Sunday, June 13, 2021

No. 7: Robotmen of the Lost Planet, Part 1

Robotmen of the Lost Planet was published in 1952 by Avon Publications. It tells the story of a group of humans who built robots to make their lives easier only to have the robots turn on them and take over the planet.

It was written by Walter Gibson with art by Gene Fawcette. Gibson (1897-1985) is best known as the writer of the early print stuff of The Shadow, writing under the house pseudonym of Maxwell Grant. Much of what we know about the The Shadow was created by Gibson. Gene Fawcette (1920-1988) originally worked for the Eisner/Iger Studio and for Fiction House. Fawcette bounced from comic company to comic company including Marvel, Toby, and Western mainly focusing on science fiction, horror, or western stories before working on Western's Looney Tunes comics in the late 1970s.

The inside cover makes it seem like the robots just appeared and took over, causing the massacre of the humans but the actual story makes it clear that the humans created and built the robots and that the robots turned on their creators. Mainly this is a cautionary tales about constructing the entire robot when we all now that you only construct the part of the robot you need so that if they do rise up, they may not be as functional and not able to really cause any harm.

All images from the Digital Comics Library. This appeared in a slightly different format on Twitter.

Never give robots a full body. Only build the functional part of the robot that way they can't overpower you when they inevitably rise up.

I love the design of these robots. Very unique compared to other robots being illustrated at the time.

I don't like how they gave the man a normal name like Alan but they gave the woman a fake-sounding science fiction name, Nara.

I looked it up and Nara isn't technically a made-up name but how common would the name be in 1952?

Such fun! It's like Fawcette couldn't pick just one robot body type. On the cover they are more human-like but on the first page they look more doughy. Here, it's a normal bottom half but thicc torso, giant head, and elongated arms. The robot also looks like he hates himself.

At least they gave Alan a stupid surname.

It's only the second page and Alan is already sick of this robot's shit.

Hey! Emperor Johns is an early version of Hedonismbot!

Gee. Humans are being dicks to the robots. No wonder they revolted and massacred us.

"Let's put our slaves in charge of making more slaves! What could possibly go wrong?" Honestly, I feel these people deserve what they get.

It's strange that back then the goal of work was to futurize everything so you wouldn't have to work but yet still reap the benefits and rewards. Now, you are expected to work until you die and if a robot replaces you then you definitely don't reap the rewards.

"We humans have grown soft."

"Ouch. My ears. Why must you say such hurtful things, father?"

They should've kept a human or two around to supervise the robots. You know, just in case.

The resting bitch face on Nara is exquisite.

So we're trusting the fate of humanity on a guy who has never worked a day in his life and has only known pleasure? Well, we're boned.

Humans have gotten really doughy since robots started doing everything for us.

"What is your rating? You work in the factory?"

*whispers* "Cheese it! Answer him. We have to keep up this charade for a few more minutes. *normal voice* Everything is fine. Why do you ask? We're not planning on massacring you. We make just enough robots to replace the ones that break down. No more, no less. Now stop badgering me."

I'm going to start saying this. "How are you doing today?"

"Oh, pretty good. Work is good. Can't complain."

"There is lying built into you!"

I've read a lot of things about humans over the years and let's be honest, we deserve this,

"The robots are killing humans!"

"What shall I do? Downgrade them? That will stop them, right? Going from a B-Minus to a D-Minus? That'll show them!"

"Robots are killing humans?! You, Robot! Go find the robot!" I guess you don't become emperor by being the smartest person in the room.

The robots are here to massacre the humans and the emperor is still shouting idle threats about downgrading. I don't think they care, Emperor Johns. I don't think they care.

"No! No!! Don't kill me! I'll downgrade you to an F! No! F-Minus, if you do!!"

This is my favorite panel. Both robots clubbing and stomping humans while Nara screams in terror. Beautiful.

They probably should've started running when the first human was killed.

Do these robots seem larger? They tower over the humans now.

🎵Greenacres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan just give me that countryside!🎶

So Alan--who has never worked a day in his life, cared anything about science or his family heritage--is going to become a noble scientist and stop the robot uprising? Mediocre white men are just a wonder to behold.

FIVE YEARS!?! These humans are doing a terrible job. I get that they really couldn't grab their clothes but they're already wearing fur pelts?

How many humans survived the robot massacre? Is it just these humans or are there small conclaves all over the world? More or less than five million?

What are they doing? Growing robot flesh? Isn't that what started all this?

Oohh! Alan is going to disguise himself as a robot. That sounds hilarious and I can't wait to see it.

I love that when humans are at their lowest and basically at a point where maybe they shouldn't be having any more humans, they will still have more humans. Always.

I guess this is a baby. Or a toddler. Either way, I'm not a fan of this.

And you named him Laurie. Laurie? What?

Cool. Teaching this kid bigotry and hatred is probably a good idea.

God, I cannot wait to turn the page and see Alan as one of these freakish robots.

I guess it's good that humans don't have any weapons otherwise Nara would've blown a hole through Alan.

Violent bigotry and hatred. So precious. 😊💞

"I'll be back soon!" Miles...Days of walking...

"Hello fellow robots."
"Why were you in the woods?"
"Uh, I was, uh, doing robot...things. I'm certainly not a human."

Industriana. That was the original name for Detroit.

The robots should've installed a database of all of the other robots into their brains. Then crap like this wouldn't happen.
"I am 4-Sento-6!"
"I have no recording of that label." *immediately disintegrates Alan*

The robot doctor (doctor robot?) is wearing a head mirror! I love it!

So when robots get too old they melt? Is that what's happening? The rubber they install over their metal skeleton melts?

You would think that a robot with gears and pistons for muscles would be able to handle themselves in a fight. I don't care if they were built for fighting or not.

"He gives his label as Harl-2! I think he will be skilled enough for work here!"
"Yeah, sure, why the hell not?"

"Yes, yes. I see how they differ. The robots actually have technology while I made this with a coconut and a couple of leaves."

The robot has a plastic skeleton? Not made of metal? Maybe that was a safety protocol. The robots should've used metal but then I guess there would've been a chance that the plastic skeleton robots would end up in the same situation as the humans.

Remember that scene in Futurama where Fry is on a robot planet that hates humans and goes in to rescue Bender and has to go pee. While peeing in an alley, a robot notices and is concerned that Fry is leaking coolant at an alarming rate and offers to weld Fry's penis shut? That some good stuff right there.

Wait. How is Alan going to the bathroom?

B-Plus Commanders? Where are the A-Plus robots? Have they gone to hedonism like Emperor Johns did?

Clearly the robots just took over the factories that humans built because robots have no need for windows that someone could jump through in an attempt to escape.

What? So the robots are making their skin less durable to become more human? Why would robots want to become human? "We were created by the hu-man. We killed the hu-man. Now we are the hu-man." Why would any superior entity want to become more like us flesh bags?

"The Arcs had been a great and glorious family..." That's debatable.

Will Alan and the humans' science help save mankind? Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of Robotmen of the Lost Planet.

To be continued...