TITLE: Shogun Warriors vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: February 1979
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Herb Trimpe
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
When I was a child, my favorite toys were Shogun Warriors. These robots were the precursor to Transformers and were the toys that man kids wanted in the ’70s and collectors try to find and purchase on online auctions today, as they are worth a lot.
Big robots in either die-cast metal or these tall plastic robots that surpass the quality of many toys made today.
Shogun Warriors were heavy and made of mostly metal and plastic. Licensed by Mattel, you can do a release of the legs and smash things up, even the fists shoot out, as with the head.
But of course, this led to controversy as there was concern of small children choking on the fists, plastic missiles, weapons, etc. And as children were injured by playing with them, new regulations were imposed on toy manufacturers and toys needed to be child-safe.
While the toys were being released, Marvel Comics would release the comic books written by Doug Moench and artwork by Herb Trimpe and would last 20-issues from 1979-1980.
What’s interesting is that the robots featured in Japan had their own anime and tokusatsu shows but for the US, the robots were utilized in the comic books and so through Marvel Comics, you got to see popular robots such as Raydeen, Combatra and Danguard Ace together.
In the first issue, we see the Shogun Warrior Raydeen battling against ROK-KORR. And we hear the pilots trying to defeat the monster using Raydeen. But who are these pilots?
You have Japanese pilot Genji Odashu, American stunt driver Richard Carson and an African marine scientist named Ilongo Savage.
And then we find out how the Followers of Light have long ago explored planets, as did the Maur-Kon and as the first Followers of Light were able to defeat them and hold them via suspended animation in an underground base inside a volcano, the volcano has erupted and now mankind is in trouble. The Maur-Kons have awaken and are are now awakening their own behemoths and the Followers of Light had no choice but to find the top three qualified people to fight against ROK-KORR and so, Genji, Richard and Ilong were given a quick tutorial on how to use Raydeen and immediately go out into battle against ROK-KORR and prevent him from causing mass casualties. And they must do this without much training!
The three must work as a team but can they? With Raydeen as being the first Shogun Warrior introduced in issue #1, #2 is where we get to see Combatra and Danguard Ace fight alongside Raydeen to take on any behemoths that poses harm towards humans.
A comic book series that I loved growing up, “Shogun Warriors” is definitely worth checking out!