We continue our Comics Week with a Saturday Matinee of classic robot covers and panels. Robots were fun! As walking humanoids, they embodied our love and fear of technology. Robots were the ultimate weapon of the mad scientist, and the creepiest operative sent to infiltrate human society. In the control of secret agents and boy heroes, they tipped the balance of power so that good could prevail. They were a mainstay of comics and Pulps throughout the Golden Age, and included such characters as Bozo, Electro, The Human Torch, Marvex, Flexo, Mr. Atom, and Robot Man. During the Silver Age and Cold War era, they loomed especially large in the DC universe, where mechanical versions of heroes like Batman and Robin threatened to destroy the status quo. During the Communist craze, paranoia of shifting ideologies and allegiances was channeled into stories about synthetic duplicates (without heart or faith) stepping in for major characters. And in their dullest moments, they appeared in Superman and Wonder Woman stories about secret identities and romance. From Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Fleischer's Mechanical Monsters (Superman), and Astro Boy, to The Bionic Woman, the Cybernauts (The Avengers), and Battlestar Galatica, Robots have endured as an essential element in genre fiction. In related current publications, readers should check out the 2014 Eisner-Award nominated web-comic by Brian Fies called The Last Mechanical Monster. Selected rogue's gallery of comic robots below. Enjoy!
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