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Ro-Busters

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Ro Jaws

By Kevin O'Neill

Hammersteinrobusters

Ro-Busters was a disaster/rescue squad staffed solely by second-hand robots, owned by billionaire Howard Quartz. Prominent members of the squad included former sewer droid Ro-Jaws, former soldier Hammerstein, the sadistic robot bulldozer Mek-Quake, the insane robot medic Dr. Feeleygood and his practice 'patient', Casey, and the loquacious Chatterbox. The squad had a distinguished history despite the eccentric personalities involved, but Quartz eventually decided to scrap them all as part of an insurance scam after getting a large tax demand. Warned abbout their impending fate by Quartz's secretary Miss Marilyn, Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein led the Ro-Busters in a last ditch effort to flee Earth and reach the free robot world of Saturn Six.

  • Pat Mills says that he created Ro-Busters (along with artist Carlos Pino) "as a favour, and as a way of pissing off the managing editor who pitched an idea to me about ex-servicemen with super powers who deal with disasters. It was a dreadful idea and I bypassed it by doing Ro-Busters, which he loathed — so I knew my story would be a hit." (Thrill-Power Overload by David Bishop.)
  • Ro-Busters originated in Starlord, first appearing in Starlord #1, before transferring over to 2000 AD with #86. Ian Kennedy drew two of the Starlord stories and Chris Lowder wrote one. Jose Luis Ferrer also drew some episodes.
  • Though Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein were among 2000 AD's most popular characters, arguably the most popular of the Ro-Busters strips featured neither of them; instead, 'The Terra Meks' revolved around Charlie, the pilot robot who protected the port town of Northpool.
  • Both Hammerstein and Ro-Jaws appeared in two other 2000 AD strips, Nemesis the Warlock and ABC Warriors. Additionally, Ro-Jaws hosted an occasional series of short stories, Ro-Jaws Robo-Tales.
  • ABC Warrior Joe Pineapples guest-starred in the Ro-Busters tale 'Old Red Eyes is Back'.
  • Steve Dillon drew a Ro-Busters story ("Bax the Burner") for the 1982 2000 AD Annual, written by Alan Moore. Moore also wrote Ro-Busters tales for the 1983 annual ("Old Red Eyes is Back", with art by Bryan Talbot) and the 1984 annual ("Stormeagles are Go!", with Joe Eckers).

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