Tuesday, March 03, 2009 3:29:04 PM
Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Joined: 4/24/2007 | Posts: 1,138 | Points: 3,378
A.B.C. Warriors, Excellent!
Every day above ground is a good day.
ABC Warriors is a long-running 2000 AD comic strip written by Pat Mills, which first appeared in prog 119 in 1979. Art for the opening episodes was by Kevin O'Neill, Mike McMahon, Brett Ewins, and Brendan McCarthy - who between them designed the original seven members of the team.
The A.B.C. Warriors themselves are a team of war robots designed to withstand 'Atomic' 'Bacterial' and 'Chemical' warfare. They were built to take part in the long-running Volgan War, which Pat Mills had described in several previous 2000 AD strips, including Invasion!, whose lead character was the human Bill Savage) and Ro-Busters. Each robot has a distinctive personality - often one programmed by its human creators - but each is more or less able to act with free will.
One of the main characters, Hammerstein, was already well known to 2000 A.D. readers through the story Ro-Busters (which had come to 2000 A.D. via the comic Starlord). The story of the creation of robotic warriors to be used in the Volgan War had been introduced in the Ro-Busters story 'Hammerstein's War Memoirs'. Hammerstein is the only ABC Warrior to appear in film, making a cameo appearance in the Judge Dredd movie.
The initial run of stories from progs 119-128 follows Hammerstein towards the end of the Volgan War as he recruits six robots to join him for a special mission - to tame Mars, which had become a futuristic wild west. In further adventures set much later in time, the warriors teamed up with Nemesis the Warlock in his fight against the Termight Empire and to prevent a destabilised Black Hole bypass at the Earth's core destroying the world.
Many of these early stories pursue the theme of humans using robots to do jobs that they don't wish to do themselves (following the same theme as Ro-Busters), and the cruel treatment of soldier robots by their human officers. The Warriors often find themselves at odds with humans who are exploiting the land and the beings that live on it - typical storylines see the Warriors identifying such evil and delivering poetic justice to the perpetrators. Later stories also explore ideas of 'khaos' , and the concept of programmed robots being able to discover their true identities.
Some of the most famous artists working in British comics have illustrated The ABC Warriors, including Kevin O'Neill, Mike McMahon, Brett Ewins, Brendan McCarthy, Carlos Ezquerra, Dave Gibbons, Simon Bisley, Kev Walker and Henry Flint, among others.