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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Magnus Robot Fighter Key Issues

I'm not sure if it was Triple A who requested this one or Ace. Maybe both. All I do know is that this Magnus Robot Fighter key issues list will be a longer one than the other Valiant key issues lists recently done, because he is a Silver Age character and one of the longer running Valiant characters.

This cat was also rebooted or revamped by several publishing companies as well. I won't get too involved with the Dark Horse series, because the info out there is pretty lacking. I'll try my best though.

Alright, let's get this going, shall we? Here's some Magnus Robot Fighter key issues.

1st appearance & origin of Magnus
1st appearance of Leeja Clane
1st appearance of Senator Clane
1st appearance of A-1 and H8

Most from my generation know this character or was first introduced to Magnus Robot Fighter courtesy of Valiant Comics. However, there were those who grew up on the original comic series published by Gold Key Comics way back in the Silver Age.

Created by Russ Manning, Magnus Robot Fighter was a character from the 4000 A.D., in which humans are overly dependent on machines or artificial intelligence. Not that far off from how we are today in my opinion.

Of course, in this future, a robot called H8, a Pol-Rob or Police Robot, turns bad and tries to impose totalitarian rule on humans who are so dependent on machines. Enter Magnus, the savior of humanity to protect us from rogue robots.

Leeja Clane is another Gold Key character and was introduced as the girlfriend of Magnus. She does become the future wife of Magnus and is a major supporting character that has crossed over when Valiant acquired the rights to this character.

Other 1st appearances are Senator Clane and A-1. A-1 is the robot that raised Magnus and trained him into becoming the hero we know of today, and Senator Clane is the father of Leeja.

Definitely a Silver Age key issue worth considering if you are a Magnus Robot Fighter fan, and would be the holy grail to add to your vault if you are such.

Magnus Robot Fighter #1 was published February, 1963.

1st appearance of Mekman
1st appearance of President Claiburne

Another enemy of Magnus is first introduced early on, and Mekman does make his first appearance in Magnus Robot Fighter #2. Although Mekman did not appear much in the first series, he does carry over into the Valiant world with quite a few appearances.

Idolizing the power and efficiency of robots since a child, Mekman developed a flexible coating for his skin to give him a robotic appearance. He also developed Idents or robot duplicates of Magnus and many of the leaders of North Am in order to control the sector.

Another character that makes his first appearance in Magnus Robot Fighter #2 is President Claiburne, whom is obviously the president of North Am.

May, 1963 was when this comic was published.

1st appearance of Xyrkol

Xyrkol is another Gold Key enemy of Magnus that did cross over into the Valiant revival during the 90s.  A brilliant alien scientist, this character pretty much has the same intentions that most villains in the world of Magnus Robot Fighter - He seeks to control North Am.

Xyrkol doesn't make that many appearances in the first series or the Valiant Comics series as well. The first appearance of Xyrkol is in Magnus Robot Fighter #3, and this comic was published August, 1963.

1st appearance of Major Timbuc
1st appearance of Sigma

When it comes to Major Timbuc, I do think he is a major supporting character for Magnus. Maybe not in the first series, but this military leader of North Am was brought into the Valiant Universe.

Major Timbuc appears in quite a few issues of Valiant's Magnus Robot Fighter comic series as well as Rai. He is a Future Force member in the Rai comics.

As for Sigma, this immortal robot was neither a major player in the old Gold Key series and was not brought over into the Valiant comics either as far as I know. I could be wrong about that. However, his first appearance is in this comic and it was published February, 1964.

1st appearance of Talpa

Renegade robot who sought to enslave humanity, Talpa makes his first appearance in this Gold Key issue of Magnus Robot Fighter, but he was not a major player or villain in this first series. This might be his first and only appearance in the first Gold Key series. Not sure about that though.

Talpa is carried over briefly in the Valiant Magnus Robot Fighter series and even makes an appearance in Rai. Still, a Silver Age Magnus Robot Fighter key issue and was published May, 1964.

1st appearance of M'Ree

M'Ree makes her first and probably only appearance in the Gold Key series in this issue. She does appear in the Valiant series.

In this issue, she retells the story of how Magnus saved her and her son in issue #1. She obviously doesn't appear in issue #1 though.

