Longshot #2

Issue Date: 
October 1985
Story Title: 
“ …I’ll wave to you from the top!”

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), Bill

Brief Description: 

Longshot and Pup jump onto a running train, unaware that they are destroying a film scene. Longshot notices that Pup has changed physically, but the creature disappears when Longshot is distracted by the stuntwoman, Riccochet Rita, who is to bring Longshot to the director, ‘Hitch.’ Impressed by Longshot’s moves, Hitch offers him a job as stuntman. In spite of his feelings that being an actor is a shameful job, Longshot accepts remembering Eliot’s advice that he should make money quick. He quickly befriends Rita, who, like him, is an action junkie. During a flight stunt, he has a vague memory of having been both an actor and a slave.
The night before a very dangerous stunt, Rita kisses him but runs away when she realizes that he probably isn’t human. Moments later, Longshot is attacked by the demons who are stuck between the worlds, due to him, but they are absorbed by the returned Pup, who has grown. Rita returns, demanding to know what Pup is. Longshot wants some answer himself and Pup lashes out that he hates him and disappears. The next day, during the stunt, Longshot realizes something is off. His luck is missing. As he is hit by the lasers, he recalls a strange ceremony that apparently was responsible for his incredible luck – which only works when his motives are pure. He falls down horribly injured and seemingly dead. Fearing charges of manslaughter, Hitch dumps the body in a river.

Full Summary: 

Longshot and the odd, small, monstrous creature he has named “Pup” are running to catch a train - an odd train that is full of spikes. Longshot boasts that he has already won the race. Pup won’t be able to jump aboard the train. Longshot is enjoying himself to the max, whereas Pup thinks this is ridiculous.

Neither of them is aware that they have intruded on a film set and the director, ‘Hitch,’ is getting furious. That guy has ruined his shot! He calls one of the stuntwomen, who is dressed in an odd mix of skimpy leather clothing and a valkyrie look.

Wishing Pup ‘so long,’ Longshot finally jumps right over the spikes and lands on the roof of one of the train cars. What took him so long? Pup, who is already expecting him, asks with a grin.

Hitch tells the woman, Riccochet Rita, to drop the wig, get a motorbike and get that jerk of his set. Anything to take a ride, Rita replies, and to get away from him, she thinks silently. Rita starts racing the train on her bike.

On the train’s roof, Longshot pets the purring Pup and wonders why he is so happy. He doesn’t even know who he is. He is a man in search of his past - a past that seems to be as violently in search of him. But he doesn’t care. He owns the world.

Suddenly, he notices something different about Pup. When did he grow spikes and a tail? And that ridge on his back? Pup first pretends to have no idea what he’s talking about. When Longshot insists that he’s changing, Pup angrily orders him to stop picking at him.

Rita, in the meantime, has caught up with them, and calls out to Longshot, calling him ‘hotshot.’ Longshot turns to Pup, but he has disappeared again. Rita dares him to catch her.

Longshot enjoys the game and jumps on her bike, correcting her: his name is Longshot, not Hotshot. Rita drives them back to the film crew and he asks the people to stop pointing those guns at him. Those are cameras, Rita corrects him. They only shoot pictures. Delivering one jerk just as he ordered, Rita tells Hitch. Having seen Longshot’s talent, Hitch quickly tries to ingratiate himself with him, telling him he never said ‘jerk’. There are easier ways to get a job than pulling stunts like that. He ruined Hitch’s shot. If he weren’t so good, Hitch would have to kill him. So what’s the name of his new stuntman?

Longshot introduces himself, but adds that he is no stuntman. With his dreamy face and his name, what else could he be, besides the star, Hitch’s assistant sighs, which leads to different reactions in the others. The male lead and the male stuntman feel threatened whereas the female lead grows interested. He’ll be a stuntman now, Hitch decides and explains about his movie, which is about a bunch of displaced people who form a band of futuristic pirates. They steal from the rich and give to themselves. It’s his statement on unemployment. Brilliant, eh? And he’s offering Longshot the honor of working with some great movie stars.

Movie stars, Longshot repeats, with a sorrowful look. Those poor guys. What an awful job. Doesn’t he want to make money? Hitch asks surprised and remembering Eliot’s words Longshot changes his tune. Eliot told him to make some money fast.

Hitch tells him to watch the male star, Ivan. Striking a pose, Ivan orders Longshot to study his every move, every gesture. He is so crude, but he has to elevate himself if he wants to become Ivan. Tossing him his wig and cape, Ivan informs him that he will also act as his personal valet.

