Characters Appearing: Babet, Gale Patric, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Gun Runner, Noble Kale, Shakata
Gun Runner #1-2
Issue(s): Gun Runner #1, Gun Runner #2
And why is he called Gun Runner? Uh, because he has a gun and he was a runner.
If you are like, super into all of the Marvel UK stuff, you may recognize "Smith" in the scan above. He appeared in the original Battletide miniseries. I would have never made that connection on my own, but luckily Smith is on one of the other trading cards (along with the other two "Enhanced") and they list his first appearance.
So Gun Runner is a genetically modified alien jogger. He and his fellow Enhanced once defeated a different alien race called the Cynodd, and then it seems he was put into suspended animation. At the beginning of these issues, his suspension pod got sent to Earth, landing in the Nevada desert. He starts off with amnesia, and fully naked, but luckily he's found by plucky casino owner Gale Patric.
You might think that's a weird way to start your day, but Patric takes it in stride. In fact, it seems to be a not uncommon occurrence for her.
He gets his memories back when he helps deal with some unruly casino customers, and then he gets into a random fight with Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider. Actually, it's kind of interesting because Blaze is sent to investigate a sense of danger detected by Clara Menninger.
This was a clarifying moment for me, because it made me realize what the Spirits of Vengeance series might have been. I've never really understood what the point of Blaze's cast was, including Menninger, but i now suspect that the original idea for the storytelling engine was for her to detect threats that Blaze would go investigate. I guess all the crossovers in that book made it so that never got off the ground.
Blaze gets into a Misunderstanding Fight with Gun Runner but things really escalate when Ghost Rider shows up.
This is pretty uncharacteristic for Ghost Rider. No innocent blood has been spilled, but he assumes the worst.
Gun Runner is able to hold his own against Ghost Rider.
And he gets away. And then Blaze is able to de-escalate.
They then, er, fly after Gun Runner and Gale Patric (or maybe they're doing a sweet launch off that cliff?).
Gun Runner and Gail had actually been attacked by some Cynodds before Blaze showed up. To find out where they came from Gail rummages through their jeep. And, uh...
The info she finds leads them to a facility beneath Las Vegas.
Gun Runner starts beating up all these Cynodds and rescuing the humans (who were beings used as "genetic factory fodder"). Meanwhile, Ghost Rider follows Gun Runner's trail and ends up terrorizing a bunch of casino goers.
But they eventually get to the fight, which has been joined by a boss Cynodd named Shakata.
The bad guys are beaten and their base is blown up, and then Gun Runner and Gail Patric get in a spaceship to fly into space.
This was pretty terrible.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place before Johnny Blaze goes bionic in Road to Vengeance. I'm allowing time between this arc and the next, since Gun Runner and Gail Patric are in transit in space in between and who knows how long that takes.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Marvel UK's really diversifying. Their Pumping Iron imprint just gave us Die-Cut, a genetically-engineered alien cyborg, and now the wildly different Gene Pool imprint gives us Gun Runner, a genetically-engineered alien cyborg.
Posted by: Mortificator | February 23, 2017 5:03 PM
What I find interesting is that Marvel UK published a book set in the US. I may be mistaken, but weren't Marvel UK characters usually based in UK?
Posted by: Piotr W | February 23, 2017 5:19 PM
Between his build and those red eyes, in the scan where he is naked one could easily mistake Gun Runner for Wonder Man with a bad haircut (which is pretty plausible, given some of the ones Simon has had over the years).
In the next scan Gale describes him as being 'almost naked' when she found him. Unless she's counting the elastics or whatever they are holding his hair into shape as clothing, I'm not sure why she's giving him the credit of 'almost'. lol
Posted by: Dermie | February 23, 2017 6:41 PM
I'm glad Fnord finally admitted U.K. series are crap. I thought almost every Marvel UK book was a steaming pile of shite
Posted by: Mquinn1976 | February 23, 2017 9:20 PM
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