We're treated to two strips of excellent artwork this issue by Massimo Belardinelli.
Belardinelli would hit his stride later drawing strips like Inferno, Meltdown Man and the absolutely hilarious ACE Trucking Co. Oh, and I actually like his Slaine work.
The latest MACH 1 story opens up with a flashback of a NATO battleship sinking to it's watery grave. Some days later MACH 1 and his superior Sharpe arrive with recovery vessels at the scene of the ships last reported spot. But there's a fishing trawler there. Probe asks Sharpe why the British Navy doesn't intervene. Sharpe replies that they don't want to risk an International incident if the trawler does turn out to be a harmless fishing vessel.
No, this investigation is a job for MACH 1!
Probe dives into the water. No wet suit for this guy! Wet suits are for wimps!
As he nears the 'trawler' Probe notices that the men on the trawler are armed. It's just as Sharpe suspected...it's a ruse. But why and who could be behind it?
There is no way that MACH 1 can get aboard the ship, there are no holds for him to get a grip...so, he gets onboard...
Once onboard, Probe sees that the 'trawler' is trying to raise the NATO ship to reveal it's secrets and that he wouldn't be surprised if the 'trawler' crew are the ones that sank the ship in the first place.
He decides to stop them from recovering the ship by blowing up the engine room. But he's stopped in his tracks! He's grabbed by a 'trawler' crew member in a power assisted diving suit!
A fight ensues! No matter how hard Probe punches the diver...it does no damage. The divers suit is made from high-stress titanium can!
MACH 1's computerised brain tells him that there is no solution to beating his assailant. This pisses him off...he gets mad and the extra adrenalin enables him to overthrow his opponent.
He throws the diver into an electric cable and the diver is fried instantly!
Knowing that his actions have alerted the rest of the crew, Probe makes his way down to the engine room.
He breaks the Oil lubrication pipe...forcing the engine of the ship to seize up and blow it to kingdom come...but the computer tells him that it may come with a price...his life!
On fire from the explosion...Probe jumps off the ship and swims to safety! The ship explodes and Sharpe is not pleased. He reminds probe that he was sent to 'investigate' not 'annihialte'. It won't be the first time Probe and Sharpe have a disagreement.
We end on an omnious note that God help us 'If ever MACH 1 turns against us...'
Nice episode. Nice artwork and the script develops the relationship between Sharpe and Probe. The relationship turns frosty at times and eventually leads to a breakdown between both parties.
Check out the 'please don't imitate this at home kids!' box. Love it!