Recently released from from the 2000AD Thrill-vaults in a 304-page pulse-pounding collection, are everyone’s favourite war droids: the Atomic, Bacterial, Chemical-proof A.B.C. Warriors.
Beautifully bound in a stunning hardback edition, for the first time, all of the full-colour splash pages and double-page spreads from the much-loved robots’ original appearances have been lovingly reproduced, as they were originally published.
Covering the Warriors very first missions, their initial formation, the taming of the Red Planet (Mars), and their return to Earth (Termight) in the Simon Bisley/SMS (now Smuzz) classic written by Pat Mills, “The Black Hole”, this wonderful collection also includes gorgeous pin-ups and a cover gallery, from some of the industry’s most respected talents, including Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Brendan McCarthy (Skin), Mick McMahon (Slaine), Kevin O’Neill (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Simon Bisley (Lobo).
In “The Black Hole” the Warriors, working for Nemesis the Warlock, must save Termight (Earth, thousands of years in the future), from the Warlock’s son, Thoth, who wants revenge on the planet’s despotic ruler, Torquemada for killing his mother, by collapsing an artificial interstellar warp tunnel in nearby space. In the classic adventure, (first published in Progs555-581) the line-up included Ro-Jaws and Mek-Quake replacing Happy Shrapnel and ‘The Mess’.
Also featured are square-jawed, heroic, uptight military leader of the Warriors, Sergeant Hammerstein: a robot designed solely for combat, his chest-plate built to swell with pride when victorious in battle, has started to question his role after centuries of endless,futile war. The polar opposite of his uptight commander, the effortlessly cool assassin and deadly sniper, Joe Pineapples is seemingly unflappable, but there are however, one or two skeletons in Joe’s well-stocked closet.
Before joining the Warriors, Mongrol roamed the Volgan countryside looking for revenge on the hated Volgs, who killed the woman that saved and rebuilt him, his beloved Lara. Happy Shrapnel was a tough, grizzled, veteran war droid, but as the only survivor of ‘H’ Day and one too many sentences of “electro-discipline” he’d been left with faulty circuits and a speech defect . The magnificent Steelhorn, once the greatest robot ever built, became a pacifist after destroying the Volgan leader Marshal Volgod, and ending the Volgan war. His creators couldn’t allow this and tricked him into entering a fusion furnace, smelting him down to molten steel. However, Steelhorn’s desire to live was too strong, turning him into a living liquid metal, also known as ‘The Mess’!
The story features this mind-bending, eye-popping art by Smuzz (now working on Crucible, written by me), a stunning tribute to MC Escher, as the A.B.C Warriors get lost in one of the chambers of the old Emperor Zalinn’s tomb, in the Time Wastes at the core of Termight.
And here’s some more ABC Warriors by Smuzz, including another page inspired by Durer.
• A.B.C. Warriors – The Mek Files 01 is on sale now in all good book shops and comic stores