Tuesday, 3 April 2012

I: Robot.

Iron Man confronts Gargantus, the hynotic robot neanderthal who has his club ready to bash him with
Reader, can you guess Steve Who Does Comics' shocking secret!?!

Yes, it's true. I have a revelation to make because the man who's been bringing this blog to you for all these long, painful years is in fact no man at all!

He's a robot!

Or at least he would be if Stan Lee were in charge.

That's right. My post of two days ago - with its mention of the Fantastic Four's foe Gabriel - reminded me of Stan Lee's habitual love of revealing that villains were in fact cunningly disguised robots. Why, in the 1960s, you could barely move for unstoppable Marvel villains who, at the tale's climax, were revealed to be no more than nuts and bolts.

I covered one of them recently in my review of The Incredible Hulk #127, which told the tragic tale of Mogol. But the regular reader may not be surprised to discover my favourite such villain was the hypno-robo-Neanderthal that was Iron Man's foe Gargantus.

How could you not love him? Not only was he a Neanderthal, not only did he have hypno-powers but, at the denouement, he flew apart when confronted by a handful of magnets. Never again would his alien creators dare attack Earth now they knew mankind had at its disposal the deadly power of magnetism.

Well, that's my heart-warming anecdote done with but what about you? Just off the top of my head, I can think of a whole bunch of robots in disguise that turned up in the early days of The Avengers, X-Men, The Hulk and a load of others, so what Marvel villains do you recall that turned out to be robots? And which ones were your favourites?

14 comments:

Dougie said...

The Magneto who had Mesmero abduct Lorna Dane. He was a robot.

Why did I forget Mesmero when people were compiling lists of third-rate villains? Post-hypnotic sugg--what? Where am I?

Dougie said...

Handily, this post proves I'M not a robot. Oh, no.

Aggy said...

After all these years I am still fairly sure that Nick Fury did not actually survive WW2 and that the head of SHIELD is just a series of LMD's

Steve W. said...

Was there a Captain America story where it was revealed that Baron Strucker was just a robot? Or am I now just hallucinating?

Boston Bill said...

How about Hulk 4 where "Mongu the Gladiator from Space" turned out to be a commie in an exo-skeleton? Does an exo-skeleton count?

R. W. Watkins said...

Didn't the aliens in the backup story from Amazing Spider-Man No 1 turn out to be robots in an issue of Spectacular Spider-Man some twenty years later? I'm pretty sure I have an issue stashed away somewhere which features a story entitled 'Alone Against the Aliens'. Marvel was at an all-time low by the late '70s / early '80s, obviously.

Kid said...

I'll have a think about the robots, but in the meantime, consider this: Both Iron Man and Thor had stories where alien invaders cancelled their plans to invade Earth because they hadn't realised that 'earthlings' were so powerful. Even FF #2 is a variant on this theme.

B Smith said...

"the head of SHIELD is just a series of LMD's"

That very early Nick Fury story (the one reprinted in POW1 Annual 1968) showed a whole bunch of Fury LMDs being picked off...later in a Steranko-created story, there was a time when everyone thought Fury was the new LMD being tested in Danger Room-style surroundings.

And then in that run in with the Yellow Claw (Strange Tales #167), Fury applied the Satan Claw only to discover that, yes, the Claw was just a robot.

And then there was that time that John Byrne decided he didn't like the way Chris Claremont wrote Doom in The X-Men (around #146-47), and retconned him later in the FF book to be one of his Doombots.

And then...

Rip Jagger said...

My favorite is a backspin on the robot trick in Avengers, when the Crimson Cowl is revealed to be first a robot and then Jarvis, but later we learn of course that the robot was in fact Ultron-5 and the ultimate villain behind the whole plot to begin with.

Rip Off

Steve W. said...

I seem to remember an early issue of the Avengers where they come up against a huge Vietnamese warlord who turns out to be a robot.

And, of course, there's the early X-Men tale where they meet Frankenstein's monster and it turns out to be a robot built by aliens.

Anonymous said...

Avengers #18 was the one where they fought the Commissar, the "Sin-Cong" warlord who turned out to be a robot. IIRC, Baron Strucker was killed in the late 1960's in Strange Tales or Captain America. He later returned, but it turned out to be an LMD programmed to think it was the real Strucker. That may have been in Captain America #273-274.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Anon. I knew I wasn't imagining things.

Anonymous said...

In Tales of Suspense #88-89, Captain America received an SOS from his long-lost sidekick, Bucky, and flew to rescue him. When Cap arrived at the destination, Bucky attacked him and beat him up. Naturally, it turned out to be a robot designed by the Red Skull.

Steve W. said...

I was really disappointed with that story. I wanted the Red Skull to pull off his own mask to reveal that HE was Bucky.

You might also like...

Related Posts with Thumbnails