Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ro-Busters: 'The Preying Mantis', Part 2

NAME
Ro-Busters: 'The Preying Mantis', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord Issue 3

DATELINE
27 May 78

This appeared with Strontium Dog, Timequake, Mind Wars and Planet Of The Damned strips, a free Starblast game and a cover by Kevin O'Neill

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1985 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws and Hammer-Stein try to save a busload of kids.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Ro-Busters story that has lasted to two parts. First work on Ro-Busters by Dave Gibbons.

INFORMATION
(The year is 2078)

Robo-buses are robot buses.

Children seem to be unaffected by the red mist.


RO-JAWS
He was rejected by the quality controller at the factory where he was built six times. He can see in infra-red and spray caustic foam. He is paired with Hammer-Stein. Their mission is to save a senator from his mansion.

HAMMER-STEIN
He fought in World War Three. He is paired with Ro-Jaws. Their mission is to save a senator from his mansion.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MARVIN
Robo-Bus. He is a grade three robot. He has been programmed not to be driven by children or robots.

DEATHS
Two. A red mist maddened state penitentiary road gang, an alligator eats a kid's dad.

BEST LINES
Ro-Jaws: "Hey, kid...I know it's rough, your old man snuffing it...still -- getting bitten in half by an alligator is a quick death! And at least your old man can't tell you off no more..."

WORST LINES
Mad men: "Kill! Kill! Kill!"


CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The Robo-Bus' interface bears the phrase 'Call Me Marvin' in the same vein as Walter The Wobot's 'I'm Walter, Try Me'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ro-Jaws and Hammer-Stein negotiations with Marvin could be an example of the liar paradox. Examples of uses of the liar paradox to shut down artificial intelligences include the Star Trek episode I, Mudd (1967) to confuse and ultimately disable an android and the Doctor Who story The Green Death (1973), in which the Doctor asks a computer "If I were to tell you that the next thing I say would be true, but the last thing I said was a lie, would you believe me?" and leaves it bewildered.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
As with Part 1, this is quite dull until Ro-Jaws and Hammer-Stein come to the rescue. The interaction between the two of them and the grieving infant is wonderful.

Next Week: 'Mek-Quake Do You Know What On You Know Who!'