US 1 #8-12
Issue(s): US 1 #8, US 1 #9, US 1 #10, US 1 #11, US 1 #12
Ok, let's not spend too much time on this. Issue #8 shows us that U.S. Archer finds his truck U.S. 1 to be more responsive than before, thanks in theory to the truck becoming sentient as shown last issue (i wonder if i should list it as a Character Appearing)...
...and also thanks to the fact that Midnight's hypno-whip caused a side-effect where Archer can control the truck remotely instead of with his silver dollar remote.
The rest of the issue is devoted to teasing the idea that Taryn O'Connell is really Midnight...
...but we learn in issue #9 that it's really Mary McGrill.
Mary herself is a victim of the hypno-whip; she was acting as Midnight without knowing it, under the control of the Highwayman.
Baron von Blimp also returns in issue #9...
...and he's got a gaggle of Nazis with him.
Von Blimp says that he himself isn't even German; he just likes Nazi uniforms.
Among all this chaos, a fight breaks out at the truckstop, with Ralph Kramden lookalike "Fast Eddie" showing up amongst the truckers.
In #10, we learn that the Highway Man is U.S. Archer's brother, Jeff.
So by #10, we've got all the villains of the series together.
And if that wasn't crazy enough, there's also a return of the aliens who talk in CB-style lingo, good buddy.
By the way, the aliens' species is never named, and the Appendix suggests that their species may actually be Alien, based on little things like this text box saying "Translated from the alien tongue".
We also learn that the aliens are Letterman fans.
Somewhat disappointingly, the aliens don't just speak in CB-ese. They vary their speaking patterns based on a bunch of different pop culture references, including Thor.
After a good old fashioned truck battle...
...we learn that the aliens came to Earth trying to recruit U.S. Archer to be an intergalactic diplomat/trucker.
But they grabbed his brother by mistake. And his brother, jealous that U.S. had all the breaks in life, concealed the fact that he wasn't U.S. and when the truth came out, he convinced the aliens to let him prove himself. This results in a
space truckin' race around the worldin issue #12 (and drawn by Steve Ditko!)...
...that ends when Jeff crashes in to the moon!
Meanwhile, von Blimp and his Nazis are teleported by the aliens to Tel Aviv.
Throughout all of this, Mssrs. Clutch, Grab, and LeGreed of Clutch, Grab, and LeGreed Realty...
...scheme to take over the Short Stop diner. They are the ones that bring Baron von Blimp back into the mix. In the end, though, the aliens transport the diner into outer space, and the property is left too radioactive to develop.
When it all ends, U.S. Archer agrees to head out into space. He takes Retread with him, and Poppa Wheeler, Wide Load Annie, and Mary McGrill also ask the aliens to teleport their diner onto an asteroid (Taryn decides to stay behind).
Now isn't that the most awesome thing you ever saw?
The good news is that this is all very much tongue in cheek and no one expects us to take it seriously. So it's just good inconsequential fun. I do think the Highwayman, Baron von Blimp, and even a new Midnight could work as C-list villains outside of this series. Someone, at least, needs to continue to prove to the world that blimps are the superior method of transporting cargo.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAl the Alien, Baron von Blimp, Highwayman (US1), Mary McGrill, Poppa Wheeler, Retread, Taryn O'Connell, U.S. Archer, Wide Load Annie
The Highwayman did reappear in 2009-2010 in an issue of Ghost Rider and an issue of Deadpool Team-Up. The odd thing is, the "Faustian deal for youth" origin is treated as true and the Highwayman has demonic powers. (The Highwayman is also depicted with an eyepatch before his transformation. And the dialogue in the Deadpool Team-Up issue confirms it's Jefferson.) This makes no sense since the original origin was supposed to be fake- Jefferson is only a couple of years older than US and he doesn't show any demonic powers in these issues.
Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2013 7:48 PM
It's weird how so many of today's writers can go to the trouble of digging up obscure ancient characters, but can't be bothered to get continuity and other details right.
Posted by: Paul | August 17, 2013 2:08 AM
Apparently his fake origin inspired him to try for it real.
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 21, 2015 12:19 AM
There's a Where's Wally / Waldo style background Cameo by US1 in the Transformers limited series. Can you find it?
I think this proves beyond doubt that that series is canon even more than the Godzilla reference from Dumdum Dugan. And I'm a little sad that US1 didn't get to race Optimus Prime.
Posted by: Benway | November 28, 2016 9:29 PM
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