Hell bent on destroying the Heroes, Artie walks straight out of a second floor window. The medics congratulate themselves on a job well done on programming Artie...although they don't know who paid to have them bring Gruber back and why they would want the Heroes dead.
Meanwhile the Heroes have arrived back in the States and are given a fantastic welcome home by the people of Harlem. They even have a flying kid escort. Giant wonders how the kids can afford those jet-packs and he gets his answer...Ulysses Cord!
Cord had bought the superliner for the Heroes and now he's equipped the kids of the ghetto with jet packs so they can welcome their aeroball stars in style. Giant is a bit uncomfortable whenever Cord is around.
Cord lays on the patriotism real thick as he congratualtes the Heroes on beating the 'hordes of Soviet Russia!'.
He tells Giant that he has a ten million dollar side bet with Cyrus Teegarten, a millionaire rancher and owner of the 'Montezuma Mashers' that the Heroes will win their next game against Teegartens team.
Two days later...the Heroes are getting ready for their game.
Giant gives Hairy a brief history of Cyrus Teegarten and how he created the Ancient Order of Aztecs when he found out that his ranch lay on the site of an ancient Aztec temple. Now the stadium is a trendy site for the filthy rich to hang around in. They're so rich that they decorate their masks (masks used to protect their faces from stray aeroballs) with with gold and jewels.
Artie Gruber has disguised himself using one of the face masks and takes his place among the crowd as the 'Montezuma Mashers' make their entrance.
The Heroes can't believe their eyes at how 'zany' the Mashers uniforms are. Zack says that they look like 'armoured Turkeys, just askin' to be plucked!'
In typical eccentric millionaire style, Teegarten offers his team a thousand dollar bonus for whoever gets the most airstrikes against the Heroes.
The game starts and Artie makes his move.
What an entrance by one of my favorite early 2000ad villians - Artie Gruber. Artie doesn't even bother to stop and chat. He's got a one track mind...Destroy the Harlem Heroes!
Nice episode. The story seems to be gathering a bit more pace. Arties intro is hilarious because he doesn't even stop to find out where he is, what's going on etc...he just has murder on his mind. The medics that revive him seem to be total idiots. They never asked who wanted Artie revived, why does the mysterious person want the Heroes dead?...and now they could be accessories to murder.
Artie is so whacky that he wears a face mask to sneak into the stadium but then, once inside, discards it. What was the point of wearing one in the first place?
I like how Tully writes about Teegarten..the guy is so filthy rich that he sets up his own 'Ancient Order' and in complete showboating of how rich he is...he offers a huge bonus to any player that gets the most airstrikes. I love how the stadium is so built for snobs that the outside temple steps are actually elevators into the stadium.
Nice writing and great artwork by Gibbons. I love Artie Grubers overall look and design.