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Long before Pacific Rim (2013) presented giant robots and monsters slug it out on the big screen with a strong emphasis on action and scale, there were varied animated series of such giants shown in television sets in Japan way back in the 1970s. Then by the end of the decade, Marvel Comics published the Shogun Warriors comic book series in relation to a business deal with Mattel.
Last time, only one giant robot was heavily featured as a defender for human civilization as it became a target by a force of evil that unleashed a giant monster. That robot was Raydeen and as a result of what happened, something led to the unveiling of Combatra and Dangard Ace.
To find out more, here is a look back at Shogun Warriors #2, published by Marvel Comics in 1979 with a story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Herb Trimpe.
The story begins at the secret facility of Shogun. There the three pilots – Genji Odashu, Ilongo Savage and Richard Carson – are being briefed by Dr. Tambura explains to them that their first mission piloting Raydeen was not a failure at all. While acknowledging that the giant monster Rok-Korr is still a threat, he states to them that giant robots Combatra and Dangard Ace will be deployed and controlled by them.
After giving them a quick tour of their subterranean chamber (where the robots receive maintenance and get tested), Dr. Tambura bring the three pilots into another place filled with high-tech controls. From there, they watch Dangard Ace, Raydeen and Combatra perform in field tests via remote control.
Meanwhile on a different island, the evil leader Maur-Kon rallies his so-called dark agents to rise and work together in seeking vengeance for their defeat in the great war chaos as they have found the forces of eternal good anticipating them. After much talk, Maur-Kon and his minions bow and kneel over bubbling magma murmuring evil phrases…
Like the previous issue, this comic book has less than twenty pages of story and art. This results another heavy load of exposition or information dump on readers, and the narrative had a rushed pace. With regards to the battle between Raydeen and the giant monster, there is indeed a continuation of it. The giant monster was given some personality.
Again, there is no real character development here. The three pilots were not written to display any personality nor did the writer exert any effort to make readers relate with them. Instead, you will see them in training in speed beyond belief.
The highlight here is that Dangard Ace and Combatra finally got revealed and emphasized. Be warned, however, that there is lesser spectacle in this comic book and the story predictably served as a setup for what could be a more promising battle.
Shogun Warriors #2 (1979) suffered from pretty much the same problems as issue #1. The noticeable difference here is that there is lesser action and lesser giant-sized spectacle shown here. That is not exactly surprising as the creators had to sacrifice something to make way for further explanation of the comic series’ grand concept.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Shogun Warriors #2 (1979), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $35 while the near-mint copies of the price-less and the Whitman editions cost $350 and $35 respectively.
Overall, Shogun Warriors #2 (1979) is less than satisfactory.
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