Harlem Heroes was one of the original stories to appear in 2000AD Prog 1. It was set in the year 2050. It ran for 27 episodes before being dropped after Prog 27 to make way for the return of Dan Dare after a short absence.


Part One[]

We join the Harlem Heroes 6-2 ahead in their preliminary round match of the World Aeroball Championship against the Greek Gladiators, just as Giant scores a seventh. They win the game comfortably, but on their way home, their road-liner's hover-unit fails, causing it to crash and kill all but four of the team. When Giant, Slim and Hairy visited the chronically injured Louis in hospital they discover that only his brain has survived. However, he can still communicate via a machine and he encourages them to rebuild the squad so that they can win the championship in honour of their dead teammates[1].

Part Two[]

A veteran aeroball player interrupts the Heroes training and demonstrates that, with the latest medical advances, the hip injury which had forced him out of the game is no longer holding him back. The four of them visit the Sky-Slums, where they discover Zack Harper, a reckless kid whom Giant has to rescue when his homemade jet-pack overheats. Two more Heroes, Chico and Sammy, who were on loan to another team, transfer back, to complete the rebuilt squad.[2]

Part Three[]

The Heroes are playing The Baltimore Bulls in their first league match since the crash, a team consisting of police officers. Zack, having had several run-ins with the law as a kid from the slums gets carried away and reckless, forcing King to foul and get sent to the penalty-pen. He also earns himself a warning before crashing into a TV camera boom and smashing his jet-pack, plummeting back towards the ground.[3]

Part Four[]

Hairy and Giant rescue Zack from his fall, but Baltimore score while the Heroes are distracted. Giant gives Zack a fierce dressing down, but he returns to the game and plays better and the Heroes equalize. During half-time Giant takes a call from Louis who tells him that the crash was sabotage.[4]

Part Five[]

The Heroes work properly s a team in the second half and end up winning 6-1. As they leave the stadium, they are approached by Ulysses Cord, Head of Trans-World Networks, who wants to sponsor them and gives them a superliner so that they can win the World Championship.[5]

Part Six[]

The Heroes travel via the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel to Moscow where they've been drawn to play Russian champions, The Siberian Wolves. Louis has joined them in the medic-room, still convinced that the crash was sabotage. When they arrived in Moscow they travel over Red Square, seeing thousands of Russians out to greet them on their way to the aeroball stadium. The game starts, and the Heroes quickly realise that the Wolves care little for their own safety in the game.[6]

Part Seven[]

The Wolves go ahead, but despite some of the Wolves seriously injuring themselves trying to stop them, the Heroes manage to equalise. Then Giant's jetpack malfunctions and he is forced to eject it to avoid smashing into the roof of the stadium and falls.[7]

Part Eight[]

Giant grabs one of the Wolves, arresting his fall, then gets the ball and manages to equalize despite not wearing a jetpack. Slim catches him and they call a time-out while Giant gets re-quipped with a new pack. The Heroes go on to win the game 3-1. Back in Mega-City One, Artie Gruber, a player who was critically injured in a match against the Heroes three years ago, has been having major surgery at great expense to bring him back as a cyborg.[8]

Part Nine[]

The Heroes begin their next league game against Montezuma's Mashers, but Gruber is hidden in the crowd with a gun aimed at Giant.[9]

Part Ten[]

Gruber shoots but one of the Mashers gets in the way and it destroys his jetpack. Gruber shoots again but his aim is spoilt by jostling from the spectators and this time Giant spots the muzzle flash. Giant tackles him but he escapes and runs into the Mashers' pits.[10]

Part Eleven[]

Gruber bursts out of the pits having donned a jetpack. He hits Sammy, knocking him out. Zack hits him in the neck with the match ball, but he smashes through the roof of the stadium and escapes. The Heroes are told that Sammy will never play again, and they take out their anger on their opponents, eventually winning 12-0. After the final whistle Giant makes a defiant speech to the TV camera aimed at whoever is trying to kill them.[11]

Part Twelve[]

By watching the replay of the match, the Heroes identify the shooter as Artie Gruber, a former player for the Washington Warlocks before his jetpack blew up during a match against the Heroes. They travel to Scotland for their World Championship second round match against The Flying Scotsmen. Their captain 'Red' Macardle clashes with Slim before the game adding some extra needle to the match.[12]

Part Thirteen[]

The match begins and despite the Heroes best efforts, the Scotsmen go ahead 2-0.[13]

Part Fourteen[]

