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Mac Tavish isn’t Magnus, Robot Fighter, despite his looks and robot fighting (also: Chewbacca?) – Eerie #96

October 4, 2012

There’s really not much to say about that Eerie cover up there (artist: Jordi Penalva), other than this: IF THAT IS NOT MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER, THEN I DO NOT KNOW WHAT MAGNUS LOOKS LIKE. Let’s catalog all the things that go into making this a magnificent example of loving homage/copyright infringement:

1.  Appearance

Magnus, the karate chopping warrior from 4000 AD, is known for two bits of sartorial splendor: his red jumper and his white go-go boots (here are roughly 1,000,000 images of it). Either the unisex clothing of the far future has grown much more inclusive, Magnus is very comfortable in his masculinity, or he just likes dressing like a young Nancy Sinatra (Ghost Rider 2099? NANCY SINATRA 3999).

Our new friend Mac doesn’t have all of that, but he does have a red shirt hugging his lithe, sinewy frame. Combine that with the brown locks and the tight slacks that could pass for bare legs (Wait, is he wearing shorts? No, he’s not. Wait…), maybe even some suggested white footwear, and you have Magnus-lite. Magnusish.

2.  HELLO, HE’S FIGHTING ROBOTS

Not only is Mac Tavish kicking a robot right in its robot balls, an editor at Warren Publishing was kind enough to give us a little “Robot Smasher!” copy, you know, just in case potential readers were literate but stupid. How did Magnus dispatch his robot foes? That’s right, he chopped, punched and kicked the bolts right out of them with his steel-smashing hands. Fought them, smashed them, whatever. Like what Mac is doing up there. Well, kind of doing. He has his hands (and feet) full, so it’s a good thing that Chewbacca is charging in with his bowcaster to…

So it’s only two reasons, but they’re two big ones. Looks and actions — they make the man.

Just so you know, Mac, one of the endless serials that made Eerie so beloved by its fans, doesn’t occupy the same Jetsons-like cityscapes that Magnus does. Instead, he’s more at home in a seedy underworld, a place of smugglers and black markets and futuristic schemers and gangsters. Now that I think of it, a lot like Han Solo. Which just added a new layer of confusion. Also, he has far less success battling machines (which are owned by an antagonist/acquaintance, indeed the very Chewbacca proxy glimpsed on the cover — who speaks, and not in grunts) in the story than the cover suggests (Jim Stenstrum words, Pepe Moreno art):

Magnus would not be proud.

I did a little digging before I threw this post together, and found that I’m by no means the first person to notice and comment upon these blatant, surely intentional similarities. Check here for someone else’s brief commentary on the subject, and also some more discussion of Mr. Tavish himself.

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