Advanced Review: Magnus: Robot Fighter #1


The return of the Gold Key Universe continues Wednesday with the coming of Magnus: Robot Fighter #1 from Dynamite. And again, there is more to this first issue than you would ever expect. Need proof? Look no further than Turok.

As first revealed in my exclusive interview for Cosmic Book News with writer Fred Van Lente, chief protagonist Russell Magnus is a bit confused at first. He isn’t sure what he knows about himself is true. He thinks he grew up in a secluded mountain enclave where humans and robots live in perfect harmony, raised by an artificial intelligence called 1A. But soon Magnus awakes in the sprawling mega-city of North Am, where he’s told 1A is a dangerous terrorist and he is an illegal robot fighter.

What’s true, what’s not? Magnus does not know and neither do we, the readers. One thing we know for sure about this character, though, is that he can instantly spot the weak spot in any robot and dismember it with a well-placed strike. It is a skill that is going to be extremely useful if this first issue is setting him on the course I suspect.

There is much about cybernetics and robotics in this magazine here and going forward, as inspired by the Russ Manning Gold Key stories, but Van Lente also offers some kung fu action and lots of explosions. Take it from me, it is bad-ass and no where near boring.

Artist Corey Smith is amazing in these pages, creating a unique world in which Magnus will react and suffer and triumph. There is a great variety to the robots and those Ricky Steamboat-like chops of Magnus look awesome. Cannot wait to see #2!

This particular book is fascinating to me because there are layers of truth under layers of lies and no one, especially not Magnus, knows one layer from the other. A great tribute to the Gold Key books of yore, and a treasure for readers of today.