Comics

I had a brief but enjoyable stint as a comic book writer during the late 80s and early 90s.

Warlord 131-00FCWarlord (1976) #131 – “Jennifer Morgan in: Growing Pains” – While hesearches for his missing wife, Travis Morgan’s sorceress daughter is Regent of Shamballah. The very young ruler learns the bittersweet facts about picking up strays.

If you look at this issue in Overstreet’s guide, it’s highlighted (yay!) but not because of me (hiss!). This story was also Rob Liefeld’s first professional sale. Bob Greenberger recruited us both as part of DC’s Bonus Book program to introduce new talent. Rob made a buck or two more than I did at comics in the long run.

 

Star Trek (1989) #45 – “A Little Man to Man Talk” – Trelane returns! The galaxy’s most powerful juvenile is going through puberty, and he wants advice on love from the galaxy’s most renowned lover, Captain James T. Kirk. This story had been bought and approved by Paramount already when editor Alan Gold took over the title. Alan, knowing I was a rookie, wanted me to do some rewrites. He had in mind that we would do a space version of Rebel Without a Cause. My attempt to follow his guidance didn’t work. So, with some weigh-in from regular series writer Howard Weinstein, we returned pretty much to my original draft. Howie, bless him, refused to re-write the story when asked to do so. He told our editor he thought it was one of the finest Trek character pieces he’d read to date. I’m very proud of it, as it not only told a fun and funny story, it actually developed Kirk’s character and his relationship with Carol Marcus quite a lot.

Star Trek (1989) #61 – “Door in the Cage” – Spock returns to Talos IV decades after leaving the crippled Captain Pike there. He’s come to tell his old friend that the Federation now has medical technology which would free him to live a normal life, but at least one resident of Talos still likes to play with illusion. Bob Greenberger bought this story from me based on an outline. By the time it was a full script, Margaret Clark had taken over the book. When I called to verify that she’d received my script, she brashly demanded, “Who the hell are you?” I just as brashly replied, “I’m the guy who’s writing the next issue of Star Trek!” Margaret and I worked well together for a while. At least she commissioned two more stories from me before DC lost the license.

Star Trek Special (1994) #2 – “A Question of Loyalty” – Saavik is taken aback when she’s placed in charge of Spock’s new protege, Cadet Valeris. Saavik quickly realizes her mentor is being taken for a ride, but can she convince him? I wrote this story based pretty much out of a desire to see a situation where Saavik had a believable reason to knock Valeris on her ass. I don’t recall if she ultimately did, in the final version. I do recall that Paula Block of Paramount licensing said she thought this was one of the best stories that DC had produced in the Star Trek line.

Star Trek Special (1994) #4 – “Natural Enemies” – Captain Sulu and his science officer, Lt. Cmdr. Saavik, investigate mysterious attacks on an underwater research facility which just happens to be under the command of a woman from Sulu’s past. This one was never published. The license was pulled by Paramount before it saw print. The story was approved by Paramount, however, and I did (ultimately) get paid for it. It was commissioned work, after all. My thanks to Marty Pasko for looking out for me. Kat Volland was my candidate for Demora Sulu’s mother, and, indeed, the original treatment said she was Hikaru’s wife, and they just chose not to live together. Paramount nixed the wife angle, but asked me to use the story to drop the faintest hint of the coming of the Cardassians. This would have been the first of a regular series of Excelsior adventures from DC, and I would have been the series writer. But Marvel took over Star Trek for about five inglorious minutes, and thus ended both DC’s successful Star Trek run and my comics career!