"Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Atari Force"


      Written & maintained by Lee K. Seitz (


                             Version 0.1

                     Last Updated 31 October 1995


                     Copyright 1995 Lee K. Seitz

              ATARI FORCE is a trademark of Atari, Inc.






0.1 Disclaimer


This document is Copyright 1995 by Lee K. Seitz.  It may be freely

redistributed in whole or in part, provided that this copyright notice

is not removed.  It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in

commercial documents without the written permission of the copyright

holder.  Permission is expressly granted for this document to be made

available for file transfer from installations offering unrestricted

file transfer on the Internet.  This document is provided as is

without any express or implied warranty.  ATARI FORCE is a trademark

of Atari, Inc.  The characters are trademarks of DC Comics, Inc.  Use

of the aforementioned trademarks is not intended to challenge said





This document contains tons of SPOILERS if you've never read an _Atari

Force_ comic before, particularly the plot summaries (sections 2.3,

3.3, and 4.3) and timeline (section five).  If you wish to someday

read the issues in question, it is advised that you not read the

timeline or plot summaries.  You should also take care around the

other sections, particularly the Dark Destroyer and Taz profiles. 

This is your only warning!




0.2 Table of Contents



      0.1 Disclaimer

      0.2 Table of Contents

      0.3 How to Get This Document

      0.4 History

      0.5 Document Conventions

      0.6 Needed Information



      2.1  Questions and Answers

      2.2  Character Profiles

      2.3  Credits & Plot Summaries by Issue


      3.1  Questions and Answers

      3.2  Character Profiles

      3.3  Credits & Plot Summaries by Issue

      3.4  Title Differences


      4.1  Questions and Answers

      4.2  Character Profiles

      4.3  Credits & Plot Summary





      8.1  Summary of Issue Credits

           8.1.1  Atari Force Mini-comics

           8.1.2  Atari Force Series

      8.2  Creator Profiles

   9. THANKS




0.3 How to Get This Document


This document is posted whenever I feel like it to:

   rec.arts.comics.misc (if it's approved).

It is also available on the World Wide Web at URL:



If you do not have access to the WWW, you may receive this document by

sending e-mail to:

with the BODY containing the line:


The subject line is not important and can be left blank.  Please note

that I have no affiliation with this service and it could go down at

any time, for all I know.  Also, keep in mind this document is

currently about 100k and over 1900 lines.


If you have an anonymous ftp site that this document could call home,

please contact me!




0.4 History


Well, there's not much.  I missed most of the _Atari Force_ mini-comics

included in the cartridges when they were released.  Then I saw an

article on the new Atari Force in _Video Games_ magazine and, being an

avid comic book collector and video game freak, I knew I had to have

them.  I bought every issue and was very disappointed when the series

ended.  I went out and found all the mini-comics and the _Star

Raiders_ graphic novel.  I'd had the idea for this FAQ for some time,

but some discussion on rec.arts.comics.dc.universe (yes, it was

off-topic) around April or May 1995 inspired me to finally start.  It

took quite a while to compile (the preliminary version was released in

October 1995) and there were some delays along the way, but I hope you

like the result.




0.5 Document Conventions


Underbars (_) around a word or phrase indicate it should be

underlined, but you can't do that in flat ASCII text.  The "original

Atari Force" refers to the group featured in the _Atari Force_

mini-comics that were packed with various Atari 2600 cartridges.  The

comics are referred to as "the mini-comics" or "in-packs."  The

"second Atari Force" or just "Atari Force" refers to the group

featured in the full-sized comic series.  This series is referred to

simply as "the series."  "ATARI" refers to the Advanced Technology

And Research Institute, usually called "Atari Institute" in the

comic, but that's like calling NASA the NASA Administration.


The following abbreviations are used in reference to titles.

AF        _Atari Force_ comic (#1-20)

AFb       Backup in an issue of _Atari Force_

AFM       _Atari Force_ mini-comic (#1-5)

AFS[123]  _Atari Force Special_ (#1) and story number (1-3)

SR        _Star Raiders_ graphic novel




0.6 Needed Information


First, I'm seeking opinions on a couple things.  Are the plot

summaries too lengthy?  Should the annotations be there own section

(as it is currently) or should each of them cover after the story or

issue they relate to?  Now on to really needed information.


1)  One of the Atari Force mini-comics (probably #5) was apparently

published in an issue of _New Teen Titans_.  Which mini-comic and

which issue of _New Teen Titans_.?


2)  Further details of the "Atari Force:  Liberator" arcade video

game.  See section six.


3)  Details of the Peter Packrat arcade video game.  See section 3.1.


4)  Information on the various creators.  See section 8.2.


5)  Any other place you see "[Info?]".


Please send any comments, suggestions, corrections, additional

information, or Atari 2600 cartridges to






Q:  What the heck is the Atari Force?

A:  This could take a while to answer, but I'll try to be as brief as

possible.  Back in 1982, Atari, Inc. came up with an interesting

marketing ploy:  including miniature comic books with their Atari 2600

cartridges.  They used DC Comics to create the mini-comics.  This led

to the creation of a group of science fiction heroes (not

super-heroes) called the Atari Force.  Their earth of the

not-too-distant future had been ravaged and they were seeking a new

planet to colonize amongst the many parallel universes.  Along the

way, this led to many adventures, of course.  This also later led to a

continuing, regular-sized series published by DC from 1984-85 featuring

a new generation of Atari Force.


Q:  Why did Atari pick DC?

A:  I don't know for sure, but most likely because both companies were

owned by Warner Communications at the time.


Q:  What other comics were created?

A:  Well, besides the Atari Force, there were comics included in and

based on Centipede and Yars' Revenge.  There was also the SwordQuest

series in which the comics were actually an intricate part of the game

and contest that went along with it.  Only three of the four games

were ever released and the third one, Waterworld, is very rare.  If

you'd like to know more about it, I suggest you find the Classic Atari

Game Systems (CAGS) FAQ regularly posted to 

There was also a Warlords graphic novel, but I have yet to find out if

it has anything to do with the video game of the same name.


Q:  Do these stories take place in the DC universe?

A:  No.


Q:  But they're listed in _Who's Who in the DC Universe_ and Hukka

was in Ambush Bug!

A:  Are you trying to spoil section six?  Spanner's Galaxy was

listed in _Who's Who_, too, and it's not in the DC universe either.

As for Ambush Bug, he hasn't appeared in continuity since his first

mini-series, and that was before the Hukka appearance.


Q:  Can you prove it?

A:  Yes.  The last few characters of Atari Force listed in _Who's Who

in the DC Universe_ have a disclaimer that reads "Note:  the

adventures of the Atari Force take place in the not-so-distant future,

outside the canon of the traditional DC Universe."  So there! 8)






2.1  Questions and Answers


Q:  Which Atari 2600 games did the Atari Force mini-comics come in?

A:  This actually the only FAQ in this document.

    #1 - Defender

    #2 - Berzerk

    #3 - Star Raiders

    #4 - Phoenix

    #5 - Galaxian


Q:  Did the comics have Atari part numbers?

A:  Yes, they were on the back covers.  Here they are:

    #1 - CO18256

    #2 - CO18257

    #3 - CO18258

    #4 - CO20133

    #5 - CO20131


Q:  Why is #5's part number lower than #4's?

A:  I don't know.  Number four is something of an oddity in that it

only has 16 pages, whereas the rest have 48.  It is also a serious

departure from the storyline in the rest of the in-packs and only

involves the original Atari Force as spectators.  Of course, the Atari

2600 cartridge part numbers are not in order either.  For example,

Defender (CX2609) came well after Warlords (CX2610).


Q:  In the mini-comics, what does ATARI stand for?

A:  Atari Technology And Research Institute.  Yes, it's recursive. 8)

See this question in section 3.1 for a better answer.


Q:  Who were the members of the original Atari Force?

A:  Martin Champion - mission commander

    Lydia Perez - pilot, executive officer

    Li-San O'Rourke - security officer

    Mohandas Singh - flight engineer

    Dr. Lucas Orion - medical officer


Q:  Who was the enemy in the Five Day War?

A:  They are never named.  The writers had the foresight to not limit

it to the U.S.S.R., the most obvious candidate at the time it was

written.  The only clue of any sort is that one of the enemy soldiers

is a brown-haired caucasian.  (Not much help, is it?)


Q:  Who were ATARI's enemies?

A:  The Co-Op.  They were mentioned only once in AFM#2.




2.2  Character Profiles


[To be added in 1.0.]




2.3  Credits & Plot Summaries by Issue


All of the mini-comics were divided into three chapters, except #4 and

#5.  In the former cases, the names for all three chapters are listed.


AFM#1, "Intruder Alert!"/"Deadly Orbit"/"Final Approach", 48 pages.

Credits:  Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (creators and writers); Ross

Andru, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo (visual concepts and art); Neal

Pozner (design); John Costanza (lettering); Adrienne Roy (coloring);

Jack Ryniec, George Kerrigan (special photographic effects); Dick

Giordano (editor).

Plot:  In the year 2005, a female intruder with a gaelic accent

infiltrates ATARI HQ in Northcal (formerly known as California). 

Meanwhile, in earth orbit, Martin Champion saves ATARI Solar Satellite

Station One from a run-away solar panel.  While Dr. Lucas Orion is

tending the shoulder he used to block it in sick-bay, both are

summoned to a "crash priority" meeting of the Project:  Multiverse

team, a project neither knows anything about.  On the way to earth,

Champion remembers how he first met Lydia Perez on a rescue mission

for the lunar colonists after an attack on it by unnamed enemies in

1998.  This led to the Five Day War which left the earth with no more

traditional nation-states and a food shortage, among other problems. 

He wonders why Perez seems so cold during the summons.  The two are

met and driven to ATARI HQ by Perez.  On the way, Orion remembers his

time with the last U.N. peace-keeping taskforce in Africa and his

joining ATARI.  As they enter the building, the intruder slips in

behind them.


AFM#2, "Berserk"/"Unmasked"/"Spoils of War", 48 pages.

Credits:  Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (creators and writers); Ross

Andru, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo (visual concepts and art); Neal

Pozner (design); John Costanza (lettering); Adrienne Roy (coloring);

Dick Giordano (editor).

