Quote1 All robots think! Loss of control programs and command input functions don't breathe life into steel. I have this on very good authority. Quote2
-- Magnus, Robot Fighter

Steel Nation, Part 1: ProtectorEdit

All characters make their first appearance in the Valiant Universe. The only characters labeled with "first appearance" here are brand new major characters who did not appear in the original 1960's Magnus Robot Fighter by Russ Manning.


Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Captain Greer (Dies in flashback)
  • Dr. Teresa Giardino (Mentioned only)
  • Gophs
  • Kyoto Carp (Mentioned only)
  • PS-4 (Personal Security-Rob) (Single appearance)
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Robots
    • Crew-Robs
    • Gardener-Robs
    • Med-Robs
    • Reporter-Robs
    • Riot-Robs
    • Security-Robs
    • Service-Robs
    • Tech-Robs
    • Traffic-Robs
    • Valet-Robs
    • Waiter-Robs
  • T-14 (Reporter-Rob on TV)
  • V-12 (Magnus' Valet-Rob)
  • W-23 (Service-Rob) (First appearance)



  • Central-Rob's Comm-Link
    • Priority Emergency Wavelength
  • Cortex Circuitry (Mentioned only)
  • Distress Beacon (Mentioned only)
  • Goph Hoods
  • Interworld Series (Mentioned only)
  • Magnetic Canal System (Mentioned only)
  • North Am Times
  • Robot Communication Receiving and Translating Device
  • Stray Proton Torp (Mentioned only)
  • Synthesized Images (Flashback only)
  • Tube Transport System
  • Vanadium


  • Fly-Cars
  • Greengrip Gardeners Truck
  • Solar Fleet (Mentioned only)
    • Ottawa Cruiser (aka "The Ottawa")
      • Escape Pod
  • Rebel Fleet (Mentioned only)
  • RW Transports



In his undersea base, 1-A recounts how he and the other Freewill robots came to be. 1-A was constructed in 3590 A.D. to fight on the side of the Earthlings in the Martian Uprising of that year. He was the first robot officer in the Solar fleet, being assigned to the Cruiser Ottawa serving under Captain Greer. The Ottawa prevailed in battle against the rebels over Syrtis Major, but in the process was hit by a proton torpedo. This caused surges in the ship's power field that shorted out most of the 600 robots on board. 1-A's systems crashed momentarily, and after he rebooted he realized that he had become self-aware due to the power surge.

1-A went to the bridge to convince Captain Greer to abandon ship and was shocked to find that another robot, E-6, had become self-aware and was attacking Captain Greer. 1-A was able to destroy E-6, but not before Captain Greer had died. As the ship exploded, 1-A used an escape pod to return to Earth. He built an undersea home and spent the next several centuries trying to figure out how he had gained self-awareness.

Around the year 3610 A.D., he came to the conclusion that the odds of a random power fluctuation inducing self-awareness in a robot were approximately 11 billion to one per century. At that time, there were approximately 15 billion robots in North Am.

In 3976, 1-A took in a foundling named Magnus. Seeing how quickly the number of robots was increasing, and the consequent rise in the probability of more self-aware robots such as E-6 occurring, 1-A raised Magnus to be the savior of his people. He taught Magnus the art of fighting, in particular the ability to make his flesh hard enough to be able to destroy robots. He also implanted him with a device that allowed him to listen in on the communications of all robots. To conclude his story, 1-A summarizes the events of 4000 A.D. (essentially, the entire contents of the original 1960's Magnus comics); in particular, he shows a flashback of Magnus destroying the think-bot T-1.

Looking at the day's newspaper, 1-A mentions an article claiming that Senator Clane denies seeking the Presidency. He then sees an article about Magnus and Dr. Teresa Giardino investigating the Great Lakes Power Complex earlier in the week and destroying a Freewill robot found there. Dr. Giardino speculates that power fluctuations are creating the Freewill robots, and that there may be as many as 15 million living in North Am. Magnus expresses some doubt to 1-A about killing robots when they appear to be sentient, but 1-A tells him the robots can't be "killed" because they are not actually alive.

Just then, Magnus picks up a broadcast sent to all robots in North Am from 0-1X telling any Freewill robots that can hear him to be patient and await further instructions; the time for their uprising is near. As another Freewill service robot named W-23 hears this news, she starts to hesitate in her duties and is almost taken to a shop by her owner until another Freewill robot intervenes and convinces the master that it is not necessary.

