12.Jul.2010 The man that’s greater than machine: Magnus!

If you love comics and aren’t aware of the sketch blog Comic Twart (“Twart = Twitter + Art” if you’re already confused) then you need to seriously rethink how you’re spending your time on the internet. Tackling a new assignment each week, the elite sketching force featuring talents like Chris Samnee, Mitch Breitweiser, Tom Fowler, Francesco Francavilla and Mike Hawthorne put pencil to paper regularly to deliver numerous fresh takes on iconic comic heroes. The results are a treat on the eyeballs and it’s certainly among my favorite art-heavy online venues.

Last week, the crew tackled a favorite of mine: Magnus, Robot Fighter.

While I normally enjoy each week’s subject on Twart, seeing all these new takes on Magnus got me downright psyched. Before I post a few of entries that got me particularly pumped, let me explain a few things about Magnus…

From the original series by Russ Manning.

Magnus, Robot Fighter began in the ’50s and was created by comics legened Russ Manning. The story takes place in the year 4000 within the robot-filled and continent spanning city of North Am. Raised by a kind-hearted robot named 1A, Magnus was taught that robots could be a great aid to society but they could also be mankind’s downfall if humans lazily relied on machines for everything. Hoping Magnus could help lead social change, 1A taught him valuable lessons of reliance perseverance while also physically training his man-child until our hero was the pinnacle of human strength and athleticism. The guy’s a leader of men, understands “moderation in all things” and can karate chop through steel! Magnus is the kung-fu John Henry killing renegade robots and stopping megalomaniacal madmen with his steel-strong fists, lightning-sharp wits and motivating message that man doesn’t need machine! If that’s not a comic hero and premise to get excited about, I don’t know what is.

So, without further ado, here’s a few of Comic Twart‘s masterful takes on Mr. Manning’s Magnus! (Too much alliteration? Absolutely absurd!)

By Evan Shaner

By Mitch Breitweiser

By Chris Samnee (The tip top of my favorites list listed here.)

By Francesco Francavilla

While Magnus is extremely badass, I have noticed a few people online recently lament his tunic and assert he would be cooler were he not wearing a skirt. Certainly a martial arts-infused Magnus costume or traditional superhero tights might be cool, but let’s not forget that men’s men throughout historical fiction have remained unabashedly badass even in “skirts.”

Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo as portrayed by Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson on HBO's "Rome." The show's duo was based on two soldiers from Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico.

Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius from Ridely Scott's "Gladiator." An Oscar-winning demonstration of "skirt"-clad badassery.

I rest my case.

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There are 3 Comments to "The man that’s greater than machine: Magnus!"

  • John says:

    He looks ridiculous, but that’s part of his charm. He’s a dude that saves people by punching robots.

  • Jim Gibbons says:

    “He’s a dude that saves people by punching robots.”

    Well said, sir! And really, what could be more fun than that?! I love it!

  • DirkStar says:

    Magnus, was, Metro-Sexual, before such a concept even existed. He had the legs for this outfit and he looked good in a skirt. Magnus, gave me the courage to dress my, G.I. Joe, action figures in my sister’s, Barbie, skirts and still look at them as, Warriors. Magnus, taught me that a real man isn’t afraid of skirts, purses or maybe even a touch of make-up if the social circumstance called for it. Magnus, gave me the courage to embrace my own feminine side and he’ll always hold a special place in my heart…

    Sashay on, Magnus! You are an inspiration to, Warriors, everywhere.