December 21, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 13 "And Madness Shall Reign"

Learning of a pending attack on an underground resistance group led by their friend Cypher, Captain Power and the Soldiers investigate, only to find the entire populace infected by the Styx virus. Most are comatose and what few are conscious suffer from a hallucinatory drive to attack their own friends. Cypher himself is struggling to shake off the madness as he and Power work to clear out as many as they can. Watching the scene through a Drone, Lord Dread has his forces close in and attack. Our heroes blast their way through, only recovering a small group of survivors. Hawk has a brief skirmish with Soaron, then joins the others at the Power Base.

December 14, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 12 "Gemini and Counting"

A mutated form of influenza is sweeping through the Passages. Mentor synthesizes a vaccine, but due to limited resources, is only able to produce a few vials of it. Pilot hatches an idea for her to raid a medical lab guarded by the Dread Youth, a place she's more than familiar with from her time as a member. The others are reluctant, as she'll be going in solo with limited resources and no Power Armor, but ultimately agree.

December 7, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 11 "Flame Street"

Disguised as monks, Captain Power and the Soldiers slip into Tech City, a dank den of cyber punks and those lost in VR stimulation. Lord Dread has allowed it to stay active because of the data that manages to skim through the CyberWeb he and Overmind are tapped into.

November 30, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 10 "Wardogs"

Pilot and Power are in the dropship, Hawk scouting ahead, as they all search for the Wardogs, a troop of guerrilla fighters building a reputation for giving the Biodread empire hell. Sure enough, the Dogs are currently laying waste to a convoy of Dreads who fell into their ambush. Just as it seems the Dreads will gain an upper hand, Hawk spots the fight, swooping in and finishing the Dreads off. The Wardogs mistake his Power Armor for that of their cybernetic enemies and shoot him out of the sky, but he survives the blast and knocks them into a standoff as he explains they're all on the same side. Just as it seems like it'll sour further, the Wardogs' leader, Colonel Vi, shows up... and beams as she recognizes Hawk, an old buddy and fellow soldier from the Metal Wars.

October 26, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 9 "The Intruder"

Power and Hawk have taken the dropship out on a supply run, bringing food and medical aid to a pocket of refugees in the desert. While both are away from the dropship, survivalist Andy Jackson sneaks up, cracks the locking code, and slips in while his partner, Jim Mitchell, keeps watch. Power and Hawk return to the dropship before Jackson can slip back out, so he hides and rides along.

October 20, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 8 "And Study War No More"

Apologies for the delay in getting this post up. Expect a few more weekends without in the near future, as we've got trips and surgeries coming up that need to be focused on. We'll get through it all and be back on schedule soon. Promise. :)

While crossing through the desert on his retractable tank tread feet, Blastarr encounters a giant boulder in his path. He roars, blasts it to dust, and continues on.

October 5, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 7 "The Ferryman"

A squad of Biodreads are escorting a battle vehicle from Epsilon Station. An eye-patched refugee crosses their path, promising to hand over info on Captain Powers' location in exchange for reward. The Biodreads say he can do it in exchange for his life. The refugee suddenly reveals himself to be Scout as the other armored Soldiers of the Future appear and ambush the Biodreads, quickly taking them down. As Soaron and enforcements start to arrive, Tank lays down cover fire while Scout cuts off the lead Biodread's head. As they pile into the dropship, Scout starts digging around to recover the Biodread's memory chips as the others struggle to get their damaged afterburners to kick in so they can escape Soaron.

September 28, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 6 "The Mirror in Darkness"

In the mountains, a family is struggling to get by on what rats they can trap, as they await a promised signal from Captain Power to come rescue them away to the underground networks. A flare streaks into the sky, and there's the armored Captain, promising them safety. Then he fires another flare, signalling Soaron, who swoops down and digitizes the lot, except for teenage Fal and his blind grandfather, who hadn't yet arrived, but witness the horror. In Volcania, Lord Dread praises Jason, a human operator loyal to the machine Overmind, for the success of the ploy of disguising himself as Power.

