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Author Topic: Ro-Busters Rules  (Read 1452 times)

The Corinthian

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Ro-Busters Rules
« on: 10 October, 2010, 11:05:56 PM »
I've just read 'The Complete Ro-Busters', which I've been a bit wary of getting before because the series seems to have a reputation for being a bit juvenile. So I was pleasantly surprised to find how good it is, at its best a delight, at its worst still delirious fun.

Admittedly the plots are a bit routine, but you read for the characters and the detail rather than for the stories. Hammerstein, Howard Quartz and MekQuake are all marvellous comic creations, and Ro-Jaws even more so. He's the imp in Pat Mills, the voice that you know is shouting "Knickers!" in the background of the most po-faced Slaine. He - and the strip in general - seem to arrive fully-formed from the first episode. Dredd, Robo-Hunter and Strontium Dog all take time to find their groove, so this might be the first 'classic' Tooth/Starlord strip that's classic from the very start.

I prefer it to 'The ABC Warriors', especially as pompous blimpish Hammerstein is much more fun than the surly "war is heck" Hammerstein from the original ABC run. Weirdly the standout weak links are the fill-ins by Alan Moore - not the magnificent 'Old Red Eyes Is Back' but 'Bax the Burner' suffers from the kind of ploddy hard-boiled prose he was over-writing at this point in his career, and 'Stormeagles Are Go!' is a brilliant premise that struggles to find a story to go with it.

Plus, is 'The Terra-Meks' the last ever sighting of a wholly sympathetic Christian character in a Pat Mills strip? We need to be told!

maryanddavid

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #1 on: 10 October, 2010, 11:53:15 PM »
RoBusters is great fun, and will probably make a return to the prog in the near future, with the intro of HowardQ in Savage. IIRC the was a fairly sympathetic priest in Marshal Law.

David

Dandontdare

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #2 on: 10 October, 2010, 11:55:58 PM »
Couldn't agree more. I loved this strip as a kid, and still do. Charlie of Northpool made me cry, Ro-jaws made ma laugh out loud, and I was totally gripped by the weekly unfolding of 'The fall & rise of Ro-jaws & Hammerstein'.

you read for the characters and the detail rather than for the stories. Hammerstein, Howard Quartz and MekQuake are all marvellous comic creations, and Ro-Jaws even more so. He's the imp in Pat Mills, the voice that you know is shouting "Knickers!" in the background of the most po-faced Slaine.

When Pat Mills dropped into the yap shop a while back he mentioned that of all his characters, Ro-jaws is the one he feels closest to and identifies with. And the characterisations are all superb, right down to Dr Feeleygood, Casey, little Mo and Gottlieb. Out of all Mills' characters they are perhaps the most ... human (hmm yes, it does sound just as insulting as when Capt Kirk said it ;)).

Greg M.

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #3 on: 11 October, 2010, 12:49:08 PM »
And the characterisations are all superb, right down to Dr Feeleygood, Casey, little Mo and Gottlieb. Out of all Mills' characters they are perhaps the most ... human (hmm yes, it does sound just as insulting as when Capt Kirk said it ;)).

For someone who was one of the protagonists, Dr Feeleygood scares the hell out of me, and remains one of my favourite Mills characters. HUMM-DE-HUMMM!

John Caliber

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #4 on: 11 October, 2010, 01:02:15 PM »
I first experienced Ro-Busters in Starlord; I was mesmerised by the superior colouring and Ian Kennedy artwork. I've loved that strip ever since (well, some of the Starlord stories were not so hot...)

I didn't appreciate Ro-Jaws' appearance in Nemesis The Warlock. The pairing and the direction of the later stories including the ABC Warriors to me seemed to team up two-three excellent properties and result in something LESS than the sum of its parts.
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Trout

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #5 on: 11 October, 2010, 01:33:55 PM »
*sniff*

Charlie...

AlexF

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #6 on: 11 October, 2010, 02:19:00 PM »
I'm gonna be the voice of dissent here. I love the premise of Ro-Busters, and agree that the characters came out fully-formed - but for me, the vast majority of the actual strips were a bit silly.

I think it was spoiled for me because I read 'Orient Express' and the Charlie story first, which are both amazing and far above the rest of the series. I desperately wanted to get some backstory in. When I finally got hold of it, I wished I hadn't. Even Kevin O'Neill's magnficence couldn't overcome the childishness, and whoever put Carlos Pino on this series needs retooling.

That said, The re-introduction of Howard Quartz has tickled me.

Dandontdare

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #7 on: 11 October, 2010, 02:48:44 PM »
The stories can generally be divided into three groups - First, the 'disaster' stories, of which you're right, Orient Express and Terra Meks are by far the best.

Secondly there's the 'memoir' stories - Hammerstein's is superb, a brilliant proto-ABC Warriors tale; but Ro-Jaws' memoirs went a bit Dickens and is more forgettable.

Finally, there was the one long multi part epic, 'The Fall & Rise of RJ & H', which I thought was fantastic. Top characters, great art, lots of cliffhangers. What's not to like?

AlexF

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #8 on: 12 October, 2010, 12:47:26 PM »
Fall and Rise was decent, you're right: great artwork and a lot of fun characters such as the doctor, and that famous tube chase without which we'd never have had Nemesis, but the overall story wasn't strong enough to live up to the really quite emotional premise of robots being cast out.

Paul faplad Finch

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Re: Ro-Busters Rules
« Reply #9 on: 12 October, 2010, 06:09:28 PM »
Ro-Busters was tosh with some nice art. Not as horrible as the ABC stuff that followed it but nowhere near being deserving of all the praise heaped on it.
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