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.