September 21, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 5 "A Fire in the Dark"

Jessica screams as Soaron swoops into her gallery, razing her paintings to the ground and prepping to digitize her. A man named Taggert appears, shouting "No! Not her!" Soaron's beam cuts off, but not before its initial impact robs Jessica of her sight.

September 14, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 4 "Pariah"

A feral boy is being chased through the rubble by Biodreads and their human leader, Commander Lorek. He gives them the slip, but Lorek sees a comatose body on the ground and tells his troops to follow the trail.

September 7, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 3 "Final Stand"

Two units of Biodreads have tracked the location of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future to an abandoned warehouse, surrounding it and pouring in. But it's a trap! as Power and his troops catch them in crossfires and mow them down. Their target is a transmitter unit, which they hope to rewire so they can receive data about Dread's next target.

August 30, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 2 "The Abyss"

At night, a soldier named Price climbs out of a sewer grate, dodges surveillance drones, and plants a transmitter before suddenly finding himself surrounded by other soldiers. Leading them is General Briggs, who executes Price on the spot as a traitor.

August 24, 2014

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 1 "Shattered"

It's the year 2147, and the Metal Wars ended with machines conquering mankind. Lord Dread, leader of the cybernetic Bio-Dread Empire, sits on his throne of Volcania as his mechanical underlings seek out the last remaining dregs of human resistance, Digitizing their captives into the growing memory banks of their central computer.

August 17, 2014

The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 4



Unless a few more appearances accumulate in the future, in which case, I'll be back.

Ghost Rider #34 "Trials and Tribulations, Part 2: On the Road Again"

According to the "previously on" page at the start of the issue (which I'm so glad Marvel started using instead of Jim Shooter's annoying insistence on cramming recaps into each story itself, as chronicled in previous posts) the angel Zadkiel, the one truly responsible for turning Johnny Blaze into Ghost Rider, tricked Blaze's brother, Danny Ketch, into gathering the power of Ghost Riders from around the world, which the Angel used to conquer Heaven. Wow, I've missed some big happenings in Marvel.

August 16, 2014

The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 3


The Sensational She-Hulk #44 "Cognito"

Our last issue brought up mention of the Asparagus People, and when I vaguely recalled them being a thing from Byrne and Chris Claremont's time on X-Men, Al Lobama commented that they were the inhabitants of the world Dark Phoenix destroyed. Byrne goes a few steps further, not only recounting Dark Phoenix and what she did, but going all the way back to Avengers #4, where Captain America first woke up, found the Avengers turned into stone statues, and encountered an Asparagus Person (actual name, the D'Bari) who'd been stranded on Earth for thousands of years, and whose green sprout head and petrification ray gun formed the basis for the Medusa myth.

August 2, 2014

The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 2


The Sensational She-Hulk #39 "Date Worse Than Death"

Almost three years have passed in the publishing world since where we left off. Again, having not read this series before, I don't know what all has gone on in Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters' life between then and here, but she's now in a relationship with Wyatt Wingfoot, the old college roomie of Johnny "The Human Torch" Storm. Having reached mid-1980 (where Byrne's infamous run is about to begin) in my read-thru of the Fantastic Four, I'm thrilled to see Wyatt here as he's always been a favorite.

July 26, 2014

The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 1


And you thought we were done with U.S. 1, didn't you! DIDN'T YOU! BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-oh lord what have we unleashed this day....

The Sensational She-Hulk #4 "Tall Dis-Order"

Let me state up front that, while it's a book I've always been curious to check out, I've never read any of John Byrne's She-Hulk before, so I'm diving into this without any knowledge of prior established threads or characters. But these aren't going to be full reviews anyways, focusing more solely on the aspects that somehow feature the leads from U.S. 1. Which will only be referred to as U.S. Archer in titles from this point, as the numeric is part of the deal they had with TYCO, which had since expired.

July 19, 2014

U.S. 1 - Final Thoughts


My first draft for this post simply read "It sucked." But this is a final thoughts piece, so I grabbed my trusty thesaurus and set about finding how many different ways I could express this particular sentiment without being too redundant. Let's see how I did.

July 12, 2014

U.S. 1 - The Toyline

For additional information on this line, as well as photos, please visit the TYCO U.S. 1 Trucking fansite.


