All characters and concepts are the copyright of Victor Rodgers
Intro by Matt D
I think that there's something very worthwhile about the concept of writing what you know and writing what you love. In 2011, I find it much more enjoyable to read something by someone who's enjoying what they're writing, something by someone who's trying to build and create a fictional world as opposed to just tearing the work of others down. No one can deny that Vic loves the source material that he's drawing upon, even if sometimes it's a sort of tough love. It was true in Savage Sports Stories when he looked at ECW through a tinted mirror and it's true here with Horse Power where he combines GI Joe, Power Rangers, the superhero genre in general, and a number of other disparate sources from his youth into an original and very self-aware whole.
It's certainly not quite parody (except for when it is) but it is always extremely self aware and never cruel or disrespectful. He's done his best to recreate a product from a specific era, one that most of us know very well from our own childhood, with all of the tropes, timing, and references that belong. It's a genre without a name, one that exists on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons at 3:00 PM and was never quite given the love and attention it deserved. It could have been more and sometimes, now and again, the hints of that came through. In creating these stories Vic tries to reach for that potential, to grasp it in his hand, and then he opens that hand knowingly, preserving the authentic balance with the least amount of sacrifice.
Best of all, this all exists within the universe Vic's been creating. It's a world within a world, a fictional entity that exists inside of another. You can see the handiwork of SSS' Sargent Sargent in not just the fictional version of himself, but in the entire Horse Power universe that he had a hand in developing within the story. It is a very unique way to further develop the very culture of everything that Vic's come up with so far while being able to scratch a certain creative itch. I think in the end, the highest praise I can give to what he's been creating is this: the characters in the Horse Power universe don't just feel like they were based on elements from our youth, but instead they feel like they actually should have been part of our youth, that Vic has uncovered a dusty story bible that never quite made the light of day. It fits like a missing puzzle piece, like some Lost Scripture of Sunbow and Flimation, and it helps to bring clarity to the greater whole of this iconic melting pot of genres through the comparative elements that it brings to the light so earnestly.
Interview with Sergent Sargent Toy Parlor magazine February 2003
Glen Patrick: Sergent its an honor to be speaking with a wrestling and toy legend such as yourself.
Sergent Sargent: Thank you Glen. No need to be formal. You've been working on the Horse Power/Sergent Sargent newsletter for years. Call me Sarge.
GP: Sarge next year is the twentieth anniversary of Sergent Sargent's Horse Power. In addition to being the star of the show you were also the driving creative force behind the series. Tell us how that came to be.
SS: I had a relationship with Joyboy toys going back to 1980. This was just before I won the W.A.V.E Omniversal Championship. They made me the star of a toy line called Liberty Corps.
I was not happy with the initial outline and I was allowed to do heavy rewrites. Which upset some of their marketing people who thought I was some idiot wrestler.
But I knew what they had set up was not going to sell and I was not going to have my name damaged when it bombed.
GP: Do you remember what the original story was going to be?
SS: Not very well Glen. The big idea was it was going to be about a squad of soldiers and their pets. Like Brutus would have a monkey and Zane would have a chipmunk. The lamest f****** S***. Sorry I know you can't say F*** in a toy magazine.
GP: They can fix it in the editing. Would the figures of remained the same?
SS: No they would of been these immobile bobble heads with stuffed animals. They expected to sale this to boys. I meet kids all the time and this was going to die a quick death. So I came up with the concept of Liberty Corps and the E or Elite Unit. I came up with each member and gave them a personality. It was a big hit.
GP: How did this lead to Horse Power?
SS: When something is popular it leads to imitations and knock offs. Hell I remember a wrestler calling himself Corporal Cooper in W.A.V.E. But that's another story.
Anyway the imitators were taking a chunk out of our asses. We were still number #1 but not by what Joyboy or myself considered a safe lead.
They asked me for some ideas. I had just returned from a trip to Japan. I made a W.A.V.E Title defense in the W.H.Y promotion. A few times I caught these shows that were. Well they are hard to describe. Sorta like that old Adam West Batman show but with martial arts, explosions and robots. On the trip back I wrote an outline for what would become Sergent Sargent's Horse Power.
GP: But unlike Liberty Corps you found yourself facing greater restraints creatively.
Dawn of the Nerconoid
Lawnvale Ohio 1969: It was a normal boring Ohio day. Adults worked and children went to school. A normal day until the explosion in the park. This was accompanied by a statewide blackout.The cause of this was an interdimesional meteor.
Those who came upon the scene had never seen anything like it. It was translucent yet metallic, gave off a white light and was warm. But not from reentry like you would suspect. Just a warmth that was soothing to all who were near it. The government confiscated the meteor for study. It proved to be a miracle. Jump starting technology of all forms. The impossible became possible.
The year is 1984 and the location is Liberty Corps headquarters. It has been fifteen years since the discovery of the miracle meteor. Society as a whole has benefited from it. Energy cost are lower, which has helped in production of food which has decreased hunger which has lowered the crime rate.
