Dateline: the 1980s! America is obsessed with two and only two things - Sylvester Stallone's muscle-bound, ahistorical Vietnam War Vet hero Rambo, and the various kinds of science-fictional robots that point the way towards a mechanical future while making great toys for the kids! How best to combine these two things into one sure-fire success? Why, comic books, naturally.
And thus America was gifted G.I. RAMBOT, a stitched-together Frankensteinian nightmare of a concept that only Wonder Color Comics could bring us. You got your G.I. firing a futuristic weapon - dunno how you make gunfire bend, but he's doing it - and you got your twenty-foot combat machine looming ominously out of the haze obscuring its lower extremities. Maybe that robot is standing in a pit, or maybe that robot is just a torso. Anything's possible in the amazing world of G. I. Rambot! Gear up for some amazing robot war action, we're definitely in store for that, I bet!
BEEP BOOP HEY YOU KIDS DON'T MAKE ME MATERIALIZE OUT OF ROBOT HEAVEN TO COME DOWN THERE AND STOP YOUR GRABASSIN' says Ghost Robot In The Sky. Sure, confuse your readers by opening your robot war comic with sandbox wrasslin'. It's a great way to grab their attention, they'll definitely want to throw down two dollars to find out how this all ties together.
From the sandbox, we now take you direct to the battlefields of Europe. And the narration about children fighting in sandboxes still continues! Is that the robot talking?
That's why wars happen - not because two nations compete for resources or argue over political, cultural, or economic systems. It's just overgrown bullies! Says so right here.
Meet our main character Randolph "Ram" Stewart. Also, meet this comic book's definition of the word "hero," which is "somebody who does real good murders."
You ever read a comic where the writer is trying to make the protagonist sound like a real tough guy, and instead is making the protagonist sound like some sort of death-crazed serial killer, staring into the eyes of his victims as the last breath of life leaves their body, knowing how ever many he kills it will never satisfy his blood lust? Because that's this guy, this guy is not so much Rambo as he is Jason. Or maybe Michael Myers, if you prefer. Or Leatherface? Hills Have Eyes guy? Take your pick.
These captions read like an editoral in the latest issue of "Knife Fighting Quarterly."
Hold that pose, Ram! The evolution of combat is unfolding around you! Soldiers and robots are replaced by robots and... uglier robots. Don't move, Ram! We're almost done.
I gotta say, building an entire comic around the premise of wars fought by giant robots, and then slapping a big "nobody cares" right there in the caption box, that's a bold move
Tasty Word Salad. Just throw nouns and verbs and adjectives together in any old order, arrange them neatly in little boxes, and paste them onto your panel of artwork. Sure to brighten up any composition, and they don't have to make sense... it's Word Salad!
I don't want to cast aspersions on Ram's military career, but if after decades of service you find yourself stacking crates in a warehouse... you done messed up SOMEWHERE
Of course, as a psychotic killer ready to murder anyone who looks directly into his eyes, perhaps he is better off in a warehouse, away from other people. Far away.
Helpful of the Army to label their top secret crates with the contents, so that our kill-crazy hero can walk off with an experimental weapon that will, no doubt, allow him to gaze into the eyes of hundreds or even thousands more victims.
This guy doesn't need a high tech weapons system, he needs therapy, and years of it.
Meanwhile the button pushers and poindexter science nerds and their sissy robots are getting robo-slammed by the Russkies. If only there was a well-muscled Man Of Action who could show these nerds how real war is fought!
The one thing the Russian programmers hadn't expected was a guy shooting things with a gun? This one is kind of on the Russians, I think.
"Guy with gun shoots robots" is the biggest story of this fight, which has offically been declared a Slow News War.
So the definition of masculinity we're going with here is "machine that will fight forever." Feel inadequate yet?
Oh, a **machine** doesn't know when to quit? That's the claim you're making, guy who would rather stack boxes in a warehouse than possibly miss another opportunity to stare deeply into the eyes of one more of his knife-murder victims? It's the MACHINES that are senselessly fighting all the time? Sure, buddy.
I don't know what bugs me more, the ridiculous press this incredibly basic story is getting, or Colonel Hands In Pockets back there absolutely defying every rule of military dress.
Finally somebody asks Sgt. Knife Murder here if he actually does prefer to see the maimed and mutilated bodies of child soldiers. And the answer is obviously "yes."
Army Regulation 670-1, “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia,” states “While in uniform, personnel will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve objects.” Now DROP and GIVE ME FIFTY
Where would we be without war? Maybe if we weren't spending billions on defense contractors, our comic artists could afford T-squares and perspective guides.
This is the part where Sgt. "Ram" makes a comment about something being "big" and we finally get that big gay nightclub scene, right? Right?
Finally, we're shown the titular G.I. Rambot. Worth the wait, right? Well, I hope you're enjoying seeing G.I. Rambot here, because... this is it.
Sgt. Ram likes his gals squinty and nearsighted! Oh, and there's some G.I. Rambot feet. Take a good look, because that's the last you're gonna see of those.
Here the amazing G.I. Rambot transforms into a car and a jet plane. And you'll just have to take our word for it, because drawing the transformation of a robot into a car or a jet plane is just not going to happen. How lazy is this comic book? They aren't even going to draw G.I. Rambot any more, that's how lazy.
How DARE they ask Sgt. Ram to sit quietly and read a manual? Clearly his only response is to beat the crap out of American soldiers. They've forced him into this!
Locks, doors, security codes, permissive action links - the Army's high tech sophisticated combat robot-car-plane doesn't need any of that stuff. Just hop in and take off. That's how we train the best F-22 pilots!
Yeah, let's see if this baby lives up to the advance billing. Is it capable of looming over children fighting in a sandbox?
Those so-called "pilots" spend their time at wimpy "air shows" performing "stunts," while Sgt. Ram spends HIS time either murdering people with knives, or thinking about murdering people with knives! Obviously he's going to be better at air to air combat.
Suddenly, after decades in the military, Ram now comes to the sad realization that soldiers have to follow orders.
For now, Ram must seek out and destroy the enemy... in this case, the United States Air Force. This is a helluva way to beat the Russians!
Meanwhile, in Siberia, a man stares at a robot. The end. Runs out of steam right there on page 24, resolving nothing, not even having the guts to show us the G.I. Rambot more than once. A comic book that dares to say "we have no faith at all in our core concept" is definitely making a statement... almost as powerful as the statement made by comic book readers, who quickly demobilized G.I. Rambot to the scrapyard of one-and-done comic book failures. It's not often we come across a comic working so hard against itself - billed as future war robot battles against the Russians, but giving us an angry PTSD sufferer who spends most of the comic fighting his fellow Americans, when it isn't wasting our time with flashbacks to earlier, more interesting wars. Not to mention that whole bit with Billy and the sandbox, what was up with that?
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