Longshot #3 (1985, November)
So my favourite band, the Heartless Bastards, have a new album coming out. I’m thinking of pre-ordering, but the shipping is almost $35. That is a stupid price. I’ll probably still do it, though. Ugh. Anyway, I actually totally missed this comic before. By Nocenti and Adams, “Just Let Me Die.”
A guy named Theo is complaining about Con Ed having a million-dollar diamond shipment right after they upped his rates. His family’s also annoying him by ignoring him. Finally, he snaps. He pulls a gun out of a drawer and shoots his TV. Then he walks out. He tries to kill himself by jumping off a bridge, and barely gets wet, because the water’s so shallow. Also, he lands on Longshot. Theo drags Longshot out of the water. Longshot is healing quickly, and gives a quick rundown of who he is – he doesn’t know. He also reads that Theo wants to kill himself, and doesn’t know why. Longshot figures life is great, and sets out to prove it to Theo. By robbing Con Ed. Theo tries to kill himself again, by hanging himself, but Longshot cuts the rope with a thrown knife.
They go to the Con Ed building. Longshot jumps the fence, and lands on a circuit box, blowing out the electric fence and the alarms. Theo climbs over the fence, and they start walking right into the building. Gog and Spiral are watching. Spiral wants to kill Longshot, but Gog says they need his luck to get them back. Theo and Longshot sneak into a basement lab, and while Theo looks for the diamonds, Longshot checks out the experimental machine they were meant for.
He has a memory, of a bunch of people in machines, while a couple other guys look at them and think of disgusting they are, with the spine being especially distasteful. They wonder why Arize designed the slaves the way they did, as creatures out of their worst myths. Spineless aliens. Yep. One of the Spineless Ones tells one of the newly-grown humans that he owns him, and the human says no one owns him.
Longshot wakes up, and asks Theo who made them, whether god rules them, and if he looks like them. Theo finds the diamonds, and Longshot reads them as being special. They seemed to open a gateway. As they walk out, Theo trips on a dead guard and hurts his face. Longshot starts grabbing wires for a weapon. Pup shows up, and tells him to watch his back. Longshot fights off the creatures, and knocks one into a console that causes the plant to shut down. Blackout! JJJ blames Spider-Man, of course. Longshot’s doing well, but gets knocked out from behind.
He wakes up in time to see the creatures re-opening the portal, via Spiral’s dancing. One of the creatures, who looks like a ram, slips away. The creatures leave, and Longshot is left wondering who he is. Pup and Theo return, and Pup rants that he planned on killing Theo, but decided he wasn’t worthy of a grand death. He leaves, and. Longshot and Theo slip out, and Longshot tries to give Theo the diamonds, but he doesn’t want them. He says to give them to the people hurt in the blackout, instead. Theo also doesn’t want to hang out with Longshot any more. He just wants to go home to his family.
Longshot was caught on camera at the Con Ed building, so now he’s being blamed for the blackout, and is being called a new supervillain.
This was another fun issue. Theo is a very fun character. Even his suicide attempts are pretty funny, since it’s clear he doesn’t really want to die, so his attempts are failures. And hey, he did learn that it’s good to be alive. We get another touch on Longshot’s origins, with him being genetically engineered. And the introduction of the Spineless Ones! Woot! The art is good, but because most of the story takes place at night, it does mean the colour is mostly blue. It actually ends up being a little distracting. There was no real choice but to do it that way, given the limits of the time, but that doesn’t keep it from being a distraction. As a cute touch: The final page has a man and a woman talking about the newspaper article. It’s Nocenti and Adams.
Good, fun comic.