"U.S. 1, Part One"
by: Protoclown


Taming trucks is no easy business, but the circus will pay you handily for it, if you're good.

He tries to get away from her, utilizing the various weaponry in his arsenal, but she manages to avoid the attacks every time and keep right on top of him. Finally, she manages to get him under the spell of her Hypno-whip, and he stops the truck at her command.

Woah, enough with the stroking, lady! This is a children's comic!

While she has U.S. under her spell, she says she may as well have a little fun and gives him a kiss before commanding him to drive his truck into a cliff wall at high speed. Hrmm. Both of the ladies at the Short Stop like U.S. Very suspicious.

Is she wiping a tear from his eye there? A tear caused by having to kiss a girl, perhaps?

Before she commands him to kill himself, however, she asks him if he has any last requests. He replies by saying he sure would like a stick of gum before he kills himself in a gruesome, horrible accident, and she allows it. Serendipity smiles upon our hero, for he leaves the foil wrapper on the gum, which causes his crazy metal skull to pick up every CB frequency, thus overloading his brain and freeing him from Midnight's Hypno-whip spell (like he fucking knew that would happen)! He swerves out of the way just in time to avoid the cliff face, and causes Midnight to wreck her bike to avoid hitting him.

Some bikers just can't resist the temptation to try to slide under every semi they see.

He then stops his truck, taunts her, and tells her to go back to her employer (correctly assuming that she's one of the Highwayman's minions) and tell him she failed.

"We're on a Hiiiiiighwaaaaay to Hell!" (sorry, I had to)

Our third issue opens with a scene of U.S. and the Highwayman racing through the fiery streets of hell! Midnight is there with her Hypno-whip, and she is forcing U.S. to race the Highwayman right towards the edge of a cliff up ahead!

"3 Fast, 3 Furious", coming soon to a theater near you.

Oh no! Could this be curtains for our hero? I'm really worried--aren't you? Well, relax, because it turns out it's only a horrible nightmare! I'll bet you didn't see something so obvious coming!

He even sleeps with his red headband on. That's some serious dedication to fashion (and being gay) right there.

Poppa Wheelie tells U.S. that a cup of java will fix him right up, so they go to the Short Stop's restaurant, and U.S. recounts his origin story for Mary the cook (and for new readers). An old man overhears the tale and says he's heard of the Highwayman before. U.S. and the others are intrigued so of course they ask the old man to share his tale.

"What's that, you say that Large Marge sent you?"

He tells a story about how the Highwayman used to be the best young trucker in the business. He could get a shipment to any place quicker than lickety-split. But as the years went by, he was outdone by younger truckers with newer, faster rigs, and he just couldn't accept that, so he began travelling the world searching for some mystical means to preserve his youth. Yes, that's right. Mystical means. Finally, he found someone who could help him, and he made a deal, but it came at a terrible price!

Yes, the Highwayman made a terrible deal... with the X-Man Nightcrawler!??

He sold his soul, and now he travels the highways by night, hunting for souls to send to his evil master. The old man warns that U.S. is very lucky to have survived a single encounter with the Highwayman, and that he should not tempt fate by seeking him out. With that, he leaves in a hurry. U.S. runs outside after him to get more information, but the old man has mysteriously vanished! Just then, Taryn O'Connell and some guy with a Prince Valiant haircut who can best be described as "an absolute goober" show up.

"And you're sure you're a man and not just a manly lesbian?"

The goober's name is Retread, and he asks U.S. why he doesn't get a private detective to find this Highwayman fellow. Turns out he used to be a private detective, though not a very good one. It seems that Retread used to be a lot of things, so that he can pipe up with random bits of knowledge whenever it's convenient to the story. Retread also mentions that he saw the old man in question get into a semi and head down the road, and he couldn't have gotten very far. U.S. immediately grabs him and drags him along to chase after the old man.

Mark my words, this is the beginning of a beautiful gay relationship right here.

U.S. and Retread soon catch up to the old man and his truck, but they see that he's being pursued by a convoy of other trucks. Ne'er-do-well henchmen of the Highwayman, no doubt!

"Look, U.S.! More trucks! Do you think they'll let us be their friend?"

Somehow a group of these semis manage to do a 180 on a very short stretch of road and start heading straight for the U.S. 1! And they're shooting at our heroes!

Don't worry, they're actually just shooting ketchup, but it can still make quite a mess!

