They really did find a bunch of E.T. cartridges in the landfill!  Along with Pac-Man, Baseball, and others.  No word on Kiss Your Aunt, Don’t Lick Me!, or the Corvette Summer tie-in.

Also no word on any of the SwordQuest games.  SQ was Atari’s ambitious, multi-game epic sweepstakes, intended to be spread across four games, each with a tie-in comic included, where the games would lead to clues in the comics that would result in one lucky winner receiving a blinged-out sword.  In reality, only three of the games were released, with the existing winners receiving a half-hearted payoff.  SwordQuest was a huge step forward at a time when Atari, and the entire game industry, was on the verge of collapse.

This used to be really impressive.  Seriously.

This used to be really impressive. Seriously.

And I, as a preteen, was obsessed with it.

I was also obsessed with Atari Force.  At a time when other guys my age were getting into either the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men, or the Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans (or, y’know, girls), the Gerry Conway/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez Atari Force was my “graphical saga” of choice, and my transition from comics as “something to keep me quiet in the car with Mom and Dad” to “something to obsess over.”

When I read the famous Spider-Man story, “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” (SPOILER: Gwen Stacy dies), it was partly due to its historical significance, but mostly because, “hey, Gerry Conway, he wrote Atari Force!”  I went back and reread both the five pack-in comics, and the twenty-issue ongoing series in preparation for this strip, and realized I had actually forgotten about this:

You may be surprised to learn I was a rather pedantic kid.

You may be surprised to learn I was a rather pedantic kid.

So, thank you, Mowrer, for your patience, as I led you down yet another 2k (4k with bank switching!) rabbit hole,  all to find the right reference for the Generation 1 Atari Force uniforms, over the correct themes and artifacts for SwordQuest: Airworld, and my obsessive need to pay tribute to Tempest, Dart, Morphea, Pakrat, Babe, and of course, Hukka.


“Hukka,” indeed, Hukka.  “Hukka,” indeed.