Plot:  Champion, Orion, Perez, and Mohandas Singh meet with the

director of ATARI while the intruder eavesdrops.  ATARI security

finally discovers the intruder, issuing an "intruder alert" for a

"berzerk situation."  (Doesn't that cleverly tie it to the game? 8)

The flashing lights and sirens send Singh into a remembrance of his

former life as a street urchin in New Delhi with his friend Raja.  A

tourist accidentally accuses them of picking his pocket and Raja dies

when he slips and hits his head on a river bank.  To try to make up

for what he's done, Prof. Stanley Miles (the tourist) sends Singh to

some of the finest schools on three continents to train his very

intelligent mind.  Meanwhile, the intruder slips into the _Scanner

One_ hangar as the meeting participants give chase.  After a fight

between the intruder and Champion (which he loses), the intruder is

revealed to be Li-San O'Rourke, the executive director of ATARI

security doing a field test which the security teams have failed

miserably.  She apologizes for disrupting the meeting, the but

director reveals she is to be the fifth member of the Atari Force.  As

they enter the craft, O'Rourke recounts her mission during the Five

Day War to win back an enemy-occupied oil field.  Unfortunately, an

enemy soldier managed to set off the explosives they had set, killing

O'Rourke's closest friend and destroying the oil field.  Since then,

she has become a pacifist, which she says is not mutually exclusive

from bing willing to defend yourself.  The director reveals _Scanner

One_ is designed to travel to parallel universes, to seek an unspoiled

planet since the earth has lost a million acres of arable land in the

past seven years, probably due to a greenhouse effect from the two

death-bombs that were exploded during the war.  Then the director

fades away, revealed to be a hologram project by the Atari 8000

computer as a way of introducing itself.  It then tells them to

prepare for departure.  As the real director watches, _Scanner One_

disappears to the void between dimensions.


AFM#3, "Enter--The Dark Destroyer"/"Planet of the Doomed!"/"Star

Raiders!", 48 pages.

Credits:  Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (creators and writers); Ross

Andru (visual concepts); Gil Kane, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo (art);

Neal Pozner (design); John Costanza (lettering); Adrienne Roy

(coloring); Dick Giordano (editor).

Plot:  Inbetween universes, a planet-sized octopus-like creature grabs

_Scanner One_ and tries to crush it.  Atari Force escapes by having the

computer kick in the dimensional warp engines on full, creating a

power surge.  Unable to control where they reappear in normal space,

they end up above a dead earth-like world where they have to set down

to make repairs to the engines.  As they investigate, Hukka appears

and decides he likes Singh.  They split up and then Champion and Orion

are attacked by spaceships.  Another appears out of the ground and

makes short work of the attackers.  When it lands, O'Rourke, Singh,

and Hukka are inside.  Hukka led them to the ship and a jewel which

shows them how the world used to be before the Zylons attacked and

destroyed it.  Everyone but Orion is inspired to vengeance.  While

O'Rourke and Champion battle Zylons in the Star Raider, Orion

discovers the Zylons are controlled by the Dark Destroyer, so Orion,

Perez, and Singh go to find it.  They do, and seem to destroy it with

an overloaded probe.  Meanwhile, the Star Raider is in trouble and are

saved when the Dark Destroyer is attacked.  The two teams regroup back

at the planet.  They leave again, taking Hukka with them as it is

revealed to the reader that the Dark Destroyer is not gone.

Notes:  This issue contains a "Fact File" on Martin Champion.


AFM#4, "Phoenix", 16 pages.

Credits:  Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (creators and writers); Ross

Andru, Dick Giordano (visual concepts and art); Neal Pozner (design);

John Costanza (lettering); Adrienne Roy (coloring); Dick Giordano


Plot:  The story opens as David Marcus is killed when the Malaglon's

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.


AFM#5, "Galaxian", 48 pages.

Credits:  Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (creators and writers); Ross Andru

(visual concepts); Gil Kane, Dick Giordano (art); Neal Pozner

(design); John Costanza (lettering); Adrienne Roy (coloring); Andrew

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Atari Force investigates their 13th world, which turns out to

be an unihabited paradise.  Then a ship appears carrying Aviar, a

Custodian, asking why they are trespassing.  After hearing their case,

she escorts them to Centerworld so the First Custodians can decide

whether to allow them to settle there.  After they land and depart

their ship, the Dark Destroyer, who was sent to this universe after

its last encounter with the Atari Force, takes control of the

population and attacks.  Orion discovers the Dark Destroyer and Atari

Force attacks the asteroid its hiding on, having to fight their way

through the Custodians first.  Atari Force is victorious, although the

Dark Destroyer created an organic nodule in the event he was defeated

that goes unnoticed as Atari Force heads back to Centerworld.  After

some discussion, it is decided to allow humanity to settle on planet

11435-18-2 and grant them probationary membership in the United

Federation of Worlds.  Atari Force returns to earth, where _Scanner

One_ is refitted to carry colonists in suspended animation to their

new home and renamed _Exodus One_.  After the first launch, Champion

final confronts Perez and learns she doesn't want to allow herself to

be hurt by loving someone to have them taken away, as her family was. 

He tells her they're the past and that the two of them are the future. 

Thus ends the saga of the original Atari Force.




Subject: 3. ATARI FORCE


3.1  Questions and Answers


Q:  In the series, what does ATARI stand for?

A:  Advanced Technology And Research Institute.  I told you this was a

better answer.  The "Advanced" part was not used until the series.


Q:  Who were the members of the second Atari Force?

A:  The team started with Martin Champion, Chris Champion (Tempest),

Erin Bia O'Rourke-Singh (Dart), Hukka, Morphea, Babe, and Pakrat (as a

stowaway).  Later Blackjak, Taz, and Kargg joined the team one by one.


Q:  How is the second Atari Force related to the original?

A:  Martin Champion was leader of the original team and gathered

Tempest and Dart to be on the second.  Tempest is the son of Martin

Champion and Lydia Perez.  Dart is the daughter of Mohandas Singh and

Li-San O'Rourke.  Hukka joined the original team in AFM#3.  Morphea is

Martin's psychiatrist and Babe is her ward.  Pakrat was a stow-away.


Q:  What do the Atari Force members have to do with Atari, Inc. and

their games?

A:  Not much.  Chris Champion's nickname, Tempest, was the name of a

popular arcade game Atari produced in 1980, not that his powers have

anything to do with the game.  In 1984, Atari produced a game called

Peter Packrat (not Pakrat).  I have not seen this game, so I don't

know what, if anything, they have in common.  If you *really* want to

stretch things, Atari did have a Blackjack cartridge for the 2600....


Q:  What type of creature is Hukka?  A bird?  A mammal?  What?

A:  Hukka is from a totally alien planet and even universe!  Who says

he has to fall under any earth classification?  (In other words, I

don't know. 8)


Q:  Why are Pakrat and Blackjak missing C's from their names?

A:  Because it looks "kewl." 8)




3.2  Character Profiles


[To be added in 1.0.]




3.3  Credits & Plot Summaries by Issue


Because back issues of the Atari Force series are much easier to come

by than the in-packs, I'm going to try only to do very basic plot

summaries.  Cover credits were not given, so all I have to go on is

the artists' signatures.  Credits for the issue are as they are

listed, unless what a person did is not listed, in which case I fill

in the blank.  This is why Jose Garcia-Lopez' pencils are often listed

simply as "art."


Note:  All issues of the series list Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and

Jose Garcia-Lopez as creators.  All issues of the series cost $0.75

and had 32 pages (with ads).


AF#1, Jan. 1984, "Fresh Blood", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (penciller);

Ricardo Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko

(colorist); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  On Roc's World, Dart and Blackjak fight General Ki's goons

after he has refused to pay their fee.  After the fight is broken up

by the local police, General Ki escapes to meet the Dark Destroyer,

who kills him when he shows up without Dart.  Meanwhile, the captain

of the _Kilos_ kidnaps a native baby from the planet Egg.  At the same

time, at ATARI headquarters in orbit around New Earth, Professor

Venture introduced Morphea to Tempest.  And on Moon Alpha in the

Betelgeuse star-system, Pakrat steals the Klavian crown jewels and

hops a ship to New Earth.

Notes:  This issue contains a summary of the mini-comics in what will

become the letter column.


AF#2, Feb. 1984, "Direct Encounter", 20 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (penciller);

Ricardo Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko

(colorist); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Dart and Blackjak have joined the rebels fighting against

General Ki's regime.  Melissa Jamieson, daughter of New Earth senator

Jamieson, breaks up with Tempest at her father's behest.  Morphea

begins doing psychotherapy on Martin Champion.  Babe and Pakrat

continue their separate journeys to New Earth.  Dart is attacked by

the Warbeast, who was sent by the Dark Destroyer.  With the help of

Blackjak, she stuffs a grenade down his throat and kills him.

Notes:  This issue contains "Fact Files" on Martin Champion, Pakrat,

and Tempest.  The heights and weights are incorrect.


AF#3, March 1984, "I Saw You Die", 20 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (penciller);

Ricardo Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko

(colorist); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Dart has a vision of Blackjak dying.  Pakrat encounters his

brother, Rident, a police officer, at the customs satellite Caspiar. 

Dart and Blackjak buy a ship to go to New Earth in, but the Dark

Destroyer sees that they get one with a broken drive.  Babe arrives at

ATARI headquarters and Morphea happens to encounter him during an

incident with the captain.  She goes to see try to get Babe released

from the captain's custody.  Pakrat escapes his brother.  Blackjak and

Dart escape an attack by the Dark Destroyer, but their drive breaks

down again.  The drive unexpectedly fires, sending Blackjak tumbling

to the plasma bridge between binary stars, apparently killing him.

Notes:  This issue contains "Fact Files" on Dart, Babe, and Morphea. 

It also has the first bunch of letters on AF.


AF#4, April 1984, "Families", 24 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Ross Andru (penciller); Jose

Garcia-Lopez (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist);

Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Dart returns home to Tempest, her parents, and Hukka. 

Throughout this issue, we discover what has become of the original

Atari Force.  Morphea is having a session with Champion when she is

called away because the _Kylos_ is departing.  ATARI has allowed the

captain to keep Babe to avoid trouble with the Merchant League, but

Morphea convinces him to give Babe to her.  Pakrat has arrived at

ATARI HQ, but so has his brother, who finds him.  He can't arrest

Pakrat because Inter-Federation Customs doesn't have an extradition

treaty with the humans.  Champion sends another multiverse probe out. 

It is captured by a huge ship.  Champion believes he has given the

Dark Destroyer the means to find New Earth and destroy it.  He vows

that he, and a new Atari Force, will stop him.

Notes:  This issue has corrections for the first three Fact Files. 

Also, according to an interview in Comics Interview #12, this was

originally planned as the first issue.


AF#5, May 1984, "Dark Dawn", 25 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Ross Andru (penciller); Jose Luis

Garcia-Lopez (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist);

Andy Helfer (editor); Joe Orlando (special thanks).

Plot:  Martin Champion, Dart, Tempest, and Hukka set about stealing

_Scanner One_.  Morphea has followed Champion to see what he's up to. 