Many, many (a quite ridiculous number, really) more trucks show up, and U.S. manages to evade them all skillfully in this demolition derby ballet! All of a sudden though, explosions rock the U.S. 1! They realize that someone is dropping bombs from above, and quick check on the radar reveals a blimp in the air above them!

I do not think that radar works like that.

U.S. uses his truck's smokescreen and makes the blimp operator think that they scored a hit! They fly away, content that they've succeeded in their task. U.S. and Retread then sneak up to where the truck drivers have caught up with the old man. Viewing the scene from a cliff high above, they formulate a plan.

"Alright Retread, whoever manages to pee on the most is the winner!"

U.S. is going to drive back down the hill in his truck, while Retread is going to stay up on the cliff ledge and fire off a flare gun, thus distracting the truck driver's below, at which point U.S. will zoom up in the U.S. 1 and snatch the old man while they're all looking at the flare and spirit him away to safety. It is kind of a shitty plan.

Notice how that cliff seems to have gotten a lot higher, all of a sudden?

Unfortunately Retread is a bit of a fuck up, and he slips off the cliff side, accidentally firing the flare gun too early, and sliding down the steep cliff face, somehow setting off the other flares (is he reloading and firing the gun on the way down?), catching his pants on fire. And then he says something that is fucking priceless.

"Flamer", huh? You know, maybe this isn't a comic for kids.

U.S. runs up and grabs the old man, but a big brawl ensues, because the evil truckers are far less distracted by a man with flaming pants falling down a mountain than they apparently would have been by a single flare, so they all gang up on him immediately. U.S. uses his special remote control silver dollar to call the U.S. 1, and the evil truckers run away for fear of being flattened to roadside pancakes. The old man then slips away from U.S.'s grasp, cackling maniacally, and that's when they realize that he was no old man, at all, but rather the Highwayman himself, in disguise!

And somehow, despite being that close, the Highwayman gets away without anyone getting a good look at him.

The Highwayman runs over to his truck, which was sitting right there unnoticed the entire time, and speeds off into the night, leaving U.S. to wonder just how much of that "old man's" story about the Highwayman's origin was true.

Far from being a mere chicken wrangler, Sgt. Pepper also has a band. Maybe you've heard of them.

Our fourth issue opens with another fight breaking out in the Short Stop. U.S. rushes in to try to put a stop to things.

Jesus, look how far that guy was thrown! Who the fuck is in there, the Hulk??

Retread waits outside and notices a blimp (the same one from earlier, naturally) hovering overhead, and it comes to a stop right above the Short Stop! He runs inside to tell everyone, so they break up their fight and come on out to have a look-see. A fat guy climbs down an extended ladder and, introducing himself as Baron von Blimp, he slaps U.S. in the face and challenges him to a duel, which in this series, naturally translates to a race.

It is a dream of mine to one day challenge someone to a duel in this manner.

Fatty von Gobblecakes explains that he wants to race the U.S. 1 in his zeppelin, and then gives a long speech about how he wants zeppelins to become the dominant financial power in the shipping industry, because his motto has always been "Financial victory through air power". He gives U.S. the details for the race, which has been set up through a third party for tomorrow morning. In return for U.S.'s participation, Girthy von Beltbuster says that he will offer up information about his employer, the Highwayman!

A true believer in Christ, Baron von Blimp sports a "Jesus Fish" on the front of his hat.

After he leaves, U.S. recounts his entire origin story again and then decides that even though he's sure the whole race is a trap set up by the Highwayman, he's going to go for it because he'll be ready for danger and it's the only way he can scrounge up any more information about the Highwayman's whereabouts. The next morning, they find out that the race involves hauling the cargo of a bunch of live chickens for the Finger Lickin' Chickens chain of restaurants. The owner of the restaurant chain (who talks exactly like Foghorn Leghorn from Looney Tunes) says that whoever wins the race shall earn an exclusive shipping contract with his company. Mary comes up to kiss U.S. and wish him luck, but he seems far more interested in the whereabouts of Retread than kissing some yucky old lady.

U.S. can't help but imagine someone else's sweet, sandpaper lips as Mary kisses his cheek.

Before they take off, U.S. tries to shake Mongo von Bulgybritches's hand, knowing that he'll refuse, so that he can then slap him on the back and plant a tracer that will hopefully take him back to the Highwayman.

The Baron is justifiably angry, because seconds earlier U.S. poked him in
the tummy trying to get him to make the Pillsbury Doughboy sound.

