It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! This week, I’ll be discussing Magnus Robot Fighter #3.
Magnus Robot Fighter #3
Published in August of 1991
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by Art Nichols
Inked by Bob Layton with Kathryn Bolinger
Colored by Janet Jackson
Key new characters
- W-23- Waiter robot from the last issue
- Elzy- Goph that salvages and repairs robots
North Am is at war. The rebel robots are trying to infiltrate Central Rob, which would give them control over all of the cities robots. Meanwhile, Magnus is a traitor to the people for not killing 0-1X when he had the chance. He has an altercation with a police unit, consisting of one human commander and a handful of police robots. As the robots get the upper hand, W-23 shows up and provides enough distraction for Magnus to get the upper hand.
They speak once they get away from the police unit and try to figure out how they can bring an end to the violence between robots and humans. Magnus tells W-23 to try to talk sense into 0-1X while he goes to defend Central Rob, realizing that the downfall of Central Rob would be disastrous for humans. Before he can get on his way, he passes out from exhaustion.
Next, we see Senator Clane on his way to Central Rob with Leeja. They express their overconfidence in their safety just before they are attacked. Once they get to Central Rob, they join a meeting with the other human leaders. It turns out that people are too soft for war. The only leader they have with any grit is Major Timbuc, who we see promoted to Colonel. Timbuc helps stave off the robot attack for the moment.
When Magnus awakens, we meet Elzy as she salvages robot parts. Magnus heads to Central Rob to keep the robots from overthrowing the building. He smashes every robot that comes his way, saving the day, until he’s finally protected the building and passes out. Magnus refuses to fight for North Am any more and storms out on Leeja.
Next, we see 0-1X and W-23 uncovering the remains of T-1. 0-1X tells us of T-1’s brilliance, including his ability to override Central Rob’s control over robots. He intends for W-23 to help him improve his own mind so he can have this power and swing control to the robots. After a jump ahead in time, Elzy shows up and helps W-23 repair itself and improve its appearance. When Magnus meets up with W-23, he finds that it now looks like Leeja and has changed its name to Tekla. Right then, Tekla begins receiving a transmission from Central Rob, but it’s 0-1X. Tekla reveals that she thought she killed 0-1X.
This issue was much better than the last. Robots aren’t called rogues several times on every page. Things are feeling more intense. Humans are less obnoxious because they’re realizing that they aren’t invincible and that they can’t just force robots to be subservient while stomping out any who disobey. They realize they are weak and they only survive thanks to Magnus, but Clane still tries to regain control over Magnus, letting pride outweigh necessity. There was a lot more meat to this story than issue two. We’re starting to see more character development and more fleshed out supporting cast.
The way the Gophs are portrayed still seems lazy. It seems to me that the lower class, even if it is a drastically lower class, would have speech patterns that stem from the same roots as the upper class. Having them speak in nearly nonsensical ways seems lazy. Also, Elzy’s appearance is incredibly well kept, which doesn’t fit with her status or personality at all, although Art Nichols does make it clear in one panel that she doesn’t shave her legs.
Finally, W-23/Tekla’s exclamation that she killed 0-1X gives us a great cliff hanger for what is to come! Does she mean that she intentionally killed 0-1X, or was it following his orders to kill him if he lost his mind, which is what he said a few pages earlier? If it was intentional, is it because she wants to fit in with the humans? The fact that w-23 changed its appearance to resemble Leeja makes it seem that she wants to endear herself to Magnus. Finally, doesn’t Jim Shooter know that this robot gender swapping is hell when trying to choose correct pronouns?
Originally from ValiantCentral.com