art by Joe Maneely, from Strange Tales #18.

Strange how I don’t even blink at the thought of a scientist building a robot but “an exact copy of a human brain” and I’m immediately thrown into disbelief. Absolutely unpossible! That would literally never happen.

The imaginatively named John Doe is a good guy robot, sacrificing their existence to save their creator’s daughter from a troublesome boyfriend.

Probably doesn’t need punching but, you know, you can never be too careful. He does look a bit stern.

Two panels drawn by Gerry Embleton from the eighties reboot of The Eagle comic. Both panels involve a humanoid figure "peeling" their face off to reveal a robot underneath.
Art by Gerry Embleton

Along with Bolland’s “gaze into the fist of Dredd“, this is one of my all time fave comic panels. The reveal is great but it’s the “Grief! A Robot!” that edges it into the sublime. Nobody suspects a robot! Especially one sent by The Mekon to ensure no peace can be brokered.

And that, really, is why you need somebody on hand who is willing to punch robots. The alternative is the dastardly Mekon and that’s not going to lead anywhere good.

Gerry Embleton’s work is always good value but this is some of the best mask peeling since Roger Delgado’s Master graced Who in the seventies. That Embleton makes Wagner and Mills vision of Dan Dare fit so seamlessly with Frank Hampson’s is the icing on a really very delicious cake for me. Incredible work.

Art by Ron Turner

Look at the way that noggin opens up at the top! Fantastic.

2K was sent to sort out a bunch of Daleks and Mechanoids in Impasse. Obviously he gets into a right old pickle, what with a planet on a collision course and all that, but I wouldn’t feel too bad about adding to his problems with a swift jab to the arm.

Presuming that doesn’t pop open with spikey bits as well. I’d need a sticky plaster then. Messy.

A panel from Magnus, Robot Fighter. It's Magnus smacking the head off a police robot which was, frankly, asking for a slap.

Given this site is named in honour of Magnus, Robot Fighter, it’d be fairly rude not to include Polrobs (Police Robots).

Pretty much every single original, proper, Magnus story has not only some fantastic robot designs but also some fantastic robot slapping going on. It’s just the best.

What I adore most about Polrobs in Magnus comics is how it’s almost impossible to imagine them actually moving, to imagine them being the overpowering presence that they are – to be so troublesome as to need a good kicking at every opportunity. Absolutely nothing about them suggests they can move with any sort of elegance or grace, or indeed move at all.

It adds to the joy of them because the implication here is that humanity has grown so lax and uninterested in any sort of politics that they are underneath the boot of a bunch of awkward, useless, bendy robots.

Which also leads to the question “Is Magnus *that* good at punching robots or are the robots really that easy to take down?”, but let’s not think about that. I’m sure he’s the best robot puncher ever.

From Dan Dare: Reign Of The Robots. Art by Frank Hampson, I assume.

Some yellow/gold robots. They are tall but simple as though easily rendered in tin like you robots. They're bipedal but have 4 arms, 2 of which are grabbing claws.

There’s a few different types of robots in this particular story but I just love these. They could very easily be rendered in tin as toys and, bonus, wouldn’t be too much of a nightmare to get a bloke in a cardboard costume of them.

Which is pretty much perfect, really.