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 + + +