The first appearance of M'Ree in Magnus Robot Fighter #7 was published August, 1964.

1st appearance of the Outsiders

The Gold Key version of the Outsiders was a group of abandoned and orphaned teens in North Am. They do not make many appearances in Magnus Robot Fighter's first series, and I'm not sure whether they are carried over into the Valiant series. 

I would say a pretty minor key for minor supporting characters. November, 1964 is the publishing date for this comic.

1st appearance of Danae

Danae makes her first appearance in Magnus Robot Fighter #11, and she is a Gold Key character that is revived during the Valiant series as well. She plays a larger supporting role in the Valiant comics than she does in the Gold Key comics.

Not exactly sure just how major or minor this character is in the Valiant Universe. August, 1965 was when Magnus Robot Fighter #11 was published.

1st appearance of Dr. Noels

Dr. Laszlo Noel makes his first appearance in Magnus Robot Fighter #13, and he was an enemy of Magnus for quite some time. He is an anti-robot fanatic, but later switched to the good side during the Malev Wars in the Valiant comics.

The story's title in this issue is The Evil Ark of Dr. Noel, and it was published February, 1966.

1st appearance of Magnus in Valiant Comics
1st appearance of Tekla
1st issue to on-going series

Magnus Robot Fighter was popular during the Silver Age, but when it reached the Bronze Age or 1970s, the character fell out of favor with comic fans. On top of that, Russ Manning had only completed 21 issues of the original series. The rest of the issues afterward were reprints.

Enter Jim Shooter, who obtained the rights to three Gold Key characters in 1991 and launched them under his new company Valiant Comics. This 2nd series started off where the original had left off, but in later issues, artists and writers would deviate from the original series.

Tekla is introduced in this first issue and is also known as robot W-23. She would eventually become a member of the Future Force. Magnus Robot Fighter #1 from the Valiant series has an estimated print run of 80,000 copies and was published May, 1991.

1st appearance of Elzy
1st appearance of General Mimsy

A woman living in the Goph lands in North Am, Elzy would befriend Magnus. She would also become a Future Force member. Elzy is a Valiant creation and wasn't part of the original Gold Key series.

General Mimsy is another fighter of renegade robots and an ally of Magnus. Both General Mimsy and Elzy make their first appearances in Magnus Robot Fighter #3. Also W-23 becomes Tekla in this issue and takes the likeness of Leeja Clane.

This issue has an estimated print run of 60,000, and like the first issue, it comes with cards and a coupon for Magnus #0. This comic was published August, 1991.

1st appearance of E-7

Not quite sure if E-7 is a baddie free will robot or whatever. The introduction of Freewill robots is one element where the writers of Valiant Comics deviated from the original concept.

The original concept had some type of radiation corrupt some robots and turned them against mankind. Valiant went the artificial intelligence that became self-aware route.

Magnus Robot Fighter #4 sees the first appearance of E-7 and I don't know just how important or minor the character is in the world of Magnus Robot Fighter. This issue has an estimated run of 65,000 and coupon for Magnus #0. September, 1991 is the published date.

1st appearance of Rai
1st appearance of Grandmother
1st Takashi Nakadia
1st Rentaro & Tohru Nakadia
1st appearance Kazuyo Nakadai

Okay, I'm not exactly sure who is the acting Rai in these early appearances. Not quite sure, so if anyone really knows then be sure to set the record straight.

I do know that Rentaro is Tohru's father and the 41st Rai. Tohru Nakadai is his son and refuses to take up the mantle of Rai at first before becoming the 42nd Rai. Takashi Nakadai is Tohru's son and shown in this issue as a baby. Kazuyo Nakadai is Tohru's wife and becomes X-O Commando.

Magnus Robot Fighter #5 is known as the first appearance of Rai regardless, and apparently it's becoming a hard find online. This issue is a flip book so there's two covers. I think it came with cards too, but not sure.

Once again, attempting this keys list humbly. Estimated print run is 85,000, give or take a few. Magnus Robot Fighter #5 was published October, 1991.

2nd appearance of Rai

Here we have the 2nd appearance of Rai and the first Solar crossover. Like Magnus Robot Fighter #5, this comic also contains a coupon for Magnus Robot Fighter #0.

