Thursday, 28 February 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Whitey’s Brother'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Whitey's Brother'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Annual 1978

DATELINE
1st September, 1977.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Whitey's brother attempts to get him released and hold Mega-City One to ransom.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Whitey's reappearance is the first time that a perp has returned to the strip.

INFORMATION
The year is 2099 A.D.

In Mega-City One's New York area, the World Trade Centre is destroyed, while Welch Logan's hideout is a hanger in range of his electronic jamming devices at the edge of the city.

Justice H.Q. monitors aerial activity with 'scopes', and has a records department staffed by at least 72 clerks.

JUDGE DREDD
He is on patrol when Welch Logan's disrupters cause the road to collapse out from under him and he loses another lawmaster. Logan wants Dredd to release his brother 'Whitey'.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE GRAND JUDGE
The correct fom of address is "Your honour".

'WHITEY'
His full name is William Logan. He has an elder brother called Welch Logan. Dredd has him released from Devil's Island prison to accede to his brother's demands and has him returned as soon as his brother is dead. He threatens to escape.

WELCH
He worked as a particle physicist for the Morima Corp. Welch Logan did molecular research into disrupting the electrical bonds between matter. He has been missing believed dead for five years (2094), during that time he has developed an armoured silicone bubble to protect himself and smaller floating devices armed with disrupters capable of turning buildings to dust. He uses these latter devices to demand his brother's release, four million credits and Dredd be delivered to him or he will destroy the city a building at a time. Dredd relents and takes 'Whitey' to him. Dredd kills Welch using one of his own devices against him.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. Dredd kills Welch with one of his own devices. It's not made clear if there was anyone in the destroyed buildings or not, but Dredd calls Welch a murderer which implies there was.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "You should be thankful, Whitey! At least you're still alive!"
Whitey: "Alive? You call this living? But I'll get off this place one day, Dredd! And when I do..."

WORST LINES
Dredd; "And you don't care how many people you murder to do it!"
Whitey: "Right, Dredd, but you ain't gonna be around to see it! I'm gonna blow your head off."

Why didn't you do that in the one-way transport?

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
This strip sees the return of Whitey from Judge Dredd: 'Judge Whitey' and M.A.C. from Judge Dredd: 'The Wreath Murders'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Dredd says "It takes more than a punk with a gun to kill a Judge!", which ironically is exactly what put Whitey in prison.

RETROSPECT
The World Trade Center in New York would indeed be destroyed on the 11th of September 2001.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Steve Moore
Artist: Mike McMahon

REVIEW
This strip has a great story and is a huge improvement on 'Videophones', but the lettering is still awful. The artwork varies somewhat, but the falling Lawmaster crushing a car, Welch's bubble and the last panel all look great. The subsequent connotations of the World Trade Center notwithstanding it's a nice touch that this strip keeps to the New York theme of 'Judge Whitey'. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing Whitey back.

The End

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Videophones'

And so after a little diversion we return to Judge Dredd where we left him...

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Videophones'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Annual 1978

DATELINE
1st September, 1977 (this date is from Barney)

This hardcover annual featured a Dan Dare cover by Gerry Woods and also contained Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes, Invasion, Shako strips, a One-off called The Smith Family - Death Bug, a pair of M.A.C.H.1 strips, no less than five of Tharg's Future Shocks and another Judge Dredd strip called 'Whitey's Brother'.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Dredd tracks down a killer who is hypnotising Judges to commit his murders for him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
This is the first time that a Judge commits a crime (albeit unwittingly) and also the first time two Judge Dredd strips were printed in the same publication.

INFORMATION
In Mega-City One, Complex Omega is a residential area containing at least 43021 Apartments.

Deep Psyche Hypnosis is a subliminal form of visual communication, which coerces an individual into performing a specified action. The message can be delivered via videophone. It was banned by international convention fifty years ago (circa 2049), because there is no technique capable of combating it.

Auto-Cooks are home convenience that provide nutritious food-packs.

Named Judges: Judge Steele.

JUDGE DREDD
He lives at Apartment 43021 in Complex Omega, Mega-City One. When Judge Steele murders four Judges, Dredd kills him in self-defence and when it is revealed that Steele was under Deep Psyche Hypnosis, Dredd investigates and discovers that the hypnotic suggestions were deleivered via videophone. He records a hologrammic image of himself to fool whoever is targeting Judges and arranges to have his calls traced. He tracks the call to Igor Sanksy.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE CHIEF JUDGE
He calls a meeting to discuss the latest crime statistics.

JUDGE STEELE
He kills four Judges with a ricochet bullet under the control of Igor Sansky's Deep Psyche Hypnosis.

MARIA
She usually finishes cleaning Dredd's apartment in the afternoons, while he is at work. She is very proud of her lasagne and spaghetti bolognese.

IGOR SANSKY
Dredd describes him as "the original mad scientist". He regards himself as having "perfected" the hologram projector. He was believed killed by a Judge, but instead was confined to a chair. He tries to kill Dredd using Deep Psyche Hypnosis via the videophone, but Dredd fools him with his hologram ruse. Dredd has the call traced and visits Sansky's home and he tries to kill Dredd again, whereupon Dredd electrocutes his with a loose live wire.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Six. Steele kills four Judges with a ricochet bullet and Dredd shoots Steele dead. Dredd later electrocutes Igor Sansky.

BEST LINES
Operator (caught in an embrace with a co-worker): "Oh! Er-sorry, sir. I-er-didn't realise my call switch was still on. You won't tell the supervisor?"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "I'm gonna nail this bum - and fast!"

Unfortunate.

CATCHPHRASES
Not much, Maria reveals her accent with a "coulda", but that's about the it.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Although not explicitly named as such, holograms were last seen in Judge Dredd: 'Krong'. There was a Judge Steele listed as Lost In Action in Judge Dredd: 'The Academy Of Law', Part 1, so this strip could well be set before that.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Brainwashing assassins and subliminal messaging brings to mind The Manchurian Candidate (1962).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Malcolm Shaw
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
This is pretty bad. Upon first reading I assumed that Maria's involvement was meant to show that the hologrammic Dredd is indistinguishable from the original, but it would seem that the hologram isn't involved until after Dredd speaks to the operator, which renders her whole appearance pointless.

The lettering is dreadful and the artwork is very odd. The Deep Psyche Hypnosis panels look great, but are both disingenuous. The first implies Dredd and the Chief Judge are being watched when they aren't, while the second shows the effect the process probably shouldn't have on a hologram. It's unfortunate that on the first page, Steele looks less like he's gone mad and like he is in dire need of a wee.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 27

It's 2000 A.D.'s thirth-sixth birthday and here we are putting the final into finale, it's the last part of Harlem Heroes:

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 27
(according to Wikipedia, this is the third and final part of a strip also known as 'The Teutonic Titans')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 27

DATELINE
27 Aug 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 20), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Ulysses Cord is revealed and the Harlem Heroes win the aeroball world championship, but lose two players.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Hairy, Conrad and Ulysses Cord.

INFORMATION
The umpire is sometimes refered to as a controller.

The Harlem Heroes staged the robbery of their equipment, and then had their mechanics test the replacements sent by Cord and discovered they were all designed to fail.

The final scores is Harlem Heroes 2, Teutonic Titans 1. The Harlem Heroes are the world aeroball champions. Two of the team are killed in the final and the three remaining players are presented with the trophy.

