Issue Date: December 1985
Story Title: Can’t give it all away!
Staff: Ann Nocenti (writer & co-creator), Arthur Adams (penciler & co-creator), Whilce Portacio (Inks), Joe Rosen (letterer), Christie Scheele (colors), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)
The news shows Longshot as the man who caused the blackout and stole Con Ed’s diamonds. Longshot is trying to give away the diamonds to make amends but, apart from a group of kids, nobody wants them. He runs into two heroes, She-Hulk and Spider-Man, who try to capture him. Both fail, once Longshot focuses his luck, but both foster in him the belief that he no longer knows what is real. He meets the kids again, who tell him they have seen a monster. Reading their gun, he recalls leading a rebellion and being mindwiped. He goes to see their monster, a monstrously grown Pup. Longshot refuses to believe in him and is attacked.
Elsewhere, the insane Spineless One, Mojo, is informed about Longshot and the world of real men he now resides in. He has Spiral teleport him to Earth. They reach the home of Longshot’s friend, Ricochet Rita, and threaten her and announce that she will lead them to Longshot.
A news reports discusses the strange attack on Con Ed and the fact that the thief – a picture of Longshot is shown – got away with 3 million dollars worth of diamonds and caused a city wide blackout leaving Manhattan crippled for hours. The anchorman points out that this was no ordinary robbery. Strange electrical and paranormal activity registered on the power company’s sensitive equipment. He begins discussing whether this is was another in the rising number of mutants which menace…
Watching the report, Peter Parker recalls that he had to waste those hours during the blackout at the Daily Bugle with Jameson. He describes Longshot as just a kid and wonders whether the Bugle wouldn’t pay for some good action photos of that bozo.
Across town, in her apartment, She-Hulk is getting ready for a jog. She too is watching the report and mutters that just when you think there are enough villains… Still, she wouldn’t mind chasing his tail. She decides to jog across the park to where he was last seen… the Bronx.
In the Bronx, Longshot is chased out of a shop, the owner angrily telling him he doesn’t want his plastic diamonds. If he can’t pay for the extension cod with real money, he should get out. He shouts at him to get back to Manhattan, where all the weirdoes belong.
From some park, Longshot looks at Manhattan. So magnificent, so terrifying… and he shut off its power grid. He blames himself and decides that he has to pay back the people for taking away their power with the diamonds. But nobody wants them, as nobody believes them to be real. He doesn’t even know if he is real.
Behind him, something snaps. He whirls around to see Pup moving away. Even Gog, his pup, acts weird and has been looking stranger. He’s been skulking around, watching Longshot… In his flashback, he saw himself on another world as a warrior… a slave … a movie star. What is he really? And why does everyone tell him he is lucky? He doesn’t feel lucky. He remembers Ricochet Rita. When this is over, he’ll go find her, he decides.
Somewhere else, a group of space cowboys are threatened by freebooters. Their commander, Butch, orders the team to blow the enemies to smithereens. Come on, Starrammers…
No, Starslammers, somebody else corrects him. They are a group of kids, wearing masks and playing in an abandoned car. The argument starts getting violent and they fall out of the car in front of their parents, who are engrossed in an argument over whether TV or comic books are worse.
The kids hide around the corner, gathering their few scraps of money to buy some comic books, but it isn’t enough. Suddenly, some diamonds fall before their feet. They look up to see Longshot, crouching on a wall. They thank him and he asks what they are going to do with the diamonds. Buy comic books, of course, the kids chorus.
While Longshot introduces himself, one kid takes of the paper mask. Darla is the only girl in the gang and she is totally smitten with him. Longshot walks off, waving good-bye, and Butch believes to see a monster – Gog – for a moment before he disappears. The others don’t believe him though.
Longshot strolls though Central Park, wondering why people always keep telling him the diamonds are too hot when he tries to give them away. They feel cool to him. The world keeps on feeling wrong. Is he all imagining it? Is he dreaming? He decides to keep trying and give away the diamonds, then find Pup and the monsters, if they were real. Can he help this world somehow, he wonders. He reads sadness violence, insanity… Could he heal those people?
A jogging She-Hulk passes him by, then stops in her tracks. She taps him on the shoulder, then decks him, astonished that he’s flying that far. Hitting a lamp post, Longshot somersaults over her and tells her to cut it out. She-Hulk demands he give over the diamonds and Longshot protests that he has been trying to give them away. She-Hulk doesn’t believe him and grabs him by the belt to hurl him away again, over his protests that she should give him a chance to talk.
She’s beautiful, he thinks, but another monster. She wants him dead, like the others. Unless this is not real… another fantasy?
