Master Link, Missing Link, Uplink, Weak Link

PURPOSE: Seeking wealth through criminal means; killing Sleepwalker

Cobweb (formerly served as his pawns);
Alyssa Conover, Rambo (Rick Sheridan's dog)--former hosts

ENEMIES: Cobweb and his demon servants, Rick Sheridan, Sleepwalker

BASE of OPERATIONS: Currently unknown; formerly the Mindscape dimension; a prison in upstate New York

FIRST APPEARANCE: Sleepwalker#7 (December, 1991)


POWERS/ABILITIES: see individual entries below. The Chain Gang's powers only exist when they are connected by the Chain.  If the Chain is broken, they lose their abilities.  Because they are a particularly intelligent bunch, they make certain to tell their weakness to anyone they fight.

By holding the Chain together, they can regain a fraction of their power.  However, because of their incessant infighting, one of them always knocks the Chain fragments apart, causing their powers to fade at a crucial moment.

HISTORY: The group who would become THE Chain Gang were A chain gang in a prison in upstate New York.

(Sleepwalker#7) - During the time when Thanos held the Infinity Gauntlet, he used its power to cause mass destruction throughout the universe.  As a result of this, the ground split open in the field where the Chain Gang was working, enabling them to escape their guards.  Seeking a means to break the chain holding them, they broke into the nearby Intertek Advanced Energy Delivery Systems building.  There another tremor unleashed a burst of energy which empowered the four convicts. After sampling their new powers, they opened the locks, removed the chain, and headed out, only to find that they lost their powers when not connected by the chain

They repaired the chain and headed off to Manhattan, coming up with clever "chain" code names for each of them, and finding more destruction along the way.  In the city, they decided to go on a rampage, which was halted by Sleepwalker.  After a short battle, Sleepwalker opened a portal to the Mindscape, brought the Chain Gang there, imprisoned them each within separate boxes, and left them trapped there.

(Sleepwalker#19, 20) - Missing Link succeeded in teleporting himself and the other three out of the boxes in which they had been imprisoned.  They planned to return to Earth and kill Sleepwalker, but the Mindscape demon Cobweb captured and tortured them, until they agreed to return to Earth and kill Sleepwalker.  Cobweb sent them back to Earth, but they could only exist there by traveling through the mind of a sleeping creature.  They traveled through Rick Sheridan's dog, Rambo, and confronted Sheridan.  Rick attempted to release Sleepwalker, but instead turned into a hybrid version of himself and Sleepwalker.  In this form, he briefly battled them, but then Rambo woke up, and they were sent back to the Mindscape.

Cobweb next sent them through the mind of Alyssa Conover, a friend and romantic interest of Rick's.  They again attacked Sleepwalker, but they were wise enough to blurt out their weakness, and he broke the chain, eliminating their powers.  Alyssa woke up, and they were pulled back into her mind.  Rick and Sleepwalker succeeded in splitting up, but had exchanged minds somehow.

(Sleepwalker#21-23) - Within the mind of Alyssa, the Chain Gang figured out that if they held the broken ends of the chain together, they could access a portion of their powers. Uplink used this to take control of Alyssa's mind. He had her seduce Rick Sheridan (who, unbeknownst to them, had Sleepwalker's mind), and planned to have her kill him. However, they needed to do it when Rick was awake, to be certain that Sleepwalker would be trapped within his mind at the time of death. Alyssa struggled against Uplink's commands, but the Chain Gang overpowered her will by combining their thoughts and focusing them through her. However, she resisted enough that Rick was able to escape from her. They forced her to chase after him. Sleepwalker (in Rick's body) meditated to determine a solution to the role reversal, unwittingly leaving himself open to attack from behind by Alyssa. Rick (in Sleepwalker's body), saw this through the Mindscape and materialized on Earth. Unused to Sleepwalker's powers, he used his warp vision on her, badly contorting her body and causing her to pass out.

