Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 1
Original Air Date: September 15, 1967
|via Memory Alpha
Compelled by biological urges, Spock must return to Vulcan for his marriage to a bride arranged for him as a child, T'Pring. T'Pring demands that he win her in a challenge. Surprisingly, she picks Kirk as the opponent. Kirk agrees, figuring he can throw the match, only to discover that it is a fight to the death. With Dr. McCoy's help, he is able to fake his own death well enough to fool even Spock. A grieving Spock frees T'Pring to be with the mate she truly loves and returns to the ship prepared to face the consequences of his actions. The surprising appearance of Kirk alive and well inspires a rare joyful display from our favorite Vulcan.
|Davy via 30 Days Out
|via Memory Alpha
There were many advantages in telling a science fiction story in comic book form rather than television in the 1960s - no need for special effects. If you could draw it, it could happen. People turning into trees? No problem. However, it is abundantly clear that neither writer nor artist was especially familiar with the source material apart from character names and basic appearances. For instance, the crew are exploring "Galaxy Alpha" rather than our own. Transporting is referred to as "teleportation" - probably a more accurate description but that's beside the point.
More important than the nomenclature though was the very different character of the mission's approach to exploration. In the comic book, the crew take a more Flash Gordonesque attitude toward encounters with alien beings: "They are different and they must be trying to kill us. We must kill them first." Most disturbing is the Captain's decision to destroy the planet in order to prevent its plant spores from infecting worlds. That wouldn't jive with the Prime Directive at all.
It is interesting to note, though, that the Captain faced a very similar prospect in the last episode of the first season. A parasite was destroying one world after another and the opportunity came to stop it in its tracks, but at the cost of the lives of millions. It was not a happy choice but it was considered. The comic book Captain, on the other hand, barely flinched in the decision.