She agrees to accompany them as a doctor if they'll help her return

Babe to Egg.  Pakrat jumps on board, fleeing his brother, Rident, as

the entrance ramp is closing.  Rident gets the permission and

equipment from ATARI to track down the Atari Force.  Meanwhile, Atari

Force discovers Pakrat.  Champion destroys their nav-chip so the Dark

Destroyer can't use it to get back to New Earth.  Tempest will have to

guide them when the time comes.  Atari Force finds the Dark

Destroyer's ship, just as the Dark Destroyer planned.  Also, unknown

to Atari Force, Rident is observing.


AF#6, June 1984, "A Meeting with Life and Death", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (story); Jose Garcia-Lopez (art); Ricardo

Villagran (inks); Bob Lappan (letterer and uncredited pencils and inks

of Hukka); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  With _Scanner One_ using sensor-shields (a type of cloaking

device), Tempest does some reconnaissance.  Unfortunately he phases

into the crew quarters and has to beat a hasty retreat.  Atari Force

conceives a plan where Tempest will go in and gas the crew, then Dart

and Pakrat will steal back the probe.  However, the Dark Destroyer

"wills" Tempest to show up somewhere other than the crew quarters

where he beats Tempest to a pulp.  Meanwhile, Dart and Pakrat escape

into the vent system away from the very conscious crew.  Dark Destroyer

gives Tempest to Psyklops and then sends a message to Martin Champion

that he holds both Tempest and Dart hostage.

Notes:  This issue contains the corrections for the second and last

set of Fact Files.


AF#7, July 1984, "Counter Attack", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez (penciller); Terry Austin (inker).

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (artist); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Psyklops tortures Tempest while Pakrat and Dart end up fleeing

to the engine room.  Rident wonders what's going on.  Martin Champion

surrenders to the Dark Destroyer, but the bomb he was going to use to

destroy the Dark Destroyer is found.  After not hearing from Champion

for 30 minutes, Morphea goes to help.  Babe and Hukka decide to follow

in another ship.  Morphea rescues Chris from Psyklops.  Meanwhile,

Dart threatens to blow up the ship.  The Destroyer gives them the

probe and releases them.  He leaves as soon as they're off his ship. 

Meanwhile, Morphea discovers Hukka and Babe are missing.


AF#8, August 1984, "Babe's Story", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (plot); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (pencils);

Ricardo Villagran (inks); Andy Helfer (guest scripter/editor); Bob

Lappan (letters); Tom Ziuko (colors); Len Wein, Gerry Conway

(consulting editors).

Plot:  Hukka and Babe land on an apparently unsettled planet.  They

encounter "Shorty-man" and "his" "sleepy-friend" (dead mate) and decide

to follow "him."  Shorty-man uses Babe in his fight against his

enemies, eventually destroying their major camp.  Just after

Shorty-man has buried his mate, Atari Force shows up to fetch Babe. 

They decide to let Shorty-man join them.


AF#9, September 1984, "Memory Lane", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (artist); Bob Smith

(inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy Helfer


Plot:  Tempest literally drops in on Prof. Venture and summarizes the

last 8 issues for her and says they decided to call "Shorty-man," Taz. 

When they try to find a file on the Dark Destroyer, it tips of ATARI

security and Capt. Hunter begins his pursuit of Tempest, who next goes

to visit the O'Rourke-Singhs.  They summarize AFM#3 for him and we

discover Singh still has the mind-jewel.  Meanwhile, Hunter has found

Tempest again.  Back on _Scanner One_, Blackjak, who was supposedly

dead, reveals himself to Dart.


AF#10, October 1984, "Home is the Hero", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits: Gerry Conway (story); Jose Garcia-Lopez (art); Ed Barreto

(inks); Bob Lappan (letters); Tom Ziuko (colors); Andy Helfer (edits).

Plot:  Dart and Blackjak have a reunion, but Martin Champion doesn't

trust him.  Taz has stomach pains and goes off to be alone.  Tempest

visits Melissa Jamieson, his ex-girlfriend, but she orders her guard

robot to grab him.  He escape and she calls Hunter, who figures he'll

visit Dr. Orion next.  Meanwhile, the Dark Destroyer retrieves the

core of a radioactive, anti-matter asteroid.  Back on _Scanner One_,

Blackjak tells how the Dark Destroyer saved him from death in the

plasma bridge of the binary stars and held him prisoner.  He escaped

just in time to see Dart and Pakrat take off.  He followed and

eventually caught up with _Scanner One_.  Back on New Earth, Tempest

has gone to see Dr. Orion, but he's in bad shape, so Orion starts

healing him.  When he wakes up, he relates AFM#5 to him.  Just as

Tempest tells him the Dark Destroyer is still alive and in human form,

Hunter busts in and arrests him.  Dr. Orion had set him up, but now

has second thoughts.


AF#11, November 1984, "Betrayal", 23 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Hannigan (penciller); Dick Giordano (inker).

Credits:  Gerry Conway (writer); Jose Garcia-Lopez (artist); Bob Smith

(inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy Helfer


Plot:  While Atari Force sleeps, Blackjak contact the Dark Destroyer. 

Dark Destroyer can cause him great pain.  Blackjak reprograms _Scanner

One_'s navigational computer so "all roads lead to the Dark

Destroyer."  Afterwards, we discover the Dark Destroyer has built a

bomb capable of destroying a universe.  Meanwhile, back on New Earth,

Prof. Venture visits Tempest, who's kept on drugs to keep him from

phasing away.  After a chat with Hunter, Dr. Orion asks to talk to

here.  He relates Tempest's birth and Lydia Perez' death.  She says

"he's killing me."  Martin thought she meant Tempest, which is why

he disowned him.  Orion now realizes she was talking about the Dark

Destroyer.  Meanwhile, Atari Force discovers someone's messed with the

navagational computer.  In order to fix the ship, Babe has to hold up

the six ton drive while Martin works beneath it.  Blackjak causes a

power surge that burns Babe's hands, making him drop the drive and

almost squash Martin.  Taz sees him and gets blasted.  Dart and

Blackjak fight; Dart eventually wins.  Then the Dark Destroyer reveals

they are on their way to witness the destruction of the New Earth



AF#12, December 1984, "Revelations", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Jose Garcia-Lopez.

Credits:  Gerry Conway (plot); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (pencils); Andy

Helfer (script); Bob Smith (inks); Bob Lappan (letters); Tom Ziuko

(colors); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Tempest's hearing begins, but when he tries to escape, Hunter

knocks him out.  While Dart and Blackjak talk, Morphea tells Martin

Tempest is gone.  Then _Scanner One_ arrives at the edge of New

Earth's solar system.  Atari Force sneaks out in a "lifeboat" and

heads toward the bomb while the Dark Destroyer's minions search the

ship for them.  They catch up to them at the bomb and a fight ensues. 

Since they're losing, Martin Champion surrenders and asks the Dark

Destroyer who or what he is.  He removes his helmet to reveal a

younger version (c. the mini-comics) of Martin Champion's face.

Note:  This is Jose Garcia-Lopez' last issue.


AFb#12, "Do Unto Others", Hukka, 7 pages.

Credits:  Keith Giffen (story, pencil art); Ernie Colon (ink art); Bob

Lappan (letter art); Tom Ziuko (color art); Andy Helfer (edit art).

Plot:  Hukka chases a blue, two-legged lizard that goes "squark." 

After he catches it, a large carnivore appears and is about to eat

Hukka when an even larger, flying carnivore eats it.  Hukka lets the

squark go and leaves to find Babe.  The squark chases a yellow,

four-legged insect.


AF#13, January 1985, "The End", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Hannigan (designer); Eduardo Barreto (penciller);

Jose Garcia-Lopez (inker).

Credits:  Gerry Conway (plot); Joey Cavalieri (script); Ed Barreto

(pencils); Ricardo Villagran (inks); Bob Lappan (lettering); Tom Ziuko

(coloring); Andy Helfer (editing).

Plot:  The Dark Destroyer explains how he survived his last encounter

with the original Atari Force (AFM#5) by sending out some of his

life-essence in an organic pod before he was destroyed.  He absorbed

Lydia Perez' life force as she gave birth and also passed through

Martin Champion so he could form a new organism.  He found a pregnant

creature (non-humanoid) on another world and used her as the host of

his birth.  He grew to his present form within a year, collecting his

army of easily controlled sentients.  Now he is going to destroy the

New Earth universe.  Martin jumps him and the fight resumes, this time

with Atari Force winning.  Dart makes for the bomb and it comes down

to only Blackjak stopping her.  She has too shoot him.  As she tries

to deactivate the bomb, she sets off a failsafe.  It's going to

detonate and they can't do anything about it.  Atari Force heads for

_Scanner One_.  Shortly before, Martin has beat the Dark Destroyer in

hand-to-hand combat.  The Destroyer makes his way to the bomb, but

can't stop it either.  He does something to Kargg and sends him on his

way to fulfill the Destroyer's destiny.  The Destroyer himself stays

with the bomb, which goes off destroying a universe.

Notes:  RE: The title.  This truly is the beginning of the end for

Atari Force, as this is creator/writer Gerry Conway's last issue.


AFb#13, "Best Friends", Hukka, 7 pages.

Credits:  Paul Kupperberg (story); Dave Manak (pencils); Keith Giffen

(inks); Bob Lappan (letters); Tom Ziuko (colors); Andy Helfer (edits).

Plot:  Hukka meets Chee.  They play and then Chee leads him down a

hole.  This is a den of Chees . . . that want to eat Hukka.  The

original Chee rescues him and leads him back out.  Then he has to go

back.  Hukka waits for him to return.  [The assumption this reader

makes is that Chee will never be coming back.]


AF#14, February 1985, "Lost in the Multiverse", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Hannigan (designer); Ed Barreto (penciller); Jose

Garcia-Lopez (inker).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Ed Barreto (penciller); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Martin Champion is feeling sorry for himself, believing his

universe has been destroyed.  Atari Force has fled in _Scanner One_,

but was caught in the tail of the explosion, blowing them to an

unknown location within the multiverse.  Then Martin discovers a

ripple running rampant through the multiverse that wasn't there before

the bomb exploded.  He believes it might alter the course of life,

creating creatures never imagined, or even be a precursor to the

collapse of the multiverse.  Pakrat wanders off and discovers Taz beat

up and tied to a piece of equipment, at which point Kargg attacks. 

Meanwhile, Taz escapes.  Pakrat makes it to a shuttle and tries to

call the bridge.  The radio's out, but they notice him.  Then Taz

stumbles onto the bridge and Morphea discovers Kargg is on board. 

Pakrat launches the shuttle and Kargg grabs a ride.  They land on a

small, airless world and Pakrat has to run again.  Rident suddenly

appears and blows Kargg's arm off.  Then Atari Force shows up and

Rident tells them he's taking them in.

Note:  This is the first issue not to be labeled "Part "

by the story title.


AFb#14, "A Babe in Arms", Babe, 7 pages.

Credits:  Dave Manak (writer); Klaus Janson (artist); Bob Lappan

(letterer); Andy Helfer (editor).  [Either Janson colored or they

didn't credit Ziuko.]

