Truck-Driving Superhero

Truck-driving superhero MavelBy now, many of you have received a copy of our first-edition Matchmaker Logistics comic. The way we see it, trucking and logistics professionals are real-life superheroes, so a comic book was a logical connection. We felt pretty clever, but apparently our connection wasn’t as original as we thought. We’ve just learned about a trucker superhero created by Marvel Comics back in 1983.

I wish I could say the origins of U.S. 1, Marvel Comics’ first truck-driving superhero were as pure as our own, but it wouldn’t be true. Rather than being inspired by love for the work we do, U.S. 1 was a joint attempt between Marvel and the Tyco toy company to sell more toy trucks to kids. Kids love comics and trucks, so why not put ’em together?

Like every great superhero, U.S. 1 has a tragic origin story. Better known as Ulysses Solomon Archer, U.S. 1 grew up loving the trucking industry and dreaming of driving his own rig someday when a terrible accident claimed the lives of his trucker parents. (After all, what superhero gets to have their parents around?)

U.S. and his brother are taken in by a pair of friendly truck stop owners, one of whom is rather unfortunately named ‘Wideload Annie.’ U.S. 1 and his brother are raised at the Short Stop Diner until they’re old enough to drive trucks of their own. Enter The Highwayman, a dastardly no-goodnik in a mysterious black 18-wheeler, who runs U.S. and his brother off the road. His brother is fatally injured, however U.S. is injured just badly enough to get superpowers.

Not the kind of superpowers we use in logistics, either! Oh no – after sustaining a near-fatal head injury and having his skull replaced with a metal shell, U.S. can use the fillings in his teeth and the metal on his cranium to pick up C.B. radio signals from inside his head. Set on saving lives all over the highways with his new abilities, he outfits his rig with the coolest gadgets money can buy and hits the road in search of justice.

Okay, so it was no Amazing Spiderman, but U.S. 1 did have a 12-issue run, with the last issue featuring the adventures of U.S. as he travels into outer space! Which somehow reminds me of a joke:

Two aliens landed in the Arizona desert near an abandoned gas station. They approached one of the gas pumps, and one alien said, ‘Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace. Take us to your leader.’ The gas pump, of course, didn’t respond. The alien repeated the greeting. Still, no response.

The alien, annoyed by what he perceived to be the gas pump’s haughty attitude, drew his ray gun, and said impatiently, ‘Earthling! We come in peace. How dare you ignore us in this way! Take us to your leader or I will fire!’

The other alien shouted to his comrade ‘No, you mustn’t anger him…!’, but before he finished his warning, the first alien fired. There was a huge explosion that blew both of them 500 yards into the desert, where they landed in a heap.

When they finally regained consciousness, the alien who fired turned to the other alien and said, ‘What a ferocious creature. It Aliennearly killed us! But, how did you know it was so dangerous?’

His counterpart answered, ‘If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my travels through the galaxy, it’s that if a guy has a hose he can wrap around himself twice and then stick into his own ear,
don’t mess with him!’

Here’s hoping your weekend is out of this world,