A short-lived Science Fiction Comic Book
based on a line of action figures, published by Archie Comics
in The Eighties
The technologically advanced alien planet Mekka
is finally pulling itself together from a dark age
following a Robot War
, long ago. Two scientists, Jaxon Goode
discover a hidden cache of advanced equipment
dating from before the war. They are promptly both struck by a "knowledge ray" which floods their minds with lost technological knowledge. This has the psychological effect of turning Jaxon into a transhumanist
who believes "machines are the next step in human evolution,'' and Tyranik into a pro-robot fanatic who believes humans should be surpassed entirely
and robots should rule the world.
The two argue, and Tyranik leaves, intent on building an army of Mecha-Mooks
, while Jaxon ponders how he can stop him.
Continuing to explore the chamber, Jaxon discovers three cryogenically preserved men
—alien astronauts from a planet called "Earth." Apparently the ancients had found their Sleeper Starship
adrift in space, but hadn't seen fit to wake them. Realizing that they've been injured in the years since discovery, he can only revive them by turning them into cyborgs.
So he does, and the men awaken to find that they now look like boxy, semihumanoid robots from the neck down.
The ship's laser expert, dubbed LaserTech, loves the idea of being a super-powered cyborg. The oceanographer, christened AquaTech, sees it as pure Body Horror
and wants his humanity restored. The Captain
, a solar engineer dubbed SolarTech, isn't thrilled, but accepts that it was the only way to save their lives. Jaxon then proceeds to tell them about Tyranik and his plans to restart the Robot War
which almost destroyed Mekka generations ago. The three ManTechs agree to help Jaxon stop him.
ManTech provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- After the End
- Archie Comics
- Bald of Awesome: LaserTech
- Body Horror: Certainly nothing graphic (this was Archie Comics, after all), but this is how AquaTech sees his current fate as a cyborg.
- Boisterous Bruiser: LaserTech
- Crush. Kill. Destroy!
- Deadpan Snarker: AquaTech
- Easily Detachable Robot Parts: A feature of the original toys on which the comic was based, it was carried over to the comic.
- Emergency Transformation
- Frickin' Laser Beams: LaserTech's specialty.
- The Future: The astronauts' spaceship had apparently been adrift for a very long time even before the ancients discovered it.
- Hollywood Cyborg
- Home Base: A Space Station.
- Human Aliens: As is typical of Space Operas centered on the concept of cyborgs, the aliens look completely human.
- Human Popsicle
- I Just Want to Be Normal: AquaTech
- Mad Scientist: Tyranik
- Man in the Machine
- Mecha-Mooks: Tyranik's three goons were named NegaTech, TerrorTech, and DoomTech. The knowledge ray taught him about robotics, not subtlety.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Neglectful Precursors: Any equipment dating from before the original Robot War.
- Planetary Romance
- Power Trio: LaserTech is too cheerful to be a classic Spock, but he's certainly the technophile of the group. Endearingly grumpy, humanistic AquaTech is The McCoy. And SolarTech is The Kirk.
- Robot Master: Tyranik
- Robot War
- Science Hero
- Short Runners
- Sleeper Starship
- Trapped in Another World
- The Woobie: AquaTech
- Transhumanism: Commendable for showing all sides of the issue, with Jaxon and LaserTech being all for it, AquaTech being dead set against it, and Tyranik taking it way too far.