MORE SHENANIGANS FROM MIKE
Well, I was going to do this entry about the state of the industry. The stress that the pandemic has put on us personally and professionally as managers and employees of a comic store. Yet, I realized as I sat to write this that no one really cares. In one of the darker moments in the past few years for me, someone told me that everyone has problems. With that off my chest I will cinch up my pants and put my “happy” mask on and give you what you expect from me.
If you have talked to enough, you know my affinity for Japanese live action shows. Sure I do love the kaiju but there is another aspect that I do love: GIANT ROBOTS. Watching shows like Space Giants and Johnny Socko and Giant Robots as a kid, I became enamored with the idea of giant robots. Any time they were put in comics I got super excited. With this entry I will give you a few examples of a few that stick out in my mind.
Originally the Shogun Warriors were a series of 2 foot plastic figures from Mattel. They were licensed characters from different animes in the 70s. I had a friend who was quite spoiled and had all of them and sadly I only had one, Dragun. We did not get the animes here in the states that I know of but they were really cool figures for the 70s. Then learning in 1979 there is a comic, I got super excited. They only used three of the robots but that was enough for me. As a child I thought they were great. Reading them now they are a little painful. Yet they were in the Marvel universe and paired with the Fantastic Four. Which trickled into their comic as well with a robot built from a unused fourth Shogun Warrior. These were my first comic exposure to giant robots in comics.
Exploding out of the Marvel Godzilla comic, comes Red Ronin. It was a robot that was created by Tony Stark and a couple of Japanese engineers to battle Godzilla. It looked slightly like a Shogun Warrior. Yet it was different enough to look cool to me. Red Ronin did not disappear when the Godzilla comic did. He still shows up every once in a while to battle the Avengers or the Thunderbolts. A neat character that survived the cancellation of the Godzilla comic.
These are the mutant hunting robots created by Bolivar Trask. I was exposed to them in the Days of Future Past storyline (Yes, I did start reading X-Men later than I should have). They were created to save mankind from the impending mutant menace. The only problem is when you make an autonomous robot it will more than likely rebel against you. They been used throughout the history of the X-Men. Always updating as time goes by. They even have Sentinels that are human sized. Yet I will always love a Sentinel bursting through a roof.
Ultimo was an ancient device of destruction found by the Mandarin. He found him in a dormant volcano and used the geothermic energy to power him. He was always a threat to Iron Man. In the early days he would always fall back into a volcano to end the story. Yet as time went on it was technology that would take him down. I was first exposed to him in the old Iron Man clip art cartoons.
In the Superman/Batman story public enemies, Batman had Hiro Okamura who would later become Toymaster create a giant robot just in case a universe ending threat emerged. It was half Superman and half Batman. Just like the original Composite Superman. It would pop up every once in a while. Yet in Dark Nights Death Metal, Snyder did it one better and added Wonder Woman to the composite. It looks goofy but it harkens to the Silver Age for me.
This one came out of the Japanese Spider-Man TV show. During the Spider-Verse comics, the original Spider-Man (Earth-616) summoned this version of Spider-Man to help him fight the Inheritors. Now that he has appeared in a Marvel comic he is now canon. I love this version of Spider-Man because not only does he have a cool car but he also has a giant robot. Supposedly he is going to show up in the new Spider-Verse movie. Fingers crossed here.
There are so many others that I could name yet this would go on forever. I will list a few more but without exposition.
TRANSFORMERS- (If you don’t know them, use your Google)
CHEMO- An enemy of the Metal Men
BIG GUY- From Big Guy and Little Rusty. Even a cartoon.
THE SLEEPER- From Tales of Suspense Captain America stories.
AVENGERS MECH STRIKE & MEGA MORPHS- Giant robot comics stemming from the toys that no one asked for.
GIGA- The most recent giant robot comic from Vault.
DC & MARVEL WAR COMICS- There was always a giant robot or wheel (look it up) in some of the stranger ones that both of the companies made.
Well, I think that is enough of me pontificating on the wonders of giant robots. Thank you for listening to my ramblings. Also if you ever feel that you are feeling too nerdy, come on by the Naperville store and I think that I could probably out nerd you. I am a fount of super useless knowledge.
I bid thee toodles.