Impossibly elsewhere, a grossly obese spineless being, whose face is frozen in a permanent grimace, protests that someone is making holes in the clouds. The person he addresses, an effete-looking humanoid called Major Domo, patiently explains to Mojo that the sky has always been that way. Then what’s been killing his plants, Mojo demands. Mojo is, every time he is walking through the room, Major Domo whispers. Mojo protests. He brings life and rebirth, not death. Tell that to the plants, Major Domo suggests wryly. Are plants speaking now, Mojo asks shocked. Can they hear them?
Distracted, Mojo commends the view on the spitfire and asks if he owns this view. He owns everything he looks at, Domo agrees. Mojo asks him to access his circuit banks and tell him the market news. Hurt for the first time, Major Domo asks if he must make feel like… an appliance? Mojo shouts that he is an appliance! A gadget! A vacuum! A slave! Market news, please, he asks more reasonably and Domo informs him that he owns 43 % of the new slaves that rolled off the assembly belt this month. That’s not even a controlling share, Mojo rages as he waves away a few slave girls he had called for earlier.
Everything is so ugly, he complains. The only face he can look at is his own. Everyone must have his face. He orders for the masks to be made instantly. And it stinks in the room. Did somebody die and not remove himself? Domo smirks. And tells Mojo darling that he is having a bit of a PSI-crisis. He suggests a little therapy.
Soon, Mojo is shut into a room. He reminds his servant not to let him out, no matter how much he screams. The room is full of mirrors and images of Mojo are reflected at himself. He rants about being the Lifebringer. All he sees is himself. Everything is him. No boundaries. He begins to scream. Major Domo finally lets him out. While Mojo is keeping his eyes shut, he demands that all the mirrors be painted black. Domo agrees and informs him the slave trackers he sent after that rebel slave have returned though a portal. With the dead rebel? Mojo rejoices. Not quite, Domo replies. Mojo wants to see them with their new faces.
Quickly, the hunters are brought before him, all wearing masks of Mojo’s face One of them informs Mojo that the rebel got lucky and a portal opened, sweeping all of them into another dimension. That dimension has got a planet with a race of man who look exactly like the manslaves they genetically engineer. The hunter reminds Mojo that the Spineless Ones took the man image from mythology, their worst nightmares, which means their myths are real. But the slave was trouble. His memory is beginning to come back. He is meeting and communicating with true men, who tell him he doesn’t have to be a slave. But worst of all, he is lucky. So lucky that he almost stopped all of them from getting back. They were going to bring him back, but he’d be too dangerous here. He is sort of miraculous, the hunter finishes his report.
Mojo refuses to believe this or the news of a whole race of man. He turns his wrath on the hunter, demanding to know why he is wearing Mojo’s face. He is mocking him. Mojo drains his life from him and demands they take off his face! It’s his and nobody else’s. He is miraculous.
He calls one of the hunters to him. The white-haired, six-armed woman Spiral. What is she in the mood for? She wants to return to the planet of men. She has an interest in the Lucky One… Longshot. Mojo asks if she’d be so kind as to introduce them. Perhaps, Spiral agrees, and she is in the mood to dance. She dances and her spell together with Mojo’s power opens time and space. As they disappear, Major Domo shouts not to do it in the house. Too late. He hates this, as those portal opening tricks play havoc on all his servo-attachments. Mojo really is so tacky sometimes, he informs nobody in particular. The little darling.
Back in New York, Longshot still believes She-Hulk to be one of his demon hunters. Angrily, he defends himself. He knows he ruined the portal for them, but he couldn’t let them kill a baby. He didn’t mean to drag them into this dimension in the first place… he thinks. She-Hulk has no idea what he is talking about and hits him again. He is smashed against a tree and decides to stop talking to her. There is no point. The point is to focus his spirit. Through purification of the motive, the luck will follow, he almost recites to himself. His left eye begins to glow.
She-Hulk attacks again, but Longshot simply somersaults over her head and lands behind her. In midjump, he throws the extension cord as well as some of his knives and manages to pin She Hulk’s sweater against the tree. By the time she frees herself, he is already gone. She-Hulk wonders about him. He is human, yet so alien. He seemed crazy as a loon, yet so focused. He got lucky there at the end…
Jumping across rooftops, Longshot wishes he could just go see Ricochet Rita. But he better keep returning diamonds to the people. Could he just throw them through those windows? That moment, Spider-Man shows up, his automatic camera already prepped. “Hey, blackout king, got any hot diamonds for sale?” he shouts. Spidey swings at him from behind, but Longshot manages to evade the kick. Another demon, he thinks, but Rita says there are no such things as monster. So why does he keep seeing them?
Longshot recalls that one of the kids wore a mask like Spider-Man and told him Spider-Man wasn’t real. He doesn’t know what is real anymore. Spidey follows him over the rooftops but simply can’t catch him. All the time, he makes jokes about Longshot’s haircut.
Longshot shouts that Spider-Man isn’t real and he is going to wake up now. Spidey cracks another joke, while again missing Longshot and he asks him to stop. It isn’t funny.