Several days later in the tent of the female lead, Kimberly Price. Years ago, she was beautiful… it was all she had. She rocketed to stardom at too young an age – it’s as if the thousand flash bulbs that went off in her 16-year-old face froze her mind there. Three hours after being made up she faces the adoring journalists.

Rita and Longshot watch the spectacle causing Rita to remark that Kimberly is a pretty tragic character. Is Longshot mad for her tricking him into the job? He denies this. Stunts are a kick. And he gets to meet someone more riderocket wild than him – her. Rita takes him to the jetpacks to show him their use for the big scene the next day. She compliments him on the way he kept up the past week.

Rita shows him how to fly with the jetpacks and takes off. While somersaulting in the sky, she tells him that she was a rodeo baby. She was raised in the spotlight and needs the constant thrill of danger. She is astonished at Longshot’s quick progress and asks if he hasn’t flown before. That innocuous remark causes Longshot to recall something buried.


Longshot and a similarly dressed handsome dark-haired man called Jackson are flying in a sky full of rocket fire. They use blasters to defend themselves against their foes. Longshot is cocky, believing that nobody stands a chance against the two of them. They are pretty hot, Jackson agrees and suggests that when this is over, the two of them bust out… That moment, he is hit lethally in the back.

With a snarl of rage and grief, Longshot flies downwards, towards a strange construct, announcing that he will kill them, the spineless creeps and their blasted movies. He moves towards what appears to be a camera room, still wildly shouting that they are fighting their lousy wars so that they can have their movies. He flies closer and closer shouting to turn off the cameras or he will put out its eyes.


Lost in memory, Longshot dives downwards until Rita shakes him awake. Still confused, Longshot confides that he thinks he used to be a movie star. And a warrior… and somebody’s slave... He’s nobody’s slave, Rita insists, while wondering who he is. She turns away muttering that he is so… She doesn’t finish her sentence.

Later, back on the set, Kimberly angrily accosts Longshot. He was supposed to go over a scene with her. He cannot keep a star like her waiting. Longshot is unimpressed and tells her, point-blank, that her problem is that she’s wondering why he doesn’t fawn over her. A superstar is a horror, he continues. It’s like offering your soul up to the public … it exposes all that’s private to the public; fame is a curse … it was a shameful job. Kimberly protests, only to shout in horror that she is losing her face, as her make-up suddenly melts.
Rita realizes that Longshot spoke from some strange half-forgotten memory.

From the bushes, a strange being watches them and decides it is time to test the fickleness of the “Lucky One’s” luck.

Hitch comes to meet Longshot and Rita and explains he has a deal to propose but first he has a dream to tell. The dream is of the perfect movie. It’s all in his formula. Take one he-man, lotsa girls, a dash of violence, some fancy sets… toss in some fast car chases, a touch of “current issues” up the speed a few notches, voila… the perfect junk-food movie. That’s America. It’s his genius. And the secret ingredient: real stunts. Nothing is faked. They are really in danger and he catches that vital edge on film. Now for the deal. A million dollar stunt, a final stunt so dangerous only a suicidal chick like Riccochet will do it. But he needs Longshot too. So, he is to sign this release absolving him of all responsibility for Longshot’s safety and he will be a million dollar stuntman. Is that a lot of money? Longshot asks.

Later that night in a motel, Longshot, unable to sleep, looks up Rita. She’s glad he came but points out she cannot help him… he has too many secrets. He has no secrets, Longshot protests. He’ll tell her everything. Who is he? she asks. Oh, that. He explains that he is truly amnesiac. He has no past, no real “him”. That’s ok, Rita retorts. All her life, she has been looking for a man without a past…

Outside the building, Pup realizes Longshot is inside and that he is being watched…

Inside, Rita presses on, reminding him that he referred to himself as a warrior, a star and a slave. Hollow memories, he muses like echoes, as if his mind has been gutted but some vague imprint remains. Part of him doesn’t want a clear picture of the past. Rita is fascinated. She is so much like him. It’s like looking into a mirror. She must have a narcissistic streak, she jokes, as she kisses him. She pulls back one moment later, surprised that his skin is like leather. She doesn’t think he’s human. Longshot protests but Rita runs outside.

Suddenly, he hears a noise from out back and finds that the jet-packs have been messed with. He senses that it is too quiet. A moment later, several of the demons he had fought before materialize around him. They remind him that they were almost able to return home, until he closed the door. Calling him ‘lucky one’ they threaten to make sure he stays stranded as well.

Suddenly, Longshot sees that something rips through them like a Banshee. They dissolve absorbed by Pup who seems bigger … different. ‘Different?’ Pup asks menacingly. How so? Longshot invites him in and starts babbling about having some money soon. Pup asks if he has any food and starts raiding the fridge, thinking to himself that this planet has the best eats in the galaxy. Longshot asks him when he learned to stand on two feet. He is full of surprises, Pup agrees, as he gulps down the snacks.

