I know what you're thinking: "When's Mark going to create those 'Top 10' lists all the cool blogs are doing?"
Well...how about RIGHT NOW??!! Great, so here's the deal: every now and then, I'll post ten favorites from whichever random category I feel like blathering about. What better category to start out with than
Yup...robots. I've been a fan of 'em as long as I can remember...which makes it tough to narrow the list down to just ten. Now, they're not necessarily the most high-profile comic book robots...and one even crosses the line into cyborg territory, but in their own way, each of them is visually and conceptually riveting (pun fully intended).
The Dreadnought: Created by the international terrorist organization HYDRA, these 8-foot tall robots were programmed for intense hand-to-hand combat and armed with a staggering array of weaponry. Designed by Jim Steranko (who was obviously channeling Jack Kirby), the multiple spikes, battleship-gray color, and eerie, skull-like face made for a picture-perfect killing machine (click on it for a larger view).
The Metal Men: Part of DC's parade of quirky 1960's heroes, this team of robots was created by Dr. Will Magnus to mirror the properties and "personalities" of their namesake metals. Left to right: confident team leader Gold, genial yet slow-witted Lead, boisterous strongman Iron, hot-headed Mercury, and timid Tin. In the foreground is the female robot Platinum ("Tina" for short), and Metal Men creator Doc Magnus. Remembered best for their wild, body-bending teamwork, the Metal Men remain a source of lighthearted Silver Age fun.
Raydeen (Shogun Warriors): As my introduction to Japan's giant robot Mecha Anime genre, the 24" Shogun Warriors were the toys every pre-teen boy had to have in the late 1970's. Although my personal favorite was Mazinga, a close second was Raydeen, who co-starred with Combatra and Dangard Ace in Marvel's Shogun Warriors comic book series.
Deathlok: When The Six Million Dollar Man TV series introduced America to the half-human, half-machine Steve Austin in early 1974, illustrator Rich Buckler took the bionic warrior concept into a much darker direction with his creation of Deathlok. Barely alive in a bleak post-Apocalyptic America, Colonel Luther Manning was revived as a hideous cyborg assassin who later resisted his programming and fought against the military-corporate complex that once controlled him. Sound a bit like the 1987 Robocop movie? Yeah...I thought so, too.
Pneumatic Man (a.k.a. "Pneuman"): Built by 19th century inventor Sinclair Strong while marooned on a Pacific island, Pneuman became the butler of the Strong family. Sporting a bow tie, derby hat, and a stuttering pop-hissing speech pattern, the steam-powered robot still faithfully serves their son Tom Strong some one hundred years later.
That's all I've got time for now. Stay tuned for Part Two, where I'll finish off my Top Ten Comic Book Robots!