COMIC REVIEW: A Look back at ABC Warriors Mek Files 01

The ABC Warriors are a classic stalwart series in the annals of 2000AD history. With great pleasure I started to read this collection comprised of two series’ worth of their adventures. The ABC Warriors are an interesting concept – robot war heroes with human emotions and feelings.  The brave mechanical warriors are sent out to fight the Volgans ( a race well known to 2000AD readers, having appeared in the Invasion strip – right at the beginning of the comics run in 1977!)

The narrative of this first volume concentrates on the period when Hammerstein was a sergeant in the military and when cruel, human masters sent robots to war, to kill or be killed.  There’s a strong Anti-war message contained in the story, and that becomes an important theme throughout this series.  Indeed it’s a theme that Pat is particularly passionate about and his writing regarding this can be poignant and elegant at times (See his seminal Charlies War for a superb instance of this).

Many of the opening stories have the members of the team being assembled for some form of special mission.  It’s very similar in a way to the Magnificent Seven and serves as a fantastic introduction to each of their nuanced characters.  Straight away, I found my favourite was the Grand Wizard of the Knights Marshal – Deadlock, who exhibited strange supernatural powers and was altogether sinister.  That’s something that must be praised regarding this volume, the characterisation is superb.  I found myself deeply empathising with Mongol, a creature who reminded me of Frankenstein’s Monster. He is put together by a beautiful young woman and driven into a maddening rage when she is cruelly murdered by the Volgans.  Each Warrior has an interesting backstory and as a reader you become deeply involved in the plot because of that.  We have the retinue of Happy Shrapnel (with smelly boots), Joe Pineapples, the aforementioned Deadlock and Hammerstein, a reprogrammed Volgan War Criminal General Blackblood and a strange molten monster called The Mess. Once the team are assembled, they are sent off to Mars to tame the wild red planet, dealing with dinosaurs, cyborg baboons, mutants, the red death and the wonderful George with five brains.

Within this volume are the superb art styles of Brendan McCarthy, Mick McMahon, Kevin O’Neill, Dave Gibbons, SMS, Simon Bisley and of course Carlos Ezquerra.  These gentlemen are known as the finest talents in the British comic book industry and with good reason.  I loved SMS and Bisley’s artwork when Pat begins to look at the history of mankind, I was broadly smiling at this particular panel and admiring the artwork in the scene.

This without a doubt was my favourite moment in the collection, suggesting that, somehow, the ABC Warriors had been involved in the conflict on Termight with Nemesis and Torquemada.  This whole collection is an absolute joy to read and an essential purchase for those who enjoy pithy, satirical, humorous writing wrapped up in Robot battles and violence!

This compilation can be found at : Amazon,  2000AD Webshop

Title : The ABC Warriors Mek Files 01

Publisher: Rebellion

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer: DrChris

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