GIANT
He humiliates Ulysses Cord and forces a confession out of him.

HAIRY
He is killed by another aeroball hit to the abdomen.

KING
He is killed by an aeroball hit to the head.


ZACK
He scores the winning air-strike.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ULYSSES CORD
He blames the Harlem Heroes for being too sporting and believes that aeroball fans want to watch violence. His confession is broadcast into the homes of millions of aeroball fans.

DEATHS
Two. Hairy and Conrad are both hit by an aeroball.

BEST LINES
Giant: "And remember that robbery...when all our equipment disappeared. We staged that ourselves, too...so you could supply us with a whole new set of jet-packs...Well our mechanic's checked 'em out...they were all one-way trips to the morgue, designed to fall apart in the middle of the final! We'd have all died!"

WORST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hero: "Great strike Zack. But there's no need to shout so loud!...Hairy and Conrad can't hear you!"

Crikey, that's callous. It also undermines the relationships we've seen over the last twenty-seven weeks.

CATCHPHRASES
"Nein! Nein!" is German for "No! No!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Giant reveals that the burglary in Part 25 was faked. It's a nice touch that the injury that leads to Hairy's death is an aeroball strike in the same place he was hit in Part 26. Elsewhere in this Prog was the first part of the Judge Dredd story, The Academy Of Law, which featured Giant's son.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
This is the last part of the first Harlem Heroes story, but Giant returns in Part 2 of Judge Dredd: The Academy Of Law, Inferno and a Whatever Happened To? strip in Meg 216. The Harlem Heroes would reappear in another strip which followed another team beginning in Prog 671 and aeroball was popular as late as the first Judge Dredd strip that appeared in Metro.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Massimo Belardinelli
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
Blimey. The conspiracy comes to an end as Ulysses Cord tells us everything we already knew. It's been a whodunnit with only one suspect. The aeroball action is largely sidelined and so the summary deaths of two of Harlem Heroes come as a real shock. I've really enjoyed Harlem Heroes, but the ending feels curtailed and eschews Louis Mayer, Artie Gruber and the outlandish opposition teams that have been the strengths of the strip previously.


End Of The Heroes - What A Shame! But They'll Be Back Here Soon, Again, In A Thrilling, Chilling New Ball Game!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 26

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 26 (according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as 'The Teutonic Titans')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 26

DATELINE
20 Aug 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 19), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play the Teutonic Titans and discover they play rough, while Ulysses Cord waits for Giant's jet-pack to explode.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First letters by Peter Knight.

INFORMATION
The Teutonic Titans carry shields which they use to hit both the ball and the other team alike.


The half time score of the final of the World Championship of Aeroball is Teutonic Titans 1, Harlem Heroes 1.

GIANT
He pretends his jet-pack is faulty, that he is about to crash and then scores an air-strike. When Ulysses Cord runs away from his fearing his jet-pack might explode Giant decides they should both die together.

HAIRY
He is hit in the abdomen by an aeroball travelling at speed.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ULYSSES CORD
He expects the Harlem Heroes jet-packs to fail and in particular Giant's to explode.

SAM MASON
Harlem Heroes player who finds himself in the middle of a Teutonic Titans sandwich tackle. Sam also sustains an injury to his arm.

JOE JAMES
Harlem Heroes player who is hit in the chin with a ball as it bounces off a Teutonic Titans shield.


KARL
Teutonic Titans player.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Commentator: "A sandwich tackle...and the filling was provided by Sam Mason!"

WORST LINES
Ulysses Cord: "Huuuuh? Th-that...smoke-rising from your jet-pack..!...It's...going to explode..!"

Well, I think your cover is officially blown.

CATCHPHRASES
"Gott in Himmel!" means God in Heaven.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Massimo Belardinelli
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
The penultimate part of Harlem Heroes gives no indication that we are nearly at the end. The violence quotient shoots up, but at times ther action is less than clear. The geography of what happens to Hairy isn't as straight-forward as it could be and the new players are introduced as if we already knew who they were, but the cliffhanger is quite a nice one.

End Of Sequence + + + Continuance To Follow

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 25

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 25 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as 'The Teutonic Titans')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 25

DATELINE
13 Aug 77

PAGE COUNT
3

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 19), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes discover who they will be playing in the final, lose and replace their equipment and decide to keep Ulysses Cord where they can see him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First art by Massimo Belardinelli, first appearance of the Teutonic Titans.

INFORMATION
The Teutonic Titans from Germany beat a Spanish team in the semi-final of the World Aeroball Championship. The final is due to take place at the new Euro-Stadium.


Someone steals all the jet-pack Harlem Heroes store room. The new replacements have an extra ten per cent more "burn" and perfect mid-air balance.

GIANT
He appeals to Ulysses Cord to replace the stolen jet-packs.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LOUIS MAYER
He is convinced that Ulysses Cord is behind the attempts on the lives of the Harlem Heroes.

ARTIE GRUBER
His identity is not yet known to the general public.

ULYSSES CORD
He replaces the stolen Harlem Heroes jet-packs within an hour of Giant's appeal. The new equipment has been sabotaged. Cord accepts Giant's invitation to join the team to the final as an honoured guest.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Giant: "If Mr. Cord is watching this broadcast, I'm sure we'll have a whole set of new equipment within the hour!"

WORST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hero (at the sight of the new Euro-Stadium): "Man, I can't wait to start playin' in that baby!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Massimo Belardinelli
Letters: John Aldrich

REVIEW
Massimo Belardinelli's artwork is wonderful, but it's a shame that Dave Gibbons didn't get to finish what he started. This part bucks the trend and features no 'live' aeroball and is largely exposition, but it does have a cliffhanger with some jeopardy which we've been missing out on for a while.

Thrill Power Peaks + + + Next Prog
Thrill Power Peaks + + + Next Post

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 24

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 24 (according to Wikipedia, this is the third and final part of a strip also known as 'The Bushido Blades')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 24

DATELINE
6 Aug 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 19), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Cord's fear is revealed and the Harlem Heroes change their tactics to beat the Bushido Blades.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of the Bushido Blades, last art and letters by Dave Gibbons.

INFORMATION
A cloud-burst is a manoeuvre that involves all the players of a particular team breaking formation in a different direction.

The Bushido Blades use five forwards armed with wooden kendo swords for their fiery wheel formation.


The collision following the Harlem Heroes cloud-burst results in four Bushido Blades players being too injured to play. The remaining three players carried on, but Harlem Heroes were too much for them. The final score is Harlem Heroes 7 air-strikes to the Bushido Blades 2. The Harlem Heroes are through to the final of the World Aeroball Championships. The other semi-final was played simultaneously in Berlin.

GIANT
He scores at least one air-strike.

SLIM
He scores at least one air-strike.

HAIRY
He doesn't like Louis' idea and thinks it's immoral.

ZACK
He is the first to end the ruse that the Harlem Heroes were too scared to play and gains possession of the ball.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LOUIS MAYER
His brain has become so powerful that he can reproduce recent incidents by thinking about them. It was his idea that the Harlem Heroes feign cowardice to beat the Bushido Blades.


ULYSSES CORD
He faints at the thought of Artie Gruber projected into his mind.

DEATHS
None. Although the Bushido Blades injuries are probably severe.

BEST LINES
Bushido Blade: "It is beneath us to do battle with such craven, spineless cowards!"
Zack: "In that case, Sunshine, you won't be needin' this ball!"

