Harlem Heroes, Part 2 (according to Wikipedia, this is the first part of a strip also known as The Baltimore Bulls)
2000 A.D. Prog 2
05 Mar 77
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.
Giant, Slim and Hairy try to put the Harlem Heroes back together.
FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Conrad King, Zack Harper, Chico, Sammy and the Baltimore Bulls.
An aeroball is silver. There is an amateur Aeroball stadium 500 feet up on Street Level Nine in the slum area of Harlem. The players use either low power jet packs or illegal home made ones powered by alcohol. Ten young people have been killed using them in the last year.
A new medical bone-grafting technique has helped patients with hip injuries.
Before the crash, the Harlem Heroes lent two players to the Seattle Swifts. The Harlem Heroes first round match is against the Baltimore Bulls. Sixty million televiewers watch the game. Named players: Conrad King, Zack Harper, Chico and Sammy.
He was discovered in the sky-slums of Harlem. Giant saves Zack's life when his jet pack overheats.
He distrusts Zack.
He was discovered in the sky-slums of Harlem. He injured his hand in the crash, but it has healed now.
He is a forty year old aeroball veteran who played for the Harlem Heroes, but was forced to retire due to injury. Conrad broke his right hip three times, but has now received a bonegraft and can play again. (If he is exactly forty and if the year is 2050, then he was born in 2010).
He is involved with street gangs, has been in trouble with the police and his father is currently in prison for armed robbery. Zack gatecrashes aeroball games at the amateur stadium in the slum area on street level nine in Harlem. Giant saves his life when his jet pack overheats and he loses control.
CHICO & SAMMY
Two Harlem Heroes reserves who were lent to the Seattle Swifts, but requested a return transfer when they heard about the crash that killed their former teammates.
Hairy (impressed by Conrad's skills): "Amazing he's scored an airstrike...from the ground!"
Giant: "Hey! Who let you in here, old timer!"
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Zack mentions Superman (1938), which is an odd reference for him to make since flying people should be fairly commonplace as far as he is concerned.
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
Stories that involve "getting the band back together" usually require you to care about the band in the first place or at least more than the individuals involved. The additions of a veteran or a punk kid are well worn tropes, but both work well here albeit at the expense of learning anything new about Slim or Hairy. Tom Tully is evidentally at his best describing and depicting game action and this strip suffers slightly, but the effort going into the worldbuilding and the art is absolutely fantastic throughout.