The Robo Machines, Story 1

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The Robo Machines Story 1
Story 1
Publisher Fleetway Publications
Published in Eagle #138 - 155
First published November 10, 1984 - March 15, 1985
Writer T. Tully
Artists M. Capaldi (Parts 1-6)
K. Raymond (Parts 7-13, 15-19)
G.Senior (Part 14)
Page count 57
(19 x 3 page episodes)

Stron-Domez engineers a plan to take over Robotron!



The planet Robotron is a futuristic paradise in the Proxima System four lightyears from Earth. So dedicated are they to robotics that many of the people living on Robotron are 99% robotic and they themselves are served by robots for every task. The inauguration parade for the new President of Robotron is keeping everybody busy, including the evil scientist Stron-Domez. After years of hidden research, his studies have finally bore fruit: he has modified the miscreants Cy-Kill and Tank into a new generation of Robo Machines. At the parade, Stron-Domez and his two servants are spotted. Before anybody can do anything, Tank transforms into his alternate mode and attacks, terrifying the crowd. Before he can kill the President, Tank finds his co-ordination cells malfunctioning and is surrounded by security forces. Stron-Domez makes his escape on Cy-Kill's motorcycle mode. Tank manages to escape with the two to a waiting spaceship that blasts off to the third planet in the Solar System: Earth.

Stron-Domez seeks to use Earth's natural resources to create a power base so he can return to his home planet and destroy his enemies. Tank worries that their frightening appearance will give them away, but Cy-Kill chastises his teammate with the obvious assumption that the alternate modes that Stron-Domez gave them can be used to disguise themselves as Earth vehicles. Hidden, they can move freely till they choose to attack, causing panic and confusion. Using their ship's deflector-screens, they land undetected in East Anglia. Stron-Domez urges the others to act quickly, since their enemies at Robotron are surely mobilizing to chase after them. True to Stron-Domez's prediction, the authorities of Robotron task Ex-El, supreme overlord of the Security Forces, with apprehending Stron-Domez and bringing him to justice. With blueprints from Stron-Domez's lab downloaded to his brain, Ex-El recruits volunteers to be given the ability to "shape-change" and join him in boarding the Command Centre to fly to Earth. Meanwhile on Earth, Stron-Domez has built another Robo Machine, Fitor, who he sends on a mission to find a target to ignite fear among all of humanity. The fighter jet spots the quaint small town of Cholkham, which Stron-Domez orders to be razed to the ground.

Stron-Domez, Cy-Kill and Tank cloak their ship and prepare to assault Cholkham, and are soon joined by Fitor. In the town, the normal morning routine is disrupted by the unlikely sight of a jet fighter parked outside Albert Potter's newsagents, with a tank across the road. The curious residents draw closer, at which point the hidden Stron-Domez orders his evil Renegades to metamorph into their robot forms and begin wreaking havoc, killing townspeople and wrecking property.

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Cy-Kill using his Fission Cannon to melt the town's sole police constable. Stron-Domez looks on, delighting in the effect such destruction will have upon Earth's leaders. However, a brave driver rams the cumbersome Tank's legs with his oil tanker, knocking him into Cy-Kill. The latter reacts by punching Tank in the face, and he returns fire. Above Earth the Renegades' activities are detected by Ex-El onboard the Command Center. He lands the ship near Cholkam and dispatches his own Robo Machines to intervene - Leader One, Dozer and Hans-Cuff.

The trio of Security Forces Robo Machines who plan to lure Cy-Kill, Tank and Fitor away from the town centre. Leader One has the same idea and uses an aerial attack to attract Cy-Kill's attention. Cy-Kill seemingly shoots the strange jet down and sets off to investigate with the rest of the Renegades; however, Leader One was only feigning a crash to draw them in and reveals his robot mode to them safely outside Cholkham, where Stron-Domez orders his Renegades to attack.

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Leader One tries to appeal to Cy-Kill, saying Stron-Domez has amplified his previous criminal tendencies into evil, offering to de-programme him. However Cy-Kill, Tank and Fitor all decide they prefer the power Stron-Domez has given them and attack. Howeve,r Hans-Cuff and Dozer arrive to help Leader One and battle is joined - watched by stunned survivors from Cholkham. The ensuing fire-fight leaves Tank with a damaged arm and Stron-Domez decides the Renegades will need a distraction to escape the Security Forces. He notices a nearby school on the outskirts of a nearby town and orders his trio of Robo Machines to attack it.

At Cy-Kill's command Tank smashes his head into the ground outside the school, the shockwaves causing huge damage to the building before they use their weapons to start fires as well. Leader One, Dozer and Hans-Cuff arrive and - as Stron-Domez expected - realise they have to call off their pursuit in order to save the school children. The Security Forces leader is able to siphon water from the school swimming pool into his auxiliary fuel tanks and put out most of the fires while Dozer and Hans-Cuff try to get the staff and pupils clear of the damaged buildings. Initially the humans are wary of Dozer but one, named Charlie Bampton, who is known as a bit of a weirdo due to regularly claiming to see things with his mind. Torn, the kids ask their teacher what they should do.

