The Complete Ro-Busters – a review

This is the first of a few nostalgic reviews I’m doing.  By that I’m gonna be reviewing newly packaged versions of comics from back in the day.  And the first is……The Complete Ro-Busters.

ro-busters-the-complete

When I heard this was coming out, I almost pee’d my pants in excitement. One of my earliest sci-fi experiences was reading the weekly British sci-fi anthology Starlord.  I loved this comic and Ro-Busters was one of the original stories when it started up in 1978.

Ro-Busters opens in 2028 in Flash Harry Lowders Robo Mart where we are introduced to our 2 main heroes Ro-Jaws (a garbage droid) and Hammerstein (the coolest damn war droid ever) are for sale.  They are bought by the cyborg Howard Quartz to be members of Ro-Busters.  And here is where it gets even better.  Ro-busters is a satire of Thunderbirds, a disaster/rescue operation that instead of doing it for altruistic purposes will go into any hell – for the right price.

And so the adventure begins. It begins with rip roaring disasters and stunning rescues accopanied by the hilarious antics of Ro-Jaws and the strait laced Hammerstein – A partnership that’s up there with Fred & Ginger, Abbot & Costello, Eggs & Bacon.

6 episodes in and the stories become tinged with  a satirical flavour that is a thinly veiled commentary on Thatcherite Britain.  The story “The Ritz Space Hotel”  deals with the issues of robot rights and the terrible way in which they are treated by humans.  Other themes centre around corrupt buisness practices and police abuse.

After 22 issues Starlord merged with 2000AD and 16 issues later.  the Ro-Busters started their last adventure a mammoth 13 part story which saw a robot dirty dozen making a last stand and Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein earning the aforementioned Fred & Ginger title in style.

As always in an anthology there are gonna be stories that don’t quite hit the mark but the majority of stories are fantastic and even emotional.  Over 20 years later and I shed a tear as I did the first time at the fate of the Giant Robot Charlie and the bravery of  Hammersteins old war unit.

All these spills and thrills written by Pat Mills, Alan Moore and Chris Stevens and some fantastic art from the likes of Bryan talbot, Kevin O’Neill and Dave Gibbons amongst others.

Having the complete Ro-Busters saga in my hand in one volume was a real thrill.  There were moments where nostalgia made me giddy with excitement but I enjoyed this volume as much as I did the first time round and I like to think that this is because the stories hold up just as well now as they did then.  Hard for me to tell , the only way to be sure is for you to go out and get it and tell me what you think.  At a rrp of £14.99 for this tome, the entertainment value is well worth the price tag.

GS Reporter: Monts

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2 comments

  1. Totally agree on the above.
    This was the one 2000AD reprint I wanted more than any other and was amazed it actually lived up to the years of hype I had given it in my head.

    Especially remember the story where they have to decide on one person to die. The one with the abused robot. Affected me a lot as a kid and still had an impact, tho one probably tinged with nostalgia, when I re-read it.

  2. geeksyndicate /

    Yea that was the one where they were trapped in a train or something running out of oxygen. It was memorable because it was an amazing story for kids as it examined what lies behing the thin venner of civilisation that we put up. A story about a robot double bill and thats what you get-brilliant stuff

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