Magnus, Robot Fighter Volume 1 By: Jim Shooter, Bill Reinhold, Stephen Thompson & Mark Irwin
This book is just plain fun. It is not anything ground-breaking and new, nor did it offer any ‘shocking twists’, but it is delightfully entertaining. Magnus, Robot Fighter tells the story of, you guessed it, Magnus, the robot fighter. It takes place in the far future, after the artificial intelligence (aka Q-Rob) rebellion that we all know is coming eventually. Magnus was trained from his infancy to kick robot butt by his robot “father”, 1-A. This volume follows Magnus as he protects the streets from the “metal mob” that is being lead by your typical, corrupt politicians/businessmen.
This book is actually a reboot from Dark Horse Comics of a series that was originally published in the 1960s. It definitely has a classic hero feel to it, as Magnus dresses in a red tunic (and later in a red spandex-y suit) and is your conventional uber-masculine do-gooder. All the (very scantily clad) ladies love him, and he finds time to have a brief fling with the (supposedly) most beautiful one of them all, Cinnette, after rescuing her from a human trafficking ring.
The one nice twist here, however, is that there is another female character, Leeja, who wants to help Magnus fight robots. She might not have the same advantages that Magnus has over robots but she still ends up saving Magnus twice throughout the course of this story. I love her even more because she is still sexy and scantily clad (and literally throws herself at Magnus) but does all of this while wanting to be an equal to Magnus. In one of my favorite scenes between the two of them, she tells Magnus that she is throwing herself at him and then, in the next panel, tells him that she will only go on a date with him if he takes her with him to find the bad guys. When he tells her that it is “dangerous down there,” she responds that she will watch his back. Leeja is awesome because she does not plan to sit back and watch him save the day. She plans to help.
The artwork is clear and well-defined. Each robot has a distinctive look, and the fight sequences are easy-to-follow (which is good because there are a lot of them). The writing is slightly cheesy at times, but I view that as a throwback to the original series and time period when it was written. I love when 1-A calls Magnus a “smart-alec,” or when a group of women call Magnus “bun-derful.” Moments like those keep the book from becoming another dark, depressing view of the future.
As I said before, if you are looking for something with a lot of unexpected twists-and-turns, this book is probably not for you. Instead, the book is full of fight scenes (practically a new one every 3-4 pages) and action-hero sequences, without taking itself too seriously or filling the pages with blood and guts and gore. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who either loves robots and robot-based stories, or who is just looking for an old-fashioned, action-packed superhero story.
Review originally published on Julia Sherred’s Geeky Pleasures
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