It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another 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 #13

Magnus Robot Fighter #13

Published in June 1992
Written by Jim Shooter with Faye Perozich
Art by Ernie Colon


This is the beginning of the Asylum Saga, continuing the story of 1-A’s failed attempts to create a robot fighter before Magnus. We start off with Magnus and Willow getting attacked by a giant spider-dog like creature. It turns out it can communicate telepathically and it asks Magnus to come with him. The creature eats Gophs and finally threatens to eat Willow if Magnus doesn’t come along on his space ship. Magnus follows, but throws Willow to safety and locks the creature away. To his surprise, the ship goes on auto pilot and takes Magnus to the former home of 1-A.

Once there, he finds Frost, a trustee of the asylum where 1-A locked up his failed attempts. She introduces the creature to Magnus as Fluffy, her dog and another trustee. She tells Magnus of Magskrag, who was created to quell a revolt at the asylum but is instead trying to kill the trustees. Magnus goes to find answers in 1-A’s files but is attacked by Magskrag right as he is finding out the truth. He realizes that he had been fighting on the wrong side and that living with the Gophs isn’t enough. Magskrag smashes Magnus under some equipment, but Magnus is able to free himself. Meanwhile, Magskrag is caught by Frost and Fluffy, but he is able to fight through and attack Frost and Fluffy.

Magnus finds Magskrag dying on the ground. He tells Magskrag that he realizes he was on the wrong side and asks where the asylum is located. He gets attacked by Fluffy, who he kills in a bloody manner. He puts Fluffy’s carcass in a disposal unit, puts Frost in some kind of tank, and jettisons Magskrag’s body into the sun, giving him a hero’s funeral. And now Magnus is on his way to the asylum on Phobos.


I really like this!  There’s so much about Magnus that has been boring and, while most of those things have developed to be more interesting, North Am is defined by its boring citizenry.  Removing Magnus from that environment and seeing him in Japan did wonders in the second arc with Rai, and I’m very excited to see his interactions with the failed robot fighters at the asylum.  Ernie Colon’s art was great and stands out from the art that we’ve seen thus far.  It gave the story a grittier feel appropriate for sci-fi.

It’s about time that Magnus realize the hypocrisies of 1-A.  I’m tired of seeing him refuse to address anything, allow things to go horribly awry, then step in to play the hero.  He turned his back on North Am rather than address the problems because he was raised by 1-A to think that defending the citizens of North Am superseded everything else.  The effects that 1-A and Grandmother have had on Japan in Rai should be considered when thinking about the impact that Magnus’ upbringing has had on things in North Am.  Now things will change, and things will get interesting!

Kickin’ It Old School: Magnus Robot Fighter #1

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