Friday, October 31, 2008

Twelve Days of Truckin' Terror Friday!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Here's hoping you have a safe and fun one! Keep an especially watchful eye on your pets, ok?

So, I was wondering what I could do this year that could really scare the wahjeebers out of you guys, and it hit me. Like a big rig. Ladies and gents, I give you: U.S.1

See that guy winking on the cover? That's the wink of a guy bilking you out of 60 cents you could have spent on Power Man and Iron Fist. But you didn't, and they ended up eventually cancelling Power Man and Iron Fist even though it was one of the greatest comics of the Bronze Age.

So, why a comic book about trucking? Here's the great historian VH1 to explain:

Note they said that the whole CB thing had been played out by 1978. This comic came out in 1983. Way to be on the cutting edge of pop culture, Stan!

So, the more appropriate question is, why a comic book about trucking a good half-decade after any possible interest had waned?

Comics from the 80's didn't look that great anyway, because the printing process of the day left books looking pale and cheap. But since there are motion lines coming from in front of the truck, it looks like he's gunning it reverse, which would be a lot more entertaining. U.S.1, comin' at ya! Ahhhhhhhhh! *crash*

Yeah, there's an idea. Can we have him under a spell or something so he has to drive the thing in reverse all the time?

Well, there's no turning back now, so here's the narrator of the story trying to convince you that you didn't just waste sixty cents:

When a comic is apologizing for itself on the second page of the first issue, you know you've really got something here.

So, anyway, U.S. is the blond guy's initials, and after his parents' untimely death, he gets really smart and athletic. Sound familiar? Marvel's legal team hopes not.

But U.S. gets in an accident himself, and when part of his skull is replaced with a metal plate, he finds he is able to pick up CB signals:

Considering no one was using a CB by that time in American history, this really wasn't much of a nuisance.

And he builds himself some cutting edge big rig, which is kind of like having the world's biggest Pog collection: No one cares.

Is there any way the ejector seat can launch us into a copy of Daredevil? Because it's 1983, and we're right in the middle of Frank Miller's classic run while you're talking about the tape deck in your truck.

Thankfully, right before I lose consciousness, there is an ad for a career change:

Hmmmmm... I can learn how to be a rugged outdoorsman without leaving my house? And what kind of peyote has that ranger been smoking, anyway? He's got a little too much glee going on there.

Oh, I'm sorry. Back to the story:

Yeah, that's what Duel: The Official Movie Adaptation probably would have read like in comic book form. That's probably why they never did one.

If there's any excitement to big rig trucking, it hasn't shown up yet. Probably because the combatants are pretty much confined to one long straight line of asphalt, giving the big conflict all the excitement of watching your little brothers play Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

But the really scary part? We have eleven issues to go. Think about that as you try to go to sleep tonight.

Stay safe! I'll see you Monday!


Aaron Carine said...

Yes,doing a trucking comic in the 1980s is a something like doing a grunge rocker comic today. DC was at least creating a timely hero with Vibe(I didn't say a good one).

Comixbear said...

What REALLY makes this scary is that eventually they turned US 1 into a space character! (And if you want REAL nightmares, just imagine that he could show up in Guardians of the Galaxy to fight beside Rocket Racoon!!!)

Anonymous said...

Who's stronger: U.S. 1 or Steelgrip Starkey ?

-- cleome45

Comixbear said...

It depends...Can Starkey use his all-purpose power tool? ;)

TF said...

I'll admit it's cooky and a bit lame...

but I think the high tech truck cab console is still pretty cool.
In my eyes, you could have one of things in any sort of vehicle and it would be awesome.

SallyP said...

Pish-posh! Playing "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" was MUCH more fun than this.

Anonymous said...

I'm no mechanic, but the whole "nitrous booster" thing was for gas engines, correct? And this is, presumably, a diesel truck.

Anonymous said...

[snerk] comixbear said "tool." [snerk]

You know, I seem to recall that this was from the same era of comics that gave us Team America guesting in the X-men and turning out to be a mutant "projecting gestalt" or something. I feel bad for the kids today, that they missed such wonders unfolding in real time.

-- cleome45