The A.B.C. Warriors: 'Steelhorn', Part 1
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 127
25 Aug 79
A.B.C. Warriors Book 1, ABC Warriors 01, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2) 07, A.B.C. Warriors Mek-nificent Seven and A.B.C. Warriors: The Meknificent Seven
Hammer-Stein attempts to goad Steelhorn into joining him and fails. The indestructible Steelhorn is melted down and becomes 'the Mess'
FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Steelhorn and 'the Mess', also the first ABC Warriors strip not to feature Joe Pineapples or Happy Shrapnel.
Marshall Volgod is Zarr and leader of the Volgan empire.
Allied forces advance on every front and the Volgan Empire is losing the war. The Allied A.B.C. Robot Steelhorn kills Volgod and the war is over. Decommissioned A.B.C. Robots believe they are going to be able to make a new life for themselves, but instead they are melted down.
A flame barrier is a forcefield that burns with a high intensity.
He attacks a pacifist Steelhorn in order to goad him into fighting again. Later he gets a feeling that something bad has happened to Steelhorn
He has been operated upon and reprogrammed.
Steelhorn is constructed from the toughest metals and cannot be destroyed. He can withstand the heat of a Volgan flame barrier. Steelhorn has spent ten years fighting. He takes vengeance on Marshall Volgod and then becomes a pacifist. Hammer-Stein attacks him to try and force him to change his ways. Steelhorn plans to become a fireman. Instead of being demobilised he is dropped into a fusion furnace, but it fails to destroy him and he becomes a 'mess' of flowing living liquid metal. 'The Mess' flows out of the furnace and kills its operator.
Zarr of the Volgan Empire. With the war apparently lost, he is planning to go into exile aboard an imperial plane when Steelhorn arrives to claim vengeance.
Three. Steelhorn takes his vengeance on Volgod, Steelhorn is melted down and 'the Mess' kills the Furnace operator.
Hammer-Stein: "Strodd help me!"
Steelhorn screams an "Aieeee"
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Blackblood's 'operation' mentioned in 'The Bougainville Massacre' takes place here.
INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Zarr is presumably a futuristic spelling of Tzar and/or Czar.
Script Robot: Pat Mills
Art Robot: Brendan
Lettering Robot: Pete Knight
Steelhorn, we hardly knew ye and yet Hammer-Stein feels like a passenger in Steelhorn's strip. Steelhorn singlehandedly ends the war and it's shame that it happens so simply and between panels. Steelhorn would make a great addition to the team so, in a move that seems very unlikely, Hammer-Stein attempts to beat Steelhorn's pacifism out of him, then the big fella dies. 'The Mess' is an intriguing idea to pull off in a comic, years ahead of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the artwork depicting it is phenomenal.
Next Prog: Revenge Of The Mess!