December 27, 2015

No Peace While He Lives

Recently I took an exploratory journey into the mysterious closet at the end of the long hallway and unearthed a long box of comic books that were neatly bagged and packed with utmost care just before the start of the Clinton Administration.
The box sat in back of the closet with other boxes on top for almost 2.5 decades. Inside that box were issues of the new DC comic book “Star Trek” with stories by the great Peter David.
On issue #2 of the series, the Klingons place a “bounty” on Captain Kirk’s head, and pronounce proudly and loudly that “there can be no peace as long as Kirk is alive.”
Almost no one hates their enemy like a Klingon. 
Suddenly, bounty hunters and killers from all over the galaxy are trying to kill or capture Kirk, and the Enterprise (Kirk’s ship) seems to have a big target sign on it.
Sound familiar? It’s not unheard of in sci-fi-action-adventure boy-stories. And this was 1990, years before the embargo against Cuba was embedded into our constitution by politicians who assured that “this legislation will put an end to the tyrant.” And they did so repeatedly, passing and breaking laws like in a comic book.
Lots of people in positions of authority and privilege didn’t like Captain Kirk... he got in their way, messed things up. But Kirk found surprising allies even after the most powerful (and well dressed) hit man in the galaxy attacked with an assortment of war ships and the bankrupt ideology of anti-movements that try to kill their way to justice.
The cold-war-type attacks and murder attempts continued for issue after issue until Kirk, ever the self-promoting hero, turned himself over to the Federation for a trial in order to “save innocent lives.”
This may not have been the wisest choice, as many eagerly sought the advantages of peace and were willing to trade Kirk (the tyrant) for the profits of new markets.
Issues 10 thru 12 featured “The Trial of James T. Kirk,” and what a trial it was.  His lawyer from the first season episode “Court Martial” returned, as does his still attractive ex-prosecutor. They teamed up to defend Kirk against the well-funded and deep-seated anti-Kirk establishment.
Just like in the last episode of Seinfeld, his enemies were at the trial. And even after Kirk saved the Klingon politician’s life, and the trial brought to an end, their hate for the captain continued.  
Sounding like a Republican presidential candidate, the Klingon Ambassador, in a Trump-worthy moment, exclaimed that “the life of one Klingon is worth a hundred human lives.”  
Even after Kirk saves the Klingon ambassador’s life and the bounty on his head is removed, the cold-war plotting continues between the Klingon Empire and their spies in The Federation.
Sometimes I think I see Cuban history wherever I look.
Along the way Peter David’s story suggested that many Klingons opposed this official anti-Kirk movement, seeing it as unproductive and actually damaging to the Empire, but their voices were quickly silenced... and their voice of hate persists...
If you can’t find these comic books, you’ll have to settle for the December 15 Republican Presidential debate on CNN, which openly embraced the ideology of the Klingon Empire.
A few books after the trial, Peter David stopped writing the series, but the Kirk-haters remained, dedicated to their singular vision.
As other writers take over the helm of this series (which is completely new to me) I fear what the Klingons will do. Moving towards a time in which the Empire and the Federation have established amicable relations (Next Generation) the hangers-on are more dangerous than ever.


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