Monday, August 9, 2010

Magnus, Robot Fighter #1

My favorite Gold Key comic returns (thanks the kind people at Dark Horse Comics) with this issue of Magnus, Robot Fighter.

For those who came in late, the adventures of Magnus are set in the year 4000. He was raised and trained by the intelligent robot 1-A to protect mankind from the danger posed by robots. He's intelligent and powerful, with steel-smashing strength.

This issue wastes no time getting down to business, as Magnus tries to foil a kidnapping attempt by several rogue robots.

We get a quick recap of his origin, and his first Gold Key issue by the great Russ Manning is also reprinted in this comic (making it a heck of a bargain at $3.50). We're quickly introduced to his supporting cast and several entertaining action sequences are thrown in there, too.

Thankfully this is a reboot and not a continuation of the Valiant version, which started out well but ended very badly.

Written by Jim Shooter, this new edition seems to be trying to have the best of both worlds, with more realistic action in the setting of a (mostly) Utopian future. The characters are lighter and more fun, but still realistic.

The art on the new version is by Bill Reinhold, and his work is strong and professional in every way. He doesn't get a chance to do much in the way of splash pages or bold layouts - there's just too much story to squeeze in there - but his action scenes are fierce, the characters well-realized and his women are beautiful.

It's interesting to compare this new version with the original issue - the art is more detailed and the coloring and printing process much more sophisticated, but both issues are very straightforward action / adventure stories, and they're both very entertaining.

I'm not sure the new team is quite there yet - this story seems to just end in the middle, rather than flowing into the next issue - but there's a lot of potential, and I have high hopes.

Best of all, it's great to see Magnus back in action - when handled properly, he's a timeless hero, like Tarzan (he was originally designed to be a sort of Tarzan in the future, of course).

Here's hoping for a long run, and bigger stories in the future.

Grade: B+


Nate said...

I am looking forward to picking this up. Heck of a bargain for all of the pages. I hope it stays at 2.99 for the remaining issues.

Chuck said...

Nate, I agree! It would also be nice if each issue contained a classic reprint, but that's probably asking too much.