WORST LINES
Zack: "Hey, man...no wonder Cord flipped! You zapped him with an image of Gruber!"
Louis: "Quite so, Zack! I wanted to test a little suspicion of mine!"
Giant: "What are you gettin' at, Louis?"

Isn't it obvious? Really, really obvious.

Also the word Jap is unfortunately used three times here.

CATCHPHRASES
The Bushido Blades treat us to another "Banzai!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
Shogun means "a commander of a force" and is the name given to the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. While the word Shinto means "Way of the Gods", so "By Shinto!" isn't as stupid as it first appears.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
That this is the last part featuring the work of Dave Gibbons is sad, but it is beautiful artwork throughout and he gets to draw Artie Gruber one last time, albeit an ethereal one. I like that Louis' successful tactic is the polar opposite of that suggested by Cord in the last part, but sadly this is another strip that builds nicely via some great set piece action to a cliffhanger with no jeopardy whatsoever.

Sequence Ends + + + Continuance Follows + + + Sequence Ends + + +

Friday, 22 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 23

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 23 (according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as 'The Bushido Blades')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 23

DATELINE
30 July 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 18), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The tactics of the Bushido Blades shock the Harlem Heroes, while Ulysses Cord wants them to play dirtier.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of Louis' telepathy.

INFORMATION
Aeroball Rule 37: a team cannot bring on substitutes until its number is reduced to four. The fourth round of the World Aeroball Championship are the semi-finals.


Two of the Bushido Blades were injured and a third commits suicide so as to allow the team to bring their substitutes on. The half-time score is two air-strikes to the Bushido Blades, one to the Harlem Heroes.

GIANT
Nearly scores an air-strikes, but a Bushido Blades' player blocks it with his face and is injured.

ZACK
He scores an airstrike.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LOUIS MAYER
He is now also known as 'Brain' and has developed his mental abilities to an astonishing degree. Louis can enter another person's mind.

ULYSSES CORD
He wants the Harlem Heroes to take on the kamikaze spirit of the Bushido Blades, but when Louis objects, Cord dismisses him as a "hunk of tissue". Louis tries to read his mind, which terrifies him and makes him try to reassure Louis of his friendship.

HOJO
He scores an air-strike.

TANAKA
Bushido Blades player who when he failed to prevent Zack from scoring flew at full speed into the runway and sacrificed himself in the ensuing explosion so that his team could bring on substitutes.


DEATHS
One. Tanaka. Suicide.

BEST LINES
Hairy: "I'll take him, Giant!"
Hojo: "Never! Not whilst the spirit of our warlords seethes in Hojo's veins!"

WORST LINES
Ulyssess Cord: "Meet 'em half-way with the Kamikaze stuff! Take a few risks, boys! It'll add a little spice to the game!"

Half kill yourself? Also, the word Japs gets used twice in this part.

CATCHPHRASES
None, but we get a "Haieeee!" from Bushido Blade and an "Aiieee" from Ulysses Cord.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Kamikaze, usually translated as "Divine Wind", were Japanese pilots who flew suicide runs during World War II. It was probably more successful against enemy morale than as an actual weapon of war, but it's easy to see how it caught the imagination.

MISTAKES
I would have thought that Rule 37 contradicts games we have seen earlier.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
The aeroball stuff is impressive, the Ulysses Cord stuff less so and there is literally nothing at stake in the cliffhanger, which is both innovative and dull.

2000 A.D. - It's Thrilling And New
Big-Picture Power - Programmed For You.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 22

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 22
(according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as 'The Bushido Blades')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 22

DATELINE
23 July 77

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 18), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play the Bushido Blades.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First and last strip to feature work by Unknown.

INFORMATION
Tokyo has at least five airports.

Aeroballs are filled with helium and are launched at a hundred miles per hour during the blast off. Rule change 30 allows the use of wooden implements to hit the ball. The Japanese version of aeroball only has one score-hole.

The Bushido Blades play their home games at The Palace of Sport in Tokyo. They dress like Samurai warriors and carry wooden Kendo swords during the Aeroball matches.

GIANT
He is appalled when Ulysses Cord attempts to bribe the Harlem Heroes.

SLIM
He is apparently mrried and has an ugly mother-in-law. He takes the blast off for the Harlem Heroes.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ULYSSES CORD
He attempts to bribe the Harlem Heroes into using spike punch gloves and helmets. Giant refuses.

HOJO
He is the captain of the Bushido Blades.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Bushido Blades Fan: "Death to the upstarts of Harlem!"

I don't know why I love that line.

WORST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hero: "Uhuh, I sure hope we've seen the last of that crazy killer."

Well, obviously you do.

CATCHPHRASES
Hojo gives us a "Banzai!" Also the word Japs is used five times, while not out of place in a comic set in World War II (or possibly sadly 1977), it's an unfortunate part of the vocabulary for circa 2050.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Samurai cinema, such as Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961).

MISTAKES
Why would there be multiple versions of aeroball played within a single World Championship? It seems unlikely that house rules would be permitted.

The first line is "Tokyo's fifth airport, 2,000 A.D.", the year cannot be "2,000 A.D." since the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel was finished in 2050. Presumably "Tokyo's fifth airport, 2,000 A.D." means that Tokyo's fifth airport is called 2,000 A.D., and maybe named after the year it was built or maybe even a certain comic.

RETROSPECT
In 1981, there was a film called The Bushido Blade. I don't think it features jet-packs.

NOTES
Bushido means "the way of the warrior" in Japanese.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons & Unknown
Letters: Dave Gibbons & Unknown

REVIEW
This part ticks along nicely and the last page is beautiful, but the cliffhanger isn't particularly thrilling. The conspiracy subplot is parked somewhat and as long as Ulysses Cord isn't the shadowy figure behind Artie Gruber this is going to build to something great.

Here Comes The Heroes + + + Fighters To The Last
Don't Miss Our Next Prog + + + The Flyin's Hard 'N' Fast.
Don't Miss Our Next Post + + + The Flyin's Hard 'N' Fast.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 21

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 21
(according to Wikipedia, this is the sixth and final part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles', although it also states that it is a 5 part story)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 21

DATELINE
16 July 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 18), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
With Artie Gruber unmasked, the rest of Gorgon's Gargoyles turn on him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Gorgon's Gargoyles aeroball team, first appearance of the Bushido Blades

INFORMATION
A magnum grenade creates a huge explosion.

Gorgon Stadium has stadium police and is near a crematorium.

The umpire abandoned the game between the Harlem Heroes and Gorgon's Gargoyles.

Harlem Heroes have drawn the Tokyo-based Bushido Blades in the next round of the World Aeroball Championship.

GIANT
He has suspicions that Gruber was being manipulated by someone else.

ZACK
He throws a ball at Artie Gruber's face causing him to drop the grenade and damaging his nu-skin disguise.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
Zack throws an aeroball at his nu-skin disguise and it disintegrates revealing his true identity. Gorgon's Gargoyles turn on him, huddle around him and as a group crash into the audience seating. He is presumed dead and is sent to a nearby crematorium, but he has a weak pulse and major damage to his computronic systems. The surgeons give him a cardiac boost by remote and he is revived again. He breaks out of the crematorium and heads for a control-van outside the stadium.

MR GORGON
Owner of Gorgon's Gargoyles.

DEATHS
Potentially six. Gorgon's Gargoyles deliberately crash at full speed and do not walk away from it, but Mr Gorgon implies that he can rebuild them.

