Monday, May 3, 2010

Magnus, Robot Fighter

Among the samples given out on Free Comic Book Day this past Saturday was a preview combination edition of Magnus, Robot Fighter and Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, with release dates of Aug. 04 and July 14 respectively.

The connection between the two comics, aside from both using commas in their titles, is they initially were owned by Gold Key Comics. The relaunches are from Dark Horse Comics, and the previews were written by Jim Shooter.

I recall adoring the art of the original 1960s Magnus, by Russ Manning. (I wasn’t the only admirer, of course, as there’s a Russ Manning Most-Promising Newcomer Award given out as part of the Will Eisner Awards.) His characters posed with the handsome grace of Grecian gods; when they moved — to run or to punch or karate-chop evil robots — he drew them as if they were statues, carved in the act of their heroic deeds (not dissimilar to Greg Land’s technique, though Land’s characters appear as if they’re cheerily posing for Rolling Stone covers).

Russ Manning’s Magnus, Robot Fighter is available in collected editions.

The Magnus preview given out on Free Comic Book Day was illustrated by Bill Reinhold. His robot fighters aren’t from the same polished school as Manning’s. But they do seem to move around a lot more.

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