It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our biweekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! Biweekly, you say? Yes! Starting this week, Kickin’ It Old School will be posted on Tuesdays and Fridays! Today, I’ll be discussing Magnus Robot Fighter #7, which includes Rai #3 in a flip book format.
Magnus Robot Fighter #7 and Rai #3
Published in December of 1991
Written by Jim Shooter and Laura Hitchcock
Penciled by Mark Moretti/ David Lapham
Inked by Ernie Colon/ Kathryn Bolinger with Jon Holdredge
Colored by Knob Row/ Jade
Key new characters
- Chien-Lung- arms supplier to the anti-Grannies, alien agent
- Ch’in- alien agent, wearer of first X-O armor we see
Japan is falling to pieces as Grandmother has been destroyed. Magnus arrives too late to stop the Anti-Grannies from being a pawn for the alien’s attack. He finds Rai in the Skull Dome, lamenting Grandmother’s demise. Rai prepares to attack Magnus, since he’s been told that Magnus is in cahoots with the Anti-Grannies. Magnus tells him the truth, then Rai departs to find his son while Magnus tries to figure out how to bring Grandmother back. 1-A arrives, and Rai is able to reboot Grandmother using 1-A as an external power source, joining 1-A and Grandmother together in one body. Grandmother’s body has arm that has been severed, which represents an arm of Japan that she now cannot control. She makes a key for Magnus to use to sever that part of Japan from the rest, allowing Grandmother to prepare to defend Earth against the alien invasion. Rai, however, won’t let Magnus succeed in his quest, as it would mean almost certain death for his son. The showdown between Magnus and Rai begins.
Flip the book and we find the Anti-Grannies confused by Japan being completely shut down, meaning the death rather than the liberation of their people. Kazuyo, Rai’s estranged wife, goes to confront the arms dealer, who she finds with another alien wearing Commando-Class X-O war armor. She is subdued, but the aliens realize that Grandmother is lighting back up. Back at the Skull Dome, Grandmother and 1-A are witnessing the legendary Solar, Man of the Atom, is fending off the aliens. From there, we go back to the fight between Rai and Magnus. Magnus finally convinces Rai that protecting the lives of everybody on earth superseded saving his son and Rai helps him sever Grandmother’s arm. The last panel shows Rai’s son, Takeshi, still alive.
I thought his issue was great in many different ways. Magnus is a much more interesting character when he has interesting characters to interact with. I don’t think anybody in North Am was very interesting, and Magnus seemed just as dull and boring as the rest of them. Interacting with Rai and meeting his match has made him step up his game. Rai continues to be a fantastic character. I loved seeing him make weapons out of energy in his fight with Magnus. His focus on rescuing his son gives more depth to his motives. Solar is once again utilized in this story. He’s doing something amazing, defending the Earth against aliens, but it’s just kind of seen from a distance, giving a sense of mystery to Solar. Finally, we see more elements from upcoming books being introduced, with the X-O armor the aliens have. The two upcoming books, Harbinger and X-O Manowar, have been teased by seeing elements being used in Solar and Magnus/Rai.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com