The Future's Not What it Used to be
Jersey Devil #9
32 pages, b&w, $1.75 (digest sized)
Dom LaGrutta,Jr. with Brian Dawson
July 1, 1999
James Barrymore Robot, Juan Three, Gun, The Lantic Pirates, Sev End, the Dream Machine, Captain Shrek, Ona Four, the Cybermarines, Major Head, the Mutants, Evil En, Mr. Roid
Contains prose preface on the inside front cover. "A Note from the Creator" on inside back cover.
Issue Events: The entire issue takes place in Smithville, NJ in the year 2135, the same place that actually sells many Jersey Devil issues. First issue inked by Barry Chabala.
Juan Three, a devil-like genetically engineered mutant from the future, tries to make friends by using Jersey Devil comic books as reference material. Juan begins the issue by bullying the locals of Histori Vill (formerly Historic Smithville, NJ). Juan carries a gun (called Gun), which has an interactive on-board computer. The gun is smarter than Juan. It saves Juan from two rogue Cybermarines and tells Juan not to kill the local Lantic Pirates for money, but Juan does it anyway. When that doesn't work, Juan tries to "punish" gun by beating it with a rock. The gun's sensitive fusion reactor nearly erupts, but fortunately, Juan is interrupted by the arrival of Sev End. Sev is another mutant like Juan, built by the same cybernetic supercomputer that Juan serves.
Sev tells Juan to give up his violent ways, but Juan doesn't listen and kills Sev for his money. He returns to the computer, called the Dream Machine or DM. Juan asks the computer questions about where he comes from, his curiosity peaked by Sev.
Meanwhile, the pirates find out about the death of their comrades and launch a counter attack. Juan returns to Histori Vill and finally figures out that one day he may end up like Sev if he doesn't change his ways. The Gun suggests that he gather intelligence, but instead Juan finds the ruins of a comic book store and reads a bunch of Jersey Devil comics.
At the same time, a group of mutants, led by Evil En (another mutant created by the DM) arrives in Histori Ville. On the other side of the island, a group of Cybermarines arrive looking for their rogues. The two groups meet and agree to find the DM together, but before their peaceful arrangement can be confirmed, a stray shot from Juan starts a fire fight. Caught in the middle, Juan is nearly killed, but Gun saves him.
Both Gun and Juan end up caught by the Lantic Pirates, who arrive to destroy the DM. Juan leads them into the complex, then escapes with Gun. The Cybermarines and mutants also arrive.
Juan is surprised by Ona Four, the mutant created to replace him. She seduces him, then sticks a gun in his face. Juan carefully sets down Gun, but all the years of abuse finally make Gun's fusion reactor unstable. Juan is forced to abandon his only friend, Gun, before he explodes. Juan saves Ona, while the DM, cybermarines, pirates and mutants are killed in the fusion explosion.
Back at Histori Vill, Ona Four's brain, tied into the DM's central net, burns out and she becomes as stupid as Juan. The two mutants live happily ever after.