AL the ALIEN
Real Name: Uncertain, possibly Al or something close to it.
Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (see comments)
Occupation: Captain of an Alien Star Fleet; formerly led the mission to recruit a trucker from Earth
Group Membership: Alien race (Cloyd, Gidney)
Affiliations: US Archer, Razorback, and the crew at the Star Stop; formerly the Highwayman
Enemies: Xemnu the Titan, Spragg the Living Hill
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His starship, mobile throughout an unknown sector of space, relatively near the Starstop
First Appearance: U.S. 1#1 (not identified, May, 1983); U.S. 1#5 (September, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Al has four long
tentacles extending from his waist, below his arms, which are
completely functional, and may have suction cups on their tips.
The appearance on his eyes may mean he has 360 degree vision. No
other superhuman physical abilities have been demonstrated,
although the basic requirements of the Aliens may be
significantly different than humans.
Al and many of the other Aliens learned to speak the languages of Earth by monitoring various transmissions, including television, AM and FM radio, and of course, the Citizen's Band (CB) radio. He can slip from one language or dialect to another with ease. However, he seems to greatly prefer speaking English, using the dialect and lingo of the American CB radio.
He does have access to technologically far in advance of Earth's. He leads a fleet, or convoy, of interstellar ships. He can convert cars and other vehicles to enable them to accomplish interstellar travel. This technology also has created immense maze, with greatly differing atmospheric conditions within different sections, including both a volcano and a tornado.
(US1#11 (fb) - BTS) - Al led a group of Aliens came to Earth, seeking to recruit people to become starship pilots, to help open the Universe to intergalactic trade. They chose truckers, because of their experience with the solitude of the open road, much like that of space. They attempted to recruit the prodigy US, but (since all humans look alike to them) recruited Jefferson instead. They outfitted his truck with advanced technology and trained him in its use.
Jefferson worried that the Aliens were not satisfied with his performance, and was afraid that they would eventually realize their mistake. He decided to keep some distance between he and his brother, to prevent them from discovering the truth. To this end, he decided to try to convince US he was dead. He established the identity of the Highwayman, and named his truck the Blackrig.
(US1#1(fb)/11(fb)) - After college, US shared a
truck ride with Jefferson, but they were suddenly run off the
road by the Blackrig (actually the Blackrig was under Jefferson's
control, with a mannequin/dummy in the driver's seat). The truck
went over a cliff and crashed--US was badly injured, but
maintained consciousness long enough to see the Highwayman and a
band of apparent demons mocking him from atop the cliff.
Jefferson's body was never found, but he was believed by most to
The demons were, in fact, Federation agents for the Aliens, who had finally begun to suspect their mistake and sent the agents to contact US. The agents took US to a hospital, where they saved his life--replacing parts of his shattered skull with a type of metal that allowed him to pick up CB transmissions.
Nonetheless, the Aliens were reluctant to throw away all of their years of training. Jefferson persuaded them to let him prove that he was US's superior.
(US1#5) - Al arranged a test to confirm his suspicions regarding US. He interrupted a contest between US and Taryn "Taryn Down the Highway" O'Connel, and ran US through a gigantic maze. However, when US succeeded in passing through the maze, Al instead pretended that his ship had broken down and that he needed the chicken parts US was hauling to restore the organic-integrated technology of his starship. Al then flew US1 through the air, enabling US to win the race (which he would have done without the interference, of course!)
(US1#8) - The Highwayman secretly monitored US and the crew of the Short Stop, unaware that he, in turn, was observed by the Aliens. Later, they watched the David Letterman show.
(US1#9) - Al and the Aliens were anxious for the final confrontation between US and the Highwayman, so they could deal with the victor.
(US1#10) - The Highwayman challenged US to vie for supremacy of the highways (and all that that entails). The Aliens decided that things had gone far enough, and tried to take matters into their own tentacles.
(US1#11) - The Aliens stopped a confrontation
between the Highwayman and US, and Al explained the truth to both
of them. In addition, they beamed away Baron von Blimp and his
neo-nazis, removing them from the Short Stop, and sending them to
downtown Tel Aviv, where they received a fitting welcome.