BEST LINES
Mr Gorgon: "Why, those...crazy androids! They're gonna cost me a small fortune in spare parts!"

WORST LINES
Artie Gruber: "Artie Kill!"

Yeah, yeah.

CATCHPHRASES
Gorgon's Gargoyles grunts "Awwrgh!", "Gnaaagh!" and whilst exploding "Eeeegh!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
It seems a little odd that a strip that deals with two big revelations dramatically undermines them both. The physically unmasking of Artie Gruber is hampered by his identity becoming common knowledge last week, while his subsequent resurrection could have been something the reader knew that the Heroes didn't. The cliffhanger cannot compete with the Artie story. That said the other Gorgon's Gargoyles players turning on Artie is great.

Keep Calm + + + Thrill Factor Overload + + + Keep Calm + + +

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 20

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 20 (according to Wikipedia, this is the fifth and penultimate part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles', although to be fair it also states that this is a 5 part story)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 20

DATELINE
9 July 77

PAGE COUNT
3

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 17), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Louis returns to get the Harlem Haroes back on track and Artie Gruber is revealed.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First hint that Louis Mayer's brain has special powers.

INFORMATION
When set to auto drive, computer cars drive themselves and leave the occupants free to concentrate on something else, such as watching television.

GIANT
When told one of the Gorgon's Gargoyles is not an android, Giant suspects that Joe Mugglie is Artie Gruber in disguise and reveals the fact to his teammates.

CONRAD KING
He and Giant play a trick on Artie Gruber to force him to reveal he isn't Joe Mugglie.

LOUIS MAYER
He is no longer confined to his life-support trolley, instead scientists have connected his brain to a power source and jet-pack like apparatus and now he can fly the self-propulsion unit simply by thinking about where he wants it to go. His nurse still accompanies him. He is appalled to see the Harlem Heroes fighting amongst themselves. He can also detect a heartbeat and therefore knows one of Gorgon's Gargoyles is pretending to be an android.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
Louis can detect his heartbeat. Giant tricks him into revealing he isn't really Joe Mugglie and he pulls out a bomb.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Umpire: "Now perhaps we can restore some sanity to this game!"

Yes, this game with jet-packs, robots, three fatalities and a flying brain.

WORST LINES
Unknown: "It...it looks like a bomb!"

Yes, it does.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
We finally get confirmation that Artie Gruber killed Joe Mugglie in Part 16.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The umpire asks "what in Sam Hill is going on...?" Sam Hill is a slang phrase in American English which is a euphemism for "the devil" or "hell" personified. Etymologists date the expression back to the late 1830s, but with an unknown origin.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
TVs in cars and autonomous cars that drive themselves are both concepts that were pure science-fiction in 1977, but exist today.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
What's the score? Who cares? It's good to Louis back and the reveal of Artie Gruber dealt with. These three page strips are surprisingly satisfying, could it be that they reveal the padding in earlier instalments?

Don't Miss The Heroes' Next Thrilling Bout, Order Your Copy Now, Don't Miss Out!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 19

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 19 (according to Wikipedia, this is the fourth part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 19

DATELINE
2 July 77

PAGE COUNT
3

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 17), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Gruber's contact mine explodes and the Harlem Heroes fall out.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First and last appearance of Dale Parker.

INFORMATION
The umpire has discretion as to whether to allow a team to abandon the game.

GIANT
Allowed the aeroball that Gruber meant for him to go to Dale Parker. Giant almost comes to blows with Slim and Hairy.

SLIM
When given the option to abandon the game, he declines. He checks 'Toots' Tomlinson into the recoil surface. Slim almost comes to blows with Giant and Hairy.

HAIRY
When given the option to abandon the game, he declines. He throws the ball at one of the Gorgon's Gargoyles ten metres from the score-tank. Hairy almost comes to blows with Slim and Giant.

ZACK
When given the option to abandon the game, he declines. Zack punches a Gorgon's Gargoyles player in the face whilst passing the ball to Hairy.

OTHER CHARACTERS
DALE PARKER
Harlem Heroes substitute player who catches the aeroball carrying Artie Gruber's contact mine and is killed when it explodes. (It's implied that this his first match)

ARTIE GRUBER
He is frustrated when another attempt on Giant's life fails.

'TOOTS' TOMLINSON
Gorgon's Gargoyles player. Slim checks him into the recoil surface and parts of him break off.

DEATHS
One. Dale Parker, dies when the contact mine explodes.


BEST LINES
Dale Parker (thinks just before exploding): "This is my big break!"

WORST LINES
Slim: "Quit buggin' me, Giant--Or I'll lay one on you!"

CATCHPHRASES
Gorgon's Gargoyles grunt continue with a "Hssss!", an "Aaarnk!", a "Nnnnrrrg!", and a "Gawwwrg!", while Dale Parker provides an understandable "Aieeeee!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Dale Parker was presumably one of the substitutes that King was training in Part 6.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This part achieves a lot in only three pages. It's a shame that we didn't get a chance to know Dale Parker a bit before he was blown into tiny pieces. Chico's death last time around galvanised the team and made them play better. It's a nice touch that given the option to abandon the game in similar circumstances, the Harlem Heroes play on and that drives them apart.

Shako's Fur's As White As Snow, And All His Victims Die Real Slow!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 18

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 18 (according to Wikipedia, this is the third part of a story also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 18

DATELINE
25 June 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 17), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Artie Gruber's revenge causes losses on both teams.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Chico.

INFORMATION
Gorgon's Gargoyles refer to their technicians as "Jigsaw Docs".

The score so far Air-strikes Harlem Heroes 2, Gorgon's Gargoyles 0.

GIANT
He loses concentration during the blast-off and the ball hits him in the shoulder, knocking him out of Gruber's reach.

SLIM
He scores an air-strike.

ZACK
He scores an air-strike.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHICO
The Harlem Heroes' number 6. He is pushed into the path of the ball by Artie Gruber. It hits him squarely in the face and knocks him into the score-tank. He is electrocuted and killed.


ARTIE GRUBER
Artie attempts to slash Giant with his claws, but misses and accidentally gets Pretty Boy Floyd. Then he pushes Chico into the path of the ball which results in his death. He attaches an explosive limpet device to the ball and throws it to Giant.

PRETTY BOY FLOYD
He is slashed acrosssed the chest with Artie's claws, his internal electronics are damaged and he falls to the runway. (the commentator implies that he is beyond repair)

BEAUTY-PACK BENSON
He kicks the long-range shot which ultimately hits Chico in the face.

DEATHS
Two. Pretty Boy Floyd, his "electronic guts" are slashed by Artie Gruber's claws (Slim implies he can be fixed, while the commentator suggests he can't). Chico, electrocuted by Gruber.

BEST LINES
Commentator (as Gruber throws a ball carrying his explosive limpet device): "What a lousy pass! Ugly Mugglies thrown it straight at Giant--It's a gift!"

WORST LINES
Umpire (preventing a fight after Chico's death): "Hold it, you two! Aeroball's no different from other high-risk sports, like motor racing! Accidents happen!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Not necessarily a mistake but as I've pointed out under Deaths (above) that Slim and the commentator provide contradictory information about Pretty Boy Floyd. It would be nice to know one way or the other.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This part finally ups the ante after a few that stalled. We've established that aeroball is a tough old game, but to play on after two deaths is absolutely bloody heartless and a bit brilliant as well.