Plot:  Babe is resting peacefully on his mother, the mountain, when a

new boulder/baby comes in and knocks him out.  He witnesses to

spaceships fighting and follows them to their landing site.  A bunch

of cannibalistic aliens start to attack the other pilot when Babe shows

up.  They try to eat him, but it only tickles.  They think he's an

attacking monster and run away in their ship.  The grateful pilot

realizes Babe is a baby and helps him get back to his mother.  He even

calls him Babe.  Babe is secure back with his mother when another

boulder comes bounding down.


AF#15, March 1985, "Siege", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Barreto (penciller); Jose Garcia-Lopez (inker).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Eduardo Barreto (artist); Bob Lappan

(letters), Tom Ziuko (colors); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Bug-like beings chase Atari Force and Rident (Martin carries

Kargg) back to _Scanner One_.  One bug gets its pincer stuck in the

hatch and Dart finally manages to cut it off to secure the hatch.  The

bugs put some sort of past on the thrust plates and back off,

preventing Atari Force from lifting off.  Meanwhile, Morphea probes

Blackjak and discovers a "minuscule tumor" with "an alien personality

lying dormant within."  In sick bay, Taz escapes and hides in a

storage locker.  Back with the rest, they discover the aliens' acid

doesn't work on Babe, so they send him out to clean the plates.  Once

he's out, the aliens swarm on him and he panics.


AFb#15, "To Catch a Pakrat!", Pakrat, 7 pages.

Credits:  Andy Helfer (writer); Mike Chen (pencils); Joe DelBeato

(inks); Bob Lappan (letters); Tom Ziuko (colors).  [Andy Helfer

(editor) most likely.]

Plot:  Before he joined Atari Force, Pakrat is going to steal an

ambassador's jewels.  As he climbs in a window, he finds Ferra,

another Markian thief (and daughter of a wealthy industrialist).  A

guard comes in and she makes out with him, getting him into the party

downstairs.  Then she throws a punch bowl at him and accuses him of

making unsavory advances on her as she stalks out.  One of the guards

discovers the jewels are missing and accuses Pakrat.  (Ferra actually

has them.)  Pakrat goes up and tries to get out as he got in, but one

of the guards has taken his hook and line and now has him cornered.


AF#16, April 1985, "Tazlings", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Hannigan (designer); Paris Cullins (penciller);

Jose Garcia-Lopez (inker).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Ed Hannigan (penciller); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Carl Gafford (colorist);

Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Babe shakes off the swarming insects, but specialized warrior

ants slip on board.  Babe clears the thrust plates and Atari Force is

off.  Afterwards, Dart gets a mental message from Tempest, proving New

Earth still exists.  She takes her news to the bridge.  Meanwhile, Taz

gives birth to ten children.  As the ants attack the bridge, the

Tazlings come to the rescue.  Tazlings start out smart, but lose their

skills and have to relearn them.  The Tazlings disappear.  They've

found Blackjak and knock him out.


AFb#16, "Rattrap", Pakrat, 7 pages.

Credits:  Andy Helfer (writer/editor); Mike Chen (pencils); Joe

DelBeato (inks); Bob Lappan (letters); Carl Gafford (colors).

Plot:  Pakrat goes into his fighting rage, but the guard just picks

him up and holds him away from him.  Then he accidentally throws him

through the window instead of at the wall.  Ferra catches him in her

aircar, but the police now give chase.  They lose them and hide in an

apartment owned by Ferra's father.  Ferra disappears, so Pakrat looks

for her and find her in the hangar with his brother Rident.


AF#17, May 1985, "If Thine Eye Offend Thee...", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Paris Cullins (designer); Ed Hanniagan [sic]

(penciller); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (inker).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Ed Barreto (penciller); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  The Tazlings give Blackjak a new eye (whether he wants it or

not).  They are also ravaging the food stores, quadrupling their mass

in two hours.  Dart makes contact with Tempest, confirming New Earth

hasn't been destroyed.  Rident finds an organic implant of the Dark

Destroyer apparently removed from Blackjak.  Morphea discovers Kargg

came from a group of hunters.  The Dark Destroyer appeared to him like

a god and he was taught cruelty by the Destroyer.  Now a part of the

Destroyer survives in Kargg's brain, but Morphea destroys it,

restoring Kargg's true personality.  She takes him to the bridge where

he personally apologizes for the troubles he caused, "but [he has]

not been [him]self lately."


AFb#17, "Rats Like Us!", Pakrat, 7 pages.

Credits:  Andy Helfer (writer/editor); Mike Chen (artist); Joe

DelBeato (embellisher); Bob Lappan (letterist); C. Gafford (colorist).

Plot:  Rident captures Pakrat.  Ferra didn't know they were brothers. 

The Olys are one of the few law-abiding Markian families.  Rident

feels Pakrat has shamed his family, which is why he pursues him so

doggedly.  They have to smuggle Pakrat out since there's not

extradition treaty.  This means uncuffing him.  Just before going

through the metal detector, Ferra slips the necklace she's still

hiding in the fur around her neck into Rident's pocket.  He fishes it

out of his pocket after the detector goes off and is promptly escorted

away by spaceport security.  Meanwhile Pakrat and Ferra take a paid

trip to New Earth.


AF#18, June 1985, "Tempest Toss'd!", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Paris Cullins (penciller); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez


Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Eduardo Barreto (penciller); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Tempest escapes, but the multiverse is messed up so he doesn't

end up where he wants.  Meanwhile _Scanner One_ is nearly out of food. 

Dart makes contact with Tempest and directs him to them.  Martin is

happy to see his son again.  Later, Martin is convinced to let

Blackjak try to get them through the destroyed universe back to the

New Earth universe with his new eye.  All the radiation nearly blinds

him, and he demands the Tazlings give him back his old mechanical eye,

which they do.  Blackjak makes the final jump home.


AFb#18, "A Boy & His Hukka", Hukka, 7 pages.

Credits:  Dave Manak (writer); Marshall Rogers (penciller); Joe

DelBeato (inker); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Bob Lappan (letterer); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  A 10-year-old Chris (with a crewcut) takes Hukka with him to

the toy store to pick up this week's Astro-bots.  Hukka is distracted

by a cymbal-clinking monkey and stays as Chris wanders towards home,

assuming Hukka is following.  Closing time comes and Hukka is locked

in.  The guard dog is released and pursues Hukka, who successfully

defends himself for a time.  Meanwhile, Chris finally notices Hukka is

missing and heads back to the toy store.  The dog has just found Hukka

hiding amongst the dolls.  Chris phases in to rescue him, causing the

dog to faint and setting off the security alarms.  This brings the

guard who takes Chris and Hukka to go call his parents.  Trust me,

it's more fun than it sounds.


AF#19, July 1985, "Homecoming!", 16 pages.

Cover credits:  Ed Barreto (penciller); Jerry Ordway (inker).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Ed Bareto [sic] (penciller); Ricardo

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorer); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Atari Force has made it back to New Earth.  As they attempt to

land, they are shot down.  On departing the ship, they are attacked by

a "warmech."  Before they can return to _Scanner One_, the warmech

destroys it.  Tempest attempts to phase into it, but it has an

anti-phasing device.  In the end, it is Kargg who destroys the

warmech, with some help from Blackjak.  Hunter and his troops show up

immediately thereafter and arrest Atari Force.  Only Martin, Tempest,

and Dart are put on trial.  Pakrat is arrested on separate charges. 

Babe (debatable), Taz, the Tazlings, Blackjak, and Kargg didn't go up

in _Scanner One_, so they're not charged.  Morphea is exempt due to

doctor/patient immunity.  The next day, the trial begins.


AFb#19, "Taz", Taz, 7 pages.

Credits:  Ed Hannigan (story, pencils, coloring); Bill Wray (inks);

Bob Lappan (lettering); Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Taz and her mate are fighting the nasties from AF#8.  Taz's

mate is killed in a strafing run.  The pilot lands and both he and Taz

are blown into a deep crevice.  They end up working together when

attacked by a monstrous worm.  Then they have to continue working

together to get out of the crevice.  Once at the top, the nasty wants

to make peace, but Taz kills him to avenge her mate.


AF#20, August 1985, "Trial . . . and Verdict", 17 pages.

Cover credits:  unsigned (probably Ed Barreto).

Credits:  Mike Baron (writer); Ed Barreto (penciller); Ric[ardo]

Villagran (inker); Bob Lappan (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  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.  This time 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 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 promising to

join them 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."


AFb#20, "Hukka vs. the Bob", 7 pages.

Credits:  Keith Giffen (plots & pencils); Robert Loren Fleming (plot &

dialogue); Karl Kesel (plot & inks); Tom Ziuko (plot & colors); Bob

Lappan (plot & letters); Andy Helfer (plot & edits); Communist China

(plot & take-out).

Plot:  A young Chris Champion buys Hukka robot Personal Pal name Bob. 

He leaves them to play while he is in his study cube.  Hukka rides

Bob, but gets upset when he puts him through the ceiling.  Not being

able to read the "do not immerse in water" label on Bob's back, Hukka

attempts to flush him down the toilet.  Bob becomes vicious and chases

Hukka.  Hukka finally gets Chris to help, but just before he breaks

Bob's antenna.  Chris misunderstands and thinks Hukka's upset because

of the broken antenna and replaces it with the spare.


Atari Force Special #1, 1986, 3 stories, 48 pages (no ads), $2.00.

Cover credits:  Marshall Rogers (penciller); John Byrne (inker).

Note:  None of these stories list Conway, Thomas, and Garcia-Lopez as

the creators of Atari Force.


AFS1, "A Mercenary's Story", Dart, 21 pages.

Credits:  Andrew Helfer (script/editor); Paul Kupperberg (scripter);

Marshall Rogers (penciller); Ricardo Villagran (inker); David Cody

Weiss (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist); Julius Schwartz (plot/editor).

Plot:  In the New Earth Military Academy, Dart prevents Nancy from

clubbing her roommate, Dalia during training exercises.  Dart is put

in the lock-up until Dalia explains what happened.  As she and Dalia

leave, they are jumped by Nancy and three friends.  During the fight,

Dart accidentally causes a cadet to fall of a balcony.  Security

appears and Nancy says they were the ones attacked.  Dart and Dalia

flee to Dart's parents.  There, Hunter meets them along with Dart's

parents, and out of the debt humanity owes the original Atari Force,

proposes they fly to Sangfroid to join a mercenary squad rather than

him arresting them.  There they join Drago's mercenary school.  After

several missions, for which they tattoo each other, Dart and Dalia are

sent on a mission to protect a Kolb general from mercenaries hired by

rebels.  During the attack, Dalia is killed and Dart stays with her

body until the battle is over.  Blackjak happens by and Dart shoots

his eye out, even though he's not threatening her.  She comes to her

senses and sees to his wound.  Then she discovers Drago was sending

his mercenaries to both sides.  Dart and Blackjak return to Sangfroid

7, where Dart attacks Drago.  Just as Drago is about to kill her,

Blackjak comes to the rescue, but does no better than Dart due to the

blaster dampening field in Drago's office.  While Drago deals with

Blackjak, Dart impales him from behind with a sword.  Dart and

Blackjak become partners.