Shortly after they get underway, the blimp starts dropping bombs down around U.S. 1 again, but this time our hero has a surprise in store for the good Baron. He launches some missiles of his own up in the air to explode next to the blimp!

"Smitten"? Oh, sounds like somebody's in loooooove!

Becoming enraged by this insult, the Baron decides he's going to kill U.S., even though he has orders from the Highwayman to leave him alive. Meanwhile, U.S. discovers that Retread was actually stowing away in the truck's sleeping compartment in case his buddy needed some help.

It's just like the surprise U.S. dreamed and hoped for, except with clothes.

U.S. says that the Baron evaded his missiles and he's got no more tricks up his sleeve. At this point Retread reveals that he used to be a meteorologist (but not a very good one) and that there's a storm coming, and if they can get the Baron to fly into it, they just might be able to win the race! U.S. also uses his metal skull to monitor the communications between the Baron and the Highwayman, and he learns that the Highwayman wants him alive, believing him to be potentially useful due to his supreme driving skills. U.S. uses the ol' smokescreen trick again and drives into a tunnel, knowing that the Baron won't be fooled a second time.

U.S.: "See, Retread? All I have to do is plunge into this tight black hole and everything will be great!"
Retread: "Gee, I dunno, U.S. Shouldn't you concentrate on driving right now?"

For some insane reason, the Baron has left his comm channel open so U.S. can hear everything he's planning. Knowing that the smokescreen was a ruse, the Baron comes around to the other side of the tunnel and flies low, waiting for the truck to come speeding out. U.S. has Retread drive the truck while he stands on top with a grappling hook. He tosses the hook up into the blimp and climbs aboard.

Ironically, the blimp's radio just started playing "It's Raining Men".

A fight breaks out between them, during which the crates holding the chickens are smashed, and they escape, getting all over the blimp and making a horrible mess everywhere, which enrages the Baron.

"'Donner and Blitzen'? But those are werewolves Baron, not chickens! No wait, did I say 'werewolves'? I meant reindeer."

U.S. runs over to the comm screen and tells the Highwayman that he can't hide forever, and that he's coming for him. The Highwayman responds that he doesn't want to hide, which confuses U.S., but he has no time to dwell on that now, because he has to get off of the dirigible before the storm.


Reader Comments

May 7th, 2008, 03:24 PM
I want to know exactly who thought it would be a great idea to make this comic.
after enough bourbon ...
May 7th, 2008, 04:41 PM
Does anyone else think it strange that "Wide-Load" sports a Princess Leia 'do - many years before there was a Princess Leia? It makes you wonder what George Lucas was reading in those days.

Pure, ripe, smelly Gorgonzola. For sheer unintentional humor value, Proto, this was the world's best bargain.
May 7th, 2008, 04:43 PM
since when is 1983 before princess leia
May 7th, 2008, 06:02 PM
God, I hope the next 6 issues answer all of the questions left by the first 6... otherwise, I'll have to kill myself before I go mad!
May 7th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Marvel's attempt at trying to break into the truckers demography of comic book readers failed miserably.
Forum Virgin
May 7th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Well, this was the era of BJ and the Bear, Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy ect...
There was a well established trucker fad in the late 70s the Marvel was clearly trying to cash in on. Looks like they jumped on the bandwagon a little late with this awful book. I'm amazed this made it a whole 12 issues.
Pickled Patriarch
May 7th, 2008, 08:35 PM
I bet Jack Burton used to read this comic. And I expect to see at least one reference to him and/or Maximum Overdrive in the next Longbox installment!
Amicable Herculean
May 7th, 2008, 09:20 PM
in the quarter bin I found not just the first issue of U.S. 1, but all 12-issues.
Why is it that you always seem to find such great stuff in the bargain bins, Proto? My shop's bin only has obscure 90's comics.
after enough bourbon ...
May 7th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Originally Posted by executioneer View Post
since when is 1983 before princess leia
Oooooopsie. Early onset Alzheimer's kicking in. I guess it's all downhill from here.
Last of the Time Lords
May 8th, 2008, 12:57 AM
Why is it that you always seem to find such great stuff in the bargain bins, Proto? My shop's bin only has obscure 90's comics.
Yeah, if I were at all interested in the collected works or Rob Liefeld the bargain bin would be a great find. "Ooh, this is the issue starring a guy with pouches and guns who is built like a coffin with a tomato on top! I've been looking everywhere for it!"
The Goddamned Batman
May 8th, 2008, 01:45 AM
Originally Posted by Mockery View Post
I bet Jack Burton used to read this comic. And I expect to see at least one reference to him and/or Maximum Overdrive in the next Longbox installment!
There was a Maximum Overdrive reference in this. Clearly someone wasn't reading carefully enough.
Forum Virgin
May 8th, 2008, 03:01 AM
Originally Posted by Protoclown View Post
There was a Maximum Overdrive reference in this. Clearly someone wasn't reading carefully enough.
Yep the Green Goblin head. Of all the things on I-mockery I love, hands down the Longbox is my favorite. I stopped reading in the early 90's when I was expected to fork over $20 for a black and silver Spiderman #1 on the day it came out.

