Giant has saved himself from a deathly fall. Holding on to a Siberian Wolf he manages to grab hold of the aeroball between his legs and score an airstrike. As he scores, he lets go of the player and falls again...but this time Slim has maneuvered himself underneath Giant and Giant is saved again!
The Umpire allows Giants score to stand even though it was highly irregular. Giant calls a time-out so he can get a replacement jet-pack.
At the relaunch of the game, it's becoming obvious that the Heroes are tiring. Each Russian players is a fresh subsitute and it's having it's toll on the Heroes. The Wolves smash through the Harlem defence but Giant kicks the ball out from the opposition players hands, it slams agains the recoil-surface and falls into the hands of Slim...who puts it away for another strike!
To the Heroes relief the time-up buzzer goes off and they have won the game 3-1! They've booked themselves a place in the second round!
The team fly down to the pit crew to change. Giant asks one of the crew what was wrong with his jet-pack. The crew member tells him that there was nothing wrong with it. Giant chalks it down to dirty fuel but King interjects that it wasn't dirty fuel. That Giants hunch about the team getting bumped off is true. First it was the road crash, then the faulty jeptpack...Giant now knows that something else is coming down the line.
They leave the Russina Aerodrome and head back Stateside.
Another great early 2000ad villain is about to make his entrance...Artie Gruber!
Gruber is a murder crazy cyborg lunatic that hates the Harlem Heroes and Giant in particular. I'm really looking forward to reading the next part of the Harlem Heroes. Gruber was always one of my favorite villains and one who I had fond memories of. Lets hope when I re-read this story, he has lived up to the hype of those memories.
Again, really good storytelling by Tully and Gibbons. We also get confirmation from the last couple of panels that Louis and Giant aren't paranoid. Someone is out to kill off the Heroes!