February 18, 2006

Magnus Robot Fighter #18 [1992]

Ditko briefly worked for Valiant in their early days, first on some of their BATTLEMANIA books about WWF wrestlers and then on their super-hero line, doing pencils or breakdowns on seven issues of four different titles published in a six month period. I suppose if things worked differently he might have settled in for a long run at the company, but right about then Jim Shooter was gone and Ditko's work stopped appearing at Valiant.

This was the first of two issues of MAGNUS that Ditko pencilled, and he's also credited with co-plotting it. I never read the previous issues, so I don't entirely know the set-up or what's going on, but there are robots, and Magnus fights them, so all is right in the world (robots seem surprisingly common in Ditko's work, with Machine Man, Rom, a few Spider-Man villains, Robot Wars, Go-Bots, etc). "Inside The Metal Mind" has Magnus living somewhere called Goph Level, in need of some money, so he takes a job which ends up involving fighting robots. Meanwhile, some robots who have developed free will are also experimenting with bodies that mimic humans, and their leader E7, a top-hat wearing robot, is trying to find out how to create more robots with free will.

It's a bit silly, but actually not that bad, and Ditko's art works pretty well with the various robots (though nothing can make E7 look less than ridiculous).

Ralph Reese inks the 22-page story. The cover also appears to be Ditko/Reese, although Reese's inks seem even heavier there.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the Ditko/Reese combination. Reese adds just enough of his personality without taking away any of the strong parts of Ditko's pencils. I wish they would have done more together at Valiant. It seems that whenever Ditko had a nice gig, something happened to mess it up.

    Nick Caputo



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