ATARI FORCE SPECIAL #1

“Codename: Dart A Mercenary’s Story”
Writer: Paul Kupperburg
Artist: Marshall Rogers

Dart is sixteen and sent to a girls military academy. She and her roommate Dalia are bullied by some of the girls. One day the bullies attack the girls and in the struggle one bully gets knocked over a ledge. Dart and Dalia flee to Dart’s parents. There an Atari security man named Hunter is waiting. He offers the two girls a way out of their predicament. Go to the planet Sangfroid and a man named Drago will take them in. They arrive and find out Drago runs a mercenary group. The two girls learn skills and get assigned to Kolb.

Kolb is a planet inhabited by little green fat people. Rebels have hired mercenaries and Dart and Dalia are to lead the defense of the palace. During the night they are attacked and Dalia is killed. Dart comes on a surviving mercenary and because of a vision doesn’t kill him. Instead she hits his eye. The man named Blackjack was also part of Drago’s mercenary group. Drago was sending mercs to both sides. So Dart and Blackjack go and take their revenge on Drago.

“The Adventures of Hukka Food for Thought!”
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Artist: Tristan Shane

Hukka is lost and hungry. He gets help from some friendly red aliens that feed him. He later finds out they were fattening him for a feast and takes off.

“Second Skin!”
Writer: Dwight Jon Zimmerman
Artist: James Fry

Babe is shedding and rubs his back against the life support system. This gunks up the system with shards of his rock hide. Scanner One is forced to land on a planet destroyed by nuclear war. They find a butte that is free of radiation so they land to make repairs. The ground collapses under Babe and Dart leads a rescue to the underground cavern. There they reactivate killer robots and a doomsday bomb. They manage to fight their way back to the ship and leave before the planet is destroyed.

A year after this title was cancelled they decided to release this special. They had some leftover backup stories to they combined them into a big special issue. Two of the three stories were really good. The first gives us an origin of how Dart became a mercenary and how she met Blackjack. This was a really good story and fills in some unknown background on Dart.

The second really didn’t make much sense to me. The third was a fun story. Babe sheds his hide and leave around gems which Pakrat thinks will make him rich. Only at the end they turn to dust. A fun story filled with action and humor.

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