Harlem Heroes: 'The Apache Demons'
(I have called this post 'The Apache Demons', to give it a name in the vein of those listed on the Wikipedia article and to differentiate between this strip and another equally Untitled one from the 2000 A.D. Summer Special 1977)
2000 A.D. Annual 1979
1 Sept 1978
The Harlem Heroes play the Apache Demons.
FIRSTS & LASTS
First full colour Harlem Heroes strip, first 8 page Harlem Heroes strip.
The Apache Demons are from Arizona. They are famous for performing a mid-air victory dance when they score.
The No No squad is deployed at some Aeroball matches. They spray hooligans with a smelly, pungent, green dye which takes either three or six months to wear off and boasts a stronger odour depending on the severity of the crime. Those still dyed are not permitted to attend Aeroball matches.
Harlem Heroes player's wear visors which feature a head up display which keeps them informed of their speed, time and direction.
Apache Demons 1, Harlem Heroes 0, 300,000 spectators attend. The stadium is full.
He fights off an Apache Demons player to pass the ball to Zeke.
He and Chief Crazy Dog almost have a head on collision at 200kph, but the Apache Demon swerves away at the last moment. Slim scores an air strike.
He beats Chief Crazy Dog to the blast off, but is lassoed by the Apache Demons' fans. Later, he deflects a ball off an Apache Demons player's face.
Harlem Heroes player. He receives a headbutt to his jet pack controls from Chief Crazy Dog, crashes to the ground and is injured.
CHIEF CRAZY DOG
Leader of the Apaches. He wears a distinctive headdress. He headbutts Zeke's jet pack controls causing him to crash and lose possession of the ball. He scores an air strike. He and Slim almost have a head on collision at 200kph, but he swerves away at the last moment and out through the roof. His jet pack is punctured and explodes killing him.
One. Chief Crazy Dog is killed when his jet pack explodes.
Commentator: "Oh, wow! Crazy Dog's on full power! There's no way he can avoid...Raising the roof!"
Giant: "Aeroball's a game where you take your life in your hands every day - like motor-racing in the last century!"
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
This strip takes place before the Harlem Heroes, Part 1. Presumably Zeke recovers from his injuries only to be killed in the road-crash that killed most of the team. Aeroball is also described as "the game that gave birth to Inferno!"
INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The scale seems off as Hairy takes the blast off and the ball looks like it would be colossal. How do the Harlem Heroes win? Slim's score should equalise.
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.
The strip essentially retells and streamlines the story beats of 'Berlin Stadium', redirects the racism elsewhere and does so in full colour. This is a step up from our visit to Berlin though, the Aeroball action plays better and full colour doesn't do this strip justice, it's more like vivid technicolour and it uses its colour intelligently to indicates who's who. The panel featuring the commentator lounging is fantastic, although the shower scene is a very odd addition.