Magnus: Robot Fighter #1

by kanchilr1 on March 11, 2014

Fred Van Lente - Writer

Cory Smith - Artist

Mauricio Wallace - Colorist

Marshall Dillon - Letterer

Gabriel Hardman - Main Cover


Author Fred Van Lente’s iteration of Magnus Robot Fighter is just what the doctor ordered. After having no personal attachment to the older hero, this issue did a great job hooking me in. This silver age character was originally created in 1963, he still has many aspects that are simply timeless. With a fresh coat of paint, the new costume design will hook readers into the title with ease. The book starts off with a great look at how the world of Magnus is different from that of our own. The title is not so much a period piece as it is a mirror of our current world. That being said, the technology is definitely removed from a different era of history and placed with a world that could be in any almost decade of the 1900’s. The setting is a character unto itself, as it likely will drive the plot going forward.


The scenes towards the beginning that are acclimating readers into this bizarre world are so carefully written. Each moment is filled with sweetness, as readers can interpret for the first couple of hours that this could be the single greatest day of history and karate teacher Mr. Magnus’ life. The unconventional approach to the technology and how it adapts within this world is fascinating. Lente never stops the action just to show his audience how the world that he created works. The sense of mystery as to how exactly the world came to be different from our own is perfectly captured. The second half of the book really amps up the pace and gets things in motion very nicely. Action is fast and furious, and another world existing outside of the two places that we have seen now exists.


Cory Smith and Mauricio Wallace adjust the color palette and drawing style to make the two worlds in this book look very distinct. Watching how the two different places react to each other, and drawing parallels between the back and front half of the issue are half the fun of the tale. Penciller Smith is very precise in his work here. The opening page of the world within the snowglobe shows everything that Smith has to offer. Within this small suburban world that he has created within the page, there is some extremely precise linework. The trouble lies within the second palette is less flattering to Smith’s work, so hopefully there will be a deeper exploration into that first world in subsequent issues, or Smith will find a better way to adapt his art. With no inker credited on the title, it seems that Smith is inking himself. With more experience, the artist will likely come into his own in subsequent issues.

Fred Van Lente and Cory Smith set up a strange new world in their interpretation of Magnus: Robot Fighter that is very endearing. It is impossible not to be charmed by the opening sequence into this story.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


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