Bookshelf: The A-Team #3

The A-Team #3
First Published May of 1984
Published by Marvel Comics Group

I reviewed the first issue of Marvel’s short-lived comic book series based on NBC’s popular The A-Team back in August and the second issue in early December. With the trailer to the upcoming feature film version starring Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper coming out earlier this month it seemed like the perfect time to review the third and final issue. Both Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict will have cameos but not Mr. T. Will it be worth watching? Well, it can’t be any worse than the 1999 film version of The Wild Wild West.

As the cover makes very clear, this issue involves an airplane, meaning B.A. somehow has to be rendered unconscious or else he’ll never get in the air. The story begins with the team in the Nevada desert, having followed instructions from Amy Amanda Allen, awaiting contact with their new employer. It turns out to be none other than cowboy star Wild Jack Munroe. Wild Jack wants the A-Team to capture a new super secret spy plane code named Redbird. The government isn’t doing anything about it so Wild Jack wants to show Washington what a real American can get done.

The A-Team #3 Cover
The A-Team #3 Cover – Copyright Marvel Comics Group

It’s never explained which country developed Redbird; the team finds it on a small Caribbean island. They capture a truck, sneak onto an army base and quickly split up. Face is soon accosted by a female soldier who takes his silence to mean he was wounded in the throat. B.A. rewires some computers and then hitches a ride in an oil drum courtesy of Murdock. Hannibal then drops a capsule in the oil drum to knock out B.A. so they can get him on the plane. Instead of handing it over to Wild Jack, however, the A-Team decides to blow it up instead rather than embarrass the government. They lose their fee but otherwise everything works out in the end. B.A., of course, isn’t thrilled to wake up and realize he was drugged once again.

Amy Allen makes a brief appearance on the last page of the issue, meeting the A-Team after they parachute out of the plane above Miami Beach. Wild Bill is shown cursing the A-Team, troops from the small Caribbean island being executed and Colonel Decker angrily tossing a stack of paper in the air. There’s a minor subplot — and I do mean minor, it only lasts two pages — involving Wild Bill’s daughter Lynn, who takes an interest in Face. The feeling is mutual, but Hannibal tells him to “cut the lost-calf expression” and Lynn is never seen again.

As always, while the characters are recognizable as the A-Team, they are also vaguely generic, especially Face. Murdock is also somewhat generic but he has his hat and leather jacket, while Face doesn’t have anything to differentiate him from any other character.

1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I KNEW there was something familar about “Wild Jack Munroe”; a character named “Wild Jack Monroe” appeared in the final first season “MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW” episode, “The 45 Year Old Man” [3/6/71], in the form of Slim Pickens; Mary Richards has to appeal to him because only he has the authority to keep Lou Grant from being fired from WJM-TV (as he owns it). Monroe is a boisterous, ornery “cuss” who takes matters into his own hands if HE feels someone is being wronged [which is why Lou keeps his job], or if something isn’t to his liking {WJM’s “other” kiddie show host (you only hear about “Chuckles the Clown” through 1975), “Big Chicken”, also avoids the axe because he’s Wild Jack’s favorite show on his station]. Could it be the writer of this story was an “MTM” fan?

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