That moment, Rita comes back, as she felt bad about leaving before. Longshot wants to introduce his ‘puppy friend.’ Rita shouts that this cannot be a pup. It’s a midget in a fur suit, right? Rita insists that something is wrong with him and Longshot asks Pup who he really is. He’s Longshot’s pal, he replies with a winning grin. What more does he need to know? They were pals before and they’ll be …

Before what? Longshot asks. If Pup isn’t from Earth, neither is he. He must know who Longshot is. Pulling him by the tail, Longshot demands answers now.

Pup thinks to himself that Longshot is too strong and he hasn’t absorbed enough of this planet’s power yet to beat him. All, right, he slowly turns around; he’ll tell him. Suddenly, he viciously hits Longshot and shouts that he hates him. That’s all he knows. He runs away, thinking that he has become a magic magnet on this world. He has to absorb enough until he is ready. Calling Longshot, a chump he tells him so long. He’ll wave to him from the top.

Rita tells Longshot to go after him. But the dejected young man refuses. Pup was his only friend. He trusted him. Why did he turn on Longshot? He wasn’t his only friend Rita offers as she dabs away the blood from his face. She’s here. Longshot is suspicious. He couldn’t trust Pup. Can he get close to her?

Next day on the set (a dark, skull-faced, smoking sci-fi fortress) Hitch explains what Longshot and Rita have to do. They are to fly past the slavering dogs and laser defense system to the roof of the power plant. They will film their escape. He reminds them that they are suicidal maniacs about to hold the world hostage but the two of them should have no problem acting that part.

Longshot doesn’t feel ready. When Hitch gives the signal, Longshot announces that he will tell them when. Hitch decides to humor him and Longshot shouts ‘action,’ flying off with his jetpack.

Rita sees that he already seems to be a better flyer than she, though she refuses to tell him so. They make it past all the defenses on the roof. Some kick, huh? Rita exclaims. Longshot confides that something is off. He doesn’t have it. Rita doesn’t understand. He has skill… No, he replies. She has skill, he has… something else. People say… he is lucky.

The cameramen get ready for the return scene and Rita tells him they’d better go. Is money a good motive to do something? he asks out of the blue. Probably not, she replies, it’s a selfish motive. Confused, he flies off. The lasers are started again.

In the air, Longshot realizes that his motive is off and he gets hit by lasers a moment later. Half-conscious he falls, recalling something about motives.


Longshot is kneeling and surrounded by a circle of hooded figures, who all have a glowing left eye. He is ready, he announces fiercely. Then we begin! And by the lucky stars … and through the constellation formed … in purification of motives…luck forms… reality bends… and the miraculous must follow! the crowd chants. One of the hooded men takes a red hot branding iron in the form of a star and moves it towards Longshot’s face…


Again and again, Longshot is hit by lasers, not even sure where he is anymore. He lands in the wires, surrounding the fortress, barely conscious while below fierce dogs are howling for his blood and jumping up. Rita flies to his side. The camera people suggest Hitch call off the dogs to get Longshot out. He orders them to shut up and keep on filming.

Rita tells Longshot to start his rockets. She has juryrigged it to at least fly him over the fence He complies but flies like an amateur. His luck is gone. He crashes down hard outside the fence. Rita is horrified. She always figures it would happen to her one day. But to see it…

The production assistant informs Hitch that Longshot seems to be dead or almost and he orders her to get him his truck. He’ll drive Longshot to the hospital. But the costume has to go off first. While his people get to work Hitch thinks that the contract Longshot signed was illegal. He could sue the pants of him, and if he dies…

The workers have dressed Longshot in his original costume and put him into the back of Hitch’s truck. He orders them to get away. He’ll do this alone, making Rita wonder what he is up to.

Fearing charges of manslaughter, Hitch decides he has to get rid of the body. He parks his truck at the riverside and pulls off body and tosses it into the water. Imagining the body’s lungs filling with water, Hitch feels as though he can’t breath himself. The body comes up again, Longshot’s open, lifeless eyes looking at Hitch accusingly. Don’t… look… at… me Hitch rasps out, though nobody can hear him.

Characters Involved: 


Riccochet Rita (a stuntwoman)

Ivan, Kimberly Price and more of the film crew

‘Hitch’ (movie director)

Quark (unnamed)

Pup / Gog n’Magog


in Flashback


Jackson (fellow actor / slave)

Mysterious hooded beings

Story Notes: 

Riccochet Rita’s likeness is based on Longshot writer Ann Nocenti.

Issue Information: 
Written By: