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


Man, how many relationships have I been in that have ended like this?

She slides to a halt on the grease, and somehow Poppa, Wide Load, and Retread are just magically right there too. They start closing in around her menacingly, while she protests her innocence the whole while.

"Braaaaaaaaaaiiiiiins... are not required to read this comic."

In a panic, she starts hitting all the buttons on the hypno-whip, causing a tremendous flash of light and knocking everyone back, even (surprisingly) someone as fat as Wide Load Annie.

It was only a matter of time before two people as large and "in charge" as
Poppa and Wide Load formed an actual black hole with their combined gravitational pull.

After the light fades and they can all see again, they notice that Taryn is lying on the ground motionless, and U.S. quickly detects that she has no pulse. Just when Retread asks why she would have used the "Kill Self" button on the whip if she actually knew what the hell she was doing, who should show up but MIDNIGHT HERSELF! My GOD!! I so... saw that coming.

How many relationships have I had that started like this?

But... if Midnight isn't Taryn, then who on earth could she be!?? Tune in next time, dear reader, one mere paragraph below, to find out!

Midnight has a secret? Did I fall asleep and miss something?

Welcome back! Our ninth issue opens with Midnight standing over the corpse of Taryn O'Connell, gloating and telling the Short Stop crew that they are responsible for her death. U.S. doesn't want to hear it though, and as soon as he sees an opportunity to put some poor, innocent Short Stop customers between him and that nasty hypno-whip, he takes it!

Never one to pass up the opportunity to be an asshole, U.S. gleefully throws some random strangers in harm's way!

Of course, these truckers are none too pleased about being pushed into a big patch of grease, so a fight starts right outside the restaurant, during which Midnight readies her hypno-whip and slips, causing it to hit Taryn's body and fry it with a jolt of electricity, bringing her back to life!

How many impressionable youths out there masturbated to this scene? Are you one of them? Am I?

Midnight gets ready to snap the whip at U.S., but he reminds her that he can control the truck mentally and she is all like "awww sheeiiiit!" as the truck rolls up behind her. Meanwhile, Clutch, Grab, and LeGreed are having a clandestine road sex meeting on the side of the highway, where LeGreed is explaining to the others that he's hired on some help to ensure that the Short Stop crew misses their next mortgage payment, when just at that moment, a zeppelin floats into view above them. Clutch and Grab, being the dumbfucks that they are, even say "It's a bird!", "No, a plane!" as the giant zeppelin floats not twenty yards above them.

Have you ever seen a fucking bird that looks like this?

Baron von Blimp blunders his way down the ladder and introduces himself, explaining how he has a personal vendetta and interest in seeing the Short Stop close its doors permanently. The Highwayman watches all this on his ubiquitous invisible floating camera system, and says aloud how the good Baron had best make sure his loyalties stay in place while he makes a little money on the side. Meanwhile, on another viewscreen, the alien that U.S. encountered before spies on the Highwayman and mentions that this conflict between him and U.S. has dragged on too long and it's almost time for the final confrontation.

"My dad was a robot, my mom was a plant. What'd you expect?"

Meanwhile, back at the Short Stop, Midnight manages to lash out with the hypno-whip and hit Poppa, Wide Load, and Retread, but before she can have them do anything, Taryn jumps on her and makes her drop the whip.

There's actually a slot in the comic where you have to insert a quarter to see the rest of this scene.

As the two of them wrestle around in the oil all sexy-like, Midnight commands her minions to retrieve her whip. But in order to reach it, they have to push past some Short Stop patrons, who are most annoyed about this and start a fight. Just then, the zeppelin appears overhead and who should jump out but a shitload of Nazis! (Seriously).

"Nazis. I hate those guys."

Clutch, Grab, and LeGreed (who are in the zeppelin at this point) are not too happy to see Nazis being used as part of their plan. They express this concern to the Baron, who explains that he isn't even German--he just thinks they have the best-looking uniforms. On the ground below, it's Nazis versus truckers in an all-out brawl the likes of which we've never seen! U.S. picks up the hypno-whip and feverishly tries to figure out how to release his friends from its control without frying himself like Taryn did earlier.

