No necessity for long boxes this time around. I am gonna discuss a hero I have never read about in my 55 years but soon will: Magnus, Robot Fighter!
Continuing with its relaunch of the Gold Key universe, Dynamite Entertainment in March will add Magnus: Robot Fighter to its line. Written by Fred Van Lente (G.I. Joe, Brain Boy, Archer & Armstrong) and drawn by Corey Smith (Fathom), the book will follow the life and times of Russell Magnus.
Magnus was created by writer/artist Russ Manning in 1963, based primarily on Tarzan. Magnus first appeared in Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. #1, published by Gold Key Comics in February 1963. The character was subsequently published by a number of companies. In every incarnation, Magnus is a human who battles rogue robots, though some aspects of the concept have varied with each publisher.
In the books, humanity has become dependent on robots. H8, the Pol-Rob chief of the civic sector of North Am, a continent-spanning mega-city, is damaged in a radiation accident. It seeks to promote the human dependency on robots and gradually impose totalitarian rule in the area under its control.
Magnus was raised by a robot known as 1A, a name which implies that he is the very first robot of his type ever manufactured. 1A seems to be self-aware and possesses emotions. A firm believer in the Three Laws of Robotics, 1A recognized the threat represented by the dependency of humans on robots in general, and the developments in North Am due to H8 in particular.
Therefore, 1A trained Magnus to protect humans against both rogue robots, and humans who used normal robots for evil purposes. Magnus was trained from infancy by 1A in an undersea domed house (shades of Blue Marvel!), using advanced techniques, to become a skilled martial artist who could break steel with his bare hands. In addition, 1A equipped his charge with a device that would allow him to “hear” robot-to-robot radio communications.
Leeja is Magnus’ girlfriend. Robots that served as police are called “Pol-Robs” (as in “police robots,” duh) and are painted black and white like city police cars. All robots have identifying numbers painted on their chest and backs. Other robots, such as taxi drivers, could be nothing more than a torso with arms and head attached to a flying automobile.
Van Lente will be exploring his own versions of these concepts, as he discusses in my exclusive interview with the scribe.
I am not as familiar with Magnus as I am some sci-fi comics characters, but I look forward to following his adventures beginning in March.