US 1 #4-5
Issue(s): US 1 #4, US 1 #5
Baron von Blimp arrives at the Short Stop diner and challenges U.S. Archer to a race.
As stated above, his goal is to redeem the public's opinion of blimps.
And he tells Archer if he wins the race, he'll reveal information about the Highwayman. U.S. agrees, but he knows from the encounter with the blimp last issue that the Baron is not on the up and up.
He didn't just grab him now because he thinks he'll be more cooperative after the race, if the Baron doesn't win the race or kill him. Right. That makes sense. Wait, what?!
Anyway, this race is happening, and the cargo is chickens.
The Baron quickly begins cheating, attacking U.S. 1, so it's on.
It's worth noting that Blimp is acting against the Highwayman's orders by trying to kill, not capture, U.S. Archer.
This issue even gets into trucker politics, complaining about Reagan's "user's fee" on gasoline (and a reference to the Teamsters in the second scan on this page).
When it's all over, Blimp's blimp is getting carried out to sea, and Archer learns nothing about the Highwayman.
When Archer arrives at the finish line, it turns out that he didn't win because Taryn O'Connell has also secretly entered the race. Which, as Archer points out, wasn't really fair. So to compensate, the Foghorn Leghorn talking chicken man arranges a second race between Archer and Taryn.
And this is when the series gets really weird.
U.S. winds up getting tricked into taking a detour that leads him to a maze full of crazy weather phenomenon.
And when U.S. gets through the maze, that's when he meets the CB-talking alien.
The alien needs to borrow some parts for his UFO. And by parts, he means chicken parts.
To thank U.S. for this, the alien uses a tractor beam to get him to the finish line before Taryn.
A Teutonic Blimp man? A weather maze for trucks? Aliens that say "Breaker breaker, good buddy"? You have to have a heart of ice to not love this. I mean (questionable reference to the Ancient One and Aged Genghis in issue #3 aside), it's about tangential to my project here as you can get, but still.
In the lettercol for issue #4, in a response to someone saying that Marvel had better wrap up the mystery of the Highwayman if they want this series to last more than a year, it's said that "the book is only stated to run for 12 issues. This has been the plan from the very creation of the title. It will be a limited run, a maxi-series, if you will." One way of looking at that is it's true and it was always meant to be a mini-series. But there's no indication of that on the cover and no previous mention of it. And it would be a new phenomenon for there to be a planned twelve issue series. The other possibility is that sales were so dismal that they had already decided by issue #4 that they weren't going to go beyond whatever contractual obligations they had with the toy company that they licensed this from, and that's why by issue #5 there were CB-talking aliens because who even cares anymore? I'm actually leaning towards the former but i have no way of knowing.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAl the Alien, Baron von Blimp, Mary McGrill, Poppa Wheeler, Retread, Taryn O'Connell, U.S. Archer, Wide Load Annie
The alien, who is eventually named Al, makes several more appearances.
Posted by: Michael | August 10, 2013 11:06 PM
Added him. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | August 10, 2013 11:51 PM
Baron Von Blimp looks way too much like Jack Kirby's Virman Vundabar. Or maybe he was taken from the British Colonel Blimp?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 11, 2013 5:33 PM
Comments are now closed.
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