Unfortunately for U.S., his excessive sweating dripped into the circuitry of the whip
and caused a short, which electrocuted and killed him. Naw, I'm just fuckin' with ya.

While he's fiddling with the whip, a bolt of energy flies out of his metal skull and makes contact with the whip, causing a burst of light and energy that freezes all the Nazis and truckers dead in their tracks.

Once everyone's frozen, U.S. debates about whose clothes to remove first, before finally settling on his own.

Midnight, shocked that the secret of the whip has been cracked, collapses on the ground and Taryn pounces on her, pulling off her wig and mask to reveal:

Why, it's Old Man Mary McGrill, proprietor of the abandoned amusement park!


I'll give you a minute to pick yourself off the floor. You know, from the shock. (Unless you like reading these things on the floor, in which case, you may take the minute to do something fun for yourself, like constructing a small origami friend. Go on, you earned it--it's yours!) Taryn thinks that Mary's sudden drowsiness is just an act, but U.S. knows better because he has a metal skull, and through linking with the whip, he learned that "Midnight" was just as much a victim of the whip as anyone else. No sooner does he express that thought than the Highwayman shows up to confirm it!

The Highwayman spent hours practicing to get his cape twirl just right.

Could it be that we will finally learn the identity (as if we hadn't already guessed by the end of the first issue) of this mysterious terror of the motorway? Let's press on like a Lee Nail and find out!

I just have to point out that in the comics they try to make Taryn O'Connell a reasonably
attractive woman. On this cover however, it is evident that she is in fact an ugly man with breasts.

Our tenth issue opens with the Highwayman gloating like any good villain and telling the Short Stop gang how he was behind everything and they played right into his hands the whole time. Mary McGrill stands in a daze next to him while all of the truckers and Nazis are still frozen in place.

The hypno-whip is so powerful that it hypnotized a HAT to remain FLOATING IN MIDAIR!!!!

While the Highwayman is yammering on, U.S. makes a grab for the hypno-whip and strikes him with it, but unfortunately it does no harm, since he is immune to his own weapons.

"Fool! I like being whipped! In fact, I am turned on by it! So who is laughing now!??"

Things seem to be at a standstill once again, until U.S. uses his mental link to summon the US-1 to charge straight toward the Highwayman! He has a mental link with his own Blackrig however, and summons it to his defense. And then things are at a standstill once again.

It's like watching two Transformers duking it out, without any of the stuff that makes them actually cool.

The Highwayman tells U.S. that he has been a thorn in his side for far too long, and that it's time to settle the issue of who has total supremacy of the highway once and for all! U.S. is confused and asks what that entails, recapping his entire origin story for us once again, because it's obviously very likely that a new reader would start this book two issues from the end. The Highwayman reveals that U.S.'s brother Jeff is still alive, a revelation that is shocking to NO ONE!!! U.S. lunges for the Highwayman to grab him and pummel more information out of him if need be, when suddenly Baron von Blimp comes bumbling down his zeppelin ladder to the rescue!

He lost his balance and fell because he was carrying his sword in his mouth. I wish I was making that up.

The Highwayman is none too pleased about this "menacing" entrance...

"Behold! I have bested a bear! By which I mean of course, a large hairy man, not an actual bear, good lord, no!"

Just as he's berating his fat henchman, a huge alien spacecraft shows up in the sky right above them!

Desperate for a marketing tie-in, Marvel comics negotiated this special Millennium Falcon cameo appearance.

They announce on their space loud speaker (every object on a spaceship must have the "space" descriptor in front) that the Highwayman's time is up, but he yells "No!" and races to the Blackrig, making his escape, but the US-1 is in hot pursuit! They have a highway race battle of epic proportions, with high-tech gadget going up against even higher-still-tech gadget, but my favorite part is when the Highwayman magically makes his face appear on U.S.'s radar screen:

Amazing how the resolution on his crappy radar monitor suddenly got all high definition, isn't it? SUCH is the power of the Highwayman!

