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June 26, 2009

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Atari Force issues one to three.



ATARI FORCE #1.
COVER TITLE. Introducing: the strangest S-F heroes of all!
INSIDE TITLE. Fresh blood
COVER DATE. January, 1984
COVER PRICE. 75 ¢
COVER ARTIST. José Luis García López
NUMBER OF PAGES. 23
WRITER. Gerry Conway
PENCILLER. José Luis García López
INKER. Ricardo Villagran
LETTERER. Bob Lappan
COLORIST. Tom Ziuko
EDITOR. Andy Helfer

On Roc’s World Dart and Blackjack are asking, well, not nicely, for their fee to General Ki. He should have paid on time. Our heroes are making a lot of rattle and the fight is quite something.

Then Dart has a premonition. Colony Cops are on their way. They must run away. There is no way out, so Dart uses a grenade and opens a hole in a wall


The problem is, an almost impossible edge awaits them and they fall is only stopped by Dart’s proverbial hang and rope.

General Ki escapes and faces the Master and Kargg. His failure is punished. It cost him his life.


Here we can see Kargg and the Dark Destroyer. The bad guys are powerful enemies.

Meanwhile, on planet Egg, far away from Roc’s World, a Pirate Captain and his subordinate land on a planet where his inhabitants are big, childish creatures with great physical force.


A baby from this planet Egg is enough and they kidnap one. We’ll love this big baby. The poor guy cries when he discovers the mischieving.

In the Atari Headquarters (we discover that ATARI means “Advanced Technology And Research Institute”), Tempest, the young male hero of the series is engaged in a drill where he must escape a killing machine. He uses his psycho-kinetic abilities that allow him to teletransportate from one place to another.


We can see for the first time Professor Venture and Morphea. Two strong female characters. In First Landing Park, on New Earth, Christ Tempest relaxes with his girlfriend, Melissa, the daughter of a senator that doesn’t approve this relation. We’ll see more of this in next chapters.

Another great character is about to be presented: Pakrat.


Pakrat infiltrates in the Betelgeuse Star System’s Moon Alpha. His aim is a jewel from the Klavian Crown. A miscalculation makes the Museum Guards to follow him. When he is cornered, his animal instincts make him get havoc.

Dart and Blackjack run away from the cantina.

The episode ends with an explanation of the first Atari Force Miniseries. It took time twenty five years before. The Scanner One and the Multiverse projects are explained (I’ll wait for the next post to explain them).

ATARI FORCE #2.
COVER TITLE. Dart vs. the Warbeast… no wonder we call this one “Direct Encounter”.
INSIDE TITLE. Direct Encounter
COVER DATE. February, 1984
COVER PRICE. 75 ¢
COVER ARTIST. José Luis García López
NUMBER OF PAGES. 20
WRITER. Gerry Conway
PENCILLER. José Luis García López
INKER. Ricardo Villagran
LETTERER. Bob Lappan
COLORIST. Tom Ziuko
EDITOR. Andy Helfer


Dart and Blackjack are still fighting as mercenaries in Roc’s World. They are in a battalion that is in dire situation. Blackjack takes the risk and attacks the enemy.

He reappears like nothing had happened. They are almost invincible. That’s more than Dark Destroyer can chew.
Dark Destroyer sends Warbeast, a smelly creature that annihilate all living creatures in his planet. Then they turn into cannibalism. This Warbeast is the sole survivor of his race and his planet.


In New Earth, Tempest saves Melissa, his girlfriend from a scorp (a dangerous animal), but instead of recognition, Tempest is disregarded and Senator Jamieson, Melissa’s Father wants to throw Tempest out. Our hero teaches a lesson to the Senator, but knowing that Melissa is a girl from the past now.


In A.T.A.R.I, Morphea suffers the psychic shields that protects the Champion’s laboratory. Champion opens the door and lets Morphea check on his experiment. He releases a probe into the multiverse. He considers that it is the origin of all the evil the universe is suffering, with a war that is almost obliterating all its inhabitants.

In the cargo where Babe is kidnapped, the second in command cannot afford the way this little child is crying. And he feels sorry for him.

Meanwhile, Pakrat is surviving in the ship where he travels as a stowaway.

Back in Roc’s World, the mercenaries relax when the Warbeast attacks.

The premonition of Dart helps the group fight back the beast. Dart feeds the monster with a hand bomb and dies. She suspects that there is someone behind it.

The comic book ends with the first part of a series of fact files of the main characters. You’ll see them on the Extra chapter of this posts. And Gerry Conway writes an essay about Atari Force. And tells us why Tempest is so important, as Dart is.

ATARI FORCE #3.
COVER TITLE. Pakrat goes Wild!
INSIDE TITLE. I saw you Die
COVER DATE. March, 1984
COVER PRICE. 75 ¢
COVER ARTIST. José Luis García López
NUMBER OF PAGES. 20
WRITER. Gerry Conway
PENCILLER. José Luis García López
INKER. Ricardo Villagran
LETTERER. Bob Lappan
COLORIST. Tom Ziuko
EDITOR. Andy Helfer

In Roc’s World, Dart has a premonition. She believes that Blackjack is about to die. She wants to quit and get as far from this world as soon as possible. Dart buys a ship and she and Blackjack abandon Roc’s World.

Tempest is furious and behaves like an idiot in his daily drills. Meanwhile, Pakrat is put into custody by his brother, Rident, a chief police from New Earth. In no time all the main character would be in the same place and this going to and fro would be put to an end.


In their way back home, the ship needs a reparation and only the premonition powers of Dart prevents the heroes from being killed.

Morphea detects the presence of Babe and takes care of him, while the police takes care of their kidnappers.


And Pakrat tries to escape from their captors, but they have him cornered. Cornered? Well, you know what happens when Pakrat is cornered. He turns berserk and runs away.

Again, a breakdown in Dart and Blackjack’s ship obliges him to come out to repair it. But everything goes wrong and Blackjack is ejected into a binary sun.

More fact files and a news letter page is inaugurated.


Andy Helfer starts this letterpage with a confession. He feels that the response of fan mail to Atari Force was great and he knew it would be like that.

The first writer is Chris Weppler, from Louisville, KY, stated that he was sceptical about a comic book based on a videogame, but after reading the first issue he was reassured that this series would be a great series.

Jim Rossow, South Bend, IN, predicts a long life of this comic (well it lasted 20 issues and two annuals). And of course, he saw the similarities between Dark Vader and Dark Destroyer (and Darkseid).

Nina Twersky, Los Altos Hills, CA, wants to add this comic book to a series of toys and ask for Star Raiders characters to appear into Atari Force. Andy Helfer disregard the ideas.

Jon Green, from Evanston, IL, was surprised with issue one. He considered that Atari Force was a great vehicle for the artists’ great talents.

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