AFS2, "Food for Thought", Hukka, 7 pages.

Credits:  Paul Kupperberg (writer); Tristan Shane (penciller); Joe

DelBeato (inker); David Cody Weiss (letterer); Tom Ziuko (colorist);

Andy Helfer (editor).

Plot:  A lost and hungry Hukka comes upon the Sheikit, who call him

the "mordling" and feed him drugged food.  When he regains

consciousness, they start to take him for "shotyme."  On the way,

another group says there is a new mordling and they drop Hukka in

favor of the new one.  Hukka follows drunkenly, insisting his is the

mordling, until he sees them crucify the new mordling, at which points

he runs.  He is still hungry, tired, and lost, but happy.


AFS3, "Second Skin!", Atari Force, 20 pages.

Credits:  Dwight Jon Zimmerman (story); James Fry (pencils); Kyle

Baker (inks); David Cody Weiss (letters); Tom Ziuko (colors); Andy

Helfer (editor).

Plot:  Something shakes _Scanner One_, awaking Pakrat.  He goes to

investigate and finds jewels in the hall, which he quickly puts in his

pouch.  Morphea discovers Babe missing.  As Atari Force looks for him,

Pakrat follows a trail of jewels to the engine room and finds Babe has

been making the ship shake.  He is shedding and is rubbing against the

equipment to stop the itching.  The jewels are from his hide.  Some

get sucked into the life support equipment, and they have to set down

for repairs.  They find a planet that's a big radioactive wasteland,

but set down in a radiation free zone.  As Babe rolls on the ground to

scratch, it opens up and he falls down a deep crack.  Dart, Morphea,

and Pakrat go on a rescue mission and discover a bomb hanging above a

seemingly bottomless pit.  Both the rescue party and _Scanner One_ are

then attacked by robots, which they defeat.  Babe is found, but is

caught in a bomb blast.  He survives and the blast finishes off the

skin he's been shedding.  The bomb is released into the pit, so Atari

Force scrambles to escape as the planet is destroyed.  Meanwhile, the

"jewels" Pakrat saved have turned to dust.




3.4  Title Differences


In the spirit of Rocky & Bullwinkle, this chart summarizes the

differences between what the previous issue said the title would be,

what the cover copy says (if anything), and what the actual title is.


TBC = To Be Continued


AF# | Previous issue      | Cover               | Title


 2  | TBC...              | Dart vs. the        | Direct Encounter

    |                     | Warbeast; No wonder |

    |                     | we call this one    |

    |                     | "Direct Encounter"  |


 3  | TBC...              | Pakrat Goes Wild!   | I Saw You Die


 4  | The Force           | Family Reunion?     | Families


 5  | Dark Dawning        | Face to Face with   | Dark Dawn

    |                     | the Dark Destroyer  |


 6  | Tempest Fugit       | --                  | A Meeting with Life

    |                     |                     | Life and Death


 7  | Morphea--Strikes?   | --                  | Counter Attack


 8  | Babe's Story        | --                  | Babe's Story


 9  | Questions & Answers | Shadows of the Past!| Memory Lane


 10 | Blackjak is Back!   | Blackjak is Back--  | Home is the Hero

    |                     | --And Boy, is He in |

    |                     | Trouble!            |


 11 | TBC!                |By Blackjak Betrayed!| Betrayal


 12 | Revelations--And    | Who is the Dark     | Revelations!

    | Relations!          | Destroyer?          |


 13 | The End! (Honest!)  | --                  | The End


 14 | --                  | --                  | Lost in the

    |                     |                     | Multiverse


 15 | Siege               | State of Siege      | Siege


 16 | Tazlings!           | Tazlings!           | Tazlings


 b16| Rat-Trap!           | N/A                 | Rattrap


 17 | TBC...              | --                  | If Thine Eye Offend

    |                     |                     | Thee...


 b17| Rats Like Us!       | N/A                 | Rats Like Us!


 18 | Tempest Toss'd!     | Torn Between Two    | Tempest Toss'd!

    |                     | Worlds!             |


 19 | Homecoming!         | Welcome Home, Atari | Homecoming!

    |                     | Force               |


 20 | Trial--and Verdict! | The Verdict         | Trial...and Verdict!







4.1  Questions and Answers


Q:  Wasn't this DC's very first graphic novel?

A:  Yes.


Q:  What does it have to do with Atari Force?

A:  Well, as you might tell by the title, it branches off from the

_Atari Force_ mini-comic packed with the Star Raiders cartridge (AFM#3).

The Atari Force only make a brief appearance as silhouettes as they

leave the planet.  Then dozens of Hukkas appear saying "'Tar-ee Fors!"

The story then follows a group of characters from this universe that

the Atari Force just left, with one brief reference to the Dark

Destroyer.  (See section 4.3, Credits and Plot Summary, for more





4.2  Character Profiles


[To be added in 1.0.]




4.3  Credits & Plot Summary


"Star Raiders", 1983, 62 pages.

Cover credits:  Stephen Hickman.

Credits:  Elliot S! Maggin (writer); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (artist);

Orzecody (letterer); Andrew Helfer (editor); Neal Pozner (design); Joe

Orlando (editor-in-chief).

Plot:  Hukkas appear out of the ground saying "Tar-ee Fors."  One goes

to wake Zeke, the last human on the planet.  He reruns a surface

monitor and watches the original Atari Force's adventure (AFM#3). 

Meanwhile, Jed and Tommy, a couple of rebels against the Zylons, have

followed the signs of Atari Force's battle to Zeke's planet.  As the

three meet, a Zylon regenerates from its own remains and attacks. 

Zeke, with the Hukkas' help, builds guns that shoot rocket spears at

the Zylons, carrying them into space.  This is one of the few ways to

kill a Zylon without it regenerating.  Zeke then submits to Jed and

Tommy his plan to use the Star Raider cruiser to defeat the Zylons and

they go along with it.  Jed stays to fix the cruiser while Tommy flies

off to recruit pilots.

        While Tommy is recruiting on Oric, the Zylons broadcast her

image and say she is wanted.  She heads for her ship while an

ambitious alien follows.  Meanwhile, an accident with the Star

Raider's brain bug temporarily links Jed's and Tommy's minds, long

enough for him to get her to shoot the alien following her.  As Tommy

is shot down trying to escape, Jed take the Star Raider cruiser to her

rescue.  The spectacular rescue brings five recruits following after

them, the most notable being Skrimsh.

        The Star Raiders go through training, until Skrimsh steals the

cruiser one night.  Tommy goes to get him back.  After a battle with

the Zylons, Tommy locks her tractor beams onto the Star Raider cruiser

and takes him back to Zeke's planet.  When she releases the ship,

though, Skrimsh takes off again.  This time the Jed follows, too.  As

he heads for the Zylon homeworld, Skrimsh remembers his life as a

street urchin on Oric.  He was told by an old vagrant that he is

probably the last of his empathic race, the Guattians.  Their entire

planet was destroyed by the Zylons several years ago for reasons

unknown.  After some more battles, Skrimsh makes it to the Zylon

homeworld and starts willing the Zylons out of his way.  Zeke sees

what's happening, realizes what's going on, and asks Jed and Tommy to

come back for him.  Meanwhile, Skrimsh confronts the Zylon queen and

discovers she is also a Guattian.  She was a biologist who discovered

the weak-willed Zylons and became their mother.  She destroyed Guat

because collectively the Guattians were a threat.  Skrimsh removes the

queen's life support and she dies of old age.  He then wills all the

Zylons home, at which point the Zylon planet explodes.  Jed, Tommy,

and Zeke show up and disover Skrimsh has survived by donning the

life-support system.  They pick him up and take him home.




Subject: 5. TIMELINE


There are several continuity problems in Atari Force.  See section

seven for a list.  This timeline is but one interpretation, generally

accepting AF over AFM.  Specific dates are only used when given by the

comics.  Year, month/year, and circa dates are drawn from clues in the



 circa 1400 - The First Custodians bring peace to the galaxy of New

              Earth. (AFM#5)

04 Apr 1962 - Morphea 6593AB-7 born.

19 Sep 1974 - Martin Champion born.

       1985 - Mohandas Singh adopted by Prof. Stanley Miles. (AFM#2)

       1992 - Martin Champion joins the Marines. (AFM#2)

    c. 1995 - NASA restarts "full bore." (AFM#1)

  1995-1998 - Martin Champion flies four lunar missions. (AFM#1)

       1996 - Martin Champion wins three gold medals at the Olympics.

   Apr 1998 - NASA begins establishing a lunar colony. (AFM#1)

18 Oct 1998 - NASA lunar colony is attacked.  Martin Champion and

              Lydia Perez start out on rescue mission. (AFM#1)

21 Oct 1998 - Martin Champion and Lydia Perez make daring rescue of

              lunar colonists. (AFM#1)

   Oct 1998 - Five Day War begins after NASA proves who attacked the

              lunar colony.  Li-San O'Rourke leads U.N. attack on

              enemy-occupied oil field in the Arabian Peninsula.


  1998-1999 - The Break-up.  A period of chaos after the Five Day

              War. (AFM#1-2)

       1999 - ATARI assumes control of NASA and the National Academy

              of Science (AFM#1) and begins working on Project: 

              Multiverse. (AFM#2)  Dr. Lucas Orion is part of the last

              U.N. peace-keeping force.  He leaves when invited to

              head ATARI medical research. (AFM#2)

18 Feb 2000 - Tukla Oly (Pakrat) born.

       2002 - Mohandas Singh heads ATARI computer research. (AFM#2)

              Martin Champion joins ATARI.

  2002-2004 - Martin Champion commands second manned Mars mission. 