U.S. launches a smokescreen and shoots out an oil slick, but the Highwayman anticipates the trap and makes his truck totally fly over it, because he's like that asshole kid down the street who declared that he wasn't just bulletproof but he was "everything-proof" when you were playing "guns" in your childhood years.

As you can see, banana peels on the highway can lead to very serious accidents, so please, don't litter.

After landing his truck, he randomly decides that they have "played this farce out long enough" and, in a stunning move, reveals that he is none other than... EXACTLY WHO WE ALL EXPECTED!!!

"My brother, huh? That's kind of disappointing. Can you at least put the mask
back on and pretend you're Nightcrawler, or--ooooh, how about Dracula?"

Well, I'm so shocked to my core I think I just pooped myself. Onward to issue eleven then!


Reader Comments

Amicable Herculean
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Adding aliens and nazis usually makes everything cooler, but nothing can save this book- especially when you have FREAKING TRUCK RACES IN SPACE.
Jun 6th, 2008, 08:15 PM
Looks like you repeated a picture on the last page, Proto.
after enough bourbon ...
Jun 6th, 2008, 09:23 PM
Yes, but what a picture! Jefferson Archer encased in a giant sperm! It deserves special treatment, don't you think?

Awesome Longbox, Proto. And worth the wait.
Last of the Time Lords
Jun 6th, 2008, 10:58 PM
I still can't believe such a comic series actually ever existed. It's like suddenly learning that everything I ever believed about comics was a lie.

This needs to be made into a movie. Or maybe a television show. Something! The world must be told about the metal-skulled space trucker with his silver dollar and psychotic brother.
Pickled Patriarch
Jun 6th, 2008, 11:02 PM
Originally Posted by BigMac500 View Post
Looks like you repeated a picture on the last page, Proto.
Fixed it.

From now on, I'm going to climb on words to escape from any difficult situation. Also, the very last photo in the article should be printed out as a poster and hung proudly on everybody's walls.
Jun 7th, 2008, 12:55 AM
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Jun 7th, 2008, 02:24 AM
that was insane. every single bit nothing but over exaggerated deus ex machina and predictable archetypes. ridiculous, but awesome, but crazy.
Jun 7th, 2008, 04:22 AM
I love how "semi-enthusiasts" in the recap box informing us of the issue in which the truck became mentally controlable can be read as both people fond of semis or people only slightly enthused by this comic.
grants but one wish
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:01 AM
"Like a dog gone mad, US-1's pursuit stops when it reaches the end of its leash."
this got me thinking, what if trucks were like dogs?

"does oo want to go drivseys!?" "does my widdew trucky wucky want his fue fue!?" "aww, aw, no... the bloody things spilt oil everywhere! margret, get th/ no! bad truck you are a very VERY BAD TRUCK!!!, thats it, i'm locking it outside for the night, out you go, go on... STOP SCRATCHING AT THE DOOR!!!, (sigh) i knew we should never have gotten billy that damn truck for his birthday..."
Serial Loiterer
Jun 7th, 2008, 09:59 AM
Could this comic be the long forgotten and enigmatic prequel to the smash hit of 1996, "Space Truckers"? This really needs to be adapted to film. The epic battle of Nazis versus Truckers, alone, would sell tickets. I suggest Wilford Brimley for the role of Wide Load Annie. Either him or King Kong Bundy. Maybe Clay Aiken could play U.S. Archer. I smell a blockbuster here.
after enough bourbon ...
Jun 7th, 2008, 05:07 PM
I just remembered - if Jefferson and US were run off the road by a truck in the first comic, then who was driving the other truck? Did Jeff have the same power of "remote drivability" that US had? Or is this a question better off unasked?

And Clay Aiken should play Retread, hands down!
Jun 7th, 2008, 05:18 PM
So, I was trying to think of who Wide Load Annie reminds me of....

