Another Dark Horse/Gold Key revival, once again written by Jim Shooter. And right of the bat, it feels very familiar to anyone who has read Magnus before and they’re staying fairly true to script without changing everything up and I like that.
The original Gold Key version of Magnus Robot Fighter was done by Russ Manning and is a classic still today. In fact, you can still purchases the archive versions and trust me, they are HIGHLY recommended with much gusto! Valiant Comics brought this back in the 1990’s and this title help Valiant catch fire and produce some great books, including the run of John Ostrander that was truly epic. The Ostrander issues you can pick up super cheap, just check eBay for lots of them. My tip is to search “magnus comic lot” and you’ll find something pretty cheap, I assure you.
So issue #1 rolls out and what do I see? Well, first of all, an excellent cover done by Raymond Swanland. It’s an awesome image and as a side note, Raymond was discovered for his artwork he did for Magic: The Gathering cards. Our artist for this issue is Bill Reinhold. He does a decent job and keeps things pretty simple, but I think the colors and inking leave it feeling a tad overshaded at times so we can’t see as much of the artist. Feels a bit muddy in spots because of that. But I think Reinhold does a good job and it feels like he’s trying to do a little homage to Russ Manning with his art and who can blame him?
The story is pretty standard fare. There is a “Metal Mob” which is something a little new and could be very interesting with different “robs” than what we’ve seen in the past. I’ll be very interested to see where that story arc goes. Then we get a lot of background, which stays pretty true to form and doesn’t stray a ton from the original. There are some genuinely good moments in here, just nothing that’s outstanding yet. But that’s not a bad thing, this issue is very good for newcomers, but it just lacks the wow factor if you already know Magnus. This Magnus is very much like the one we see in the Gold Key/Valiant line so far. No crazy plots like in the Acclaim comics version. Oh boy, I had to bring that one up. Ugh.
There is another great bonus to this first issue though! It is 56 pages long and includes the Original Magnus Robot Fighter comic in it as well by Russ Manning. The story is still good to this day and very enjoyable. But all this does is enhance this issue’s value. So if you like Magnus already, you know you want it and it’s worthwhile. If you’ve never read Magnus before, jump on now and get a great value for $3.50! That makes it a must buy in my books! This one is off to a better start than Doctor Solar, but I’m still holding out hope that next issue rocks my proverbial socks off.
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