(Sleepwalker#24) - With Alyssa unconscious, the Chain Gang rematerialized on Earth and then attacked Sleepwalker. After a short battle, in which the chain kept becoming separated, they teleported away. They went to a garage, where they fused the chain ends back together. Now back at full power, they went after Sleepwalker again. As they struggled, a portal to the Mindscape opened again, threatening to pull them all into it. Sleepwalker correctly determined that Uplink's power to access various energies also caused him to disrupt them. Uplink's power had been the cause of the disturbances between Sleepwalker and Rick. When Sleepwalker/Rick grabbed Uplink, the further disruption opened the portal. Under Sleepwalker's guidance (and the threat that the rift would continue to grow and engulf all of Earth), Uplink repaired the disrupted connection b/t the two, shrinking the rift. Sleepwalker then broke the chain and bound the Chain Gang with its fragments.

COMMENTS: Chain Gang created by Bob Budiansky (writer) and Bret Blevins (artist).

Things went back to the way they were when Thanos lost the Infinity Gauntlet.  According to the Sleepwalker stories, everyone lost their memory of what happened during that time, since it was retroactively changed.  I'm not sure that's how it went down in the other books, but anyway...Because of this, Sleepwalker had no memory of having encountered the Chain Gang in the past.  The Chain Gang, because they had been trapped in the Mindscape when things reversed themselves, remembered the events fully.  (Presumably, this is why they retained their powers as well, as Thanos' destruction helped create them, yet all of his destruction was undone at the end of the Infinity Gauntlet saga.  Since all of Thanos' destruction was undone, the Chain Gang wouldn't have been freed by it in the first place--Kyle.)

Anyone see "Shakes the Clown,"?  Bobcat Golthwaite (I don't know how to spell his name--it's the guy who screams a lot) plays an alcoholic clown in the town of Palookaville.  There's a star-studded cast, including Robin Williams, Florence Henderson, Adam Sandler, Julie Brown, Tim Kazerinsky, and the woman who used to play "Aunt Esther" from Sanford and Son.  It takes a few beers to be able to enjoy it, and even then, that last half hour is quite a struggle to sit through.
What's that got to do with the Chain Gang?  Nothing. It's just more interesting to talk about.  I'd rather sit through that drunk clown beating up mimes than see the Chain Gang again.

These guys not only had stylized letters on their shirts to match their names, but they also had individualized belt buckles as well.

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

No known connections to:

Missing Link has no known connection to:

Master Link



Willis Hayworth gained superhuman strength to an undetermined level.  He did not get along well with the racist Ernie Mills, Weak Link.





Missing Link



Ray Morgan gained the power to teleport himself and others.  He was very insecure and had a difficult time making a decision.







Hector Fuentes gained the power to access and manipulate various forms of energy.  He could pick up transmissions via radio or other means.  He could access and manipulate the mind of a person, but apparently only if he was linked directly to their unconscious mind (as with Alyssa).  He had potential to access and disrupt energy sources of almost any kind, but didn't fully appreciate his power.  It was his abilities that disrupted the energies of Sleepwalker, affecting the link between he and Rick Sheridan, as well as opening a portal to the Mindscape.

Hector liked to speak in half-English, half-Spanish, like most Latino stereotyped characters in comics.





Weak Link



Ernie Mills gained the power to drain energy from other living things.  It's not clear whether this increased his own power, but he seemed to really enjoy it.  He is an uneducated racist, and served as a point of friction on the team.  The only other teammate he got along with was Ray, Missing Link--the other white guy.







Sleepwalker#19 (December, 1992) - Bob Budiansky (writer), Kelly Krantz (pencils), Denis Rodier & John Lowe (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Sleepwalker#20-23 (January-April, 1993) - Bob Budiansky (writer), Kelly Krantz (pencils), John Lowe (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Sleepwalker#24 (May, 1993) - Bob Budiansky (writer), Kelly Krantz (pencils), Frank Percy (inks), Don Daley (editor)

Last updated: 08/24/13.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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