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Charlie's classmates decide they'll take their chances with him and Dozer rather than risk staying in a collapsing building and head out into the open, where they see Leader One extinguishing the last of the fires. Charlie's teacher thanks the Security Forces as they leave, and Charlie asks Hans-Cuff if he can go with them. The Robo Machine agrees, curious about Charlie's mental powers - Mr Fenner believes the boy has extra-sensory perception. Disguised as vehicles, the Security Forces head back into Cholkham, where human emergency services are delivering help. They head to the ruined Marsh Street, where Charlie lives. As he gets out of Hans-Cuff he overhears two police officers discussing that his parents were killed in the attack and he's now an orphan.

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Charlie is devastated as they were his only family. Hans-Cuff offers him a place with the Security Forces, saying he might get some solace out of using his ESP to help hunt down Stron-Domez. Charlie agrees and they head back with Leader One and Dozer to the Command Centre. The events in Cholkham have attracted the attention of the military, who arrive before Ex-El can take off. Both they and a local farmer incorrectly mistake the Security Forces as the robots that destroyed the town, and prepare to attack.

The British Army take positions around the Command Center as Hans-Cuff shows Charlie around. Ex-El wonders how they can avoid combat with the humans and Hans-Cuff volunteers Charlie to act as an ambassador for the Security Forces. The pair set out to parlay with the troops and Hans-Cuff switches to robot mode. They try explaining things to the soldiers but the farmer, who lost his brother in Cholkham, opens fire. The shot bounces off Hans-Cuff and strikes Charlie, causing the Robo Machine to react furiously.

Hans-Cuff disarms the farmer but the army misinterpret this as aggression and open fire. He realises Charlie is still alive and stuns the soldiers with a neuro-jolt. Leader One arrives to cover Hans-Cuff as he takes the injured Charlie back to the Command Centre, where Ex-El berates Hans-Cuff for his poor handling of the incident and his relationship with Charlie. He then orders the Command Centre away before more soldiers arrive - and before Stron-Domez can strike again.

As the Command Centre leaves East Anglia the soldiers begin recovering, wondering why the Robo Machines only stunned them instead of destroying them. Above, Ex-El continues to criticise Hans-Cuff for the botched truce with the army and his emotional response to Charlie. Nevertheless he has Rest-Q treat Charlie, using bionic surgery to rapidly repair the boy's wounds. Hans-Cuff introduces him to Rest-Q but they are interrupted by Ex-El, who reminds them they need to find the Renegades. Meanwhile in the Midlands a strange helicopter lands outside the Datafile Electronics factory in Westbridge.

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The mysterious helicopter reveals itself to be Cop-Tur, Stron-Domez's latest creation, and he uses his gyro attack to prevent the workers from escaping. Fitor meanwhile has cut off communications and takes factory owner Mr. Bennet's secretary Sharon hostage while Tank secures the car park before Stron-Domez and Cy-Kill arrive. With the factory completely cut off from the outside world Stron-Domez plans to use its' staff and facilities to build an army of Robo Machines. However, above Earth their activity has been detected by the Security Forces onboard the Command Centre.

The employees of Datafile Electronics are assembled before Stron-Domez and tells them he will kill them if they don't build him new Robo Machines; Cy-Kill emphasises his point by melting a forklift. Cop-Tur meanwhile flies over Westbridge, broadcasting a message saying the workers are being kept at the factory due to top secret government work. The building of the new Robo Machines continues, while Tank has the damage he received repaired. A short distance away the Command Centre makes a stealthy landing and Ex-El realises that, as there are human workers in the factory, guile will be needed. He has a plan - but it involves Charlie.

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Stron-Domez forces the workers to finish another Robo Machine and brings it to life, naming it Loco. The rest of Westbridge still has no idea that the factory is under Renegade control, instead still believing the workforce to be working on secret government technology. Ex-El knows better and tasks Charlie and Night Ranger with discovering where the human slaves are kept so they can be rescued before an assault. Hans-Cuff is worried about the danger but Night Ranger reassures him that his stealth circuits will keep them both undetected as the pair set out into the night.

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Night Ranger takes Charlie over the factory walls, his stealth and flight abilities easily allowing them to evade Cy-Kill and get inside the factory complex. Charlie is able to sneak inside to try and find out where the workers are being held. His ESP allows him to detect Loco and avoid the Robo Machine. He finds the enslaved factory workers asleep in the loading bay. However he then falls and the noise alerts Stron-Domez, who dispatches Loco to find him.

