Mission Log: AF2.20/1

[Cover of Atari Force #20]
Atari Force #20, main story
Aug 1985
"Trial . . . and Verdict"
17 pages

Cover:unsigned (probably Ed Barreto)
Writer:Mike Baron
Penciller:Ed Barreto
Inker:Ric[ardo] Villagran
Letterer:Bob Lappan
Colorist:Tom Ziuko
Editor:Andy Helfer

The trial begins, but it is not very organized. Senator Jamieson is on the panel. While Atari Force has been gone, he and his cronies have taken over the council, running it as a business and setting up defense contracts. Rident attempts to help by showing a hologram of the implant from Blackjak, but no one is convinced. Champion goes on a tirade about the idea of New Earth being corrupted by developing weapons, at which point a recess is called. During the recess, the Tazlings free Pakrat and Dart has a vision of "shining pavilions" and Atari Force inside.

As the court reconvenes, Morphea uses her and Kargg's memories to recreate the Dark Destroyer briefly, convincing everyone of its existence. During the display, a Tazling drops a lockpick to Tempest. Champion makes a final statement, and Tempest opens his handcuffs and releases the others. Morphea uses her powers to prevent anyone from attempting to stop them. The Tazlings have brought a multiverse shuttle (a transparent dome with a control console) out of Champion's lab piece by piece and reassembled it. Babe, Blackjak, Champion, Dart, Morphea, Taz, the Tazlings, and Tempest leave for Old Earth, leaving Dr. Orion and Prof. Venture behind but they promise to join Atari Force someday. Champions last words, in response to Blackjak's inquiry to their destination, are, "I'm setting course for Old Earth, Blackjak . . . for I have a dream."


  1. Cover: Intended to be a juxtaposition of the first issue's cover. That issue had Atari Force in the foreground ready for action with Martin Champion bringing up the rear. Now Champion is in the foreground, head bent while Atari Force looks on in the background.
  2. Although this issue is titled "Trial . . . and Verdict," we never get a verdict.
  3. Page 4: Dr. Orion says this is the first time he and Prof. Venture have been allowed to visit Champion. He should have said "I've" instead of "we've" because Prof. Venture visited Martin in AF2.19/1:15.
  4. Page 14: Blackjak is shown handcuffed, but has not been shown since AF2.19/1:16. It would be interesting to know why he is incarcerated when he was presumed dead at the time Scanner One was taken.
  5. Page 17: Champion sets course for Old Earth. It must be in the "other" direction from New Earth from the universe the Dark Destroyer obliterated. Otherwise they'd never make it through without a ship with thrusters.
  6. Page 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. immortalized the phrase "I have a dream" in a famous speech.
  7. One interesting question that I've had in mind since AF1.05: Are there any humans left on Old Earth? Did only those that were "loyal" to or paid ATARI go, or were members of the Co-Op (ATARI's enemy on Old Earth) allowed, too? They speak mainly of a drought causing starvation. If enough people left, it might be possible for the rest to sustain themselves.
  8. Lettercol: No letters, just Andy Helfer saying they knew from the beginning the series would end eventually. Is this the truth? Who can say.

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