Can The Heroes Prove Their Fame? Don't Miss Next Week's Thrilling Game?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 17

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 17 (according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 17

DATELINE
18 June 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 16), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play Gorgon's Gargoyles. while Artie Gruber attempts to take his revenge.

FIRSTS & LASTS
The first strip to feature an aeroball match, but no air-strikes.

INFORMATION
The flying scissors is an aeroball manouevre in which two players cross and one hands off the ball to the other.

The Gorgon's Gargoyles call themselves Da Bogeymen and others refers to them as the Gargs

The score so far is Harlem Heroes nil, Gorgon's Gargoyles nil.

GIANT
He and Slim perform a flying scissors which cuts through the Gorgon's Gargoyles line.

SLIM
He and Giant perform a flying scissors which cuts through the Gorgon's Gargoyles line, and Slim passes to Hairy.

HAIRY
He attempts an air-strike, but it's deflected by the Gorgon's Gargoyles Blocker who smashes his robotic arm in the process.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHICO
He is rattled by Gorgon's Gargoyles.

ARTIE GRUBER
He has a detachable robotic right hand with retractable claws.

MUGGLIE
Presumably he has a robotic right hand as well.

PRETTY BOY FLOYD
He accurately kicks the ball almost the full length of the aerodrome and scores an air-strike. The umpire disallows it as cheating. His leg wasn't tuned down.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Slim: "Hit it first time, man. Wipe the smiles off their faces!"
Hairy: "Slim, if those guys are smiling...I'd hate to see them frowning!"

WORST LINES
Pretty Boy Floyd: "I'm aimin' at the Harlem Score-Tank!"

Well, yeah.

CATCHPHRASES
None, but the Gargoyles do have a nice line in roars: "Graww!" and "Awwwgh!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
The Gorgons still look great, but it's odd that often they seem to be doing the job of the commentator: "Giant handed off to Slim! They worked a Flying Scissors!", "It's opened up our right flank..." and the worst offender has to be "I'm aimin' at the Harlem Score-Tank!" This strip feels a lot like stalling as Artie's revenge doesn't quite happen.

Get 2000 A.D. Every Week, Or Your Reading Scene'll Be Pretty Bleak!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 16

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 16 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 16

DATELINE
16 June 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 16), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes prepare to play Gorgon's Gargoyles, while Artie Gruber secretly the team.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Gorgon's Gargoyles.

INFORMATION
Aeroball, Rule 59: "Computronic players must reduce their energy output to human levels during the game"

The Harlem Heroes play in the East Coast League, their next league match is against Gorgon's Gargoyles.

Gorgon's Gargoyles are android robots built by computronic surgeons. They have refused to wear plastic nu-faces. This is their first season in the league.


Flying jet-boards are available.

Mr Universe was an important figure in aeroball born in 2012.

ZACK
He can fly a jet-board.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
He has surgery to change his appearance to that of Joe 'Ugly' Mugglie. Two days later, Artie smuggles himself into Mugglie's dressing room, fights him and take his place.

JOE MUGGLIE
His nickname is 'Ugly'. He's the squad-leader for Gorgon's Gargoyles. He's always the last to appear before a game so he gets screams from the crowd all to himself.

DEATHS
It's not explicit here whether Artie kills Mugglie in their fight.

BEST LINES
Mugglie (thinks): "Someone's poundin' on the door! If it's one of them darned sports writers, hoping to catch me half-zipped..!"

WORST LINES
Buck (as Zack flies by on a jet-board): "Why ya sassy little..."

CATCHPHRASES
Artie Gruber: "Snap!"

Does that count? It's not really his catchphrase, but it is a catchy phrase that we all understand.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Artie Gruber compares Joe Mugglie to Humpty Dumpty, a character in a nursery rhyme, first recorded in James William Elliott's National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs in 1870.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This strip sets up Gorgon's Gargoyles very well and Dave Gibbons gives us great gruesomeness. It's good to have Artie Gruber back and the Gorgon's Gargoyles player pointing at him with an unattached arm that he's holding is a very nice touch.

+ + + Sequence Ends + + + Continuance Follows

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 15

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 15 (according to Wikipedia, this is the fourth and final part of a strip also known as 'The Flying Scotsmen')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 15

DATELINE
4 June 77

PAGE COUNT
4 (or 3 1/2)

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 16), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Zack and Red go head-to-head in the sudden-death fly-off.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First strip since the Harlem Heroes appearance in the 2000 AD Summer Special 1977. Last appearance of the Flying Scotsmen.

INFORMATION
The losing team in the highest scoring game qualifies for the next round of the World Aeroball Chamiponships.

The Harlem Heroes draw lots for the sudden-death fly-off with little dolls and whoever gets the skull-faced death's head doll takes part.

The final score is Flying Scotsmen 6, Harlem Heroes 7.

GIANT
He and Slim catch a falling Zack.

SLIM
He and Giant catch a falling Zack.

ZACK
He draws the death's head doll and takes part in the sudden death fly off with Red Macardle, after initially struggling he scores an air-strike and the Harlem Heroes win the game.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RED MACARDLE
He loses the sudden-death fly-off to Zack, despite trying to electrocute him on the score-tank's studs and throwing his hard hat at him and finds himself respecting the Harlem Heroes.


ARTIE GRUBER
His boss flies a helicopter and finds the Harlem Heroes's fans cheering the Flying Scotsmen disgusting. Artie is given another chance.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Red: "I want tae shake the hand o' the wee hoolie who beat me at ma own game! If he's the 'babe' o' the team, the rest of ye must be made of Edinburgh granite!"

WORST LINES
Hairy: "Giant, Zack ain't got a chance!"

Crikey, that's the spirit.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This is much better. It is refreshing to see that it's Zack, not Slim or Giant going up against Red. The action is easy to follow and the conflict between the two of them have a believable weight to it.

More Thrill Value Next Prog.
More Thrill Value Next Post.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 14

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 14
(according to Wikipedia, this is the third part of a strip also known as 'The Flying Scotsmen')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 14

DATELINE
28 May 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 15), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Louis inspires the Harlem Heroes to come back from a six nil defeat and play to their strengths.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Buck and the last strip before the Harlem Heroes appearance in the 2000 AD Summer Special 1977.

INFORMATION
In aeroball, double air-smashes are not permitted. Players may hit one another, but not hold on.

The half-time score is six air-strikes to the Flying Scotsmen to the Harlem Heroes nil. The final score is six all. No aeroball team has recovered from such a score deficit before.

The World Aeroball Championship is a knock-out competition which does not permit a draw. Games ending in a draw will be decided by a sudden-death fly off contested by one player from each team, first to score wins.

GIANT
He accuses Slim of turning the first half into a brawl.

SLIM
He scores at least one air-strike.

CONRAD KING
He scores at least one air-strike.

ZACK HARPER
He scores at least one air-strike.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LOUIS MAYER
He has been watching the game and has a plan for victory. He tells the team to play with the skill and improvisation of the Harlem Globetrotters.

BUCK
He is Sammy's replacement, Buck scores at least one air-strike, the Harlem Heroes' sixth which is the equaliser and just before the time-out buzzer ends the game.

ANDY
He is the Flying Scotsmen Number 5.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Red: "Let's get on wi'it, Giant! Ye've been hittin' me so hard, mon, ah'll swear ye were born in the back-streets of Glasgow!"
Giant (avoiding contact): "Thanks, Red...but I would want you to get the wrong impression!"

