Ah, the 60’s, when men were men, women were helpless, and the greatest threat to the human race was an army of fictional robots. The decade saw the birth of many notable comic book heroes, such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Playboy’s Little Annie Fanny. These legendary characters may have secured their place in the comic book hall of fame, but there’s one 60’s legend who rarely gets invited to fancy dress parties – his name is Magnus, Robot Fighter, and he really hates naughty robots.
If you’ve never heard of Magnus, Robot Fighter, his story can be summed up thusly…
In the year 4,000, humanity has become dependent on artificially intelligent robots. While some of these robots are benevolent and kept in check by Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, others seek to enslave humanity, or are controlled by villains with equally maniacal agendas.
Magnus was raised by the benevolent robot A1 in a glass dome on the ocean floor (because underwater domes were awesome in the 60’s). A1 taught the young hero about the Three Laws and the threat posed to mankind by their over-reliance on robots. He also taught Magnus advanced martial arts techniques (because martial arts were awesome in the 60’s), training him to be a skilled fighter capable of destroying robots with his bare hands (because robots were pathetic in the 60’s). It was A1’s hope that Magnus would use these punching and karate-chopping skills to enforce his pro-Asimov agenda.
And punch and karate-chop he did, as this series of astonishing Magnus, Robot Fighter 4000 cover images attests…
Pay close attention. The most astonishing thing about this cover art is that it features not one, but a total of four robot ghosts!
Did you spot the robot ghosts? How about the shark, the three gorillas, or the “neo-dog”?
Several comic book publishers have attempted to rescue Magnus, Robot Fighter from the bowls of entertainment history, but surprisingly there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for stories about men punching robots in the face. Most recently, in 2009, Dark Horse Comics announced plans to create a new Robot Fighter series, but only six issues were produced.