star Trek The Next Generation: The Modala Imperative #2 (August 1991) by Peter David and Pablo Marcos
from Star Trek #37 (April 1987) by Len Wein, Curt Swan and Pablo Marcos
So the weird thing about this particular Star Trek series, the first from DC Comics:
…was that, coming only about a year and some months after 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
, it was missing one of the primary elements of the franchise. Given that our favorite Vulcan sacrificed his life to save the Enterprise in said film, the comics were going to have to be Spockless for at least a little while.
The loss was addressed in that first issue, as our Spock stand-in Saavik gets an undue amount of grief from Kirk, as Dr. McCoy points out here:
One of the elements of this series I found interesting (and one that also came into play with Marvel’s Star Wars
, especially when it had to go without Han Solo for a while) was how they had to deal with running-in-place between films. The comics were clearly intended to fit within the continuity of the films, and had to react to them or set things up accordingly.
After recovering Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (SPOILER: they find him), the film ends with a slightly addled Spock who seems to be just on the cusp of recovering his former mental state. Of course, the comics aren’t going to tread water for three years waiting for whatever’s going to happen to Spock in the next film with some extended Vulcan version of Being There. Instead, during a long, and actually pretty good, Mirror Universe story (back when those were rare things) our not-yet-recovered Spock encounters the “evil” goateed Spock:
…an interaction that results in having a functional Spock in the comic book series for the next couple of years.
Well, at least until just before Star Trek IV: Free Willy is about to be unleashed, where it’s clear that the film picks up pretty much right where the previous one left off, with no consideration at all given to the fact that between then and “now” Spock was out having adventures with a yellow bird man. Nope, IV was going to feature a Spock still recovering from his “death,” and thus in the comics he had to be knocked back to square one in order to match up continuity-wise with the films. I mean, literally in the comic he’s explicitly described as being back at square one:
“It’s like some kind of…cosmic reset button was pressed, Jim…I don’t understand it!”
Anyway, after IV wrapped up the three film arc that began in Wrath of Khan, the comics may have had an easier time of it by not having to bookend their storylines with putting all the pieces in place to match movie continuity. But at the same time, in a weird sort of way, by not having to directly tie into the films, the comics seemed to lose a little something, some sense of “essentialness” to the franchise as a whole. Okay, not like any of this is essential by any means, but there was a loss of connection to the larger picture that I missed having during those first five or so years of DC’s Star Trek series…a connection that I haven’t really felt in any franchise’s comic book tie-in since.
images from Star Trek #1 (February 1984) – cover by George Perez, interiors by Mike W. Barr, Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran; Star Trek #11 (February 1985) by Barr, Sutton and Villagran; Star Trek #36 (March 1987) by Len Wein and Gray Morrow
Yes, I’ve posted this pic from that 1977 All About Star Trek Fan Clubs
, but, you know, it’s been nine years, and I’m thinkin’ now is the right time to appreciate it again.
So long, Leonard, and thanks for everything.
from Peter Pan Book & Record Set #PR-45 (1979)
from Peter Pan Book & Record Set #PR-45 (1979)
…so here’s a picture of the Enterprise crew fighting a googly-eyed dinosaur (identified as a “tyrannosaurus” later in the story) with an inset pic of Badly-Rendered Kirk reciting the TV show’s intro:
What if Kirk recited that every day at the beginning of his bridge shift? That would be weird.
from Peter Pan Book & Record Set #PR-45 (1979)
Over the years I’d seen plenty of the late ’70s Dynabrite comics, but mostly just the Disney ones. What’s nice about these Dynabrite comics is that they’re reprints of selected stories on nice white paper, with good printing, under thick covers. They’re sort of proto-trade paperbacks collections, staple-bound and inexpensive.
I’ve never seen the 1978 Star Trek Dynabrite reprints, collecting stories from the Gold Key series. At least, not until they showed up in a collection the other day:
Captain Kirk says “shop around, maybe you’ll find this comic for less than cover price!”
Actually, $0.69 wasn’t too bad for what you got. Comics were about 35 to 40 cents or thereabouts for the typical 32-page format (with about 20 or so pages of comics, more or less). The Dynabrite format was 48 pages, no ads, and white pages:
And if you were really lucky, you got a shot of Montgomery Scott with devil horns and breathing fire:
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