The 2000AD Re-Read 2012
And then there were three…!
Harlem Heroes concludes with the team winning the World Aeroball Championship, but at a heavy cost.
Ulysses Cord is handed over to the authorities, leaving the Heroes free to fight the Teutonic Titans for the crown. A couple of pages of all out mayhem ensue, whittling down the team numbers to a final, heavily-afroed trio.
This allowed a set-up for the imminent sequel, Inferno and, unusually for a Tom Tully strip, the finale of Harlem Heroes wasn’t strung out over several weeks of strip.
Tully was renowned for writing at least a dozen episodes where only two would suffice. In his defence, the writer stated he was on a fixed page rate, and therefore progressing the story slowly allowed him to keep earning a living. Never was this more true than on Battle's long-running Johnny Red, which lasted four years longer than the Second World War. Tully was eventually pulled from that strip to allow a swift conclusion that the creator would not have been willing to provide.
Tully and Belardinelli returned to the surviving Heroes in Prog 36, but their new strip was not without problems…