Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Fiction of Robo Force Part 3-THIS IS BOT COMEDY!

Last week I was getting out of my truck in the parking lot of the comic book store when one of those big scary 70s vans I always imagine being full of villains and scoundrels pulled up behind me and a guy pops his impressively mustachioed head out the door and says "Hey I know this might seem weird but do you wanna buy some nice home theater equipment?" I wondered how it was possible he was living in 2010 and hadn't heard of easier, more trusted ways of offloading his stolen merchandise like Craigslist and eBay. Recently I'd been reading true stories of time travelers and for a second I considered that maybe he really was from the 70s and he momentarily warped through time to the parking lot of the comic book store to sell me his stolen home theater equipment. I tell you, some criminals will do anything to avoid paypal fees. It kind of made sense because if he really was a time traveler he probably would need that big a van because I've seen the Brady Bunch and I know 70s home theater components are gigantic. But why home theater? Why can't time traveling 70s rape mobile drivers be trying to sell me things I really want like old Robo Force comic books I don't have? Sometimes I feel like I could use the services of a good interdimensional toy scalping van.


Then as if the ghost of Maxx Steele himself heard my cries, last week a long time reader of the Roboplastic Apocalypse known only as the Necronomitron drove a virtual hearse full of fantastic Robo Forceological finds through the Kingdom of Macrocrania! Thanks to the Necronomitron I got to read two more Robo Force comics I'd never seen before. I had speculated previously that there must have been other Robo Force pack-in comics I was missing based on the serial numbers printed on the backs of the ones I had. So far I'd found 2L-2947-0000, 2L-2947-1000 and 2L-2947-4000. I felt there was strong evidence of a sequential gap between 1000 and 4000 and I also found it strange that several Robo Forcers were missing from the issues I had. Sure enough, the two books supplied by the Necronomitron were numbered 2L-2947-2000 and 2L-2947-3000 and they featured the missing robots! So now if I were to assemble a listing of the Robo Force pack-in comics based on their serial numbers it would look like this:

2L-2947-0000 Assault on the Fortress of Steele!
2L-2947-1000 Showdown in Space!
2L-2947-2000 The Adamantium Heist!
2L-2947-3000 Ambush in Celestia!
2L-2947-4000 Menace of the Heat Ray!

I've already done reviews of the other three, so now let's check out the two I've never read before:


Character Appearances
: Sentinel, Sentinel's Air Bot (non-speaking role), Vulgar, Vulgar's Air Bot (also non-speaking)
Other Toys Featured: Robocruiser, Dred Crawler
Synopsis: While patrolling the desolate area of Zeton known as the Endlands, Sentinel encounters Vulgar running a one-robot adamantium mining operation.

My Thoughts: This one's got it all! From the desert speeder chase scene in the beginning to the hilarious robot-on-robot smackdown at the end, it's like they took Looney Tunes Roadrunner cartoons and combined them with Tom & Jerry style violence and did it with robots. In typical Robo Force storytelling style no explanation is given for why anything happens-we aren't told why Vulgar is mining the adamantium or why Sentinel just beats him up and then leaves! It's notable for being the only Robo Force story ever where one of the robots actually uses their crusher arms and also for great lines like "This'll violate your warranty!" delivered as Sentinel blasts Vulgar repeatedly. This is comic 2L-2947-2000 and it shows us that the good guys in Robo Force aren't cops but if you're bad they'll beat you up just the same and also that Wolverine really should have trademarked that stuff on his bones.


Character Appearances: Blazer, Coptor, Maxx Steele, Wrecker, Enemy..and Opticon?
Other Toys Featured: Dred Crawler
Synopsis: Coptor is on stage delivering jokes at a packed comedy club in the city of Celestia when Enemy strikes!

My Thoughts: Okay now there was that one time a Transformer got drunk and did karaoke but I have never seen anything as crazy as a robot on stage during open mic comedy night. Almost as silly is how the "ambush" consists of a single bad robot firing one laser into the comedy club (hurting no one in the process) and then flying away. The resulting Coptor vs Enemy fight is a bit of a let down as all Coptor does is fly around a lot until one of Enemy's own shots ricochets and blows him through a wall Looney Tunes style. But one incredible thing about the comic is that it may contain an appearance by one of the previously thought unreleased Robo Forcers! If you look at the panel I've scanned at the very top of this post there's a robot to the left of Wrecker in the club crowd. He bears a striking resemblance to Opticon the Interceptor from the '85 line! This is comic 2L-2947-3000 and it teaches us that when it comes to robot parties, it only takes one death ray to bring the house down. Also, that bad comedy is the ultimate weapon.


Finally getting to read these last two Robo Force comics was a huge deal to me and I'd like to thank the Necronomitron once again. The five comics I've reviewed so far might possibly be the only ones ever made but who knows? Whether or not more pack-in comics were produced beyond these depends on if the proposed 1985 wave of toys made it to stores. I happen to believe at least some of those '85 robots did see limited release based on evidence I've found so I have hope that there are more books out there. I believe it's just a matter of time before I connect with that one person out there who has the missing pieces, but I won't hold my breath waiting for him to show up in the parking lot of the comic book store. Heck, who needs time traveling toy scalper vans when you've got an undertaker of dead toy robots on your side?

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.