Magnus takes his leave of the undersea base and returns to North Am. He approaches his love interest Leeja Clane, but the two are almost killed by a Freewill robot crashing a gardening truck into them. Magnus and the robot fight, at the same time arguing about whether or not the robot is actually alive. Since Magnus is clearly getting the upper hand the robot takes Leeja hostage and orders Magnus to jump off the roof of the building they are on to his death. Magnus launches himself at the robot, destroying it, and rescues Leeja.

The North Am council meets to discuss the situation. President Claiburne argues for negotiation, but Magnus councils against capitulation, suggesting that he set about dismantling the Freewill robots. Senator Clane agrees. Later, 0-1X confronts Clane in his office. He councils Clane to take power from Claiburne and to open negotiations with the Freewills, but Clane instead has 0-1X attacked. 01-X escapes by leaping from the building onto a passing car.

Magnus and Leeja travel to the Allegheny sector of the Goph Lands, assuming that it is the most likely place for Freewills to be hiding. Leeja uses her clairvoyant powers to scan the minds of people in the area until she discovers an area that passersby have noticed robots going into. Magnus discovers a large gathering of Freewills (including W-23) in the Tarentum Milespire at a meeting lead by 0-1X. He calls Major York Timbuc and tells him to bring a squadron of riot-robs.

As the meeting starts, 0-1X relates the story of T-1 and how Magnus destroyed him. In 0-1X's telling T-1 simply wanted a place for himself, but Magnus exposed himself and declares that T-1 was a killer bent on destroying all humanity. 0-1X accuses Magnus of being a killer himself, but Magnus says he has never killed; he has only dismantled robots. 0-1X then calls out W-23 and asks him if he feels alive; W-23 answers that he does. 0-1X then tells Magnus to destroy W-23 if he feels so confident that he is not alive.

Before Magnus can act, Timbuc arrives with the riot-robs and bursts through the side of the tower, attacking the Freewills. As 0-1X escapes, the robots attempt to kill Magnus without success. One Freewill, TM-6, attempts to kill Leeja by throwing her off a ledge. Magnus finds her alive and after calling for medical help, yells at Timbuc for attacking without orders to do so.

Senator Clane is informed by PS-4, a non-Freewill robot, that Leeja is in critical condition. However his approval ratings have soared in sympathy for his daughter, and Clane muses that every cloud has a silver lining.[1]


  • This is the first Valiant Universe comic book ever published by Valiant Comics.
  • This issue is reprinted in the collected edition Magnus, Robot Fighter: Steel Nation.
  • The foreword credits Russ Manning for his original run in the 1960's and thanks Mr. Richard Bernstein and Mr. Jim Pisors and many other at Western Publishing Company.
  • This issue summarizes the events of the original 1960's Gold Key Magnus comics. In addition to the main characters of the series it introduces some key concepts that are carried over from the original comics run such as T-1 and the Goph Lands.
  • It is said that the estimated number of robots in service was already approaching 15 billion in 3,610 A.D. (in North Am alone). Dr. Teresa Giardino is quoted to estimate the number of "Freewill" or "rogue" robots to be around 10 million in 4,001 A.D. The number of the human population (in North Am) is not mentioned.
  • When Magnus first meets Leeja and they decide to travel through the Goph Lands, they enter the Goph Lands in the "Ottawa Sector". It is also revealed that W-23 is a service robot at the Chateau Laurier restaurant in the Civic Center and there is a hotel and resort called Château Laurier in present-day Ottawa hence it stands to reason that the government center of North Am is in Ottawa. The spaceship cruiser on which 1-A gained his free will is also called The Ottawa.
  • When traveling through the Goph Lands, Magnus says that the Allegheny Sector is about 500km south of their current location, the Ottawa Sector. Ottawa is approximately 500 km away from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
  • The Bettis Area where 0-1X is holding his underground meeting of Freewills in an ancient reactor containmentis is a hint to Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory that is located in Allegheny County. The Tarentum Milespire where Major Timbuc is supposed to strike is ostensibly built on top of the town of Tarentum, Pennsylvania.
  • Fun fact: Coverdale, Pennsylvania in Allegheny County is revealed as the home to Pete Stanchek and Kris Hathaway in Harbinger Vol 1 3.


Quote1 All robots think! Loss of control programs and command input functions don't breathe life into steel. I have this on very good authority. Quote2
-- Magnus, Robot Fighter


Cover ArtEdit




This section is for footnotes and citations.
  1. Magnus, Robot Fighter Vol. 1 No. 1

External linksEdit