WORST LINES
Slim: "Okay, okay! Cut the jive and spell it out!"

CATCHPHRASES
The Flying Scotsmen fans still love to shout "Scotlaaand!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Slim (and presumably Louis) mention the Harlem Globetrotters.

MISTAKES
Louis' plan is a bit thin: play differently to the way that currently isn't working.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
The Harlem Heroes coming back from six-nil is impressive. I like that newcomer Buck gets to score the equaliser and it's nice to see Slim getting a bit more to do, but still the strip now feels as though it is missing something when it concentrates on aeroball and the conspiracy subplot recedes.

Don't Miss The Next Prog Of 2000 A.D.
There's Plenty More Aeroball Action To See!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 13

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 13 (according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as 'The Flying Scotsmen')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 13

DATELINE
21 May 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 15), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play the Flying Scotsmen.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First strip for which I am unable to think of a First.

INFORMATION
Neck-locks and pile-drivers are permitted in Aeroball.

The Flying Scotsmen score two air-strikes to the Harlem Heroes nil.

GIANT
He loses the blast-off to Red Macardle and then shoulder charges him at 80 mph. The Scotsman is unaffected.

SLIM
He uses a pair of fire extinguishers to end the Flying Scotsmen pre-game stunt.

HAIRY
Giant is shocked that the Flying Scotsmen's Number 4 manages to break Hairy's grip.

CONRAD KING
His specialty is a flying mid-air hitch-kick.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RED MACARDLE
He calls himself The King O' The Rigs. Red blocks King's shot at an air-strike, but manages to avoid touching the score tank and avoids the penalty pen.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Hairy: "Just in case you're wonderin', brother, this is called a neck-lock!"
Flying Scotsmen Number 4: "Och, ye...dinna...say..!...And this is an old-fashioned pile-driver--All the way from Aberdeen!"

WORST LINES
Commentator: "Striiike!"

Air or oil? Oh, neither.

CATCHPHRASES
Flying Scotsmen fans just shout "Scotlaaand!" again.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Has Sammy been replaced? If not, the Heroes only playing with a team of six, which wasn't permitted in Part 4.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This is treading water. This is the most-straight-forward part of the strip so far: no conspiracy, no Louis Mayer, no Ulysses Cord, no Artie Gruber, just pure unadulterated aeroball and man it's dull. What's at stake? Superior team might win. Who cares? After the drama of earlier instalments this was always going to seem tame by comparison.

Don't Miss The Heroes' Next Thrilling Bout, Order Your Copy Now, Don't Miss Out!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 12

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 12 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as 'The Flying Scotsmen')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 12

DATELINE
14 May 77

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 15), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Giant, Slim and Hairy take a history lesson about Scottish Aeroball.

FIRSTS & LASTS
The first appearance of The Flying Scotsmen, last mention of Sammy

INFORMATION
(This part takes place "a few days" after Part 11, with the game two days after the visit to the museum)

The Museum Of Sport is a large domed shaped building with exhibits on Power Sports, Mind Sports and Luna-Sports as well as specific sports like Aeroball, Football, Spinball, 3 Minute Milers and Boxing. The Boxing exhibit includes huge statues of Muhammad Ali and Rocky the 8 foot tall mutant heavyweight champion. The museum also boasts a Solar Glider, a vehicle called Shark, the UK and USA vehicles from the Trans-America Tank Race 2001, race cars including the 1993 World Champion, facsimile magazines like Shoot! and a Tri-D Audio-Visual Complex, currently showing a film on how aeroball came to Scotland. The aeroball exhibition includes low-pressure jet-packs.


There was an oil boom in in Scotland in the 1980's and townships sprang up to exploit it. When the oil ran out those townships became ghost towns. Some oil workers turned to Aeroball and built a stadium from parts of abandoned oil rigs. Scotland is now independent.

The Flying Scotsmen or the Wild Men from Aberdeen, Scotland. Their squad leader is 'Red' Macardle. As a pre-match stunt they perform a half loop, press their gusher buttons and back-fire their jet-packs as group like a plume of crude oil. Hundreds of Flying Scotsmen supporters have travelled with them. Their fans were once labelled as the wildest, most unruly sports fans in the world.

The Harlem Heroes second round game is against The Flying Scotsmen. The Harlem Heroes have branded hover-mopeds and a sky-flat in Harlem.

Gibbons make Tri-Vision Stereo equipment.

GIANT
He has recognised Artie Gruber from his voice. Giant visits the Sport's Museum with Slim and Hairy.

SLIM
He has been with Harlem Heroes for at least two years and played in the game against the Washington Warlocks in which Artie Gruber was injured. Slim visits the Sport's museum with Giant and Hairy. He takes exception to 'Red' Macardle and hits his accelerator button and launches him into the roof of the museum.

HAIRY
He visits the Museum of Sport with Giant and Slim.

OTHER CHARACTERS
'RED' MACARDLE
He is the squad leader of the Flying Scotsmen. Macardle visits the Museum of Sport, borrows a jet-pack and poses as a projection to trick the Harlem Heroes. Slim sends him into the ceiling and the two nearly come to blows.

ARTIE GRUBER
He played aerobal for the Washington Warlocks. Two years ago, his jet-pack accidentally exploded during a game with Harlem Heroes. Although Gruber blamed the Harlem Heroes.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hero: "...And that's what's left of one of the townships which sprang up like mushrooms during the Scottish oil boom of the 1980's!"

Fantastic.

WORST LINES
Hairy: "...One of the Flying Scots seems to be jetting straight at us...L-like he's made of flesh-and-blood!"

This makes no sense.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The statue of the mutant boxer in the museum implies a very different attitude towards them than will be exhibited by the year 2099 in Judge Dredd strips like 'The Brotherhood Of Darkness' and 'Mr Buzzz'.

The inclusion of Spinball in the Sport's Museum references Tom Tully's Death Game 1999 strip for Action published by IPC (as was 2000 A.D.). Whether this means that Death Game 1999 and Harlem Heroes take place in the same continuity, I couldn't say.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Flying Scotsmen take their name from the famous train, the Flying Scotsman, built in 1923 and used extensively for publicity by the London and North Eastern Railway.

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in 1942 and became Boxing Heavyweight Champion Of The World multiple times.

No-one has yet run a three minute mile, the current world record holder is Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco at 3:43.13 minutes.

Luna-Sports implies the the moon has been settled, but it could just as easily be a slightly odd exhibition devoted to golf and javelin, the two sports played on the moon by Alan Shepard in 1971.

Shoot! is a football magazine that has been published since 1969, and in 1977 would also have been owned by IPC.

The Audio-Visual Complex is very similar to the danger room of The X-Men comics(1963) and both the recreation room in Star Trek: The Animated Series (1974) and the holodecks of its subsequent spinoffs.

The discovery of North Sea Oil reinvigorated calls for Scottish independence and would have been very topical in 1977.

MISTAKES
Not necessarily a mistake, but the statues are not to the same scale as Muhammad Ali is depicted as taller than Rocky when in fact he was 6'3'' and therefore 21 inches shorter.

RETROSPECT
The sport's museum also houses what could be Formula One cars belonging to the 1993 World Champion, the closest thing would seem to be Alain Prost who won his fourth and final Drivers' World Championship trophy that year.

