Thursday, March 8, 2018

Comic Compilation: "Magnus Robot Hunter, 4,000 AD" by Russ Manning

Comic Compilation: Russ Manning's Magnus, Robot Fighter, 4000 A.D.: volume one by Russ Manning, 2004, 1593072694.

My mother used to buy comics for my brother and I before long car trips. This usually meant Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge, I don't recall any super hero titles. We always use to get plastic wrapped three packs of comics. At some point we got a issue or two of Magnus, Robot Fighter. I'm pretty sure those issues must have been done by another writer and artist.

The foreword by Mike Royer tells us about Manning's artistic style and how his artwork was appreciated by a lot of fans but was usually uncredited because of the publisher's policy. Once fans learned Manning's name they were able to seek out his work.

Magnus started in 1963 and Manning did all the work. I did read those road trip comics almost 40 years ago so my memory is surely off. But, I recall different artwork and more compelling stories. The stories in this volume are pretty heavy on the evils of sloth versus the admirable traits of manly manliness and karate chopping robots. The world has become dependent on robot servants and Magnus wants everyone to be gruff and tough and not depend on robots. Especially since so many robots seem to be turning evil. 

Anyhoo. Magnus was raised from infancy to fight robots. He was secretly "adopted" by robot 1A who raised Magnus in an underwater house by Antarctica. Magnus was trained in his adoptive robot's super secret and advanced training program so Magnus was able to karate chop steel and iron. [Magnus's go to technique is to chop the heads right off robots.]

Each story has Magnus fighting either evil robots or evil humans who control robots. Magnus protects the massive city of North Am and has blond _____  adoringly staring at him.

1. According to my internet box the last Manning issue was 1977. No other stories until the early 1980s. So, it's possible I read one of those 1980s ones.
2. I guess I'll find out when I read volume two.
3. Lots of people wear shorts shorts and short skirts, or one piece outfits with short skirts.
4. Lots of flying cars, tall buildings, and wide avenues.
5. I have Volume Two at home but have not yet started it. I also see there is a Volume Three but no copies are in the library system.


Todd Mason said...

I think it more than likely you were reading the later issues of the first series--if WIKI has it right, post-Manning issues (there were some, per WIKI), where romantic interest Leeja had developed telepathy and other tweaks were already in progress...Whitman's Gold Key Comics was publishing both the Disney comics and MAGNUS, so those being tossed into the same bag, probably by their distributor even more likely than the Gold Key folks themselves, was not too surprising. Some of the early Gold Key painted covers particularly, on all their non-Disney titles, were pretty impressive, usually in a perfervid way, but they did hire Richard Powers to do impressive covers for a few early issues of DOCTOR SOLAR and the like.

Todd Mason said...

I see in the Contents page of Vol. 3 that Herb Castle and Don Christiansen were also scripting the late issues from Gold Key...

Gerard Saylor said...

Thanks, Mason. I'll probably start on volume 2 tonight. I will have to I'LL Volume 3 from outside my system.

Gerard Saylor said...

Oops, missed seeing that second post before my own. I will definitely need to track down Vol. 3.