              [Can be safely ignored if desired.]

  late 2004 - Lydia Perez joins design team of Project:  Multiverse.


   mid 2005 - The original Atari Force is formed.  _Scanner One_

              launched. (AFM#2)  Atari Force encounter the Dark

              Destroyer for the first time and the Zylons.  Hukka

              joins the crew. (AFM#3)  Atari Force stumbles upon the

              Malaglon. (AFM#4)

  late 2005 - Bob Marcus destroys the Malaglon master base six months

              after Atari Force encounters the Malaglon. (AFM#4)

20 Jun 2006 - Atari Force discovers New Earth. (AFM#5)

   Jul 2006 - _Scanner One_ is converted to _Exodus One_ and launched with

              the first wave of humans to colonize New Earth. (AFM#5)

13 Aug 2006 - Martin Champion marries Lydia Perez.

03 Jan 2007 - Erin Bia O'Rourke-Singh (Dart) born.

05 Mar 2008 - Christopher Champion (Tempest) born.  Lydia Perez dies.

 c. 2015-20 - Chris Champion buys Hukka a robotic Personal Pal named

              Bob. (AFb#20)

04 Aug 2016 - Pakrat expelled from Markian Military Academy.

05 Aug 2016 - Pakrat arrested for suspected theft on Gamma-Six. 

11 Sep 2016 - Pakrat released.

12 Sep 2016 - Pakrat arrested.

30 Oct 2016 - Pakrat released.

31 Oct 2016 - Pakrat arrested.

01 Nov 2016 - Pakrat deported offworld.

22 Apr 2017 - Pakrat arrested on Yul's Asteroid.  Deported.

01 Aug 2017 - Pakrat arrested on Edgeworld.  Deported.  Will be

              arrested and deported many more times.

 c. 2017-26 - Pakrat and Ferra steal an ambassador's jewels and head

              to New Earth. (AFb#15-17)

       2018 - Hukka gets left in a toy store and has to defend himself

              against the guard dog. (AFb#18)

10 Jul 2023 - Dart set to be arrested for anti-social acts after

              allegedly attacking a group of students who taunted her

              about her mutant genetics. (AFS1)

02 Aug 2023 - Dart joins mercenary squad. (AFS1)

       2026 - Dart and Blackjak form own mercenary squad. (AFS1)

       2026 - Babe born ("estimated").

   Jan 2028 - Dart and Blackjak arrive at Roc's World.

08 Jan 2028 - Morphea applies to join ATARI.

22 Jan 2028 - Morphea accepted by ATARI.

c. Mar 2028 - Babe leaves his mother, encounters a kind pilot who

              helps him get back and is forced out again. (AFb#14)

16 Aug 2028 - Morphea arrives on New Earth.  Attached to ATARI Psychic

              Research staff.

   Sep 2028 - Dart and Blackjak fail to get their fee from General Ki

              on Roc's World, so they join the rebels against him. 

              After the war is over, they head to New Earth.  Blackjak

              is apparently killed during the journey. (AF#1-3) 

              Pakrat steals the Klavian crown jewels on Moon Alpha and

              heads to New Earth.  His brother Rident is on his tail

              the last part of his trip. (AF#1-5)

10 Sep 2028 - Babe kidnaped by a freighter captain and begins trip to

              New Earth. (AF#1)

  late 2028 - Dart arrives on New Earth. (AF#4)

~1 wk later - Champion, Tempest, Dart, Hukka, and Morphea steal

              _Scanner One_ and take Babe with them.  Pakrat stows

              away.  Rident Oly follows them. (AF#5)

  late 2028 - Atari Force confronts the Dark Destroyer.  Babe and

              Hukka end up on a remote planet. (AF#6-7)  Hukka has

              some behind the scenes adventures. (AFb#12, AFb#13,

              AFS2)  Taz's mate is killed. (AFb#19)

 days later - Atari Force finds Babe, Hukka, and newcomer Taz. (AF#8)

  late 2028 - Babe sheds a skin of layer (into _Scanner One_'s

              life-support system), forcing Atari Force to land on a

              war-ravaged planet to make repairs. (AFS3)  Tempest

              returns to New Earth.  Blackjak is discovered to still

              be alive. (AF#9)  Tempest is captured. (AF#10) 

              Blackjak sabotages _Scanner One_'s navigational computer

              and the attempt to fix it. (AF#11)

6 hrs later - Atari Force arrives at the Dark Destroyer's bomb.


  late 2028 - After two fights, a universe is destroyed when the bomb

              goes off.  Atari Force, Kargg, and Rident escape.


29 hrs later- Atari Force encounters Rident. (AF#14)

  late 2028 - Atari Force escapes the ants that attempt to eat them

              and _Scanner One_.  The Tazlings are born. (AF#15-16)

              Blackjak and Kargg's Dark Destroyer implants are

              removed.  Blackjak gets a new eye. (AF#17)  Tempest

              reunites with Atari Force and leads them home.  Blackjak

              gets his mechanical eye back. (AF#18)  Atari Force lands

              on New Earth.  _Scanner One_ is destroyed.  Champion,

              Tempest, and Dart arrested.  (AF#19)

   next day - Champion, Tempest, and Dart are put on trial.  Before a

              verdict is reached, Atari Force leaves for Old Earth "to

              build a research station true to the principles under

              which New Earth was founded." (AF#20)






Atari Force made a few appearances outside the mini-comics, their own

comic, and the _Star Raiders_ graphic novel.  All references to _Who's

Who in the DC Universe_ are the first series.  These are in roughly

chronological order.


_Video Games_ (magazine), vol. 1, no. 5, February 1983.  This issue of

the magazine features a short story on the Atari Force mini-comics. 

It has a single panel from AFM#2 in which they manage to mis-identify

an ATARI security guard as Commander Champion.  It's also written by

none other than Robert Greenberger (a DC editor).


_Video Games_ (magazine), vol. 1, no. 10, July 1983.  This issue

features over a page on the _Star Raiders_ graphic novel, including

several panels from it.  Also written by Robert Greenberger.


Atari Force poster, c. 1983.  DC produced a promotional poster.  The

art is from the cover of the first issue, minus the Dark Destroyer

background (it's solid black, like AF#20, instead).  It reads, "THE


logo]", above the art and "GERRY CONWAY / JOSE LUIS GARCIA LOPEZ /


below it.  The DC bullet appears in the lower right corner.


_Video Games_ (magazine), vol. 2, no. 1., October 1983.  This issue

contains a story over a page long on the series.  It includes four of

the drawings that were published in the comics as character profiles,

plus one of the Dark Destroyer which I don't think was published

anywhere else!  Written by Richard Goodwin, not Robert Greenberger.


Atari Force:  Liberator (arcade video game), 1984.  This video game

was not very widespread.  It was put out by Atari, of course, and

based on AFM#4.  Its closest relation would be Missile Command.  The

center of the screen has a rotating planet with bases on it that shoot

at the players ships.  In each corner is one of the player's ships. 

The player controls the cursor with a trackball to shoot the bases on

the planet.  As the level increases, the planets rotate faster, making

it harder to hit the bases.  Unlike AFM#4, I don't think it ever gets

to the point where the planet reverses its rotation to avoid your



_Comics Interview_ #12, August[?] 1984.  Features an interview with

Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (and Andy Helfer), with some discussion of the

_Star Raiders_ graphic novel and _Atari Force_.  Original Atari Force

cover by Garcia-Lopez.  As of May 1995, you can order CI#12 by

sending $5.00 to Fictioneer Books Ltd., 234 Fifth Avenue, Suite 301,

New York, NY 10001.


_DC Sampler_ #2, September 1984.  Just a bunch of ads for various DC

comics, but the first three pages feature all original art by Jose

Luis Garcia-Lopez.  The splash page has a wonderful drawing of the

Dark Destroyer in an Uncle Sam pose that says "I want you to read

Atari Force."  Ah, what I'd give to have a poster like that.


_DC Sampler_ #3, 1984.  No original art this time.  Just some drawings

lifted from the series and a bunch of text on what's coming up in the

future.  Not all of it came true, however.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #1, March 1985.  Atari Force entry.

Art by Eduardo Barreto.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #2, April 1985.  Babe entry.  Art by

Eduardo Barreto.


_Best of DC_ #61 ("Year's Best Comics Stories") (digest), June 1985. 

Reprints AF#8.  Atari Force in background of original art cover by



_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #6, August 1985.  Dark Destroyer and

Dart entries.  Art on both by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.


_Best of DC_ #71 ("Year's Best Comics Stories") (digest), April 1986. 

Reprints AFb#20, "Hukka vs. the Bob."


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #14, April 1986.  Martin Champion

entry.  Art by James Fry and Ricardo Villagran.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #16, June 1986.  Morphea entry.  Art

by Cara Sherman-Tereno and Bob Smith.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #17, July 1986.  Pakrat entry.  Art

by Mike Chen and Joe DelBeato.


_Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer_ #1, 1986.  Hukka appears (and is abused)

in the first few pages.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #23, January 1987.  Taz and Tempest

entries.  Taz art by Ed Hannigan and Don Heck.  Tempest art by Jose

Luis Garcia-Lopez.


_Who's Who in the DC Universe_ #26, April 1987.  Blackjak entry.  Art

by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.






AFM#1, AFM#2:  Champion says the lunar colony was attacked on 18 October

1998 and the war broke out a few days later, but O'Rourke says the war

actually began on that date.


AFM#1, p. 43:  So, is ATARI related to Atari, Inc.?  They're both in

Sunnyvale, CA.


AFM#2, pp. 2-5:  If O'Rourke can't hear the director until she puts her

bug on the dome, why is she thinking in response to his opening



AFM#2, p. 15:  Champion claims to have spent six years in Marine

training.  If he joined when he was 18 (1992), he would not get out

until 1998.  This would not leave him time to win three gold medals in

the 1996 Olympics, fly four lunar missions for NASA, and get degrees

from four different colleges and acadamies.  Actually, he could have

gotten the degrees if he were a child prodigy, but that doesn't fit

his profile.  Okay, it's possible a) (some of) the degrees are

honorary or b) he earned them after the war, except he supposedly flew

a Mars mission then (see AFM#3, p. 48).  The gold medals and lunar

missions are a problem, regardless.


AFM#2, p. 27:  Take away a zero, and you have the Atari 800 computer,

which was released by Atari in the 80's.


AFM#2, p. 30:  An approximation of an American flag appears on the

shoulder of O'Rourke's uniform and then disappears again for the rest

of the flashback.  Furthermore, it's a U.N. taskforce and O'Rourke is

not an American!


AFM#2, p. 40:  This looks like a possible tie-in with the SwordQuest

series.  We certainly have earth, fire, and water present.


AFM#2:  The Atari 8000 speaks as if it's sentient and makes a lengthy

speech.  It is given a very few lines in the next few issues of the

mini-comics and never speaks in the series.  According to AF#14's

letter column, the voice was transmitted through the mainframe on Old



AFM#3:  There are lots of contradictions between this comic and the

_Star Raiders_ graphic novel.  See the SR annotations for details.


AFM#3, p. 40:  For this page only, the aliens are called "Krylons"

instead of "Zylons."  I believe that in the Atari 8-bit versions of

Star Raiders, the aliens *are* Krylons instead of Zylons.  Why they

changed it for the 2600 version, I don't know, but the change was

apparently made after this issue was completed.


AFM#3, p. 48:  The "fact file" for Martin Champion says the lunar

colony rescue was in 1999, not 1998.