NOTES
The obscured racing driver's names: ...snell and O'Ne... are presumably name checks for Kelvin Gosnell and Kevin O'Neill.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This is quite a change of pace, but a welcome one. The strip quite nicely ventures from Giant working out who Gruber is to the beginning of the match with the Flying Scotsmen, and the satire on Scottish oil is great.

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 11

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 11
(according to Wikipedia, this is the third and final part of a strip also known as The Montezuma Mashers (sic))

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 11

DATELINE
07 May 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 15), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Artie Gruber returns and injures Sammy, which inspires the Harlem Heroes to play harder than before.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Sammy.

INFORMATION
Certain shoulder checks are permitted in aeroball.

After Sammy's injury, the Harlem Heroes played on with six players and in the process injured several opposition players. At one point there were only four Montezuma's Mashers in the air. Final score: Harlem Heroes 12, Montezuma's Mashers 0

GIANT
Gruber's voice is familiar to him. Giant scores at least one air-strike. He makes a speech for the Tri-Vision cameras just after the time-up buzzer ends the game.

CONRAD KING
He scores at least one air-strike.

ZACK HARPER
He throws the aeroball at Gruber's face.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
He steals a jetpack from the Montezuma's Mashers pit and escapes through the roof of the aerodrome.

SAMMY
Gruber punches him in the face and although he receives medical attention it damaged his brain and ended his aeroball career.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Montezuma's Mashers Number 3: "N-now take it easy, you guys! We had nothing to do with what happened just now!"

WORST LINES
Zack: "How's this, lady?"

Show off.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This is great. It's a shame that Sammy hasn't been fleshed out as a character before he's written out of the strip. He never even uttered a word. It would surely have had more impact on the reader to lose a more established character. The impact on the Heroes is well realised and the conspiracy against them seems to be shaping up nicely.
As long as the mystery villain isn't Ulysses Cord...

Will The Mystery Villain Get His Way? Or Can The Heroes Rule O.K?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 10

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 10
(according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as The Montezuma Mashers (sic))

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 10

DATELINE
30 Apr 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 14), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Artie fails to kill Giant and flees the field of play.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time we 'hear' the villain behind Gruber's voice.

INFORMATION
The Harlem Heroes versus Montezuma's Mashers score so far is one air-strike to the visitors. The Harlem Heroes have a medic in their pit.

Kwik-Heal Spray is used for cuts and applies a layer of Nu-Skin to the wound.

GIANT
A piece of shrapnel from Montezuma's Mashers squad leader's exploding jet pack tore through his visor. His first reaction upon seeing a flash of light in the crowd is to fly over and kick it in the face. He follows Artie into the Montezuma's Mashers pit.

HAIRY
He is concerned for Giant after the jet pack explosion.

ZACK HARPER
He heads in an air-strike.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
He misses Giant with his flamer gun and hits Benny Gray instead. He moves to the north terrace and tries again, but the crowd see his gun and panic ensues. Giant flies in and kicks him in the face. He receives a transmission from somewhere that goes directly into his brain and sounds like a voice in his head.

BENNY GRAY
Montezuma's Mashers squad leader. His jetpack explodes when Gruber shot it and Gray falls into a stand full of spectators. He was rushed to hospital.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Giant (whilst kicking Gruber in the face): "Talkin' of looks, this can only be an improvement!"

WORST LINES
Giant: "Hey! The North Terrace...A flash of fire--And the Zanies scattering like terrified sheep..!"

CATCHPHRASES
Harlem Heroes: "Watch us dive and soar and spin, we're the guys who play to win!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
It's great to see some teamwork as Giant punches a pass to Slim who kicks it to Zack while Hairy blocks the opposition, but it also doesn't require much explanation. Artie looks fantastic and really stands out on the page, but the cliffhanger is anti-climactic after the last one.

Don't Miss The Heroes' Next Thrilling Bout, Order Your Copy Now, Don't Miss Out!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 9

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 9
(according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as The Montezuma Mashers (sic))

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 9

DATELINE
23 Apr 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 14), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play Montezuma's Mashers, while Artie Gruber attempts to kill Giant.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Montezuma's Mashers and Cyrus Teegarten

INFORMATION
Lawns are available in synthetic grass-fibre.

The Harlem Heroes receive a rapturous welcome upon their return to Harlem. Their next league game is against the Montezuma's Mashers.

Montezuma's Mashers play their home games in a pyramid shaped stadium on Cyrus Teegarten's estate. They wear Aztec-like costumes.

Teegarten created the Ancient Order of Aztecs which includes much of American high society and Montezuma's Mashers fans. As a result of the Aztec influence and the economic circumstances of the Ancient Order, masks and personal shields originally designed to protect spectators from stray aeroballs have become more ornate and in some cases are made of solid gold.

Zanies is a nickname given to the eccentric.


GIANT
Ulysses Cord makes him uneasy.

SLIM
He is surprised by the Montezuma's Mashers player's outfits.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE GRUBER
He has been programmed to exact revenge on the Harlem Heroes. Newly revived, he jumps through the second storey window of the laboratory in Mega-City One and heads off to get his revenge. Three days later, he disguises himself as a Montezuma's Mashers fan, arms himself with a flamer gun and tries to kill Giant.


ULYSSES CORD
He is in charge of Transworld Tri-Vision. Cord has donated gas-powered aeroball mini-packs to Harlem's teenagers. He has a million-dollar side-bet with Cyrus Teegarten that the Harlem Heroes will beat Montezuma's Mashers.

CYRUS TEEGARTEN
He is a millionaire rancher who lives on an estate that lies on the site of an old Aztec temple. Teegarten created the Ancient Order of Aztecs, and his estate became a stamping ground for the American High Society. Montezuma's Mashers play their home games at a pyramid-shaped stadium on his ranch. He offers to pay a thousand dollar bonus to the Montezuma's Mashers player who scores the most air-strikes.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Commentator: "...And the Heroes' first league game since their Russian trip has really brought out the pace-setters, folks! You can almost hear their jewellery rattling..!"

WORST LINES
Slim: "Holy Moses! Get a load of that zany gear, Harlem!"
Zack: "They're like a bunch of armoured turkeys, just askin' to be plucked!"

CATCHPHRASES
Harlem Heroes Fan(s): "Hiya, Heroes...Here's the score, The Russian team are on the floor!"


Montezuma's Mashers: "We fly to the sun, with the greatest of ease, and we don't need the help, of a crummy trapeze!"

What? No, you need the help of a rocket fuelled jet pack.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Why doesn't Artie keep his Aztec disguise on?

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
The first page is spectacular and the strip builds to another great cliffhanger. The Aztec escalator and the comments about money are very nice additions.


Get 2000 A.D. Every Week, Or Your Reading Scene'll Be Pretty Bleak!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 8

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 8
(according to Wikipedia, this is the third and final part of a strip also known as The Siberian Wolves)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 8

DATELINE
16 Apr 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Robo-Hunter 4, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 14), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Giant survives to play another day and his team beat the Siberian Wolves. Meanwhile something sinister is happening in Mega-City One.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Mega-City One itself and Gruber in Harlem Heroes.

INFORMATION
The Russian pack attack is a typical Siberian Wolves manoevre.

Towards the end of the game the Siberian Wolves team is entirely made up of substitutes. The final score is Harlem Heroes 3, Siberian Wolves 1.

The Harlem Heroes are through to the second round of the world aeroball championships. Their next fixture is a league match back in the USA.

In Mega-City One, there is a hospital laboratory where individuals in a vegetative state can be revived.

