New MinuteMen (Heroes Inc) – Issue 1 – A New Era Begins!

23 January, 2020

The New Minutemen, Issue One (January 1963)

The name of the team is subject to change– (1)

Our Heroes: PLAYBOY, Rebel, Spymaster, and 54-40.

Guest Starring those World War Two heroes: MinuteMan and MinuteMaid.

The Scene: New York City. The Date: 15 January 1963.

What a city!Playboy’s evening is interrupted by a phone call. It’s a voice he hasn’t heard in a decade, MinuteMaid. “Jack,” she says, “I need your help. Minuteman has been kidnapped.”
“I’m on my way. Where do we meet?”
MinuteMaid gives him an address in NYC. Pulling on his dressing gown, Playboy apologizes to his ‘date’ and gets dressed. Hopping in his custom Mustang (with car phone and custom reel-to-reel stereo), he set off for the address.

Rebel is coming out of a swanky NYC nightclub when vaulting over the head of the assembled reporters comes MinuteMaid. “Rebel,” she says, “I need your help.”
Rebel smiles for the cameras, draws out and lights a cigarette. “Sure, what’s the problem?”
“We can’t talk here.”
Rebel scoops her up and flies off, making sure the cameras get a good angle.

Rebel and MinuteMaid fly to the edge of the Village where a man in powered armor is waiting on the rooftops scanning for crime. MinuteMaid vaults out of Rebel’s arms and lands beside the man.
“54-40, we need your help,” she says.
54-40 falls into a fighting stance. “Be cool, telephone boy,” says Rebel.
54-40 fires up his jet pack and launches himself at Rebel. Rebel easily dodges. “We didn’t come to fight,” calls out MinuteMaid. 54-40 tries again to hit Rebel and then flies off.

Spymaster was instructed by his handler to go and help MinuteMaid. Following his arrival at the designated site (a warehouse), Playboy pulled up and Rebel and MinuteMaid landed. Introductions followed, the best being Playboy’s: “Jack Diamond, but the papers call me Playboy.” Then two figures in trench coats zipped up to the characters and enveloped them in clouds of gas. MinuteMaid went down, catching a double dose of gas, but the others remained on their feet. 54-40 flew in to the rescue and the two attackers (soon revealed to be robots named Night and Fog -though the characters did not know that-) were throughly smashed.

Poking through the wreckage, Playboy recognized some of the components as being from Magnet Industries Robotics Division and MinuteMaid recognized the design as being similar to those used by that World War 2 Nazi villain, Professor Stahl. MinuteMaid explains that she and MinuteMan (who she has not seen in about a decade) are scheduled to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Kennedy on the 17th. Thus the kidnaping of MinuteMan has deeper implications than just revenge. So our heroes packed themselves into Playboy’s car (after Rebel called his agent to let him know where he was going) and took off to the Magnet Industries Robotics Division Plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Arriving at the plant, they found it shut up behind high chain-link fences topped by barbed wire. No guards, indeed to sign of life, just a dark factory. While the other characters looked at the gate and its lock, Rebel flew over the fence and landed triggering a bank of spotlights on the top of the factory building. From the side of the building, six doors opened and six huge robotic dogs (the Eisenhunden -iron dogs-) emerged. The other characters opened the gate and moved to engage them while Rebel flew towards the factory.

The characters’ quickly dispatched the dogs [whenever Playboy attacked the Eisenhund‘s armor failed to activate, he was destroying them with single blows] with only Spymaster suffering from a gnawed upon leg. Our heroes plunged into the factory and found . . . a factory. After some investigation, the entrance to a sub-level was discovered. Rebel left a note for his agent and the heroes descended into the secret level.

They found a generic mad scientist’s lair (complete with Tesla coils and Jacob’s ladders) and strapped to the far wall was MinuteMan. Rebel and MinuteMaid rushed across the room to free MinuteMan only for MinuteMaid to be struck down by MinuteMan who was revealed as a robot duplicate! (Rebel realized this just too late, “Look out! It’s a . . .”) Playboy noticed movement in the shadows and slowly a huge robot emerged, seated in the transparent dome of the robot’s head was Professor Stahl, “Now you American dogs shall fall before the might of Proefessor Stahl’s RobotenGorilla!”

