It's the 1980s and technology is taking over! From the synthesized New Wave music the kids are listening to as they play those annoying video games while doing math on their digital watches, computers and science and what-have-you are changing our lives in ways that we can't even begin to comprehend. And comics are no exception, shoving robot after robot into the spinner racks of America's drugstores and newsstands, hoping for something that will tickle the whimsical fancy of the youth. Today we feature one of those whimsical fancies.
What do you get when you cross men and technology? You get MANTECH, for when you need technology only MEN can handle in all their knee-padded, laser-blasting glory!
Capturing the important "kid in Social Studies class who spent the period drawing spaceships blasting each other while making 'Pew Pew Pew' noises" segment of the comic book-reading market, ManTech delivers spaceship versus robot action on the very first page while also introducing us to the characters who will be wearing confusing helmets for most of the story.
Special bonus: how not to spell "siege."
Bee-ooo Fshoom Deeoo Bwhum, I can't tell if this is a science fiction adventure or a late 50s novelty single! Somebody call Dr. Demento, stat!
You can just see the tension and determination in the tiny bit of eyeball visible through the slit in the confusing helmet.
Ka-shoom Fshoom Bwam RRooarr Dee-ooo dee-ooo, guys. Ka-shoom fshoom bwam rrooarr dee-ooo dee-ooo, forever. Remember, mecho-robots aren't alive and the word "fear" hasn't been programmed into their vocabulary! And if it had been, so what? I know plenty of words that don't apply to me.
What these mecho-robots HAVE been programmed to think is to think that they are superior to our heroes, the ManTechs, and that's why they we have to prove them wrong. Because proving things to robots is a real good use of your ManTech time, I guess.
Zaaaam, zeeeeeee, gzaaap, the mecho robots have infiltrated the station's sub-structure and are forcing open the deck hatch! Let's hit 'em hard, ManTechs!
It's amazing how these ManTechs, being both men and machines, have parts that can be blasted off and replaced with parts from other robots! This kind of combination play-action really makes one think that the ManTechs are somehow involved with being a line of 80s toys. And those thoughts... would be correct!
Rush out now, kids, and bug Mom and Dad for all the ManTech(tm) Robot Warriors with all their interchangable parts that you'll lose most of after forty-five minutes of good hard ManTech(tm) play out in the sandbox. From Remco!
But back to our exciting science fiction PHWIP DEE-OOO SPAK story, as the ManTech Warrior SolarTech contacts Jaxon Goode, creator of the ManTech Robot Warriors and, incidentally, proud user of Aquanet hair products, apparently
Let's follow Dr. Jaxon Goode and his amazing hair as he flashes back to how all this ManTech business started, back when he and his good buddy Dr. Tyranik were doing some archeological exploration and accidentally came across a repository of ancient robotic knowledge left by a lost civilization. Happens all the time.
Who would have thought that Tyranik - the guy with the little devil horns in his hair and the devil moustache and goatee and with the name "Tyranik" - who would have thought he'd turn out to be crazy with lust for power, determined to use his newfound ancient robot technology to conquer the world? Not me!
By the way, this is pretty much the back story for Go Nagai's groundbreaking robot manga series "Mazinger Z". Don't tell anybody.
So just when Dr. Goode was talking about how great it would be to combine human beings with robots, what would he find but a spaceship from Earth containing three frozen Earth spacemen who are dying and can only be saved by being combined with robots? How convenient is that?
Using his array of what appear to be dental tools, Dr. Goode turns bald spaceman Larson into a robot-man, and since the ship's 'Data-Puter' says Larson enjoys working with lasers, Larson will now be known as "LaserTech" for the rest of his robot-human life. Just imagine what would happen if the ship's 'Data-Puter' knew about Larson's other interests - he might wind up "Green Bay PackersTech" or, even worse, "PornHubTech."
Fun fact: the advanced science of Planet Mekka can indeed turn humans into frightful laser-robot cyborgs with mechanican parts and super powerful ray beams. Hair transplants, on the other hand, are another story.
Well, Cliff, the 'Data-Puter' says you like a thing and now that thing will define your existence forever! Kind of like when you got that Rage Against The Machine tattoo!
Shocked to see Colonel Sunn - the merciless butcher who savagely quelled the peaceful revolution on the Jovian colonies by using solar energy to vaporize entire cities, who was banished to deep space as a war criminal, and yeah, he got the Nobel Prize, big deal, so did Kissinger - alive and being turned into a solar energy cyborg now capable of even more destruction. Thanks a lot, Dr Goode.
Strangely enough, our Earth astronauts aren't happy about being woken up thousands of years later, transformed into interchangable space robots. They were expecting Planet Of The Apes, dammit!
"Turns out the guy named Tyranik is living up to his name and is trying to enslave the world with inorganic robots! But you guys, you guys are now ORGANIC robots, and therefore must fight the inorganic robots to see which is stronger! I'll sit here and watch the whole thing!"
Honestly if I'd been woken up after thousands of years in suspended animation to find out I'd been turned into an interchangable space robot, I'd be looking for an outlet for my aggression too. Let's smash some things and get it all out of our systems.
"And now the fate of Mekka rests with these three strangers from another star! What? Yes, I know there's a crazy eight-eyed octopus thing out there. One crisis at a time, please!"
KBLAM FWOOOM BWEEP DEEP PLIP BEEE-OOO it's ManTech vs DoomTech, NegaTech, and TerrorTech in the battle that will determine the fate of electronic dance music forever! But wait! Where's Aquatech going?
hey kids wouldn't you like to have a Land Sea Air Craft of your very own, one that was sized to fit the entire line of Remco ManTech(tm) action figures and accessories? Sure you would. We hope.
So, comic book, you're intellectual enough to reference Homer in your description of the ocean, but you can't hire a proofreader for page one. Gotcha.
Ya know it really looks like Tyranik is the only one enjoying himself here - all gaping jaws, stylin' facial hair, zapping freeze beams while laughing like a maniac. Glad somebody's having fun with this.
hey kids wouldn't you like to have a Terrorizer of your very own, one that was sized to fit the entire line of Remco ManTech(tm) action figures and accessories? Sure you would. We hope.
"... and the home... of the... brave...KA-DRAMM FSHAM FSHOOM BUH-DROOM KA-DA-BHWOOMM we now conclude our broadcasting day. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"
see, it's like back when TV stations used to sign off for the night and they'd play the national anthem which ended with fireworks and then you'd just get a test pattern for six hours until the farm report came on, that's what it reminded me of. Yeah, I know, I'm old.
Tyranik has lost the battle, but not the war! Whenever he feels ready - whenever the kid next door whose parents bought him the whole set of ManTech Action Figures, Vehicles And Accessories feels like getting DoomTech and NegaTech and TerrorTech out of the toy box and bringing them over to play with, which will be approximately three times before these figures are abandoned for Transformers and GI Joe and Robotech toys - whenever his mom lets him out of the house, the battle will begin again!
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