AFM#3, p. 48:  The fact file also says Champion flew a Mars Mission. 

This is never mentioned anywhere else and is probably best ignored.


AFM#4:  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?


AFM#5, p. 12:  Leaving the void between universes is called "breakout,"

which was also the title of a popular Atari video game.


AFM#5, p. 47:  According to this issue, six months passed between the

discovery of New Earth and the launch of _Exodus One_, but according

to Martin Champion's fact file in AF#2, New Earth was discovered in

June 2006 and he and Lydia Perez were married in August 2005.  They

were obviously not yet married in AFM#5, so which is right?  [Note: 

For the purposes of the timeline, I've used the information in the

fact file in AF#2.]


AF#1:  In AF#1, the freighter whose captain kidnaps Babe is called the

_Kilos_.  In all later issues, it's the _Kylos_.  I guess it depends

on how you translate it.


AF#2, #6:  Nothing but Chris and his special suit can survive his

multi-dimensional fields, right (AF#2, p. 7, panel 2)?  Wrong; they

changed it so that other objects can survive as long as they are in

contact with him (AF#6, AF#9 letter column).  Notice, however, that

this means his suit doesn't have to be special.  Nice try, Andy



AF#3, AFS1:  According to her fact file, Dart attacked a group of kids

that taunted her about her illegitimacy (which her date of birth bears

out) but in AFS1, they're taunting her about her mutant genes.


AF#3-6, #8-10:  It's rather ironic that Atari Force would have ads for

the Intellivision on the back.  (The Intellivision was the Atari

2600's biggest rival at the time.)  All right, so Atari does usually

have ads on one of the inside covers; it's still ironic.


AF#4:  According to the interview in Comics Interview #12, this was

originally planned to be the first issue.  This explains why a) Blackjak

had to be killed, b) the original Atari Force (except Martin Champion)

don't appear until this issue, and c) Morphea was drawn so ominously

on page 8.


AF#5:  Doesn't the nav-chip seem fragile for something so important? 

All Martin did to smash it was drop it on the deck.  On the plus side,

they're still calling it "break-out" when they reenter a universe.


AF#6, p. 23, panel 1:  The writing on the wall says "Do not disturb,"

"Watch out for the beast," "Torture chamber," and . . . "Zorturas"?


AF#7:  Psyklops was actually designed by Ernie Colon to use against

the original Atari Force. (AF#11, letters column)


AF#7, p. 10, panel 5:  Note the aliens say "Holy Moley!" and "Yoiks!"


AF#8, p. 8, panel 1:  Taz says, "Gibber ish hah!"


AF#8, p. 14, panel 4:  The first enemy alien says something about "new

gibberish."  The other says, "Oh my god!!"


AF#8, p. 18, panel 3:  Does charging into battle with a corpse over one

shoulder sound like a good idea to you?


AF#8, p. 20:  Taz uses the word "bad," but the only time Babe has been

shown to use it was p. 19, panel 1, just a few moments before.  It's

pretty interesting that he was able to pick up that one word from a

single use moments ago.  On the other hand, Babe certainly used the

word "hurt" a lot during this issue.


AF#10, p. 5:  Tempest's sling disappeared.  Guess his arm magically

healed on his last jump through the multiverse.


AF#10, p. 17:  How did Blackjak get aboard _Scanner One_ without

tripping off their sensors?


AF#10, p. 18:  The captions say Dr. Lucas has never proven their

mothers' exposure to the multiverse gave Dart and Tempest their

powers.  Apparently a plot element that was lost.


AF#10, p. 23:  If they're arresting Tempest, how come everyone but

Hunter has their guns on Dr. Orion?  And he isn't pointing his gun at

Tempest, but is holding it pointed at the ceiling.


AF#11:, p. 7, panel 7:  Someone must have reminded Gerry Conway about

Rident, who hasn't been seen or mentioned since AF#7.


AF#11, pp. 9-10:  Everyone else is in full surgery gowns, masks, etc.,

but Martin Champion is only wearing a mask.  Don't they usually make

the father put a gown on over his clothes?  I guess that uniform just

looks too nice to cover up. 8)


AF#11, p. 11:  Note the Dark Destroyer mask shape across the panels of

this page.


AF#11, letters column:  Throughout the third letter and its reply,

Psyklops is misspelled, "Psyclops."  Geez, what's an editor for if even

*he* can't get it right? 8)


AF#12, letter column:  It states that Jose Garcia-Lopez is leaving to

do the _New Teen Titans_ for five months.  He "promise[d]" to return

with #18, but he did not, although he continued to work on the covers

for several months.


AFb#12:  This story would appear to take place during AF#8.  When else

would both Hukka and Babe be on an alien, life-sustaining planet



AF#13, p. 5:  Not only did the Destroyer rapidly age himself, but he's

kept himself from aging since.  If he hadn't, he would now look

exactly like Martin instead of a younger version.  And don't forget,

this means that the Destroyer's body and Tempest are almost exactly

the same age.


AF#13, pp. 7-13:  The Destroyer easily dispatched Tempest, even with

his phasing powers, yet he only manages to get in one punch against

Martin.  Even keeping in mind Martin's marine training, he's still

fighting "himself" at about half his age.  Helfer responds to this in

AF#17's letter column by saying Tempest is young, inexperienced, and

was scared while Martin has been waiting 20 years for this.


AFb#13:  This story most likely took place during AF#8, too.  Hukka

came from a desert planet with little life (lots of Hukkas and Zeke),

not a grassy world full of all kinds of life.


AF#14:  What a coincidence that Pakrat and Rident would crash-land on

the same world in the same universe.  At least there's one good thing

about a new writer:  he wraps up some earlier threads.  We last saw

Rident in AF#7 and he was last mentioned in AF#11.


AF#14, p. 16:  Rident must have been using more than a typical science

fiction tractor beam for it to pull him through the multiverse.


AF#14, letter column:  In the response to Joe Walker's letter, Andy

Helfer calls it the Atari 26000 computer instead of the Atari 8000. 

The response to Dave Kapple's letter reveals Martin Champion has kept

_Scanner One_ stocked with dehydrated rations.  The jives with AF#5

where Orion notes that Martin is probably responsible for _Scanner

One_ still having energy.


AFb#14:  How did Babe learn to talk?


AF#14-15:  Not as ironic as Intellivision, but now Activision is

advertising on the back of Atari Force.


AF#15, p. 8, panels 6 and 8:  Where is the spot on Blackjak's glasses

that his replacement eye attaches to?


AFb#15, p. 4, panel 1:  Note J'onn J'Jonzz (the Martian Manhunter) on

the right.


AFb#15, p. 5:  The alien that says "No more Draconian loose juice?"

looks like E.T.


AFb#15, letter column:  According to the answer to the final letter,

there were some tales of the original Atari Force sitting on their

shelves.  They were never published.  He also promised more Klaus

Janson Babe stories, and a work from Mindy Newell that never



AFb#16, p. 6:  The newscaster is a Sontaran from Doctor Who.


AF#16, letter column:  Although the credits say Carl Gafford colored

this issue, Andy Helfer still thanks Tom Ziuko instead.


AF#17, cover:  Ed Hannigan misspelled his own last name?!?!


AFb#17, p. 2:  Rident says he is "an ATARI security man," but

according to the early issues he is a customs agent with NO

extradition treaties with New Earth.  This mistake is perpetuated

throughout the story.  Shame on you, Andy.


AFb#17, p. 4:  Rident and Pakrat's flight is number 666.  Not only is

this the sign of the beast, it was DC's street number at the time. 

(666 Fifth Ave.)


AFb#17, pp. 5-7.  Mike and Fred (see their badges on p. 3) seem to

disappear after p. 5, panel 1.  You think they'd help Rident sort

things out and prevent Pakrat from leaving.  It also might have made

more sense to send a guard through before Pakrat and Ferra.


AF#17, letter column:  In the final letter response, it says Andy

Helfer and Bill Willingham are working on Dart's origin.  Bill

Willingham was not one of the artists of AFS1.


AF#18, p. 4:  Professor Venture threatens to bring charges against

Hunter for an illegal search.  She has holos as proof.  This is never

followed up on.


AF#18, p. 8:  "Giant ants"?  Perhaps the same ones as from AF#15?


AFb#18, p. 2:  Apparently the Big Wheel is still around in 2018 (panel

2).  Also, they've brought back the Super Powers collection (DC's toy

line of the time, based on the Super Powers Saturday morning cartoon

(a replacement for the Super Friends); panels 2 and 5).


AFb#18, p. 3, panel 1:  Note Robby the Robot and a pair of toys that

suggest C-3PO and R2-D2.


AFb#18, p. 8, panels 3 and 5:  Note the back of Daffy Duck's head.


AF#19, p. 14:  Prof. Venture says ATARI is trying to develop a phase

weapon, for which they'll need Tempest and her notes.  Atari Force is

not shown doing anything about this (other than Tempest leaving).


AFb#19:  This story takes place immediately before AF#8.  Anyone

wishing to translate all the dialog is welcome.  I will include the

translations here.


AF#20, 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.


AF#20:  Although this issue is titled "Trial . . . and Verdict," we

never get a verdict.


AF#20, p 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

AF#19, p. 15.


AF#20, p. 14:  Blackjak is shown handcuffed, but has not been shown

since AF#19, p. 16.  It would be interesting to know why he is

incarcerated when he was presumed dead at the time _Scanner One_ was



AF#20, p. 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.


AF#20:  One interesting question that I've had in mind since AFM#5: 

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 (see the

last question of section 2.1) allowed, too?  They speak mainly of a

drought causing starvation, meaning that if enough people left, it

should be possible for the rest to sustain themselves.


AFb#20:  This is quite possibly the funniest backup of them all.


AF#20, letter column:  No letters, just Andy Helfer saying they knew

from the beginning the series would end eventually.  Is this the

truth?  Who can say.


AFS3:  It may be a fill in story they had in stock, but who knows. 

The only time it could take place is between AF#8 and AF#9 because a)

Taz is present and b) Blackjack is not.  (Note that Taz seems to

appear and disappear, though.)  If this is the case, Tempest's arm

should still be in a sling from his fight with the Dark Destroyer.  He

should also have weakened phasing abilities.


AFS3, p. 1:  Note the Klavian crown jewels on the first page.  Also a

notebook labeled "Plan 9" (as in the cult movie _Plan 9 from Outer

Space_).  The man's face on the wall may be one of the creators.


SR:  For the entire graphic novel, even though they're referred to has

Hukkas, not once does one of them say "Hukka."


SR, p. 1:  The on-screen graphics on this page and others are actually

adapted from the Star Raiders video game.


SR, p. 7, panel 5:  Atari Force is "a group of mythical time

travelers"?  That's pretty good considering their encounter with the

Zylons was their first mission.  Also, they're dimension hoppers, not

time travelers.  (Yeah, yeah.  Time and space are one and the same. 

