Inferno, Part 1
2000 A.D. Prog 36
29 Oct 77
The Complete Harlem Heroes.
The former Harlem Heroes turn their hand to a new game.
FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Inferno as a sport, first appearance of Don Wepner.
Inferno is a sport sweeping the board in popularity. It is regarded as "faster than Speedway, crazier than Ice Hockey, tougher than American Football and deadlier than Aeroball". Positions include Flyers and Block Fliers who wear jet-packs, while Bikers and strike-men ride motorbikes and are equipped with a massive power-glove containing a gas-fired 'pick hook' which when launched and aimed correctly connects with a flyer's belt, ropes and tackles them. Finally there are the Cavemen who are situated in the semi-circle and guard the goal or cave. The players wear fibre-glass armour.
The playing area has a series of lights that flash and when one turns green that is where the ball will enter play. Flyers must touchdown inside the semi-circle (or score-semi) before they can shoot to score a 'cave in'. The only way a biker can score is to bounce the ball off an airman into the cave. A wheel-swipe is a manouevre which involves passing the ball under the motorbike whilst in motion. The game is ended by the sounding of a peace-buzzer.
The New York Aces and the Washington Wolves are Inferno teams that play in the Premier Division of the American East-Coast Inferno League.
Maclean and Benny Meyer play for the New York Aces as Flyer and Biker respectively, while Hammond is a biker for the Washington Wolves and Rastu is one of their flyers. The New York Aces beat the Washington Wolves by nineteen points to eighteen.
The Baltimore Bullets are another Inferno team.
Aeroball fell from favour not long after the Harlem Heroes became world champions.
He doesn't regard Inferno as a game requiring skill. He and the other former Harlem Heroes play for the Washington Wolves as guests. The Baltimore Bullets score a Cave-in as the ball bounces off him and into the cave.
He is an Inferno fan.
He is an Inferno fan. He is struck in the chest by the ball during the game against the Baltimore Bullets.
The manager of the Washington Wolves. He convinces the Harlem Heroes to play as guest flyers in the match against Baltimore Bullets.
Washington Wolves Fan: "Aeroball is washed up... and so are the Harlem Heroes!"
Aces Cave-Man: "Go find somewhere else t'dump ya super-balls, Butterfly!"
No catchphrases as such, just several examples of Inferno's terminology like cave-in, block flier etc.
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Giant, Slim and Zack were previously seen in Harlem Heroes, while Giant has appeared in Judge Dredd: The Academy Of Law, Part 2 although that strip is set years after Inferno.
Rollerball (1975), and Harlem Heroes...
The spellings Flier and Flyer are both used.
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Massimo Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall
Belardinelli is, of course, Massimo Belardinelli.
Bring back Aeroball. It's nice to see the Harlem Heroes back, but their new game is not as exciting as it thinks it is. Excessive rules require excessive exposition, which slows the whole thing down. Where Part 1 of Harlem Heroes gave us Aeroball, a fatal crash and a disembodied brain, Part 1 of Inferno's peril is that Harlem Heroes might not be very good at a sport they aren't used to playing. On the plus side, the artwork is very nice and the commentator is established confidently without wasting a panel on seeing them.