Fred Van Lente Talks Magnus: Robot Fighter
Jan 04, 2014
The Gold Key Universe is expanding! Superstar Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies, Amazing Spider-Man, Archer & Armstrong) and the astounding Cory Smith (Fathom) present a stunning re-imagining of Magnus: Robot Fighter (JAN141066) that you never saw coming!
In the blink of an eye, young martial artist Magnus has everything taken from him...his father, his wife, his entire life. He's suddenly thrust into a futuristic world he doesn't understand, populated by humans and robots living together in oppression! Can Magnus fight to get his life back...and once he learns the truth about himself, will he want to?
PREVIEWSworld talked with writer Fred Van Lente to discuss how he plans to re-introduce this classic series to a new audience and what loyal fans can look forward to in this new incarnation of Magnus: Robot Fighter from Dynamite Entertainment!
PREVIEWSworld: What are the powers and skills that MAGNUS uses in his war on robotics?
Fred Van Lente: Magnus discovers rather quickly that he has the innate ability not just to differentiate between humans and robots instantly (no small task in this world where technology has made humans and robots almost interchangeable) and, more importantly, he can see the weak part of any robot and strike it with kung fu in such a way to demolish it. So he's pretty awesome all around. (grins)
PREVIEWSworld: The character of MAGNUS has been a staple of comics since the 1960s, with a rabid fan following courtesy of his 1990s incarnation. What will be the appeal for longtime fans with the direction you're taking with the hero?
Fred Van Lente: The field of robotics and artificial intelligence has made massive leaps and bounds even since the 1990s and the Valiant version of the character, so I've done a ton of research incorporating those ideas into the series. And Cory Smith's designs for the robots are just incredible.
PREVIEWSworld: You've written offbeat, hilarious titles like DEADPOOL and THE MOCKING DEAD. Will we find elements of humor in the world of MAGNUS: ROBOT FIGHTER?
Fred Van Lente: Yeah, to a certain degree, but definitely not at a level of those two series. This is a pretty serious science fiction adventure, although with some elements of satire, because SF really lends itself to that.
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PREVIEWSworld: How have developments in real-world science, the technological advancements of the past few decades, influenced the story?
Fred Van Lente: One of the issues the whole concept of a world of robots invokes is: What is a copy? What is the real? Is one really better than the other? This issue of our "authentic self" is very important to us as humans and what if, in order to be more human, it was as important to robots too? So there are a lot of really interesting philosophical questions to explore too, along with the martial arts and the explosions -- but there's a lot of those too!
PREVIEWSworld: We're not seeing a tunic this time around with MAGNUS. What are your thoughts on a robot fighter who no longer has such freedom of movement?
Fred Van Lente: I'm sure he's got a fly on that thing somewhere.
PREVIEWSworld: As one of the key creative figures in the return of the Gold Key line (TUROK, MAGNUS, SOLAR, and DR. SPEKTOR), what are your thoughts on bringing back this universe of characters into today's marketplace?
Fred Van Lente: It's an exciting and diverse bunch of characters across a number of genres. It's pretty exciting, and it's fun to be working with writers as talented as Greg, Frank, and artists as great as Cory. I hope people check the whole line out, I've read all the scripts and they're all terrific.