At half time, the Heroes are 6-0 behind, but Louis Mayer gives them some new tactics for the second half and they recover to 6-6 at the full-time whistle, leading to a sudden-death one-on-one play-off for victory.[14]

Part Fifteen[]

A random draw pits Zack against Macardle in the play-off. They fight a tough game, but Zack eventually scores and earns Macardle's respect.[15]

Part Sixteen[]

The Heroes are paired against Gorgon's Gargoyles, a team of cyborgs, in the Third round of the World Championships. Gruber has had more surgery to make him look like Joe 'Ugly' Mugglie, the Gargoyles' captain. He then attacks Mugglie in the dressing room, killing him and taking his place in the team.[16]

Part Seventeen[]

The game begins and the Gargoyles have an air-strike disallowed for cheating by using too much power in their artificial limbs. Gruber prepares to make his move on the Heroes.[17]

Part Eighteen[]

Gruber lashes out at Giant with special razor-sharp claws, but hits his own team-mate Pretty Boy Floyd instead. Then he pushes Chico into the path of the ball so it smashes him against the electrified score-tank, and kills him. Next he attaches a limpet mine to the ball and throws it straight at Giant.[18]

Part Nineteen[]

Giant lets the ball go to substitute Dale Parker, who is immediately killed by the bomb. Hairy and Slim then take out a couple of the Gargoyles with wantonly aggressive moves and when Giant chastises them, they start to fight amongst themselves.[19]

Part Twenty[]

Louis, now mobilised by a self-propulsion unit, intervenes and restores order amongst the team. He suggests that one of the Gargoyles is an impostor. Acting on a suspicion of his own, and with Conrad King's help, Giant exposes Gruber as the imposter. His true identity revealed, Gruber pulls out a bomb.[20]

Part Twenty One[]

Zack hurls the ball at Gruber's face, causing him to drop the grenade. The Gargoyle's grab Gruber and all fly full speed into the ground, destroying themselves in the process. Gruber's body is taken to a nearby crematorium, but he is revived and escapes. The Heroes semi-final opponents in the World Championships are revealed as the Bushido Blades from Tokyo.[21]

Part Twenty Two[22][]

As the Heroes arrive in Tokyo, Cord tries to bribe them to play more violently, but Giant is having none of it. The match begins.

Part Twenty Three[]

The Blades demonstrate that they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the glory of victory. The Heroes score first, but the Japanese come back to lead 2-1 at half-time. Cord tells them they need to take more risks in order to win, but Louis appears and uses his mental powers to intimidate him.[23]

Part Twenty Four[]

Louis causes Cord to have a hallucination of Artie Gruber, and he faints. The second half begins and the Heroes pretend to be afraid of the Blades, making them drop their guard. Zack pounces and the Heroes equalise. The Blades' suicidal tactics reduce their squad to just three players and the Heroes cruise to a 7-2 victory.[24]

Part Twenty Five[]

The other finalists are revealed as the Teutonic Titans from Germany. Louis reveals that he has suspicions that Cord is behind the attempts on the Heroes' lives. Upon their return home, the Heroes discover all their jet-packs have been stolen and they appeal to Cord to supply them with replacements, which he does, and they invite him to the final as their guest.[25]

Part Twenty Six[]

The final begins. The Titans score first, then the Heroes equalise, but by half-time they have suffered significant injuries. Cord has rigged the Heroes' new jet-packs to explode, and when Giant approaches him he runs away, thinking that he will be caught in an explosion.[26]

Part Twenty Seven[27][]

Giant confronts Cord in front of the TV cameras and Cord confesses to being behind all the attacks on the Heroes, who he thought were making the game too sporting. More violence would have improved his viewing figures. The match restarts and the Heroes battle heroically, breaking the deadlock with a last minute air-strike, however Hairy and King are killed The remaining team members decide to quit aeroball, hoping that something else will come along instead.

Recurring Characters[]


Giant is the leader of the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team.


Hairy is one of the original players in the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team.

Louis Mayer[]

Louis is one of the original players in the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team. He is horribly injured in the crash that decimates the original line-up, with only his brain surviving.

Zack Harper[]

Zack Harper is recruited from the sky slums to replace the players who perish in the crash.


Slim is one of the original players in the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team.

Conrad King[]

King comes out of retirement to replace the players who had perished in the crash.


Chico was on loan to another club at the time of the fatal road crash[2]. He transfers back to the team, but is killed by Artie Gruber during the match against Gorgon's Gargoyles[18].


Sammy was on loan to another club at the time of the fatal road crash[2]. He transfers back to the team, but is injured so badly by Artie Gruber during the match against Gorgon's Gargoyles, that he can never play aeroball again[18].

