While Star Trek is currently entering a brand new era for its comics, one fan spent a record-second sum to own a piece of Star Trek’s comic book history. A copy of Star Trek #1 — originally published by Gold Key Comics in 1967, marking the first appearance of the Star Trek franchise in comics — graded by Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) sold for $46,500 during Doug’s Dell and Gold Key Comics Auction on November 3rd. It is one of five copies in the CGC Census graded CGC 9.6, with only one graded higher. The sale price is more than double the previous record of $20,400 for a CGC 9.6 sold in 2019, making it the top seller of the auction.
Star Trek #1 contained the story “The Planet of No Return,” written by Dick Wood and drawn by Nevio Zeccara. The Gold Key run of Star Trek comics is notorious for being inconsistent with the television show, in part due to a lack of information shared with the creators and in part due to a lack of interest from the creators in what was, at the time, some little sci-fi television show. The Enterprise design features a rocket thruster and the ship often lands on planets, the crew all wear green uniforms, and Spock has far more emotion than his televised counterpart. Nonetheless, the first issue is an important milestone for the franchise.
Gold Key published Star Trek for 61 issues, with a 62nd planned but never published, along with reprints of past issues. The series ended in 1979 when Marvel Comics acquired the license and began its own Star Trek comic book series, starting with an adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Current Star Trek comics license-holder IDW Publishing just launched a new Star Trek #1, the first in more than a decade. Set between the end of Star Trek: Voyager and the events of the film Star Trek: Nemesis, it reveals what happens when Capt. Benjamin Sisko returns from the wormhole where the Prophets reside with a mission, and it is definitely more on-brand than those original Gold Key issues.
“This is real Star Trek,” co-writer Jackson Lanzing told ComicBook.com in an interview. “This is as close as we can, on the comic side, to being canon. We will be canon until they un-canonize us. But we are working with the shows. We are in communication with the teams. We are encyclopedic Star Trek knowledge boys, so we’re on Memory-Alpha all the time, but our brains are effectively little Memory-Alphas. We’re already fed by all the canon that we grew up with, that being TOS to Voyager. So all of that stuff, if it was on the show, it’s canon.”
The same auction also saw high sales for comics featuring characters from Looney Tunes, Disney and Scooby-Doo. A copy of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #2 sold for $38,400, and a copy of Four Color #9 sold for $31,200. More details can be found on the CGC website.