Marvel Comics (November, 1984)
WRITER: Louise Simonson
PENCILER: Michael Chen
INKERS: Akin & Garvey
COLORIST: Julianna Ferriter
LETTERER: Joe Rosen
EDITOR: Ann Nocenti
On a future Earth or some other planet where humans existed, the human race went to sleep to avoid a cosmic tragedy. They left behind two groups of robots called Starriors. The Protectors were meant to restore the planet while the Destructors were meant to protect the planet from alien invasion. (I guess that happened at some point or maybe they’re behind the tragedy? Not really explained.) In the story’s present day however, man never woke up and are something of a myth to the Protectors…a myth that Destructor leader Slaughter Steelgrave wants eliminated. When one of the Protectors finds a human skull, it sets off a chain of events that leads to Protector Hotshot attacking a Destructor, violating his non-violence programming. Slaughter orders his troops to attack a meeting to decide whether to fight or to seek out the fate of mankind, but the attack forces a small group of Starriors, one of which may be Slaughter’s spy, into the desert. Too bad the Destructors are in pursuit.
What they got right: Despite a large cast (for every Protector model type there is a Destructor countertype, a result of the toys using most of the same molds with three exceptions), each character is given some form of unique personality and gender. They even build up a sort of love triangle where a damaged Protector named Nipper has forgotten her relationship with fellow Trashor model Tinker and thinks her true love is Crank. There’s also the mystery of why Slaughter has an issue with thoughts of man, and even some of his subordinates who aren’t violent psychos are questioning to themselves if their leader hasn’t lost his mechanical mind.
What they got wrong: There is a lot packed in here, and while there’s a certain necessity there due to being a miniseries and wanting to get the main plot going, I can see this running off a few potential readers. Also, I’m betting the spy is the one who doesn’t have a toy and doesn’t show up in the “buy me” cast list at the end of the issue.
What I think overall: This is a good start to the story. And if you collected the toys you have personalities and limited backstory to give the characters and build on as kids playing with their Starriors figures. Hopefully the other three issues continue the trend.