Sam Slade is a robo-hunter, a private eye who specializes in missing or stolen droids. In a future world where even the furniture is sentient, this can be a reasonably busy job. Ian Gibson’s designs for dozens and dozens of oddball robots of all shapes and sizes help elevate this series to an elegant little work of genius, where every panel is filled with bizarre things to catch your eye. He is joined in his second story, the epic “Day of the Droids,” by two well-meaning assistants: Hoagy, a sort-of two-legged frog thing built from a kit, and Carlos Sanchez Robo-Stogie, a robot cigar which weans its smoker off nicotine by steadily decreasing the amount the smoker inhales...
Such a concept cannot be strung along for years; an appropriate teetering disaster of Robo-Hunter-proportions is assuredly much more difficult to write than most any other adventure strip, and Sam did not outlast his welcome, wrapping up nicely in “Sam Slade’s Last Case” and returning for what should certainly have been the final series, “Farewell, My Billions.” Unfortunately, Tharg brought it back, giving Sam to hawt newcomer Mark Millar in 1991 and the results were unpleasant at best.
Happily, better things were on the horizon, and Peter Hogan contributed 13 extremely good little gems, mostly illustrated by Rian Hughes. Unfortunately, Hogan was working against considerable public outcry against the retooled series, and Hughes’ art, which has never been as popular as it should, kept many naysayers from looking twice at these far superior stories. Slade remained in retirement until Prog 2004, when Hoagy and Stogie crossed paths with Sam's granddaughter Samantha...
Robo-Hunter Volume 1: Verdus. 136 pages, £9.99 UK, $14.95 US.
Sam Slade used to be one of the best robo-hunters in the business. But he's getting old, and old means slow - which means dead!
That is, until Sam takes on the biggest case of his life. Verdus was a paradise planet. And while colonists made their long journey there, a self-replicating robot was sent out to prepare the planet. Since the humans arrived, all contact with the colony has been lost.
But the lightspeed journey to Verdus has been sabotaged, and relativistic effects have made Slade a much younger man. Now his trouble's just starting in this classic adventure by John Wagner (Judge Dredd), Ian Gibson (Halo Jones) & José Luis Ferrer (Ant Wars)!
Verdus, 22 episodes, progs 76-84 and 100-112 (Aug. 1978 to May 1979). Story by "TB Grover" & "Mike Stott" (John Wagner), art by Jose Ferrer (pts 1-2) Ian Gibson (pts 3-22).
Robo-Hunter Volume 2: Day of the Droids. 160 pages, £9.99 UK, $14.99 US.
Sam Slade returns for more hilarious adventures in this second collection of classic stories! Sam's hired for a strange case by a robotic city councilor who soon turns up dead, and a "robot union" wants Sam out of business!
Day of the Droids, 23 episodes, progs 152-174 (Feb. to Aug. 1980). Story by "TB Grover" (Wagner), art by Gibson.
The Beast of Blackheart Manor, 6 episodes plus prologue, progs 259-265 (Apr. to May 1982). Story by John Wagner & Alan Grant, art by Gibson.
Robo-Hunter Volume 3: Play it Again, Sam. 192 pages, £11.99 UK, $17.99 US.
The streets are alive with the sound of robots in this latest collection of classic Robo-Hunter cases.
National Song Year has been declared in Brit-Cit and Sam Slade is facing musical lunacy on every side. The Human League has declared death to all robots and the robo-Prime Minister Iron Aggie has hired Slade to infiltrate their gang.
Slade finds himself at the centre of a vast and deadly conspiracy that even he may not be able to sing his way out of!
Written by John Wagner (Judge Dredd, A History of Violence) and Alan Grant (Lobo, Batman) and featuring artwork by Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), this collection is packed full of the very best of Sam Slade.
The Filby Case, 7 episodes, progs 266-272 (May to July 1982). Story by Grant, art by Gibson.
The Killing of Kidd, 7 episodes, progs 275-281 (July to Sept. 1982). Story by Wagner & Grant, art by Gibson.
Football Crazy, 6 episodes, progs 283-288 (Sept. to Oct. 1982). Story by Wagner & Grant, art by Gibson.
Play it Again, Sam, 16 episodes, progs 292-307 (Nov. 1982 to Mar. 1983). Story by Wagner & Grant, art by Gibson.
Return to the Rebellion collections index.