I love the 99 cent box (used to be the 25 cent box) where you could find a gluttony of Radioactive Adolescent Black-belt Hamster books and of course the two-issue Theown series. Ahh the Charlotte Heroes Convention, how I miss you!
The Magnificent Bastard
May 8th, 2008, 04:56 AM
Wow, this is like a Redneck version of Speed Racer!

This also looks horrible.

Protoclown, you're a very brave person for reading this. I commend you!
May 8th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Goofy as all hell, but is it wrong of me to want to know how it ends? *laughs*
lurking on the walls
May 8th, 2008, 12:15 PM
it sucks.... yet it's hard not to read, it's like cocaine, or some other drug. lol

i'd expect "Over The Top" references though lol
Pickled Patriarch
May 8th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Originally Posted by Protoclown View Post
There was a Maximum Overdrive reference in this. Clearly someone wasn't reading carefully enough.
Hahaha, how did I miss that caption?? Excellent. Your future here at I-Mockery Enterprises is no longer in jeopardy. However, if you want that promotion to Senior VP of ROFLs with the nice corner office, you'd better work Jack Burton into part deux (and as saturnknight suggested, some Over The Top references couldn't hurt your chances either).
Forum Chaos Lord
May 8th, 2008, 04:16 PM
I'm amazed no one else pointed out that US's truck sort of resembles Optimus Prime.
May 8th, 2008, 04:55 PM
apart from protoclown, you mean?
Pickleman's Uncle
May 8th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Always I wonder: how on earth did they manage to get this team of relatively talented people to shit out 12 issues of that crap? Who paid for this?
There's no way this was a commercial success. I think X-Men might have paid for thousands of issues of Crystar and Trolls comics.
grants but one wish
May 9th, 2008, 04:02 AM
2nd page on the 11th pic down, is he wearing heels???
May 9th, 2008, 04:10 AM
i think they're cowboy boots
Turrican't. :(
May 9th, 2008, 05:54 AM
The Highwayman. So skilled that when he laughs he can catch the "HA"s and save them for later.
I laughed so hard I punctured a lung! XD
Crazy Russian
May 9th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Never before have we seen a superh... Su.. He... Action comic book lead with nothing interesting associated with him, aside from trucks and cliches. Clearly the mankind is safe in the hands of US1. Oh bother...
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
May 9th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Thank you Protoclown.
Master of Awesome Sauce!
May 9th, 2008, 04:46 PM
This is awesomely dumb! I want an US1 minimate set!
May 9th, 2008, 11:06 PM
Serial Loiterer
May 10th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Please tell me that Marvel is going to turn this book into a movie as well. I've been hoping for an Alpha Flight movie for years now, but I may just settle for the U.S.1 movie. Say what you want, but I just know it would do better than Daredevil. On a side note... It is my new goal in life to stuff somebody's engine full of hay.
May 12th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Protoclown needs to be imprisioned for life so that he may only spend his time writing stuff like this.
Jun 4th, 2008, 01:37 AM
If my name was Phil LeGreed I would wear a costume of delicate and intricate ornamentation made from gold or silver twisted wire, especially if I was a banker that takes it upon himself to act as a bailiff. Of course, living in the Marvel universe this would not be remarkable.
Forum Virgin
Oct 20th, 2008, 06:54 AM
The comic store I went to when I was 10 or so had a free box... picked up tons of Marvel Ages there, but also a lot of old Legion of Super-Heroes, which got me into that series. Sadly, when they moved, they also turned it into a quarter box, so I didn't get as many old books after that. Never came across this series, though, to the best of my memory.

Click here to return to the Comics homepage