Issue(s): Warheads #12, Warheads #13, Warheads #14
Issue #12 involves a planet with aliens who control dinosaurs!...
...and quote Slayer...
...and fight robots!
The second story has them retrieving a powerful gun from some aliens on another planet. (By the way, i know i'm using the word "aliens" in a very human-centric and objectively incorrect way. Take it up with the Galactic Council.)
Two things that unite the first two issues (and are definitely part of the core concept) are the high fatality rates for the Warheads...
...and the fact that they have no ethics when it comes to stealing your technology for Mys-Tech.
The Warheads are basically marauders for hire, coming to your world to pillage and slaughter.
One new recruit, Duncan, survives but loses an arm.
It's replaced by a bionic one in issue #14.
However, he later loses his other arm fighting zombies.
This final story has the Warheads going to a planet where a previous group of Warheads (said to be the first) were killed off and but continue to exist as ghosts (and later, the aforementioned zombies). They reveal to the Warheads that their own lives are in danger because Mys-Tech are evil.
This doesn't really come as a revelation to the readers, and at least some of the Warheads have already been trying to find a way to leave, but by the end of this issue the whole squad is in agreement. They aren't necessarily interested in delivering vengeance for the former Warheads (hence the fight with the zombies), but when it's all over they learn that they've somehow become addicted to doing the jumps for Mys-Tech.
Misha now has the Warheads ghosts in her head, and she says that she can generate portals without Mys-Tech. So the squad decides to defect.
In issue #12 there is a scene with Mys-Tech arranging a training mission for the Warheads where their opponents are thought to be automatons but are really real people. The idea is that Mys-Tech can blackmail Liger later if he ever tries to go against them. There's no mention of that in issue #14 when the Warheads defect; we don't see Mys-Tech's reaction at all.
I liked the idea of the Warheads, and the issues here show how they could be used to tell all sorts of fun random adventure stories (dinosaurs vs. robots!). But the series had its share of stumbles, with the weird disposable insertion of mainstream Marvel heroes in the early issues and the half-issue split stories. Mys-Tech Wars and the story about Misha and Blackheart kept us away from the book's core concept. It's interesting that even though we've had several artists, the book has always had a kind of dense and cluttered "house" style. For whatever reason this book never got any of the Alan Davis inspired artists that appeared on other Marvel UK books. Aside from the art just being a kind of acquired taste that was definitely not in fashion in the 90s, it also made it difficult to keep the Warheads - a lot of whom were only sporadically identified and often only had a single non-descriptive name (Gregory) - clearly identifiable. Some of the characters are still pretty memorable - i like the scarred Col. Liger and his talking gun (just don't remind me of the convoluted reason that he's scarred). Misha is always recognizable. And i always have to look up her name, but Stacy Arnheim in her big body armor is pretty cool. I guess the idea behind the others is that they are disposable, but when some of them start showing up in other books - like Che in Shadow Riders - i kind of feel put out that i'm supposed to know who is who. The larger point, as i've said elsewhere, is that the concept is good and i wish the Marvel UK office had been able to focus on developing it better instead of dropping it to throw a million mini-series against the wall to see what would stick (especially since the answer was none of it).
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: There are three separate stories here but i've placed them all in a single entry because they all have to be pushed back in publication time because they are referenced in Shadow Riders #1-4, which also had to be pushed back in publication time. Colonel Liger's Warheads team goes AWOL from Mys-Tech at the end of issue #14, so they shouldn't appear elsewhere as Mys-Tech agents after this.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showChe, Clementine, De Costa (Warheads), Duncan (Warheads), Gregory (Warheads), Leona McBride, Master Key, Misha (Warheads), Stacy Arnheim, Tigon Liger
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