Magnus goes to Japan where he is asked to overthrow Grandmother, a machine that controls the country. Grandmother is the entity that has taken the Blood of Heroes to create the line of Rai as it's sole guardian.

Solar appears to warn Magnus of an impending Spider Alien attack. He also warns him not to carry out his orders in destroying Grandmother. 

This issue has an estimated print run of 75,000 and has the flip book deal. Actually issues #5 through #8 are flipbooks, so I don't have to keep repeating that. 

The 2nd image is not a variant cover. It's the flipbook cover to these issues. This issue was published November, 1991. Be sure to check for the coupon still in tact if you stumble across this one.

3rd appearance of Rai
1st appearance of Grand One
1st appearance of X-O armor

Well, at least they made it easy to find the 3rd appearance of a character in terms of Rai. This one is it.

Grandmother looks like she got messed up from some alien virus and Rai is out for Magnus in this issue. Magnus shows Rai that it was the alien's weapon that did the dirty.

When A-1 arrives, Magnus implants A-1's core inside her in an attempt to revive her. This creates Grand One and this issue is the machine's first appearance. A-1 is an old time character of Magnus back in the Silver Age Dell era. His first appearance is in Magnus Robot Fighter #1.

Other notable appearances is the first appearance of the X-O Armor. 80,000 estimated copies were printed for this one, and Magnus Robot Fighter #7 was published December, 1991.

4th appearance of Rai

Looks like Magnus and Rai have to team up in this issue to kick some alien butt and Rai's wife Kazuyo dons the X-O Armor as well. This is the 4rth appearance of Rai, and the last of the flipbooks to feature Rai before he get's his own titled comic series, I think.

This issue, like the previous ones listed here also contains a coupon for Magnus Robot Fighter #0. This is another issue with an estimated 80,000 copies printed. Could be less actually in the market, but not exactly sure nor can validate that.

Magnus Robot Fighter #8 was published January, 1992, and #3, #11, #12, #13, and #14 have the lowest print runs out of the early Magnus Robot Fighter issues from Valiant Comics. #13 has the lowest of these early issues with the exception of issue #0.

But this isn't a Magnus Robot Fighter key issues list, so I have no idea why I'm noting that. Anyways, onto the next issue in this Rai key issues list.

From here on out, this series will cover most Modern Age comics. Once again the print run estimates is provided by

I have no idea about the accuracy of those estimates as I have no clue how or from where those estimate numbers were obtained. Just being honest about that. Part 2 of this Magnus Robot Fighter key issues list is ready so just click the appropriate link below to continue.


  1. Another Mayhem Milestone!
    Great Job. Thanks for digging through the Magnus back issue bins :-)


  2. Great work Mayhem, no question about it. Just asked myself - what did become of the Goldkey character Mighty Samson? Why didn' t Valiant buy the rights? I remember that the famous Otto Binder worked on that title. Perhaps someone will revive ol' Samson in the future...

    Triple A

    1. No idea about that one. Coulda been quite a few reasons. Maybe they legally couldn't license the character or the deal fell through or the cats at Valiant just flat out over-looked that character.

      Perhaps someone will revive that character. Who knows, but anything is possible. They are making a Point Break movie remake lol.

      Actually, I think Dark Horse comics started a revamped Mighty Samson comic series in 2010.

  3. Hey Mayhem,

    almost 99 % sure that Magnus 5 came with some kind of collecting cards - if I could only find that sucker! Must be hidden somewhere in my 14 shortboxes. Never thought this one would gain any attention for the next hundred years. Goes to show: our hobby is crazy!

    Speculation Jones

    1. You are correct Speculation Jones. I think Magnus Robot Fighter #1 through #8 all had trading cards and there's a version of #0 that came with a card as well.

      If you're interested in the trading cards that came with the comics, here's a great site that details them:

  4. That reminds me of that Salvador Dali quote. He said: The only difference between Salvador Dali and a crazy man is very simple: Salvador Dali is not crazy!

    That' s what he said. Crazy guy. Guess what else - Picasso, that guy said he only regrets that he didn' t do comics. Speaks for itself,
    doesn' t it?

    Max Rebo