Mission Log: AF1.04
Atari Force mini-comic #4
|Creators & writers:
||Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas|
|Visual concepts & art:
||Ross Andru & Dick Giordano|
The story opens as David Marcus is killed when the Malaglons destroy
his Phoenix star-fighter. Six months ago Atari Force discovered the
Malaglon controlling dozens of solar systems and enslaving the natives
in a parallel universe. They decided to "put an end to their reign of
terror," so the Phoenix star-fighter was created and the members of
Atari Force put in charge. Now the eleventh pilot of Phoenix,
Bob Marcus, David's little brother, is chosen to try to stop the
Malaglon before they reach Earth. He has incredible success,
eventually destroying the master base, but not without coming close to
his own destruction.
- Although it's very nice for Atari Force to want to do something
about the Malaglon, don't they have more pressing problems? True,
the Malaglon are making their way to Earth, but was that before or
after they were attacked?
- This story appeared slightly modified as an "Atari Force Preview"
in, amongst other comics, New Teen Titans #27 and DC
Comics Presents #53. (Thanks to Johanna Draper, Jim Perreault,
Michael R. Grabois, Paul Freitag, John Hardie, and others for
leading me to/telling me this information.) It appears that the
preview version came first, then this version. I say this because
of the copyright dates and the first alien dialogue on page 14 (see
below). The following changes were made from the preview version
to the mini-comic:
- Roy Thomas is not credited in the preview for creating/writing.
- Neal Pozner is not credited in the preview for design. (He was
most likely only involved in the mini-comic production.)
- The splash page (page one) title reads "Code Name: Liberator" in
the preview, but "Phoenix" in the mini-comics. Furthermore, page
two of the preview contains a second title, "Liberator Mission:
- Since the preview has no cover, the credits appear over the art
on page three.
- In the preview, page 2-3, panel one is a panel. In the
mini-comic, it's full-bleed art with the other panels appearing on
top of it.
- All references to the ship were changed from "Liberator" in the
preview to "Phoenix" in the mini-comic.
- All of the Malaglon were redrawn from frog-like aliens in the
preview to ugly, no-Earth-animal-equivalent aliens in the
mini-comic. The tip-off that the frogs came first is taken from
the dialogue on page 14, panel one: "Like tonguing flies from a
- The final text box changed from mentioning the first three Atari
2600 games with Atari Force mini-comics to mentioning Galaxian.
- Note that the display on page eight resembles the game Phoenix
in both versions, so DC likely planned to publish both versions of
the story from the very beginning. Interestingly, no mention of
the Liberator arcade game in made in the preview, even though the
two are obviously related and were released the same year.
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ATARI FORCE is an expired registered trademark of the original Atari,
Inc. Copyright on ATARI FORCE material belongs to either Atari, Inc.
(formerly known as Infogrames) or DC Comics, depending on which
issue's indica you examine. This web site, its operators, and any
content contained on this site relating to ATARI FORCE are not
authorized by DC Comics or Atari.
Lee K. Seitz
Created: 1 Mar 1999; Last Modified: 3 Mar 1999