‘U.S.’ Archer conquered highways, Marvel Comics style

September 8, 2011  | by: Lucinda Coulter

Ulysses Solomon, “U.S.,” Archer hit the scene as a super-hero trucker in a Marvel comic book, “U.S. 1.” in 1983. He was part of an already established group of heroes such as Spider-man and the incredible Hulk in the Marvel group.

In June 1983, Overdrive reviewed the comic book, describing the hero as “the new knight of the highway” in a custom-built tractor-trailer.

The hero had major obstacles to overcome: “The orphaned son of married co-drivers, U.S. Archer is an independent trucker jamming down the interstate in his first rig. While making his hauls, Archer searches for a missing brother and for their own person bad guy, a dark-outfitted driver of an all-black 18-wheeler, who is known only as “‘The Highwayman.’”

The hero, Archer, “works against the cliche that truckers are uneducated,” Overdrive reported. Archer had an electronics engineering degree and was quarterback of his football team.

The story was developed by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and writer Allen Milgrom to show, they said, “the dedication of those self-sufficient loners who drive the big rigs.” Some of the plots may have come from real life experiences: The book’s main editor, Ralph Macchio, grew up in a New Jersey trucking family.

Lea Sapp, Marvel’s promotion representative, told the magazine that plans for the hero were that he would “travel all over the American Interstate System, like any real independent trucker.”

Any readers who remember the adventures of U.S. Archer along U.S. 1, write to OverdriveRetro about your memories. Send email to LCoulter@rrpub.com.

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