Thursday, November 7, 2013

Magnus: Robot Fighter to return to comics




Dynamite Comics just keeps bringing the classics back.

As one of the world's oldest teenagers, I'm just fine with that.

First, Dynamite brought back Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and several other classic characters (and intriguing original ones such as Cryptozoic Man).  Now comic book heroes from the old Gold Key line will be back in action in 2014.  I'm talking about Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Solar: Man of the Atom, Doktor Spektor (who apparently isn't "colon moniker" worthy), and...my favorite...Magnus: Robot Fighter.

Don't get me wrong.  A character like Turok has definite kitschy, pulpy appeal.  I very much share the sentiments of writer Greg Pak on the comic title:

"I'm just going to go on the record and say that every single element in that description is solid gold.  I want to write stories with a Native American hero. I want to write stories about fighting for survival. And you bet your boots I want to write stories about a world populated by dinosaurs.  And now you're telling me I get to do all three?"

Additionally, Pak plans to write stories that delve into "the reasons why dinosaurs walk the earth and all of the social, historical, ecological, and political ramifications that follow." If he can do that, bring a bit of weight and depth to the pulp, well then so much the better.  Did I mention Turok is a Native American warrior who fights dinosaurs with a bow and arrow?  Righteous.

No dispersions cast towards the revival of these other Gold Key characters, but I am most excited for the return of Magnus (click that link for my full reasons as to why.)   This new series will be written by veteran industry writer, Fred Van Lente.  Van Lente says he plans to revisit many of the old thematic chestnuts that made this series and other comics like it great.  Namely, the nature of robotics and what it means to be human.  Also:

"That, and punching robots until they explode.  There will be a lot that old-time fans will find familiar, but the science of robotics and cybernetics has advanced considerably even since the last time Magnus had a title, and you'll be seeing a lot of those reflected here."

Wonder what Asimov would say?

These characters did enjoy a bit of a revival and resurgence with Valiant Comics back in the early 1990s.  You know, those heady and hazy days of foil and hologram covers?  When the pretty pictures on the outside were thought to compensate for lackluster stories on the inside?  Valiant never really committed those latter offenses with their writing, but the results of the Gold Key revivals were mixed at best.

Here's to being hopeful that Dynamite really blows it up this time.

Ha.  See what I did there?





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