The greatest boon to society was the formation of the Liberty Corps. Liberty Corps are protectors of the free world. With the use of previously unthinkable technology Liberty Corp accomplishes what previously would have required entire armies.
Private Fist Class Mark Bedlam was always a stand out. Whether it be as a two sport athlete becoming all conference or as a student being promoted two grades ahead and finishing high school at the age of 16. Or as a soldier when he proved so gifted that he was promoted to Private First Class and entered into Liberty Corps directly out of boot camp.
Being in the Corps has proven more difficult than he expected. He has been here a year and not been promoted. He does guard duty and routine maintenance on vehicles like the Lockjaw tank and the Hatchet Copters. He was a candidate for a top secret program months ago but was rejected for failing a psych test. The idea seemed ludicrous to Mark. He has no psychological problems. He was competent enough to be accepted into the Liberty Corps.
As he was thinking he saw a smokey light in the distance. Out of that
light stepped an army. They walked like a combination of the
Frankenstein monster and a British Red Coat. As they neared the gate Mark took out his standard issue laser pistol.
"You will not go any further. This is a private oh my......"
Mark had never seen anything like this. The creatures looked like
something out of an old comic. Half of their faces looked like rotting
skulls while the other half looked robotic with a single eye flashing a red light. Regardless of how scared he was, Mark was a soldier and was going to fight.
But before he could draw his pistol one of the creatures grabbed his
wrist and threw him into the wall. One of the others punched a hole
thru the wall and walked in. The rest followed suit. Clawing,
melting and bashing their way into Liberty Corps headquarters. What
are these things and what do they want?
"What the heck are these things?"
"I dunno but conventional weapons are not cutting it."
"These are more than conventional weapons, But they are still not
hurting these things."
John Lockwood, codename the BoomeRanger had been recruited into the
Liberty Corps a year or so ago. He is an expert at throwing Boomerangs.
The Corps created an array of specialty boomerangs for him. Right
now the explosive ones were doing little to slow these things down. He
tried a Glueerang but they used those robo eyes to melt the
glue. They tore the neterangs apart like a kid would a spider's web.
He is still faring better than the Grunt Patrol. The creatures are
tearing them apart. Thankfully there have been few casualties. Mostly
because the creatures seem uninterested. They are tearing the base
apart the way a person would rip apart furniture looking for car keys.
As he sees one of the Grunts about to be melted by one of those things
he tags it with a Cuterang. It actually did some damage.
"Yeah that's right ugly. You don't want some grunt. You want the BoomeRanger."
He throws another Cuterang but the creature simply catches it. Boomeranger tags it with a spin kick but predictably the creature is unaffected. BoomeRanger has one more idea
he takes out his Sonic boomerang and puts some glue on it. He hops
over the creatures head and sticks the Sonic boomerang in the middle of
its back. The sonic vibrations are effecting it. He can see the stress
it is putting on its robo eye. Another heat beam destroys the Sonic boomerang.
BoomeRanger does not see the thing that knocked him out.
The Lockjaw tank just ran over a dozen of those things. Road Test Is unsure what they are made of. They look like they are chunks of metal mixed with bone. When he sees them get up he fires the canon. It only knocks them down again. As the creatures surround the Lockjaw and fire a unified heat beam at it. Road Test hopes High Five is faring better.
High Five is the best when it comes to flying. Doesn't matter what it
is. Plane, helicopter, jet pack, hang glider or even a hot air balloon. If
it flew he could handle it. Especially the Liberty Corps Hatchet. A
specially made one man helicopter. More maneuverable than your
normal chopper or plane. But loaded with enough fire power to destroy a small country.
He was fueling the Hatchet when the alarm sounded. Alien creatures
were destroying Liberty Corps headquarters and had already mowed
down the Grunt Patrol.
As he flies over he knows he has to play this carefully. This is not an
unoccupied swamp or desert. This is where we work and some of us
live. As he sets up the targeting system he fires the Stalker Shot at a
row of the creatures. The Stalker Shot is a missile that can be
programmed to hit several targets before exploding. Or just follow one
target before going off.
Before High Five can celebrate he watches the creatures get up. They
start repairing the holes in their chest. High Five takes this time
to fire a scatter ball at them. The scatter ball looks like a futuristic
soccer ball. Once it hits the ground it shoots a high powered laser in all
directions. While this sounds reckless it is programmed only to hit
the enemy. The creatures are blasted into pieces. High Five is ready to
celebrate til he notices one is standing only missing an arm.
It removes its head and throws it at the Hatchet. The head freezes right
in front of the cockpit. High Five has never seen anything so grotesque.
It is half skull and half robot. It has a big ugly red eye in the center of
its robot half. As the eye lights up and a laser fires, High Five hopes Road Test is doing better than him.