The late 70s and early 80s saw a resurgence in the popularity of semis and large trucks, and naturally, toy companies tried to cash in. Companies like Tonka, Nylint, and Buddy L filled toy shelves with large, well made metal trucks of all types, and kids snatched them up just as fast as they could make them. TYCO clearly wanted in on the big rig fad, and thus U.S. 1 was born. But if you were hoping to pick up your very own Wide-Load Annie action figure on eBay (Noel), I've got bad news for you. While, in true 80s fashion, Marvel's U.S. 1 was based on a toy line, that line didn't really have a "concept". There was no U.S. Archer, no Highywayman, no alien invaders, or old greedy white bankers. There were electric truck sets and
their various accessories. That's it.

July 6, 2014

U.S. 1, issues 11 & 12

Issue 11 "Transmissions from Space"

Ulysses stares, stunned at his revealed, raging brother, who turns violent when he sees the aliens arriving. They pull Jeff off Ulysses with a tractor beam and haul both drivers and bigrigs into the air with promises to explain once they're back at the Short Stop.

At the diner, our supporting cast is still reeling from events, surrounded by the statues of the hypno-frozen truckers and Nazis in mid-grapple. When the hero and villain arrive, everyone is equally stunned at the revelation of Jeff as the primary alien joins everyone on the ground. He lifts the hypno freeze off of the others, zapping Baron von Blimp and his Nazis away as the truckers leave, blaming the ill effects on bad food, which is quickly pounced on by LeGreed and his fellow bankers as they get the truckers to start spreading word against the Short Stop.

June 29, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 10 "Good Man in the Clutch"

The Highwayman continues to gloat before the shocked cast of the Short Stop. Ulysses first tries to attack him with Midnight's whip, then the mind-controlled U.S. 1, but both prove ineffective, especially as the Highwayman also has a psychic link with his jet black semi. Ulysses demands to know what happened to his brother, Jeff, but just before the Highwayman can respond, Baron von Blimp swings out of his zeppelin on a rope ladder, sword between his teeth, as he personally joins the fight. Only to slip off a rung and hit the ground. As everyone looks down on him, he spots a shadow in the sky as a large flying saucer drops down and hovers over the Short Stop, the aliens within debating the outcome of the pending battle.

The Highwayman recognizes the aliens and bolts to his truck, with Ulysses hopping into U.S. 1 and roaring on his tail. Not only is the Highwayman outmaneuvering him, but every trick and gadget Ulysses has up his sleeve is deflected by the Highwayman's superior technology: tire spikes hit impenetrable wheels, heat-seeking missiles hit an electromagnetic force field, an oil slick dodged as the enemy semi casually lifts into the air and flies.

June 22, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 9 "Big Mack Attack"

Our heroes continue to gape at Midnight, who stands over the lifeless body of Taryn and gloats at how she caused these friends to turn on one another. As a few civilians walk out of the Short Stop, U.S. shoves them into Midnight, sending everyone into the pool of oil*, where a big free-for-all brawl breaks out, during which Midnight's whip accidentally cracks into Taryn, the electric shock bringing the dead woman back to life. She joins the brawl.

[* Which was thoroughly spread and established in the previous ish --Know-It-All Noel!]

June 14, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 8 "Heart-Brakes"

Poppa Wheelie and Retread are running like hell as the cab of U.S. 1 roars down the road behind them. No matter where they turn, it sticks to their heels, and just as it's about to run them down, pulls a dime stop with the help of a grappling hook. U.S. pops out of the cab, thrilled at how even more finely tuned and responsive the controls have become now that his CB skull has formed a link with U.S. 1's computers.

June 8, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 7 "Semi-Intelligence"

Ulysses arrives back home at the Short Stop, collecting the payment for his haul and turning the money over to Poppa Wheelie, with apologies for not doing his part to keep their home running. When LeGreed shows up again with police, everyone's worried Wideload will start another fight, but unknown to everyone else, she's still under the hypnotic trance of Midnight and instead calmly apologizes. LeGreed begrudgingly accepts the mortgage payment and decides to drop all charges, but leaves with a warning that he'll still gladly foreclose should payments slip behind again.