Jonathan Winters in drag. Dead on
skank pronger
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:44 PM
If this comic is made into a movie, there's only one director worthy of the job. Uwe Boll!
Forum Virgin
Jun 7th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Holy crap! I just realized!
I am 99% certain that the Short Stop in Space (complete with Wide Load) guest-starred in a She-Hulk comic from a while back that I own!
Jun 7th, 2008, 11:43 PM
That appearance also featured a trucker in an electrified pig suit. US Archer Profile on Marvel Appendix
Jun 8th, 2008, 12:47 AM
Marvel should spend less time on cross overs and more time on comics like this.
Freak Power
Jun 8th, 2008, 01:23 AM
my brain hurts...
Commarade General
Jun 8th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Just epic...

But if the airbrakes didn't work in space, how come the engine worked? How did the fuel was burned? What gave them the impulse to travel through space? The wheels?...

Ok, gotta go now before I start analyzing this and my head explodes.
The Magnificent Bastard
Jun 9th, 2008, 01:57 AM
I fear this comic is the result of watching "Smokey and the Bandit" while on LSD!
Master of Awesome Sauce!
Jun 9th, 2008, 03:13 AM
.... My head hurts now...

But this shit is insane!! They really should bring back some stuff and characters from this madness, like maybe Wide Load is a Skrull or something like that.
Retardedly Handsome
Jun 9th, 2008, 11:09 AM
I had a case of white line fever once. It made me listen to techno all night, I couldn't sleep, but this comic made a lot more sense.
is hopped up on goofballs
Jun 9th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Holy crap space truckers with cybernetic CB brains. The drugs must have been so much better in the 70's...
An Arizona Horror Company
Jun 10th, 2008, 08:22 PM
Suitably deranged coverage of a thoroughly deranged series. Very well done!

And that's the old Marvel so many of us miss, just ludicrous enough to be interesting, over the top at every opportunity, and rarely taking itself too seriously like some Very Special Episode in which Arnold gets dysentery from an undercooked cheese doodle.

If this series made it past the development stage in 2008, Wolverine would be in every other issue-- alternating with Spider-Man-- and since Frank Miller would be writing the whole series, it would be The Goddamn Truckstop and The Goddamn Brainwave Controls....
Forum Virgin
Jun 11th, 2008, 03:13 AM
Um, did anybody notice that the last issue of US-1 was guest-pencilled by STEVE FUCKING DITKO?
The Magnificent Bastard
Jun 11th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Desert_Screams, are you sure Frank Miller would be writing it, and not the dreaded Bendis?

Just imagine U.S. and all his Super-Trucker buddies having lots of conversations that don't go anywhere!
Jun 15th, 2008, 02:56 PM
Shame we didn't get anything on Jeff, I thought considering he was more of a fallen hero than a mad man, I thought that he would have at least have a half decent ending, besides, you can understand why he become the Highway man, if not over reacted slightly... I feel pretty sorry for him actaully
Forum Virgin
Jun 16th, 2008, 05:01 PM
With the right director, this could make an awesome movie. Terry Gilliam, anyone?
Forum Virgin
Jun 24th, 2008, 11:44 AM
I had the first issue with midnight, and I've spent years wondering how this all ended. Thank you, I-mockery!
Forum Virgin
Sep 27th, 2008, 03:46 AM
After seeing this, I have a serious urge to build a model of the US-1. It has 4 smokestacks! That's got to be one powerful engine.
Forum Virgin
Oct 20th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Okay, wait, the Highwayman was just the brother in a mask... and the old man in issue 3 was the Highwayman in a mask... I'm flashing back to the unmasking scene in "Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th: "Another mask... and another mask... and another mask!"
Forum Virgin
Mar 5th, 2009, 09:59 PM

Best sound effect ever.
Aug 24th, 2009, 04:19 AM
The best part? The Highwayman was recently listed in Dark Reign Files #1 as a potentially useful contact for Norman Osbourne and the Cabal. Expendability level: low!

Click here to return to the Comics homepage