Harlem Heroes

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Harlem Heroes
Publication information
Publisher IPC Media
First appearance 2000 AD #1 (February 1977)
Created by Pat Mills
Dave Gibbons

Harlem Heroes is a British comic strip that formed part of the original line-up of stories in 2000 AD (February 1977). Inspired by the popularity during the 1970s of kung fu films and the Harlem Globetrotters, Harlem Heroes was devised by Pat Mills, employing elements from his Hellball comic strip, and scripted by Tom Tully. Initially, the series was to have been drawn by Carlos Trigo but the Spanish artist was replaced by Dave Gibbons prior to the first issue's publication. From issue (or "prog ") 25 Massimo Belardinelli drew the concluding episodes of the first series and would be retained as its regular artist for the strip's reinvention as Inferno.

Harlem Heroes[edit]

By the year 2050,[1] the game of Aeroball has swept the world! It's Football, Boxing, Kung Fu and Basketball all rolled into one! Players roar through the air wearing jet packs (controlled by buttons on their belts) and score "air strikes" by getting the ball in the "score tank". One of the top teams is the all-black Harlem Heroes![2]

Summary [first series][edit]

Having made it through the preliminary round of the World Aeroball Championship, the Harlem Heroes' team bus crashes, killing all but four players. Louis Mayer, his brain alone surviving the tragedy, convinces his three fellow survivors, 'Slim', 'Hairy', and team captain John 'Giant' Clay, that they can still win the championship title.

Episodes[edit]

2000 AD progs 1 — 27, 2000 AD Annual 1978, 2000 AD Annual 1979 (29 episodes)

Timeline: 21st Century

"The Sport of Tomorrow" -- Prog 1 (1 episode)
"Harlem Heroes" -- 2000 AD Annual 1979 (1 episode)
"The Baltimore Bulls" -- progs 2 — 5 (4 episodes)
"The Siberian Wolves" -- progs 6 — 8 (3 episodes)
"The Montezuma Mashers" -- progs 9 — 11 (3 episodes)
"The Flying Scotsmen" -- progs 12 — 15 (4 episodes)
"Gorgon's Gargoyles" -- progs 16 — 21 (5 episodes)
"The Bushido Blades" -- progs 22 — 24 (3 episodes)
"The Teutonic Titans" -- progs 25 — 27 (3 episodes)
"The Berlin Blitzkreigs" -- 2000 AD Annual 1978 (1 episode)
Script
Pat Mills, Tom Tully (prog 1)
Tom Tully (progs 2 — 27)
Art
Dave Gibbons (prog 1, Harlem Heroes pages 1 – 4), Carlos Trigo (prog 1, Harlem Heroes page 5)
Dave Gibbons (prog 2 — 24)
Massimo Belardinelli (progs 25 — 27)

Inferno[edit]

Inferno is the violent sequel to Harlem Heroes.

Summary[edit]

2000 AD progs 36 — 75 (40 episodes)

Timeline: 2078

Script
Tom Tully
Art
Massimo Belardinelli

Judge Dredd[edit]

"Never mind, Citizen Giant. Look at it this way -- you've lost a son but Mega-City One has gained a darned fine Judge."[3]

The Academy of Law[edit]

Judge Giant senior graduates from Mega-City One's Academy of Law, much to the delight of his proud father, John 'Giant' Clay.

Episodes[edit]

2000 AD progs 27 — 28 (2 episodes)

Timeline: 2099

Script
John Wagner
Art
Ian Gibson (part 1), Mike McMahon (part 2)

Harlem Heroes[edit]

A revival of the first series in name only.

Summary [second series][edit]

2000 AD progs 671 — 676, 683 — 699, 701 — 705/745 — 749/776 — 779/928 — 939 (49 episodes)

Timeline: 2109

"Harlem Heroes"[edit]

2000 AD progs 671 — 676, 683 — 699, 701 — 705 (28 episodes)

Script
Michael Fleisher
Art
Steve Dillon and Kev Walker (parts 1 — 16, 18 — 21, 23 — 26)
Steve Dillon and Simon Jacob (part 17)
Steve Dillon (part 22)
Simon Jacob (part 27)
Kev Hopgood (part 28)

Death Sport[edit]

2000 AD progs 745 — 749 (5 episodes)

Script
Michael Fleisher
Art
Geoff Senior

Grey Ghost Overflight[edit]

2000 AD progs 776 — 779 (4 episodes)

Script
Michael Fleisher
Art
Ron Smith

Cyborg Death Trip[edit]

2000 AD progs 928 — 939 (12 episodes)

Script
Michael Fleisher
Art
Kev Hopgood and Siku

Whatever Happened to John "Giant" Clay?[edit]

Judge Dredd Megazine #216 (1 episode)

Timeline: 2126

Script
Gordon Rennie
Art
Rufus Dayglo

Continuity[edit]

  • Judge Dredd is the graduating officer of Judge Giant senior.[5]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ It is unclear when exactly the first series of Harlem Heroes takes place. 2078, the year that Inferno is set in, contradicts the generally accepted view that its predecessor takes place in 2050.
  2. ^ Quoted from Harlem Heroes "The Sport of Tomorrow", 2000 AD prog 1.
  3. ^ Quoted from Judge Dredd "The Academy of Law", 2000 AD prog 28.
  4. ^ Harlem Heroes 2000 AD prog 8, page 4.5 and prog 9, page 1.1
  5. ^ Judge Dredd "The Academy of Law", 2000 AD prog 28

External links[edit]