In Review: Magnus: Robot Fighter #10

Magnus reveals the source of all evil and a corner is turned.

The covers: A pair to take you into the future. The Main cover is by Jonathan Lau and Ivan Nunes. A silhouette of a robot atop a pink cloud contains Magnus and Leeja. They both look surprised at something’s approach. There’s a nice amount of detail in their background and the coloring really makes this pop. The red logo and pink cloud/smoke make it stand out against other books on the shelves. Cory Smith does the Subscription cover which features Magnus going Batman as he slinks through some girders as an unknowing patrol of robots marches below him. This is a slick, dramatic cover that shows the hero just can’t run in on the ‘bots, because he has to be selective where and when he starts fighting. Good sense of light with the coloring as Magnus is a tiny image but lit well, casting a cool shadow. Overall grades: Main A- and Subscription A

The story: Moria and the Gophs (underground dwelling freedom fighters) are outside a warehouse waiting for a signal from Magnus so they can bust in and take it out. While there, writer Fred Van Lente nicely has their leader wax on the state of humanity existing under the robots. She gets an outstanding one page flashback explaining when she realized humans were being kept. What she does after learning this truth is quite a surprise. This goes a long way in showing why Moria is the person she’s become. The signal arrives, they start shooting, and the scene transitions to Leeja mourning over the headless robot body of her father, which happened last issue thanks to Magnus. Their scene is short as he’s got bigger fish to fry, finding him/it on the double-paged spread of 10 and 11. This is where the series has been heading and it’s a major moment. The speech that comes out of this individual is fantastic, and his/its origin is even better. This was exactly the payoff I was hoping Van Lente would provide. Magnus’s battle with this character does not go as planned and this cliffhanger is going to be next to impossible for any writer to top. Overall grade: A+

The art: There are two artists credited on this book, Roberto Castro and Joseph Cooper. It’s not stated who did what (C’mon, Editor Nate Cosby, show the fans who want to know some love!), so I’m going to assume that Cooper did Pages 1 – 11 and 16 – 20, while Castro did 12 – 15. Both artists are talented, but it is easy to see when the change occurs. The opening page splash is a fantastic point of view shot high in the sky showing North Am under its dome. The transition to the Gophs underground is good and I love the massive rifles they’re carrying, which are good for mowing down robots or lighting cigarettes. Moria looks terrific and having her exhale a puff a smoke is a good device to move to her past. Fibbit reminded me of Conan O’Brien’s Wikibear–Loved it! The first panel on Page 4 is sensational! Magnus is a pretty passively drawn character until the reveal of the big bad on 10 and 11. When the visuals return to the Gophs there’s a lot more thin line work in the visuals, especially used to create shadows. I enjoyed this art because it reminded me of the art of Neal Adams or Tom Grindberg. I really like the entrance on 13 and the character’s hair. Overall grade: A

The colors: Mauricio Wallace starts off the issue’s colors with a blue filter to show North Am and continues the dark hues as the story moves to the Gophs. The flashback gets a bright color for one character that goes deviantly darker at the top of Page 3. The Gophs’ weapons light up nicely when activated, seeming to blow their way off the page with their brightness. There’s also some cool shading in the smoke on Page 7. My favorite page is 13 for the violets, pinks, and yellows. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, sounds, and the antagonists’ wonderful dialogue font are rendered by Marshall Dillon. The look of the villain’s speech is excellent and makes him/it so much more anciently evil. Wonderful! Overall grade: A

The final line: Magnus reveals the source of all evil and a corner is turned. Entertaining read with great visuals. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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