New MinuteMen (Heroes Inc) – Issue 2 – Flight of the Valkyrie

23 January, 2020

The New Minutemen, Issue Two (March 1963)

-The name of the team is still subject to change-

The Empire State Building, home to Heroes Inc HQAppearing in this issue:
Our Heroes, Full Members of the Team: Playboy, Rebel, and Torch (of Liberty).  Probationary Members: Kid Comic and X.

CriME in Progress
The Scene: New York City. The Date: 4 February 1963.
Starring: Playboy, Rebel and Torch.

Playboy and Rebel are seeing to the refitting of the base. [The team’s base is the former Minutemen’s HQ at the top of the Empire State Building.] Diamond industry is providing the latest electronics for the team. The Red, White and Blue hotlines had just been installed (the Red connects with President Kennedy, the White is for general government emergencies and the Blue is for the NYPD) when the Blue phone rings. It is the chief of Police informing Rebel that the nearby branch of the First Bank of NY is being robbed by the Hard Three group of supervillain.

Our heroes take the express elevator to the ground floor and roar off to the scene of the crime. Arriving at the bank they pile in and finds three super-villains: Bazooka (guess his theme), Hard Case (strong and tough with a ‘tinker bell’ effect force field) and Zipper (superfast ex-roller derby queen). Three thugs with SMGs backed up the Hard Three.

The battle started badly with Hard Case almost one-punching Rebel. Torch flew into help. Playboy took down Zipper with a throw. The characters managed to take down the villains, but only after Rebel had been shot in the arm (Hard Case took the longest to put down).

Rebel’s big victory was to convince Torch to accompany him for a romantic dinner. Cut to:Cry Wolf!
The Scene: New York City. The Date: 4 February 1963 (evening).
Starring: Rebel, Torch and Kid Comic. Introducing X.

Billy’s (Kid Comic’s secret identity) older (teenage) sister had heard that Rebel was having dinner at the Blue Candle restaurant. X was out on patrol in the same area.

Just as Billy’s sister was getting up her courage to go in and ask Rebel for his autograph, when a huge wolf crashed out of the window of the book store next door carrying a huge book in its jaws. The heroes were able to take the book away from the wolf and knock it unconscious when it reverted in the form of a man with a collar and loincloth. The collar had a tag engraved with a stylized D.

Playboy arrived and identified the symbol as that of Doctor Destiny, a European villain who claims to have mystic power but about whom very little else is known. Playboy and the rest pile into his car for a debriefing back at the base. On the way, Playboy calls Billy’s parents and inadvertently gets him into trouble.

-Between stories, Kid Comic and X are made probationary members. Playboy arranges for Billy to get an after-school job at the base.-

XB-70Flight of the Valkyrie
The Scene: Roswell AFB, New Mexico. The Date: 27 February 1963.
Starring: Playboy/Jack Diamond, Rebel, Torch and X.

The new XB-70 ‘Valkyrie’ supersonic bomber is about to undergo its first full scale test flight [two years ahead of this happening in the ‘real world’]. As Diamond Industries provided much of the electronic suite, Jack Diamond aka Playboy and the rest of the team are invited to join vice-president Johnson to watch the test flight.

While watching the Valkyrie being loaded with dummy nuclear bombs, Rebel notices that the technicians are carrying SMGs in their tool bags. Playboy looked them over and noticed that they were wearing an identification pin that he did not recognize. X established a mindlink among the team members. Rebel and Torch offered a display of their flying skill to lure the crowd away, while Playboy investigated the situation with the technicians.

Playboy slipped into the bomb bay, X kept watch and Rebel returned. In the bay, Playboy asked one of the technicians what his pin signified, the technician replied, “That I am a member of the Dog Pack.”

“Then I am putting you in the pound,” commented Jack and knocked him out with a single punch.

While Jack took down the other technician in the bomb bay, Rebel and Torch returned. Rebel flew into battle while Torch carried LBJ to safety. Rebel engaged the technicians with support from X. X then suddenly realized that the Air Force guards were also wearing odd pins just before they opened up on him with M-16s.

The characters mopped up the agents with only a little bit of trouble, but as they finishing they realize two things: 1) that the “dummy bombs” are real atomic devices and 2) that the Valkyrie is beginning to taxi for take off.

Playboy and Rebel jump into the bomb bay and using Jack’s knowledge of the plane’s electronics, Rebel punches through a vital control junction and disables the plane.

The captured agents reveal that they were Dog and Wolf Pack agent of Menagerie, a previously unknown organization.

In Issue #2 of the comic the stories would have been arranged: Flight of the Valkyrie, CriME in Progress and Cry Wolf! Issue 2 also contained a special offer for a copy of Rebel’s “Rebel’s Yells” album (with backing vocals by Torch who also does the bonus track “Leader of the Pack”).

Notes from the time: Possible team names suggested (I’m still backing the ‘New MinuteMen’ as is the Government): the Good Guys, (New) Knights of Camelot, Manhattan Project, a More Perfect Union, the Round Table, and (the funniest to me) Rebel and the Cigarette Pack.

Backward to Issue One.

Onward to Issue Three!

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Notes: Photo Empire State Building by Vitold Muratov found on Wikimedia Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  North American XB-70A Valkyrie on the taxiway. (U.S. Air Force photo)  Found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

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