In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, find out just how close the Gold Key Star Trek comics came to making a sequel starring Khan.
Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is issue eight hundred and sixty-six where we examine three comic legends and determine if they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three Legends.
Len Wein Tried To Write A “Space Seed” Sequel With Khan On Gold Key star trek comics but was not allowed to do so
episode 22 of star trek was once “The Space Seed”, written by Carey Wilber and Gene L. Coon based on a story idea by Wilber. In it, Enerprise comes across a damaged ship called the Botany Bay that had clearly been drifting in space for centuries. They bring a historian, Lt. Marla McGivers, to a boarding party and discover that there are several humans in suspended animation on the ship. They find the leader of the group and take him to the Enterprise, where they bring him out of suspended animation. They learn that his name is Khan Noonien Singh, and that he and the others were genetically altered superhumans created during Earth’s Eugenics Wars in the 1990s. Khan and his men were meant to be minions, but quickly conquered. the planet. However, he decided to leave Earth with his men as Earth did not want the “order” that Khan would give them. Obviously, on their way to find a planet to colonize, his ship was damaged.
Khan quickly seduces McGivers and, with his help, takes over the ship. However, he is unable to work on the futuristic ship, so he tries to force Kirk to volunteer for the crew. Even threatened with death, no one volunteers.
McGivers changes his mind and frees Kirk and he and Khan fight, as Khan has decided to destroy the Enterprise. Kirk defeats him in a fight (somehow), and the crew is shocked when Kirk decides to let Khan go. He thinks it makes sense for him to let Khan have the planet from him. He sends it to Ceti Alpha V, to try and colonize that planet. McGivers can go with Khan.
Well, almost 20 years later, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ceti Alpha V was devastated when a nearby planet exploded, and nearly everyone with Khan has since died, including McGivers. Khan blames Kirk for all of this, so he wants revenge…
The film is one of the most loved. star trek movies ever.
Interestingly though, there was almost a sequel to “Space Seed” in the comics just a few years after the episode ended!
DID LEN WEIN REDEFINE THE STAR TREK COMIC?
As I noted in a caption the other day, Len Wein began writing the then relatively new star trek comic book series for Gold Key in 1970. At the time, of course, Star Trek was no longer on the air, but even before it really exploded into syndication, it was still a popular show with fans of the genre, so the Gold Key comic book was still selling enough to keep going.
Wein joined the series with issue #9…
He continued on the book until #16 (it was bi-monthly, making it nearly two years on the series), by which time Wein was receiving assignments from DC and Marvel, and no longer needed the lower-paying Gold Key job. …
Wein changed the book a lot because, unless the series’ previous writer Dick Wood, Wein was actually a star trek fan. The Italian artists who worked on the book had very little reference material for the series, so they did a lot of riffing, and while Wood didn’t particularly care, Wein was annoyed, so Wein brought the book a lot closer. more to the actual TV series.
Naturally, that included Wein wanting to use Khan, one of the best characters in the original series (“The Space Seed” has long been considered one of the best episodes in the original series). However, he ran into an interesting problem.
WHY WEIN COULDN’T USE KHAN IN THE STAR TREK COMIC?
Wein explained to monster times #2 that originally wrote the villain in Star Trek #10, which involved a giant illusion of a genie stopping the Enterprise (which made for a great cover)…
However, it turned out that Gold Key’s licensing deal with Paramount for Star Trek only involved the series’ official cast members, not any of the guest stars, so Khan was off limits.
Wein then rewrote the character to become Chang…
However, the rest of the story makes it pretty clear that we’re talking about Khan here, since all the people traveled to this planet in suspended animation from Earth, where they participated in the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s. Obviously, here, the characters were just ANOTHER group that traveled from Earth in that period in suspended animation, but clearly the original intention was for them to be Khan’s people.
Chang dies in the comic, so I guess it’s a good thing that wasn’t Khan (not that the producers of the movies would have been prevented from using Khan by a comic that killed him, but still).
SOME OTHER ENTERTAINMENT LEGENDS!
Take a look at some entertainment legends from revealed legends:
VERY SOON THE SECOND PART!
Check back soon for part 2 of the legends of this installment!
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