In order to put an end to the drawn out competition between the two brothers, Al arranged one final contest between them.
(US1#12) - The Al altered the two vehicles, the
Blackrig and US1, and sent the two brothers off in a spaceflight
race around the world. US proved to be the superior, and
Jefferson crashed the Blackrig into the Moon while trying to ram
US1. The Aliens transported Jefferson to safety before the crash.
US was chosen as victor, and Al revealed the secret of their actions: "What the Universe really needs are truckers! Why sure! Men of courage and intelligence who are strong-willed and independent! Men who could stand up to the rigors, and most especially the solitude, of space!" US and most of the crew of the Short Stop (and the Short Stop itself) were transported into space, where they reformed as the Star Stop, and US cruised the cosmos in his trusty rig.
(Sensational She-Hulk#6-BTS, 7) When Xemnu the Titan attacked US, he sent out a distress call to the Aliens. Al led a convoy, who homed in on the distress signal from US's ship, now called the Star Rig, and defeated Xemnu, placing a hypno-damper on him to prevent him from using his mental powers. Al and US rebuilt a flying, temporarily spaceworthy, 1959 Dodge for the She-Hulk, enabling her to return home (you'll have to read the issue to find out how she got there!).
(Sensational She-Hulk#40(fb)-BTS, 39-43) - Spragg the Living
Hill and his Stone Clones attacked the Short Stop. US and Al
tried in vain to drive off the Stone Clones, and then Al
reactivated the space travel abilities of She-Hulk's Dodge,
bringing her and her friend, Louise Mason, back to their sector
of space. She-Hulk joined them and helped fight Spragg.
Ultimately US used the Star Rig to drop a metal net onto Spragg,
eliminating his mental powers and thus "deactivating"
the Stone Clones.
She-Hulk then defeated Xemnu, who had escaped and returned, and then Al revealed that Razorback and Taryn had vanished while traveling through a sector of space populated by...the Asparagus People!!! (go read it, I'm not even going to try to explain).
Comments: Created by Al Milgrom and Frank Springer.
Al and the Aliens would technically be behind the scenes in every issue of US1, monitoring US and the Highwayman.
Al's race has yet to be named...unless their name is the Aliens. Why not? The Alien race, from planet Ali, third from the star Ale--why not? And who cares anyway? sadly, I do...
Cloyd and Gindey: Those were the names of
two 'moon men' from the early sixties Rocky n' Bullwinkle
Now isn't that fascianting.--Ben Peberdy.
No known connection to:
Very little is known about the Aliens beyond
their appearance, the actions of Al, and their mission on Earth:
They sought to open the universe to intergalactic trade.
In addition, the Aliens are part of the Intergalactic Council, and were present during the voting to decide on the fate of the Earth during the events known as "Maximum Security."
It is known that their are both male and female aliens, as when the She-Hulk was given a nasty case of hypertrichiosis by Xemnu the Titan (he made her really, really hairy), Al's wife gave her a case of permanent laser-olosis.
Besides Al, two members, Cloyd and Gidney were named, they were both part of the crew that traveled to Earth, and they were identified in US1#10.
--[US1#1], 5 ([1-4], 5, [6, 7], 8-12, She-Hulk II#7, Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet, [Maximum Security#1, 2], 3)
images: (without ads)
Sensational She-Hulk#7, p16, pan3 (Al the Alien head shot)
U.S. 1#1 (May, 1983) - Al Milgrom (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
U.S. 1#5 (September, 1983) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
U.S. 1#8 (February, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio & Jim Shooter (editors)
U.S. 1#9 (April, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio
U.S. 1#10 (June, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
U.S. 1#11 (August, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
U.S. 1#12 (October, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Steve Ditko (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk#7 (November, 1989) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk#39-43 (May-September, 1992) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Renee Witterstaetter (editor)
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet (October, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg & Paul Ryan (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor) - Al's race only
Maximum Security#3 (January, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg, Paul Ryan & Mark McKenna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor) - Al's race only
Last updated: 10/25/02
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