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Charlie is able to use his ESP talents to cause a distraction, diverting Loco's attention and convincing Stron-Domez it was a false alarm. The boy is then able to sneak back to Night Ranger and they return to the Command Centre and report back to Ex-El. Charlie has devised a plan to get the Security Forces inside without risking human life. The Security Forces spread out and surround the factory while Charlie plans to head in the main gate, posing as the driver of Truck.

As Charlie guessed the security guards are under orders to let vehicles into the factory so as not to arouse suspicion, and in the dark they don't notice he's too young to be a truck driver. He and Truck are able to sneak past Cy-Kill. They get to the loading bay, where Truck rams Loco and then transforms, knocking the Renegade out. Truck then tears the loading bay doors open and Charlie leads the workers through a hole in the fence. Leader One gives the all-clear and the Security Forces begin their attack.

Hans-Cuff orders Stron-Domez to surrender but the Renegade refuses, planning to use the workers as human shields. Cy-Kill tells him they are gone and instead the Renegades plan to fight their way out. Truck again takes out Loco, Night Ranger disables Tank and soon only Cy-Kill and Stron-Domez are left; they escape together. The Command Centre arrives and the Security Forces load their prisoners onboard while Hans-Cuff and Charlie muse this is only the first round in the battle against Stron-Domez.

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)


"Aaaaa, just the job! It's going to be a lovely day!"

Alfred Potter makes an incorrect prediction moments before Stron-Domez and his minions devastate Cholkham.

"My apologies, Cy-Kill! I cannot understand how I overbalanced!"
"Because your stupidity is deep-rooted, fool!"

Tank attempts to placate Cy-Kill after their collision.

"Poor kid! I wouldn't want to be the one to who has to tell him he's an orphan!"

—A policeman fails to realise the suddenly parent-free Charlie Bampton is standing right behind him.

"Have you had a memo about giant robots, Mr. Bennet?"

—A Datafile Electronics employee asks a stupid question.

"I am designed to infiltrate! To move in the night with the stealth of a shadow!"

Night Ranger is a lot cooler in the comic.


Continuity notes[edit]

  • Ex-El, Stron-Domez and Robotron were devised by Tom Tully for the series due to the scant fiction provided by Bandai for Robo Machine.
  • Leader-1's name is consistently parsed as 'Leader One', while the British English spelling 'Command Centre' is used throughout. Meanwhile Truck is clearly Road Ranger, though the designation Truck was in fact used for Dumper in the European toyline.
  • The appearances of new characters as the strip progresses can be hand-waved as Ex-El building more Security Forces Robo Machines onboard the Command Centre around the action.
  • Cy-Kill swears by the "dark side of Draxos".
  • Once Leader One is in robot mode the Renegades are able to recognise him; he already has a considerable reputation from his service on Robotron, where he once arrested Tank for vagrancy.
  • Fitor and Cop-Tur aren't actually seen to get disabled in the battle at Westbridge but the events make it clear they are.
  • Loco has a lifespan of maybe a day.
  • Gadgets and Powers:
    • Stron-Domez can communicate with his inventions telepathically.
    • Cy-Kill has been given a Fission Cannon by Stron-Domez. The weapon was designed by artist Mario Capaldi as the toy didn't come with a gun.
    • Fitor meanwhile just fires lasers from his fingertips.
    • Robo Machines can fly via anti-grav.
    • Leader One is able to siphon water into his empty fuel cells and fire it out to douse fires.
    • Loco can fire energy bolts from his eyes.
    • Night Ranger's systems are protected by his personal environment, making him invisible to scanners.
    • Charlie Bampton's ESP also includes telekinesis. Handy.


Continuity errors[edit]

  • In the tenth part Royal-T can be glimpsed onboard the Command Center but won't appear until the second story. While it's possible it's intentional, it means he spends the next dozen or so instalments doing absolutely nothing before debuting in the second story.
  • In the seventeenth part Spay-C's distinctive foot can be seen in one frame. While the character (along with Geeper-Creeper) was included in adverts ahead of the strip they didn't appear otherwise and later events make it clear Spay-C isn't part of the cast.

Miscellaneous errors[edit]

  • The spelling of Ex-El's name fluctuates, including 'Ex-Cel' and 'Exel'.

Real-world references[edit]

  • Both Cholkham and Westbridge were invented for the strip, but real places in England including East Anglia and Birmingham are mentioned as well.
  • The Proxima System's location of "just over 4 light-years from Earth" is actually an accurate description of the location of Proxima Centauri


  • Initial artist Mario Capaldi draws the Robo Machines straight off the toys, right down to Tank's knees bending forward. The arrival of Kim Raymond from part 7 onwards sees the character models updated to become more natural.
  • Some of the vehicles used by the British army are those used by Z-Force in Action Force, a Palitoy line that was also featured in a Fleetway comic, Battle Action Force. The lead jeep of the force is modelled on the Z-Force Jeep, released in G.I. Joe as the VAMP, while the APCs thrown around by Leader One are the Z Force Armoured Troop Carrier.

External Links[edit]