Harlem Heroes, Part 16 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as 'Gorgon's Gargoyles')
2000 A.D. Prog 16
16 June 77
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2, Issue 16), 2000AD Extreme Edition 13 and The Complete Harlem Heroes.
The Harlem Heroes prepare to play Gorgon's Gargoyles, while Artie Gruber secretly the team.
FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Gorgon's Gargoyles.
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.
He can fly a jet-board.
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.
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.
It's not explicit here whether Artie kills Mugglie in their fight.
Mugglie (thinks): "Someone's poundin' on the door! If it's one of them darned sports writers, hoping to catch me half-zipped..!"
Buck (as Zack flies by on a jet-board): "Why ya sassy little..."
Artie Gruber: "Snap!"
Does that count? It's not really his catchphrase, but it is a catchy phrase that we all understand.
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
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.
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
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