Once again, we have no idea what we’re in for in this week’s cartoon series, since none of us have watched the 80s show Spiral Zone. The plot sounds simple enough, right? (An international group of soldiers fighting to free the world from a scientist who controls much of the Earth’s surface.) But that’s deceptive, since there’s quite a bit more to this conflict. Before we get into all that, let’s start by introducing the heroes and villains of this one-season, 65-episode show.
Check out the Spiral Zone character guide below (via Wikipedia):
Bent not only invents the Zone Generators but also an antidote process giving him immunity to the bacteria. He uses this process on his small group of soldiers. While immune to the mind-altering effects, each Black Widow still has lesions on their skin and have yellow dilated eyes.
- Overlord – Dr. Bent himself, commander and rebel scientist
- Bandit – master of disguise, a terrorist of Middle Eastern origin;
- Duchess Dire (formerly Ursula Dire) – assignment expert and hardened criminal.
- Razorback (formerly Al Krak) – bladesman
- Reaper – manhunter
Later in the series, French scientist Jean Duprey and truck driver Richard Welt join the Black Widows. They were codenamed Crook and Raw Meat, respectively.
Overlord’s initial strike put all the major capitals of the world in the Zone. The chaos sparks international cooperation even between the United States and the Soviet Union. To counter the effects of the Zone bacteria, British scientists create a rare material called Neutron-90. However, only a limited amount of Neutron-90 is remaining in the world after the British government orders the destruction of the only laboratory where the material is produced. There is only enough material left to build combat suits for five specially-trained soldiers called the Spiral Force, also known as the “Zone Riders.”
- Cdr Dirk Courage – Zone Riders leader, United States
- MSgt Tank Schmidt – heavy weapons specialist, West Germany
- Lt Hiro Taka – infiltration specialist, Japan
- 2nd Lt Max Jones – special mission expert, United States
- Cpl Katerina Anastacia – medical officer, USSR
As the series advances, the Zone Riders discover that there is still enough Neutron-90 left over from assembling the five suits, sufficient to build two additional suits. They are issued to Australian demolition specialist Lt Ned Tucker and field scientist Lt Benjamin Davis Franklin.