May 31, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 6 "Iron Mike, King of the Bike"

As U.S. pulls up to the Short Stop, he's greeted by the familiar sight of someone being flung through the window. Only instead of a brawl, the man is banker Phil LeGreed, who's threatening to foreclose on the property to a fuming Wideload Annie. As the man flees, U.S. and Retread overhear as Poppa Wheelie and Wideload talk about their financial woes, having put all their money into U.S.'s medical bills and retrofitting U.S. 1 in his battle against the Highwayman. U.S. is furious at himself for having overlooked their sacrifice, and admits it's time to set his journey aside for a bit.

LeGreed returns with a squad of cops, insisting assault charges be pressed against Wideload. Another actual bar brawl breaks out, with neither the patrons nor the cops wanting to see the beloved Annie in cuffs, and she's rushed off to join U.S. in his wonder truck. Retread tries to tag along, too, but falls behind in the fracas.

May 25, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 5 "Amazed"

As the Baron and his Blimp limp away from the last issue in fuming defeat, U.S. and Retread complete their haul of Finger Lickin' Chicken to Colonel Chicken, who surprises both by revealing they've lost the race. Seems Taryn O'Connor worked her way into the race as a secret contender, which has U.S. crying foul as she and he start chewing away at one another. It's decided to add another leg to the race between the two trucks, this time delivering diced chicken parts to the company's distributor.

Things start off with a hitch as Taryn finds her distributor wire disconnected, and blaming the sabotage on U.S., she pulls ahead of him and tricks him down a faux detour. Things take an unexpected turn for U.S. and Retread, as they find rocks plummeting from the sky, glaciers sliding into their path, dust devils and flames and all sorts of nasty things they just barely scrape past by the skin of their teeth. Their CB's been jammed, so U.S. connects to a weather satellite where he discovers they're in a maze, with each sector containing its own natural disaster for them to face.

May 24, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 4 "Hot Air and Chicken Feathers"

After using his metal skull to break up yet another bar brawl at the Short Stop, U.S. Archer is shocked to see a giant dirigible descending over the establishment. Within is the rotund and flamboyantly European Baron Von Blimp, who has heard of U.S.'s wonder truck and, with a slap of his glove across the young man's cheek, challenges him to a competition: blimp vs. semi.

The Baron says he wants to once again establish the dominance of dirigibles as haulers of loads across the country, but U.S. is suspicious, wondering if this is the same blimp which attacked him during his last battle with the Highwaymay. He agrees to the competition, hoping it'll ferret his foe out.

May 10, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 3 "Rhyme of the Ancient Highwayman"

On a ridge in the fiery pits of Hell, U.S. and his truck are being battered mercilessly by the Highwayman and Midnight. U.S. shoots up in his bed, crying out. Poppa Wheelie, Wide-Load Annie, and Mary McGrill are quickly at his side, comforting him until he can clean up and join them at the Short Stop counter for a cup of coffee. As they fill Mary in on the events of the first issue, an old trucker at the end of the counter locks onto their mention of the Highwayman, and tells them a story he heard long ago. Back when semi-trucking began in the 1910s, one rider quickly rose out of the then meager ranks as the top of the pack. As the years went by and he and his truck grew older, they found themselves left behind by the emerging industry. He scoured the world, seeking mystical figures who could restore his youth (cameos from the Ancient One and Genghis) ultimately selling his soul to a dark spectre (implied but not confirmed to be Mephisto). "Now he travels the road at night, hunting for souls to send his evil master."

May 3, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 2 "After Midnight"

A big goon rolls into the Short Stop and starts roughing up the place. Poppa Wheelie, Wide-Load Annie, and their clientele hit him with everything they've got - fists, furniture, skillets - and when Ulysses Solomon Archer arrives, even he has trouble landing a blow that means anything. Until the goon injures his hand on U.S.'s steel skull, which the young man starts swinging around in a series of headbutts that sends the goon fleeing. As he stumbles to his truck, the goon is confronted by Midnight, a costumed villain in the payroll of the Highwayman. She used her hypno-whip to gain control over the goon and send him to learn what he could about how U.S. fights. This done, she sends the dazed goon on his way as she slips into the shadows and sheds her disguise.