Other Characters[]


Lannigan is a player with the Baltimore Bulls[4].

Ulysses Cord[]

Cord is the Head of Trans-World Networks. He offers the Harlem Heroes a superliner so that they can challenge for the World Aeroball Championships[5]. Although, really, he wants to see them fail because he feels their fair-play attitude is ruining the sport[27].

Artie Neilson[]

Neilson is the driver of the Harlem Heroes' superliner[6].

Boris Woroslov[]

Woroslov is the Russian Minister of Sport and Chief Director of Aeroball Activities[6].


Tucker is part of the Harlem Heroes support staff. He checks the Heroes packs before they go out to play games[8].

Artie Gruber[]

Artie Gruber is an aeroball player who was seriously injured while playing against the Harlem Heroes in 2047. He is brought back from a coma as a cyborg by scientists in a Mega-City One hospital laboratory in order to kill the Heroes. After he is revived a second time, he is disguised to look like Joe Mugglie[8].

Cyrus Teegarten[]

Teegarten is the billionaire owner of Montezuma's Mashers[9].

Benny Gray[]

Benny Gray is the squad-leader of Montezuma's Mashers until he is mistakenly shot by Artie Gruber[10].

'Red' MacArdle[]

'Red' MacArdle is the squad-leader of the Flying Scotsmen[12].


Buck is an aeroball player on the Harlem Heroes team[14].


Andy is an aeroball player for the Flying Scotsmen[13].

Joe 'Ugly' Mugglie[]

Mugglie is the squad-leader of Gorgon's Gargoyles. He is killed by Artie Gruber.[16].

Pretty Boy Floyd[]

Pretty Boy is an aeroball player with Gorgon's Gargoyles. He is accidentally damaged by Artie Gruber instead of Giant Clay[17].

Beauty-Pack Benson[]

Benson is an aeroball player with Gorgon's Gargoyles[18].

Dale Parker[]

Parker is an aeroball player with the Harlem Heroes. While on as a substitute he is blown up by a bomb intended for Giant Clay[19].

'Toots' Tomlinson[]

Toots is an aeroball player with Gorgon's Gargoyles[19].

Mr. Gorgon[]

Mr. Gorgon is the owner of Gorgon's Gargoyles[21].


Hojo is an aeroball player with the Bushido Blades[22].


Tanaka is an aeroball player with the Bushido Blades[23].


Karl is an aeroball player and with the Teutonic Titans[26].

Sam Mason[]

Mason is an aeroball player and with the Harlem Heroes. He played in the World Chapionship Final[26].

Joe James[]

Joe James is an aeroball player and with the Harlem Heroes. He played in the World Chapionship Final[26].





  • World Aeroball Championship[1]


Aeroball Teams[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harlem Heroes Part One, 2000AD Prog 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Harlem Heroes Part Two, 2000AD Prog 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harlem Heroes Part Three, 2000AD Prog 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harlem Heroes Part Four, 2000AD Prog 4
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Harlem Heroes Part Five, 2000AD Prog 5
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 Harlem Heroes Part Six, 2000AD Prog 6
  7. Harlem Heroes Part Seven, 2000AD Prog 7
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harlem Heroes Part Eight, 2000AD Prog 8
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harlem Heroes Part Nine, 2000AD Prog 9
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Harlem Heroes Part Ten, 2000AD Prog 10
  11. Harlem Heroes Part Eleven, 2000AD Prog 11
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Harlem Heroes Part Twelve, 2000AD Prog 12
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harlem Heroes Part Thirteen, 2000AD Prog 13
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harlem Heroes Part Fourteen, 2000AD Prog 14
  15. Harlem Heroes Part Fifteen, 2000AD Prog 15
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Harlem Heroes Part Sixteen, 2000AD Prog 16
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harlem Heroes Part Seventeen, 2000AD Prog 17
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Harlem Heroes Part Eighteen, 2000AD Prog 18
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Harlem Heroes Part Nineteen, 2000AD Prog 19
  20. Harlem Heroes Part Twenty, 2000AD Prog 20
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty One, 2000AD Prog 21
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Two, 2000AD Prog 22
  23. 23.0 23.1 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Three, 2000AD Prog 23
  24. Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Four, 2000AD Prog 24
  25. 25.0 25.1 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Five, 2000AD Prog 25
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Six, 2000AD Prog 26
  27. 27.0 27.1 Harlem Heroes Part Twenty Seven, 2000AD Prog 27