Magnus Robot Fighter 1: Flesh and Steel

magnus robot fighter volume 1 flesh and steel cover review
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting twist on the character

Short collection

Comic Info

Comic Name: Magnus Robot Fighter

Publisher: Dynamite

Writer: Fred Van Lente

Artist: Cory Smith

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2014

magnus robot fighter #1 cover rock em sock em robots

Magnus Robot Fighter #1 Variant

Reprints Magnus Robot Fighter (Dynamite) #0-4 (March 2014-July 2014).  Magnus lives a perfect life in Maury’s Peak with his wife Moira and his robot mentor 1A…but Magnus’s whole life might be a lie.  Magnus wakes up to find himself in a world ruled by robots and learns that he is the outsider.  The robots have streamlined the world, and Magnus’s only hope is to break them.  Pursued by a human named Leeja Clane, Magnus wants his world back if ever even existed.

Written by Fred Van Lente, Magnus Robot Fighter Volume 1:  Flesh and Steel is a Dynamite comic book collection released under the Dynamite Gold Key imprint.  The collection features Cory Smith.

Valiant gave Magnus a second life in the 1990s and a whole new audience.  I liked the weird oddity of a comic book which is simply about beating up and breaking robots, but I kind of liked X-O Manowar and other Valiant titles more than Magnus.  The newest iteration of Magnus Robot Fighter puts a new spin on the character, and it feels topical for the time.

Magnus was always the hero of North Am.  He was the valiant fighter striving to protect humans from robots that were becoming more and more invasive.  In this version, Magnus is more in question.  The robots have taken choice away, but in turn, crime and violence is down.  They have streamlined society, and the role of the robots is almost more of a moral debate…does sacrificing choice and freedom equate safety and utopian society if mankind is slave to a robot master?

magnus robot fighter #4 cover review

Magnus Robot Fighter #4

With this as the central question, Magnus essentially becomes a terrorist in his own comic.  He is trying to buck the system and destabilize it.  He is a thorn that brings pain to the people by waking them up to their suffering.  He breaks them out of a fool’s paradise.  If Magnus wins, North Am falls, and people could be worse off, but they would be free.

The comic also sets up Leeja as the flipside to Magnus.  She believes in the robots and what they provide humanity.  Magnus will die for his cause and Leeja is the same result.  She also demonstrates what Magnus can bring humanity.  Through his actions (and the book he found), Leeja begins to question her own role in society.

Magnus Robot Fighter Volume 1:  Flesh and Steel is a solid start to a fun series (though a rather short collection).  The comic book has a lot of potential and takes a kind of interesting character and turns him into a completely interesting character who is trapped in a strange world.  I like the switch-up of plots and look forward to seeing where Magnus Robot Fighter goes.  Magnus Robot Fighter 1:  Flesh and Steel is followed by Magnus Robot Fighter 2:  Uncanny Valley.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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