April 19, 2014

U.S. 1, issue 1 "U.S. 1, Comin' At Ya"

We open as the bright red and blue big-rig U.S. 1 races past Ed "Poppa Wheelie" Wheeler, a retired drag racer who runs the Short Stop rest stop for truckers. Poppa turns to us and tells the story of U.S. 1's driver, Ulysses Solomon Archer.

April 12, 2014

Battletoads - A One and Done Special

The Game


Rare's NES output tended to consistently make great use of the NES's sound chip and limited color palette to produce games that felt like they should be outside of the system's capabilities. Battletoads was no exception - the detailed sprites, colorful dithering, and unique tone of the music are what I remember first when the name is brought up.

April 11, 2014

Set your VCRs!

Because the Super Saturday Short-Lived Showcase will be back in action with a new post tomorrow!

March 8, 2014

We'll be back after this...

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few weeks. While we were planning to take a break this month, we didn't want to leave things hanging on the slump that was Sectaurs, but between Noel being busy with a big move to new digs, and Tony's computer putting the "put" in "kaput", we haven't been able to get our planned One and Done post done. So we're going to go ahead and take our leave for the moment, but it's just a temporary hiatus until we get settled, and we'll be back in April. Thanks to all our readers for your patience and sticking with us. :)

February 15, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion - Final Thoughts

(art by Damon Batt, colored by Brandy Dixon)


Trying to summarize my final thoughts on Sectaurs reminded me of when I was in school, and a kid who I never really talked to would hand me their yearbook and ask me to sign it. I would stand there wracking my brain, searching for something substantive to write while they looked on in anticipation. Ultimately, I would end up writing something generic like "Have a great Summer!" As I sit here now, with Dargon and Co. looking on, I'm fighting the urge to just write "Enjoy your banishment!" and head for the bus.

February 9, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion - The Toyline


While Sectaurs has many unique concepts of its own, it's pretty clear that Coleco were looking to cash in on the enormous success of Mattel's sci-fantasy phenomenon Masters of the Universe. So why did Dargon and his companions ultimately not have "The Power" with kids? Let's find out.

February 2, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 8 "Battle and Betrayal"

Apologies for the delays and scheduling snafus of the last few weeks. Minnesota weather and all that.

Two armies converge on the location of the Hyve: Regent Galken and the forces of the Shining Realm, and Empress Devora and her armies of the Dark Domain. Angry words are exchanged, where it's revealed Galken was himself once a warrior before becoming an administrator, and his knowledge of the hell unleashed on the battlefield is what's made him so hesitant to fight. But today is the day worthy of battle, so the armies clash.

January 25, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 7 "The Hyve"

We at the Showcase would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and followers of video host Justin "Jew Wario" Carmical, who we sadly lost earlier this week.

Our heroes approach the Hyve, even as they continue their debate about whether or not the power within is evil. They come under attack by the Hyve's guardians, a massive tarantula named Naurr, and a serpent/centipede named Vipex. During the battle, everyone rolls their eyes as Pinsor's pledges of love for Stellara, and Zak is chastised for being flippant and reckless. They eventually defeat the guardians when they realize Vipex has feelings for Naurr, so he'll stay by the tarantula's side when it's bound and stunned.

January 12, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 6 "Family Reunion"

As our heroes take in the gifts given to them by the fairy queen, Zak and Stellara fuse their orbs together, creating a dragonfly-like sky sled which is quickly branded Wing-Thing. It's a lifeless vehicle, created through their desire to have something for the bulk of the party to ride, as only Dargon and Pinsor have insectoids large enough to travel on. Pinsor worries about the heresy of this celebration of magic, but it's mostly due to his bitterness over no longer having to share a saddle with Stellara.

January 5, 2014

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 5 "Fairy Tales Do Come True"

Our heroes are once again attacked by Spidrax's forces. Just as Dargon takes a nasty lash to the neck, a glowing cloud swoops in, enveloping our heroes and transporting them to a magical woodland setting. It turns out they're on a massive starship, hotly divided between the fae factions of Laina, and the goblin forces of Gargantua. Dargon, healed from his wound by Laina's magic, agrees to smite Gargantua for the nobility of being noble.