Blah, blah, blah.)


SR, p. 7:  This Zylon could never fit in the empty spacesuit Dr. Orion

found in AFM#3.  It has four arms.  The spacesuit had two.  And why

was it empty, anyway?


SR, pp. 11, 20-23:  Apparently the mind-jewel Atari Force found was

totally off-base on a lot of things when comparing what it told them

to what Zeke tells Jed and Tommy.  First, it claims the Zylons

appeared 15 billion years ago, while Zeke says they attacked just 600

to 800 years ago.  Second, it shows the inhabitants as green

humanoids, not seemingly normal humans like Zeke.  Third, it says

the inhabitants never got a chance to launch the Star Raider cruiser,

but Zeke has footage of it in action.  Finally, it seems to claim the

Dark Destroyer created or sent the Zylons.  Here, the queen says the

Dark Destroyer usurped her control over them.  I'm much more inclined

to believe the graphic novel.  Perhaps the mind-jewel was planted by

someone or something to warn the original Atari Force.  (Don't believe

everything you read, and only half of what alien mind-jewels tell you.



SR, p. 19, panel 5:  The scene and the first word balloon are adapted

from the movie, _Casablanca_.


SR, p. 23:  The way Zeke dodges the question of who the pilot was,

coupled with his comments on how well he remembers it, implies that he

might have been the pilot or at least closely involved.


SR, pp. 27-28:  The Atari symbol and lettering can't possibly be the

same ATARI from Atari Force.  The closest it might be is a parallel

universe version.


SR:  It's possible DC was trying to leave the door open for an

on-going Star Raiders series.  Here is a list of possible dangling


1.  Why did the (assumedly) radiation make Zeke immortal?

2.  Who was the original pilot of the Star Raider cruiser?

3.  What is the story of each of the recruits?  Except for Skrimsh,

they're hardly important to the story.




Subject: 8. CREATORS


8.1  Summary of Issue Credits


8.1.1  Atari Force Mini-comics


All issues were colored by Adrienne Roy and lettered by John Costanza.


Iss |    Writer     | Penciller  |     Inker      |    Editor


  1 | Gerry Conway, | Ross Andru | Dick Giordano, | Dick Giordano

    | Roy Thomas    |            | Mike DeCarlo   |


  2 | Gerry Conway, | Ross Andru | Dick Giordano, | Dick Giordano

    | Roy Thomas    |            | Mike DeCarlo   |


  3 | Gerry Conway, | Gil Kane   | Dick Giordano, | Dick Giordano

    | Roy Thomas    |            | Mike DeCarlo   |


  4 | Gerry Conway, | Ross Andru | Dick Giordano  | Dick Giordano

    | Roy Thomas    |            |                |


  5 | Gerry Conway, | Gil Kane   | Dick Giordano  | Andy Helfer

    | Roy Thomas    |            |                |


Cover credits:  Iss | Penciller  |     Inker


                 1  | Ross Andru | Dick Giordano

                 2  | Ross Andru | Dick Giordano

                 3  | Ross Andru | Gil Kane

                 4  | [Info?]    | [Info?]

                 5  | Gil Kane[?]| [Info?]


Note:  Cover credits 1-3 from Michael R. Grabois.




8.1.2  Atari Force Series


All issues were lettered by Bob Lappan.  All issues were colored by

Tom Ziuko, except #16, which was colored by Carl Gafford.  All issues

edited by Andy Helfer, although #8 also had Len Wein and Gerry Conway

as consulting editors.


Iss |   Writer(s)   |      Pencils      |       Inker      


  1 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran


  2 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran


  3 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran


  4 | Gerry Conway  | Ross Andru        | Jose Garcia-Lopez


  5 | Gerry Conway  | Ross Andru        | Jose Garcia-Lopez


  6 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran


  7 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran


  8 | Gerry Conway, | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Ricardo Villagran

    | Andy Helfer   |                   |


  9 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Bob Smith        


 10 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Eduardo Barreto  


 11 | Gerry Conway  | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Bob Smith        


 12 | Gerry Conway, | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Bob Smith        

    | Andy Helfer   |                   |


 13 | Gerry Conway, | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran

    | Joey Cavalieri|                   |


 14 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran


 15 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Eduardo Barreto  


 16 | Mike Baron    | Ed Hannigan       | Ricardo Villagran


 17 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran


 18 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran


 19 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran


 20 | Mike Baron    | Eduardo Barreto   | Ricardo Villagran


Cover credits:   Iss  |     Penciller     |       Inker


                 1- 6 | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                    7 | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Terry Austin

                 8-10 | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                   11 | Ed Hannigan       | Dick Giordano

                   12 | Jose Garcia-Lopez | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                13-15 | Eduardo Barreto   | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                   16 | Paris Cullins     | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                   17 | Ed Hannigan       | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                   18 | Paris Cullins     | Jose Garcia-Lopez

                   19 | Eduardo Barreto   | Jerry Ordway

                   20 | Eduardo Barreto?  | Eduardo Barreto?

                    S | Marshall Rogers   | John Byrne


Backups and Special:

All stories edited by Andy Helfer, except AFS1 (Julius Schwartz).  All

stories lettered by Bob Lappan, except AFS1-3 (David Cody Weiss).  All

stories colored by Tom Ziuko, except AFb#14 (Klaus Janson), AFb#16

(Carl Gafford), AFb#17 (Carl Gafford), and AFb#19 (Ed Hannigan).


Iss | Char   |   Writer(s)     |     Penciller     |       Inker      


b12 | Hukka  | Keith Giffen    | Keith Giffen      | Ernie Colon


b13 | Hukka  | Paul Kupperberg | Dave Manak        | Keith Giffen


b14 | Babe   | Dave Manak      | Klaus Janson      | Klaus Janson


b15 | Pakrat | Andy Helfer     | Mike Chen         | Joe DelBeato


b16 | Pakrat | Andy Helfer     | Mike Chen         | Joe DelBeato


b17 | Pakrat | Andy Helfer     | Mike Chen         | Joe DelBeato


b18 | Hukka  | Dave Manak      | Marshall Rogers   | Joe DelBeato


b19 | Taz    | Ed Hannigan     | Ed Hannigan       | Bill Wray


b20 | Hukka  | Keith Giffen,   | Keith Giffen      | Karl Kesel

    |        | Robert Fleming  |                   |


 S1 | Dart   | Andrew Helfer,  | Marshall Rogers   | Ricardo Villagran

    |        | Paul Kupperberg,|                   |

    |        | Julius Schwartz |                   |


 S2 | Hukka  | Paul Kupperberg | Tristan Shane     | Joe DelBeato


 S3 | AF     | Dwight Zimmerman| James Fry         | Kyle Baker




8.2  Creator Profiles


Andru, Ross (artist; AFM, AF):  [Info?]


Austin, Terry (cover artist; AF):  Inker on many Marvel projects.


Baker, Kyle (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Barreto, Eduardo (artist; AF):  [Info?]


Baron, Mike (writer; AF):  Creator of Badger.


Byrne, John (cover artist; AFS):  Writer/artist on many titles,

including _Fantastic Four_, _Superman_, and _John Byrne's Next Men_. 

DC was probably just trying to get some extra sales by having him do

the cover.


Cavalieri, Joey (scripter; AF):  [Info?]


Chen, Mike (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Colon, Ernie (artist; AFb):  Arist on _Richie Rich_, _Damage Control_,

and _Dreadstar_ (second series).


Conway, Gerry (writer; AFM, AF):  Wrote _Superman vs. Spiderman_ and

_Superman vs. Shazam_.


Costanza, John (letterer; AFM):  Has lettered many projects, including

_Ambush Bug_.


Cullins, Paris (cover artist; AF):  [Info?]


DeCarlo, Mike (artist; AFM):  [Info?]


DelBeato, Joe (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Fleming, Robert Loren (writer; AFb):  [Info?]


Fry, James (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Gafford, Carl (colorist; AF, AFb):  [Info?]


Garcia-Lopez, Jose Luis (artist; AF, SR):  Created the visuals for all

of the second Atari Force.  Other works include the _Cinder and Ashe_

and _Twilight_ mini-series, and _Bat-Man vs. the Incredible Hulk_. 

Most recently seen pencilling _Superman_ (second series) #104-106.


Giffen, Keith (writer, artist; AFb):  Best known for his work, both

drawing and plotting, on _Legion of Super-Heroes_ and _Ambush Bug_.


Giordano, Dick (inker, editor; AFM, AF):  Editor-in-chief of DC at the

time.  Also the inker on _Crisis on Infinite Earths_.


Hannigan, Ed (artist, AF):  [Info?]


Helfer, Andy (editor; AFM, AF, AFb, SR):  [Info?]


Hickman, Stephen (cover artist; SR):  [Info?]


Janson, Klaus (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Kane, Gil (artist, AFM):  Had a long run on the pre-Crisis _Green



Kesel, Karl (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Kupperberg, Paul (writer; AFb):  [Info?]


Lappan, Bob (letterer; AF, AFb):  [Info?]


Maggin, Elliot S! (writer; SR):  Best remembered as the longtime

writer of _Superman_ and two Superman novels (_Superman:  Last Son of

Krypton_, 1978 and _Superman:  Miracle Monday_, 1981).


Manak, Dave (writer, artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Ordway, Jerry (cover artist; AF):  Writer/artist on _Adventure of

Superman_ and _Power of Shazam_.


Orzecody (letterer; SR):  [Info?]


Pozner, Neal (design; AFM, SR):  [Info?]


Rogers, Marshall (artist; AFb, AFS):  [Info?]


Roy, Adrienne (colorist; AFM):  [Info?]


Schwartz, Julius (writer; AFb):  Long-time editor of the Superman

titles (pre-Crisis).


Shane, Tristan (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Smith, Bob (artist, AF):  [Info?]


Thomas, Roy (writer; AFM):  Probably best known as the long-time

writer of the pre-Crisis Justice Society in _All-Star Squadron_ and

_Infinity, Inc._.


Villagran, Ricardo (artist, AF):  Also inked DC's _Star Trek_ (first

series) at the time.


Wein, Len (editor; AF):  [Info?]


Wray, Bill (artist; AFb):  [Info?]


Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (writer; AFb):  [Info?]


Ziuko, Tom (colorist; AF, AFb):  [Info?]




Subject: 9. THANKS


Thanks to VGR (a.k.a. Craig Pell) ( for

maintaining the giant list of 2600/7800 games.  This was used to find

an example of radically out-of-order cartridge numbers in section 1.1.


Thanks to Michael R. Grabois ( for supplying issue

credits to check against and cover artist information.



    Return to Lee's Atari Force info.

Created: 1 Nov 1995; Last Modified: 26 Jun 1996

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