Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ro-Busters: 'The North Sea Tunnel'

NAME
Ro-Busters: 'The North Sea Tunnel'

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No. 1

DATELINE
13 May 78

PAGE COUNT
9

REPRINTS
The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Busters must rescue passengers from the North Sea Tunnel.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First proper Ro-Busters strip, first use of Hammer-stein's name.

INFORMATION
(The earliest this strip could take place is in 2078)

The North Sea Tunnel connects Britain and Scandinavia with one exit at Stavanger in Norway. The North Sea Tunnel Authority are based in Newcastle and led by a Chairman. It has tritanium walls which are breached in Area 4/J in a collision with a huge submarine oil tanker. Ro-Buster are called in to mount a rescue. They seal the tunnel, remove the submarine and save a number of human passengers.

Ro-Busters use a huge multi-role rescue craft called the Preying Mantis which can carry a sea/space vehicle and pods loaded with special equipment.


RO-JAWS
His suspension has seen better days. His right arm is equipped with a shovel and his teeth are razor sharp. On his back is the number XM753 and an exhaust for his water jet thrusters. Ro-Jaws saves a young girl called Sarah and at one point carries her in his chest cavity. He helps save Chatterbox.

HAMMER-STEIN
He is a War Droid Mk 3. His left arm is equipped with a fire extinguisher, while his left is a hammer arm. He is armed with lasers and grenades. He helps save a passenger and Chatterbox.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHATTERBOX
He can operate underwater, but is briefly thought lost in action. He is rescued by Ro-Jaws and Hammer-Stein

HOWARD QUARTZ
Phone Number 5 is Red.

MEK-QUAKE
He has a heavy duty arm. His brain can be removed and he can still function.

METAL ANGEL
A medical robot. He can administer injections, perform surgical procedures and project a hologram of a human face.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Sarah (to Hammer-Stein about Ro-Jaws): "I don't like you. I only like the one with the teeth."

WORST LINES
Passenger: "I don't believe it...a tin freak disaster squad!"

CATCHPHRASES
Mek-Quake says Big Jobs twice.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The North Sea Tunnel is evidently on the same scale as the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel seen in Harlem Heroes, Part 6 and the Judge Dredd strip 'Robots', as well as being alluded to in 'Dream Palace'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein's names obviously recall Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) the musical theatre duo responsible for Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King And I and The Sound Of Music.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Carlos Pino
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is a lot of fun and the page count allows the story to develop at a leisurely pace. Pino's art is beautiful and the robot designs are great.

Next Week: 'And Then My Head Came Off...'