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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 147

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at Russ Manning’s amazing run on Magnus, Robot Fighter!


Russ Manning, writer and artist of Gold Key’s Magnus, Robot Fighter, got the book starting with a bang with a great first issue (the first of 21 new issues he would do).

Check out how he starts the ball already rolling…

As you can tell, Manning was really pushing the Tarzan angle right from the get-go (the comic strip that Manning became famous for drawing).

Manning was such a brilliant sequential artist – check out the action in these scenes…

It’s amazing how straightforward and simple his lines are, and yet so dynamic and forceful. He was a master.

Here’s Magnus’ origin (from #1 where he first meets his love interest, Leeja Crane)…

To give you a sample of future stories, here’s a battle from #3, where a giant robot is attacking North Am and Magnus travels into outer space to find out the source of the robot, discovering his new arch-enemy in the process…


And there were 21 issues of this! And each issue was nearly 30 pages long!

Luckily for us, they’ve been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics in three volumes!! So cool – search them out, people!


I recently discovered this through the Dark Horse volumes and it’s quickly become one of my all-time favorite comics. After having grown up on Steve Rude’s Nexus, it was shocking to discover how much of his style and vision was an homage to this book. Manning’s line work was absolutely beautiful– the best of his era. And the writing is underrated– solid story construction and a very richly conceived world.

And when is Dark Horse going to give the same Deluxe treatment to Manning’s Tarzan run that they gave to this strip and Jesse Marsh’s Tarzan and Joe Kubert’s Tarzan?? There’s a big hole missing there!

This reminds me of my microscopic claim to fame as a comic-book writer:


Magnus parodies: “Magnets: Robot Dismantler,” Parody Press 1993, “wonderfully handled by Robert Schmidt.”

I didn’t realize anyone had actually read the thing.

I’ve never been able to get into the Gold Key or dell stuff, mainly because of, well, the word balloons. Those square balloons are just so off-putting, they drain the energy from the art. I wonder what these would look like if someone redid the balloons?

” Good-luck, man-child? ” That robot comrade’s a bit of a dick. Just saying.

Nothing like viewing the strong, clear art of the great Russ Manning.

If it takes madness to create a super-robot incapable of being destroyed, then I am mad.

Looks really solid. Those flying cars are beautifully designed.

[…] the character designs to the (computer-aided) yellowing paper to the square word balloons to the flat color backgrounds, it’s all there. But filtered through Harold. And Sally. And […]

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