Untold Tales of the New Universe: Kickers, Inc.
"Kickin' It in Hell"
Published in New Avengers #16 (April 2006)
Writer: Jeff Parker
Penciler: Juan Santacruz
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Val Staples
Letterer: VC's Randy Gentile
An investigation of witchcraft turns out to be a trap by an old foe. The Kickers end up in hell, where they face their secret fears, desires, and guilts. Magniconte gets a pep talk from his dead college coach, which allows him to save the others and lead them out while those that laid the trap are pulled in. Two demonic football commentators narrate.
"Son, ain't no damn college coach ever made it to heaven, and it ain't ever gonna happen!"
Due to Professor Jordan's appearance, this issue must take place after Kickers, Inc. #3. It has been stated that all "Untold Tales of the New Universe" take place before The Pitt. This story probably falls shortly before or after Kickers, Inc. #12, in which the team looks close to breaking up. This story would certainly fuel that.
The demon commentators are fun, but overall the story just doesn't hold up well. Professor Jordan seeking revenge on the Kickers makes sense, but in his previous appearance he was testing hallucinogens to make people think they saw demons. Here the demons are presented as real, which just doesn't fit well in the New Universe. No mention of hallucinogens is made, just the fact that Jordan led a coven.
The short length (eight pages) of the story doesn't help, either. Particularly when there are five protaganists and the author is trying to present their secret fears. There's just not enough time to build any empathy for the characters at all. In the end, this story is not recommended except to completists.
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