GIANT
As he is falling he grabs a passing Siberian Wolf, then scoops up the aeroball with his feet, kicks it into the scoretank and scores an airstrike. He falls again, but Slim catches him.


SLIM
He catches Giant the second time he falls. Slim scores an airstrike.


CONRAD KING
He is suspicious of Giant's fuel impurity cover story.

ZACK HARPER
(He looks like he's doing a black power salute as the team walk away at the end of the game.)

OTHER CHARACTERS
TUCKER
He is part of the Harlem Heroes ground crew. One of his duties is the maintenance of their jet packs.

GRUBER
He has been braindead since he dived into the ground during an aeroball match against the Harlem Heroes three years ago. Someone who wants the Harlem Heroes dead has anonymously paid two Mega-City One doctors eight million dollars to connect his cerebral motors to an electro-impulse and turn him into a cyborg.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Giant: "If I gotta go...I'm gonna go like a hero!"

WORST LINES
Giant: "He shouldn't have said pack--makes me kinda mad!"

Get over it.

Gruber's Doctor: "Back in the nineteen-seventies, they would have called him a Cyborg!"

CATCHPHRASES
Presumably "Stava!" is Russian for something, but I can't find out what.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES
Slim mentions Kewpie Dolls. These are dolls based on comic strip illustrations by Rose O'Neill that first appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early twentieth century. I have absolutely no idea what Slim is getting at though.

MISTAKES
The referee presumes Giant will call for a time-out, but in Part 4 we learned that squad leader's could only call for a time-out if two more players are injured.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
Everything Giant does in this strip is fantastic and the prospect of a villain is a very exciting one.

Don't Miss The Next Prog Of 2000 A.D.
There's Plenty Of Aeroball Action To See!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 7

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 7
(according to Wikipedia, this is the second part of a strip also known as The Siberian Wolves)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 7

DATELINE
09 Apr 77

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Robo-Hunter 4, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 14), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The game with Siberian Wolves continues and both teams struggle with technology.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First strip to break the fourth wall: "You are looking at the Siberian Wolves..." etc.

INFORMATION
The Siberian Wolves play hard and need the large amount of substitutes due to a large amount of injuries.

Harlem Heroes vs Siberian Wolves score so far: 1 airstrike each.


GIANT
His jetpack malfuctions and he can't descend or turn.

SLIM
He heads the aeroball like a football and gets an airstrike, after assistance from Zack.

KING
He punches the aeroball like a handball. King is concerned for the welfare of the injured Siberian Wolves players.

ZACK
He is described as "the babe of the Heroes", Zack dribbles the aeroball along the runway like its a basketball and then kicks like a football.


LOUIS MAYER
His words about the crash come back to Giant as he falls.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BORISES
Three are injured: one electrocuted by the scoretank (zzzapped!), while two crash into each other attempting to go after Zack.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Commentator: "They've taken Borises Two, Four, Six and Seven...but Boris One is nearly through!"

Actually despite the racism it does illustrate how little we need to know the opposing team as individuals.

WORST LINES
Giant: "What a zonk! We've equalised."

CATCHPHRASES
Boris Five gives us another "Za rodinu!", but goes on to explain that it means "For Mother Russia!"

Also another rhyme from the fans: "The wolves are fast, and full of guts,but do their thinkin' with their butts!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Giant remembers Louis' words incorrectly, but to be fair he does have more important things to think about.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
More nice visuals showing the lengths the Siberian Wolves will go to, but very little here for the characters. The cliffhanger should be fantastic, but the flashback really undermines it.

The Heroes' Fans, They Scream And Shout,
And You Will Too, When Our Next Prog's Post's Out!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Harlem Heroes, Part 6

NAME
Harlem Heroes, Part 6 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as The Siberian Wolves)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 6

DATELINE
02 Apr 77

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1983, Robo-Hunter 1, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 12), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13, The Best Of 2000AD and The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes get to Russia and begin playing the very determined Siberian Wolves.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First mention of Mega-City One and first visit to another country.

INFORMATION
(It's been a "coupla weeks" since the road crash)

The Trans-Atlantic Tunnel runs under the atlantic ocean connecting the United States to Europe and Africa. It was started in 2010 A.D. and completed in 2050 A.D. At least six levels of traffic are layered one on top of the other. Oceanic Industries maintains an facility on the sea floor outside the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel. Aquatugs are underwater vehicles to aid divers. There is an Atlantic Hilton, part way along the route. Companies using the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel at the same time as Harlem Heroes include: Mills Moving, Juggernaught Trucking Corp, Acme, Stones II, Transatlantic Trucks and Barnum Circus.


The Soviet Union still exists in some capacity. Russia only applied for membership of the World Aeroball Association five years ago. there are rumours of secret aeroball training camps in the wilds of Siberia. The Palace Of Aeroball is reportedly bigger than the Kremlin. The Siberian Wolves field at least thirty substitutes and wear armour with CCCP written on it.


Aeroball pitches have recoil surfaces.

The Harlem Heroes have recruited some new trainees. Being hit by an aeroball travelling at 80mph is part of the training regimen. The Harlem Heroes new liner converts into a water-tight air-conditioned super-sub at the flick of a switch. Its tactics room has a tacto-mat three dimensional display and its medic-room has an autodoctor. They are the first foreign team to enter the Soviet Union. The Russian Aeroball fans form the Harlem Heroes symbol as a welcome gesture.

The London Synthesiser Orchestra (LSO) are also visiting Russia and the Bolshoi Ballet are heading in the opposite direction as the team head towards Moscow.

GIANT
He holds a tactics session in the liner's tactics room.

SLIM
He worries about Louis during the journey.

HAIRY
(Is he flying the satellite chopper?)

CONRAD KING
He supervises the training of the new recruits.

ZACK HARPER
He has a low-level support push tactic that Giant wants to alter by making Zack a decoy.

LOUIS MAYER
He is travelling in the liner's medic-room. Louis' nurse is along for the ride.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ARTIE NEILSON
One of at least three of the drivers of the Harlem Heroes' liner.

BORIS WOROSLOV
The Minister of Sport and Chief Director of Aeroball Activities.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hero: "Either they love us to Betsy already, or they're just tryin' to keep their hands warm!"

WORST LINES
American Commentator: "Heck, the Russians all look the same to me, folks, so I'll have to go by numbers...I'll call them all Boris!"

Racism is still alive and well.


CATCHPHRASES
Boris Two or Three: "Za Rodinu"

It means "For the Motherland"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Judge Dredd's beat gets a mention with Mega-City One 3000 km written on a sign for trans-atlantic vehicles. Making this the first link between the two strips.

INFLUENCES
The Bolshoi Ballet was founded in 1776 and so would recently have celebrated its bicentennial as this strip was being drawn.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
It may not be on the scale of the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel, the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 connecting the UK and France. Also, the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, so presumably it reforms at some point by 2050.

NOTES
On the first page, there is a vehicle labelled Mills Moving, clearly in honout of Pat Mills, and another entering the panel on the top right hand side with what looks like part of the 2000 A.D. logo on it.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
There are some great visuals in this strip, but it's more travelogue than sports action. The Siberian Wolves are suitably formidable and I love that the Harlem Heroes even stand in their trademark 'H' formation. Louis reasserts his certainty that the crash was no accident, although it's a shame that he doesn't remember anything new.

2000 A.D. - It's Thrilling And New
Big Picture Power - Programmed For You.