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Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – M

Here’s one of Valiant’s biggest heroes!


Magnus, Robot Fighter

Magnus: Robot Fighter was the first character that Jim Shooter licensed to base his new Valiant universe around. It was a popular series in the 60s by the amazing Russ Manning. The original series was set in the future, with this dude named Magnus who would, well, you know, fight robots.

Shooter picked up where Manning left off, but he added some extra depth to the stories, like having the robots not be all bad, and the humans not be all good. This caused Magnus to make some hard decisions about his life.

John Ostrander came on to the book with a bang, as the whole series was thrown upside down when these alien robot bad guys named the Malevs invade Earth.

Suddenly, past squabbles are most set aside, as everyone fights the Malevs, and ultimately “win.”

The book then jumped to the future where Magnus is the head of his country, and his son is a young man (named Torque, after Magnus’ father – yep, Kris Hathaway from the 20th century was Magnus’ mom! He got sent into the future, Nathan Summers style).

These stories were by Tony Bedard. They were okay.

Then Keith Giffen took over.

And oh man – I think these were the best issues I’ve seen him write without a scripter. They were dark, depressing but most of all, they were well-written.

In his run, we learn…well, let me not ruin it – it is pretty freaking tragic, though, yet awesome. Very Five Years Later Legion.

Great characters.


stephen cade

May 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I actually prefer the older Gold Key Magnus issues–but probably due to the corniness.
The first Valiant issues were good though, through the Ostrander run–I’ve never read the Giffen issues–so I can’t comment.

They did miss an interesting opportunity though. Int eh early issues they have A-1 saying he’s not a person, just a robot–but then in predictable fashion they reverse that. If they left A-1 saying he is only a machine–and opposing those who want to give robots rights–or at least the smart robots rights–that would have been more interesting.

If there’s ever a top 100 non Marvel/DC character poll, Magnus will be #1 on my list.

Brian Cronin

May 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

The Giffen run really turns the whole story on its ear, with some of the most depressing comics you can imagine.

And yet, I think well-written comics.

I’m amazed how they were able to tie Magnus in with the rest of the Valiant universe without a) Magnus always heading to a trusty time machine or b) turning the comic into a Valiant Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, it always seemed superviolent when he ripped into robots. They were being lovingly eviscared by the artists.

A-1 is a steak sauce ;) 1-A is a freewill robot, heh.

Holy crap, a Valiant title I’ve heard of. Well, OK, a comic I’ve heard of that apparently became a Valiant title afterward, but close enough!

Giffen is such a strange and wonderful writer. I love his work, because you never really know what you’re going to get. His two specialties seem to be light comedy and absolutely gut-wrenching tragedy. He’s written some of the funniest and saddest stuff I’ve ever read. I can’t think of any other creator in any medium with a similar tonal range that I could compare him to.

“A-1 is a steak sauce ;) 1-A is a freewill robot, heh.”

Did I do that?

Who switched those letters in my typing.

It must have been late! (Okay it wasn’t)

I’m sorry–I have no real excuse–other than typo.

I can’t believe I switched those.
Maybe I was hungry & thinking of steak?

No–okay–I messed up & typed the wrong thing—but I hold to my comment.-except for changing A-1 to 1-A.

…in that first scan…. is he grabbing that robot by the junk?!

Roquefort Raider

May 8, 2008 at 5:42 am

“A-1 is a steak sauce”

…and to the Malevs, all of us were meat.

People say they don’t like the Maleev war story arc that was in Magnus and Rai, I think it is because they have never read the whole thing. I think it was one of the better stories in comics of the time. Epic in scale, it was like a long sci fi movie.

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