Team America #4
Issue(s): Team America #4
As to why we began solo character stories effectively with issue #3 of this series, i can only guess. I can tell you that Jim Shooter has writing credits on issues #1-2 and then these solo stories are pure Bill Mantlo and then Jim Shooter again gets a writing credit beginning with issue #8, the first issue with the Team back together again. Was Mantlo treading water waiting for Shooter? Maybe waiting for some direction on the Marauder mystery? Did Shooter reject Mantlo's planned plotline and so they pivoted to this while they sorted things out? Surely no one thought there was really enough material to delve into solo stories for this characters? Immediate update: I figured it out. Each one of these solo books was designed to come with the appropriate toy. See my entry for Team America #6 for more on this exciting mystery. That makes more sense.
Indeed, all of the solo stories are padded with pin-ups.
Anyway, no complaints about this issue, because it features runaway children getting trapped in arcade machines, which are then attached to their brains.
The thing is, i don't get the scheme. The arcade owners are making a lot of money from this and are attracting the attention of the mob, who would help expand their operation. But it was 1982! The only thing you needed to fill your arcade full of quarter dropping kids was Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Centipede, and Joust (definitely Joust). There was no need to connect the machines to the brains of runaways. What did it gain them that regular arcade machines wouldn't?
This is Wolf's story, so he's alerted to the problem of missing children from a kid from El Barrio, and of course when he goes home he has to get called a sissy and fight some local toughs to prove he's still a badass even though he's wearing red white and blue tights..
Wolf investigates the arcade...
...but he's ultimately knocked out, and the Marauder has to manifest to save the day. And by "save the day" i mean rescue a group of kids from an exploding clown rollercoaster.
R.U. Reddy shows up at the end just in time to leave open the possibility that the Marauder is a member of Team America.
Aside from the brain-arcades and exploding clown rollercosters (and that is a big aside!), this will be the basic formula for the next few issues.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back in publication time to account for a sober Iron Man's appearance in Team America #9.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showHoncho, Marauder, R.U. Reddy, Wolf
The arcade video game industry actually did suffer a big downturn in business in 1983. Maybe the villains were prescient?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 28, 2013 5:30 PM
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