Mr. Roboto

In my last entry, I featured notable appearances by The Walrus, the vigilante that is starring in the upcoming Uptown Girl original graphic novel “Big City Secrets”.  The other notable character in the book is the evil Mr. Roboto.  Mr. Roboto first appeared in issue 16 of the monthly series.  Issue 16 was written by Brian Bastian.

Once Brian started to write issues, he was itching to introduce Mr. Roboto.  It took a few months before Mr. Roboto worked his way into the series but he quickly became a popular character.

Mr. Roboto was built by Rocketman to be his best friend.

But thanks to Rocketman’s short attention span, he soon ditched his robot pal to hang out with his human friends.  Jealousy set in, and Mr. Roboto decided to eliminate his creator’s friends.

Eventually Mr. Roboto captured Uptown Girl and held her prisoner at an amusement park.

The day is saved when we find out that Mr. Roboto is not water proof.  Rocketman ditches his robot friend at the junkyard, never to bother them again…

…or so it seemed!  I never really planned on reusing villains but man, I loved Roboto.

I like how this issue ended.

One thing I wanted to do with Uptown Girl is to make a comic that I would like to read, and I always liked comics that brought back villains and had them all team up to try to take down the hero.  So in issue 25, Brian and I did just that.

In the issue, the evil Mack the Knife (issue 12) recruits all of Uptown Girl’s old foes in an effort to take her down.

And of course, Mr. Roboto was revealed to be one of those recruits.

I always wanted to do an issue that told the back story of how Mack recruited all these guys but I never got around to it.  In any case, Mack had retrieved Roboto’s body from the junkyard and did a few upgrades.

The one upgrade Mack should have done is making Roboto water proof.  Luckily for Uptown Girl, he didn’t.

After stopping Roboto, Uptown Girl had defeated all her old foes once again.  But Mack the Knife is a sore loser and hid a bomb inside of Mr. Roboto.  Fleeing the building at the last second, Uptown Girl and her friends witnessed the building they were in reduced to a pile of bricks.

But Rocketman was able to find one thing in the wreckage:

And to be honest, I thought that was the end of Mr. Roboto’s story.  I looked at issue 25 as closing the chapter on all the bad guys Uptown Girl encountered in the first two dozen issues and opening the next 25 issues to a new set of characters.

Of course, it didn’t work out that way.

My friend Danno is a crazed comics genius and wrote and storyboarded an issue featuring the return of Roboto.  It was meant to be 24 pages but the story was too big for a normal issue.  I had to do this insane story, so I turned it into an Annual, which usually were around 40 pages.

The story was about a time traveler named RT who goes back to Rocketman’s time so they could team up and stop Mr. Roboto from taking over the world.

RT warns us about a sanitation worker named Pete who stumbles across Mr. Roboto’s body in the junkyard (placing this out-of-continuity-story after 16 but before 25).  A scientist in his spare time, he starts to tinker with Roboto and soon Roboto is wired to every computer main frame in the United States in an effort to make things more efficient.  And of course, Mr. Roboto used this to his advantage enslaving humanity in RT’s time.

Pete, now calling himself “Dr. Feelgood” finally makes Roboto waterproof as RT and Rocketman try to take down Roboto.

Roboto is brought down this time by a giant magnet.  This robotic terrorist’s body is disposed of at sea.  Hmm.

Anyway, Danno had designed all the characters in this issue and even designed the cover for the comic.  Here’s his version:

And that was all the was planned for Mr. Roboto.  But once I decided to end the monthly series with issue 75, I started to think about if there was anything else I wanted to do in the series.  Or if there were any characters who still had a story in them.  Eventually I thought up a story that would ended up being spread over two issues (issues 72 and 73).

I ended up calling the story “The Return”.

The story begins with the rides at the Mall of America breaking down and an engineer named Mr. Jones being forced to find a permanent solution to the malfunctioning rides.

Vexed with this problem, the engineer walks home and stumbles across a destroyed building and uncovers a familiar object

Creepy.  He uncovers the head of Mr. Roboto under the debris the building that exploded waaaaay back in issue 25, about four years prior.  Dr. Jones brings the head to work and  reactivates him.

With no memory of his evil past, Mr. Roboto is friendly to Dr. Jones who is also oblivious to his true colors.

Realizing that Mr. Roboto is a powerful and sophistic piece of technology, he connects Roboto up to the mainframe to see if Roboto can take over running the mall.  He starts with security…

…and then moves onto all of the mall’s operations.

Everything runs smoothly for a while.  Trusting a homicidal robot to protect thousands of people is always a good idea.  Wait, no it’s not.  At any rate, things are great for everyone until Uptown Girl uncovers the truth while doing a story about the mall’s new efficiency.

Upon seeing Uptown Girl, Roboto regains his memory and his dark side.  Thanks for dooming us, Uptown Girl.

Uptown Girl explains to Dr. Jones the history of Mr. Roboto but he doesn’t listen.  She is determined to prevent Roboto from hurting anyone again but she is in a very difficult position.  If she goes to the police, they will likely find out that Rocketman built him.  After thinking it over, she realizes she needs someone who can work outside the law…The Walrus.

Now that Roboto has his memory again, he starts formulating a plan.

After gaining access to all systems, Roboto starts to order equipment and parts.   He begins the process of building himself a new body.  Furious at Dr. Jones for enslaving him, Roboto starts his revenge with him.

Meanwhile, the Walrus and Rocketman break into the mall but are quickly captured by Roboto.  Uptown Girl discovers them locked up, but she also finds…

…the new and improved Mr. Roboto.  Since Danno is awesome, I asked him to design the new body.  He did a great job with the redesign.

Uptown Girl manages to free the Walrus, and they begin to battle it out.

The fight does a lot of damage to Roboto, but the final blow comes from Ruby who smacks his head with a giant hammer.

Surrounded by those he tried to destory, as well as his creator, Mr. Roboto says his final words…

His final words are very similar to the first words he said waaaay back in issue 16.  This was the end of him.

Of course, he comes “back” in ‘Big City Secrets’.  Sort of.  The idea behind the original graphic novels is a re-imagining of Uptown Girl’s world.  Restarting everything in a way.  Think of the monthly series as the first draft of Uptown Girl, and the graphic novels as the final version.

Whew, this was a long entry.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mr. Roboto

  1. I always thought that the panel where Roboto sprays his knock-out gas at Rocketman reminded me a lot of the old X-Men issues where they fought The Sentinels.

  2. Good call. I can see that. It was fun looking back on all these stories. Ol’ Roboto sure has gone through a lot, hasn’t he>?

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