Mission Log: AF1.02

[Cover of Atari Force mini-comic #2]
Atari Force mini-comic #2
"Berserk"/"Unmasked"/"Spoils of War"
48 pages

Credits
Creators & writers: Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas
Visual concepts & art: Ross Andru, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo
Design:Neal Pozner
Lettering:John Costanza
Coloring:Adrienne Roy
Editor:Dick Giordano

Martin Champion, Dr. Lucas Orion, Lydia Perez, and Mohandas Singh meet with the director of ATARI while the female intruder from AF1.01 eavesdrops. ATARI security finally discovers the intruder, issuing an "intruder alert" for a "berzerk situation." (Doesn't that cleverly tie it to the game? 8) The flashing lights and sirens send Singh into a remembrance of his former life as a street urchin in New Delhi with his friend Raja.

A tourist accidentally accused them of picking his pocket and Raja died when he slipped and hit his head on a river bank while fleeing. To try to make up for what he'd done, Prof. Stanley Miles (the tourist) sent Singh to some of the finest schools on three continents to train his very intelligent mind.

Meanwhile, back in the present, the intruder slips into the Scanner One hangar as the meeting participants give chase. After a fight between the intruder and Champion (which he loses), the intruder is revealed to be Li-San O'Rourke, the executive director of ATARI security doing a field test which the security teams have failed miserably. She apologizes for disrupting the meeting, but the director reveals she is to be the fifth member of the Atari Force.

As they enter the craft, O'Rourke recounts her mission during the Five Day War to win back an enemy-occupied oil field. Unfortunately, an enemy soldier managed to set off the explosives they had set, killing O'Rourke's closest friend and destroying the oil field. Since then, she has become a pacifist, which she says is not mutually exclusive from being willing to defend yourself.

The director reveals Scanner One is designed to travel to parallel universes, to seek an unspoiled planet since the Earth has lost a million acres of arable land in the past seven years, probably due to a greenhouse effect from the two death-bombs that were exploded during the war. Then the director fades away, revealed to be a hologram project by Scanner One's Atari 8000 computer as a way of introducing itself. It then tells them to prepare for departure. As the real director watches, Scanner One disappears into the void between dimensions.

Annotations

  1. Singh wears a pudtha (red dot) on his forehead. These are typically worn by Hindu women, not men. (Thanks to Chris Cracknell for pointing this out.)
  2. Pages 2-5: If O'Rourke can't hear the director until she puts her bug on the dome, why is she thinking in response to his opening statement?
  3. Page 15: Champion claims to have spent six years in Marine training. If he joined when he was 18 (1992), he would not get out until 1998. This would not leave him time to win three gold medals in the 1996 Olympics, fly four lunar missions for NASA, and get degrees from four different colleges and academies. Actually, he could have gotten the degrees if he were a child prodigy, but that doesn't fit his profile. Okay, it's possible a) (some of) the degrees are honorary or b) he earned them after the war, except he supposedly flew a Mars mission then (see AF1.03, page 48). The gold medals and lunar missions are a problem, regardless.
  4. Page 27: Take away a zero and you have the Atari 800 computer, which was released by Atari in the 80's.
  5. Page 30: An approximation of an American flag appears on the shoulder of O'Rourke's uniform and then disappears again for the rest of the flashback. Furthermore, it's a U.N. taskforce and O'Rourke is not an American!
  6. Page 40: This looks like a possible tie-in with the SwordQuest series. We certainly have earth, fire, and water present.
  7. The Atari 8000 speaks as if it's sentient and makes a lengthy speech. It is given a very few lines in the next few issues of the mini-comics and never speaks in the full-sized series. According to AF2.14:lettercol, the voice was transmitted through the mainframe on Old Earth.

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Lee K. Seitz (lkseitz@hiwaay.net)
Created: 1 Mar 1999; Last Modified: 27 Apr 1999