Rebel engaged Stahl. Spymaster and 54-40 fought the robot-minuteman. Playboy improvised a flash attack from a magnesium welding torch, blinding Stahl and allowing Rebel to shatter the dome and knockout Stahl. The other three were then able to take down the robot-minuteman. In a corner of the lab the real MinuteMan (NY newspaper editor Quest Jefferson, who during the war was an ace reporter) was found in a suspension tube. MinuteMaid, with help, freed him and the characters called for an ambulance. As the characters emerged from the wreckage of the lab taking MinuteMan and the wounded Spymaster to the waiting ambulance and turning over Stahl to the FBI, through a small swarm of reporters. Spymaster turned to the other characters and said, “That will teach him to monkey with us.”

MinuteMan and MinuteMaid receive their Medals from the President on the floor of Congress on the 17th with the Characters looking on as invited guests.

Afterwards, Jack Diamond is personally contacted by JFK and is asked to form a new team of US Superheroes.

Backup Story – Issue 1 (January 1963)

Our Heroes: Rebel and Spymaster.
Guest Starring: Kid Comic, Reggie the Talking Gorilla, and Torch (of Liberty).

The Scene: Backstage at CBS studio’s Ed Sullivan Show.

Ed Sullivan with the Dave Clark FiveRebel and Reggie are both scheduled to appear on the Ed Sullivan show. Spymaster (in his secret ID) has received a backstage pass to the show from Rebel. Kid Comic was there with his older sister (who is a big fan of Rebel). Torch in her secret ID of Annalise Meridian, singer of Irish ballads, was another guest.

Out on the back steps, Rebel and Reggie are posing for their fans, there they are confronted by a Southern preacher who calls them out for corrupting America’s youth and dragging down America’s morals with their decadent lifestyle. The Preacher threatened violence and men in the crowd brought out guns. Rebel leap to the offensive, decking the Preacher with one blow. Reggie leap out into the crowd and bashed one of the gunmen. Spymaster had already changed into his costume and came out to help using his mental powers to distract the thugs. Kid Comic slipped out of sight and activated his powers by grabbing All-American Combat Comics and becoming Sgt Stone. The thugs opened fire, wounding Rebel and released a drugged up and enraged normal gorilla which ran over to attack Reggie.

Reggie and the ‘bad gorilla’ wrestled while the others finished off the thugs. The bad gorilla finally got the upper hand and threw Reggie away from him, and towards Rebel. Rebel could not dodge or Reggie might have hit an innocent (and reporters were watching). Rebel caught Reggie and they both went down. Leaving Kid Comic and Spymaster to face the enraged gorilla, luckily Torch arrived at that moment and toasted the gorilla, knocking it down. Everyone then kept pounding on the gorilla, even Rebel and Reggie once they recovered. But it was finally taken down by a pushed upper cut from Kid Comic [7D6 damage and Steve rolled five sixes!].

Torch flew off and Spymaster ducked back into the studio, both reassumed their secret identities. Rebel and Reggie posed for the cameras (CBS technicians had dragged a TV camera out and caught the last part of the battle live). Rebel gave Kid Comic (still in Sgt Stone guise) two packs of Black Label cigarettes.

The enraged gorilla was found to have been kidnapped from the Atlanta Zoo and pumped full of chemicals to drive it into a rage. Diamond Industries provided air transport to take slightly damaged gorilla back to his home.

Notes: I had hoped to have run the second issue by this point, but Blake was ill and unable to make it so I ran the above scenario instead which at least allowed me to introduce Torch to the team. (Original session note.)

(1) And will to Heroes Inc as of Issue 4.

Onward to Issue Two!

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Notes: Photo New York City, aerial view of midtown, from the Library of Congress.  Photo of Ed Sullivan and the Dave Clark Five also from the Library of Congress but found on Wikimedia Commons.  Both are believed to be in the Public Domain.

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