Gene Roddenberry's Secret Agent Saves Earth, Forty Years Later

Time-traveling secret agent Gary Seven made his debut in a Star Trek episode 40 years ago, along with his sexy secretary who can turn herself into a cat at will. The episode was supposed to be a "backdoor pilot" for a new series, but nothing ever came of it. Now Gary (and his cat) will get their day in the sun, courtesy of IDW Comics and controversial comic creator John Byrne.

Seven, who first appeared in the 1968 Trek episode "Assignment: Earth", was originally intended for his own series of the same name, centering around a secret alien invasion premise similar to ABC's 1967 series The Invaders, but viewer and network apathy sent him spiraling towards limbo, or worse, occasional appearances in Trek novels and comic books.

Gene Roddenberry's Secret Agent Saves Earth, Forty Years Later

This year, however, all that will change with the first issue of Assignment: Earth, a series based on Roddenberry's concept for the unmade TV show. Written and drawn by long-time Trek fan Byrne, who says that the "Assignment: Earth" episode is amongst his top 5 episodes of the show, the series is part of IDW's Star Trek: Second Stage publishing push, which will also include a new comic series based on Peter David's previously novel-only series New Frontier.

The five part series, which advances the story one year with each new issue, launches in May. Images from IDW Chief Chris Ryall's blog. Star Trek: Assignment Earth [IDW Publishing.com]