1988: R.O.B.O.T. Battalion 2050

R.O.B.O.T. Battalion 2050 (1988) #1 by Beppe Sabatini, Martin King, Gary Martin et al.

That’s a rather atypical doodle from Bill Sienkiewicz for the cover of this comic book, and lends more confusion to an already confused concept. In the comic story itself, it seems like this was meant to be called Cheap Shoddy Robot Toys, which is a very typical black and white boom title, so perhaps that’s why they went with R.O.B.O.T. Battalion 2050 and an arty Sienkiewicz cover? To make people forget all about that debacle?

Because the interiors are very typical of that long past and unmourned era (i.e., 18 months earlier). But it’s got one thing going for it: It’s funny.

It’s a sort of parody on Japanese robot animated series (and The Care Bears), and political commentary, too.

The US invading Hawaii seems to become more of a possibility every day now, doesn’t it? The US president marrying the Ayatollah hasn’t happened yet, though.

Three’s an unforced quality to the extreme silliness on display here that’s really charming.

There are, perhaps, too many fight scenes and too few jokes in the book for it to be completely successful, though. And I don’t know whether this was meant as a one-shot or not, but I could totally see it continuing. But parody books are hard sells, I guess.

It’s never been reprinted, and I’m unable to find out anything about it on the interwebs.

5 thoughts on “1988: R.O.B.O.T. Battalion 2050”

  1. Well I know a lot about this book.
    It was drawn by my good friend Martin King. And there’s a story behind it.
    Originally it was supposed to be called
    Cheap Shoddy Robot Toys and have a cover drawn by Martin.
    What happened? Exactly what you thought the editor of the book discovered that Eclipse had a Bill Sienkiewicz cover lying around and since Bill was hot he switched out the cover. I remember Martin telling me guess what my books going to have a Sienkiewicz cover! And then he saw it and the title change and he was devastated. I remember him coming into my shop and saying. They killed my book. I was like ‘how? When’s it coming out?’
    And he walked to the new comics wall grabbed the book and said ‘it’s out.’
    I was shocked because the cover was just odd for no reason and the title wasn’t helping. The only people who came to buy it were fellow art & writer friends Martin knew. Eclipse had really thrown him under the bus. It was a shame.


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