Super Robot Mayhem Issue 1 of 5 (Subversive Comics)
Words: Jeremy Biggs (based on a story by Jeremy Biggs and Adrian Mursec)
Art: Javier Bordon
Colours: Bordon, Biggs and Yel Zamor
Letters: Jon Scrivens
I’m going to be honest with you right up front, dear reader and fellow comic book enthusiast.
I LOVE Giant Robot Stories.
I grew up watching Starblazers, Battle of the Planets and Voltron. I ironically enjoyed Power Rangers as a know it all teen. I treasured my VHS copy of Gunhead and as a Dad I love watching Power Rangers and Voltron Legendary Defender with my kids.
So there’s really very little chance of me not loving this SciFi homage, Super Robot Mayhem, from Metal Made Flesh mastermind Jeremy Biggs, artist Javier Bordon and colourist Yel Zamor.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year the creative team use this first issue to introduce us to the anime-influenced future world of Super Robot Mayhem and the key players in our story.
Raiden Nakamura is a crew member on the I.S.S. Theseus. This ships mission is to locate and recover resource rich asteroids in the Kuiper Belt which sits beyond the perimeter of the known planets of our solar system.
A chance discovery of a powerful alien artifact sets in motion of series of events which will threaten the very existence of the human race as it quickly learns that the universe is far from empty and that there are races and forces far more powerful than our own which have largely ignored humanity until now.
This first feels like introductory or pilot episode of a classic 70s or 80s anime series as we are introduced to the key characters and offered hints of the action and conflict to come.
Bordon uses panel composition, page layout and double page spreads to effectively communicate size and scale and the endless inky blackness of space.
The character and ship design owes a clear debt to classic series like Starblazers / Yamato and Robotech / Macross. This is reinforced by Yel Zamor’s bold, simplistic colour choices which also evoke an animated feel.
The only major variance from this is the design of Mayhem and the villainous alien race the Demon Imperial Alliance (DIA). The softer lines and organic, bio-mechanical design incorporate elements of the work of H.R. Giger and evoke a more modern design style of contemporary series like Evangelion.
Briggs and Bordon know the tricks of the trades and the tropes of the genre. I really look forward to see how they build on the foundation of this first issue as the conflict between humanity and the DIA escalates.
Will Raiden be able to successfully pilot Robot Mayhem to protect Earth and its inhabitants from this extra terrestrial threat?
If you grew up on a diet of anime, manga, Mecha and Super Sentai you should stop what you’re doing right now and dive on into the world of Super Robot Mayhem.
This is first chapter is heavy on story and character and a little light on action which may deter some readers but I am sure it’s only a matter of time before the Mayhem promised in the title manifests itself.