Hammerstein – Clint langley
Perhaps the definitive version of the (mostly!) heroic war droids, and the most recent, is Clint Langley’s CG run, beginning with the Volgan War books [Vols. 1–4] from 2007.
It seems obvious now because we are so familiar with Langley’s art, but this new digital style was perfect for these iconic machines, and the artist had some pretty big boots to fill – with Mick McMahon, Dave Gibbons, Kev O’Neill, Simon Bisley, Brett Ewins, Carlos Ezquerra, Brendan McCarthy, Kev Walker & others adding to the pantheon of great artists on this fan-favourite series.
Anyway, with writer and creator Pat Mills, the Langley art droid has left his own indelible mark on this classic strip, and incredibly over recent years has made it his own..
From top – the original ‘Mek-nificent Seven’:
- Hammerstein [Mk. III] – Heroic war droid & leader of the Warriors, the ultimate soldier and his predecessors were the original robotic soldiers, built by the industrialist, and later cyborg, ‘Mr. Ten per-Cent’, Howard Quartz.
- (General) Blackblood – Treacherous coward & former head of enemy Volgan army shock troops, the ‘Straw Dogs’.
- Deadlock – Enigmatic, Grand Wizard of the mysterious Knights Martial, disciples of Khaos and practitioners of the Dark Arts!
- Happy Shrapnel – aka Tubal Cain, ‘The Mekanik’. Happy was thought to have been killed when the Warriors first went to Mars, instead he stayed on the Red Planet becoming a champion of the native Martians, and Medusa: the spirit of he planet itself.
- Joe Pineapples – The galaxy’s greatest assassin, elite sniper and effortlessly cool – although even he has skeletons in his closet!
- Mongrol – Huge, ape-like, formerly monosyllabic beast, Mongrol regained his voice after he shared a body with Morrigun – the only female Warrior, another disciple of Khaos
– who died on Mars, leaving her secrets with the giant droid..
- Steelhorn – Once known as the greatest war droid ever built, he was betrayed by his human creators after the end of the first Volgan war – tricked into entering a giant smelter, he was melted down into molten slag, however due to his force of will he retained his sentience, becoming ‘The Mess’! Left on Mars his liquid form was injected into the body of a giant robot guardian named George, and then after connecting with Medusa – Mars’ planetary consciousness – rebuilt his old magnificent body.
Reserve Warriors and Associates:
- Ro-Jaws – Foul-mouthed sewer droid, F.R.E.D. 2L, better known as Ro-Jaws, served in Ro-Busters, Howard Quartz’ robotic disaster relief squad alongside a decommissioned war droid called Hammer-Stein, so when Nemesis the Warlock was reforming the Warriors he gave this crude little droid a place!
- Mek-Quake – A particularly unpleasant mekanoid who originally inhabited the chassis of a huge bulldozer as part of Ro-Busters, responsible for disciplining unruly robots – a job he still fulfills for Tharg the Mighty when his droids step out of line, as yours truly can testify! – but joined the Warriors at the insistence of Nemesis the Warlock, in the classic “Black Hole” storyline.
- Zippo – aka ‘Agent Orange’ was formerly a flame-throwing special forces soldier who worked behind enemy lines in the Volgan war, but has aided most of the ABC Warriors at some point in their careers, often leaving them with an inscribed cigarette lighter.
Clint Langley ABC Warriors titles:
The Volgan War Vol.1 (Progs2007,1518–25,3Jan-21Feb’07).
The Volgan War Vol.2 (Progs1550–59,15Aug-17Oct’07).
The Volgan War Vol.3 (Progs1601–16,27Aug-10Dec’08).
The Volgan War Vol.4 (Progs1666–77,6Jan-24Mar’10).
Return To Earth (Progs1800–11,12Sep-28Nov’12).
Return To Mars (Progs1862–73,1Jan-19Mar’14).