Spider-Man decides he has enough pictures. Should he just web him up now? But he’s not acting like a villain. More like a confused kid. Longshot jumps off the roof down, uses a clothing line to change his direction and manages to briefly take out of Spidey. When Spider-Man looks around, he is gone. Spidey muses that nobody is that lucky. He may be fast and agile, but he has some other force throwing punches for him.
Upstate New York: Ricochet Rita is playing Tarzan in the garden, watched by her faithful dog, Saxophone, who isn’t at all interested in taking over his part of the stunt. They enter the house, which is a mess. When is he going to clean this place, she jokes. “Ricochet lost her marbles,” her parrot, Wifferdill, greets her. Rita pets her dog a bit and tells him that she is worrying about Longshot. He looked pretty smashed up last week, but Hitch said the hospital had released him. She wonders why he didn’t visit her. That’s what she gets for acting too much like a man, she figures.
She doesn’t notice that her potted plants are suddenly wilting. Sax begins to act up and, the next moment, Wifferdill drops to the ground.
“Oh gross!” Rita exclaims when she sees her guests: Mojo and Spiral. Mojo informs her that her plants don’t seem too happy to see him. How about her? He tells Spiral that she was right. That being does have the same form as their engineered slave race. And there’s a whole planet of these repulsive things? Perhaps he should just exterminate them all. He hates to be messy, though.
What’s her name, he addresses Rita, who doesn’t know what to say. He realizes that Longshot has to be found before he returns home to tell all the slaves about this race. They’d probably feel they were real and rise up and rebel… that would be… inconvenient. Pity that Spiral received six arms, he mocks. Even here, she’d still be a freak. He addresses Rita again and tells her to get ready to take them to Longshot.
In northern Manhattan, Longshot runs into the kids again, who seem agitated about some kind of monsters. He asks them about the monsters. While Darla is smitten again, Butch informs Longshot that he saw the monster twice at the cloisters. Darla asks Longshot to kill the monster and she will love him forever. The boys react with disgust and worry that she will scare Longshot away.
Unsure himself, Longshot informs them that there are no monsters. One must remember the difference between reality and pretense. They aren’t really warriors and there is no monster. There is a monster and he’s going to kill it with this gun, Butch shoots back. Longshot touches the gun and reads its psychic imprint.
The kids traded the diamonds for the gun from a man who had used it to kill and Longshot has seen this objects used to kill… his friends. They were rebelling, using swords and clubs. They wanted to be free, but they were shot at. They used these things to… capture Longshot. The Spineless Ones wiped his mind, his memories, left him drooling, eyes empty pits, windows to a hollow mind. He was a good slave again.
The kids shake Longshot awake. As he rubs his head, they notice a cross-shaped scar on his temple. Longshot wonders how he escaped and what happened after the mindwipe. How can he trust his own memories?
He tells the kids to show him their monster and he will show them the difference between fantasy and reality.
The kids and Longshot walk up to the cloisters. Darla is in heaven because Longshot is holding her hand; Alfi is afraid and Butch wonders where they could get some nukes. Dad always says those are the best weapons. The others ask if they shouldn’t get Spider-Man first, which leads to a discussion whether or not Spidey really exists or the Bugle made him up.
They enter the building and inside there is a grossly grown Pup, stuffed full with magic .He is waiting for Longshot’s luck, that isn’t really luck to deliver Longshot to him. And, as if on cue, Longshot addresses him as Pup. Gog n’Magog to you, Gog corrects him. He stands above the bloody corpse of a security man.
He has grown, Longshot observes. Does that mean he is real? Depends on how he defines real, Gog laughs. He is a magic magnet there and now he is bloated with power. Darla announces that this can’t be real. It is too horrible. Gog laughs and, before their eyes, grows another eye. He holds up a bloody claw and asks if anybody has an itch he should scratch?
How do they know Gog is not real, Longshot asks the kids. He can hear and see him. That means nothing, one of the boys tells him. They see monsters in comics and on TV all the time, but Mom says they are not real. Just special effects and other tricks. Butch agrees, in total denial, telling the others that he was lying before.
Longshot announces he gets it. Reality is what you make of it there. And Gog is trying to make it monstrous. He addresses Gog, telling him, if he is going to be the monster there, he can’t believe in him. But pups are real. Why doesn’t he go back to being —
Gog hits him. Hard to know what is real in this world until it slams you in the face, he announces. Longshot can’t close his eyes to him. He has to face Gog’s reality. Now does anybody else want to tell him he isn’t real?
Alfi, Butch, Darla and other kids
Gog n’Magog / Pup
Magog and other slave trackers
Theo, Ricochet Rita, Eliot, Hester and other people Longshot met.
Longshot’s remark to She-Hulk about killing babies refers to issue #1.
Longshot was injured in issue #2.
Issue Summary written by: Ruth