2000 AD in Stages

Ro-Busters

On the face of it, this is Thunderbirds with robots, but with Pat Mills at the helm it also becomes a blend of music hall pastiche and union negotiations, where the robot proletariat must fight or buckle under the pressures of a capitalist system that sees them simply as fodder. Y'know, like if you work for Amazon.

The key protagonists are Hammerstein (an ex war droid) & Ro-Jaws (a sewage droid), both under the heel of boss Mr. Ten Percent (a human brain in a robot body) and his enforcer Mek-Quake (a kill-dozer).

Threads from Ro-Busters feed into almost the entire Millsverse before coming full circle years later. Hammerstein changed heads and became the lead in The A.B.C. Warriors, then was hired by Nemesis the Warlock (where Termight itself was inspired by the tubes present in The Fall & Rise storyline of Ro-Busters). Ro-Jaws became mainly an editorial fixture who was perhaps not warlike enough for the initial line-up of Warriors, but did eventually join them after working as a butler for Nemesis. Mek-Quake has had various forms and, in a timeless capacity, also works for Tharg in the present. Even Mr. Ten Percent ended up crossing over, with an extensive back story in Savage.

Art by Clint Langley

Story Title Parts Pages
w indicates a
wraparound cover
Covers
Year(s) Issues Writer Artist Colourist Letterer
Prologue: Day of the Robot 1 2 0 1978 SL1 Pat Mills Carlos Pino [b&w] Tom Frame
[The North Sea Tunnel] 1 9 0 1978
Reprints:

SFS8
SL1
Pat Mills Carlos Pino <-- 3pp, [b&w] Tom Frame
[The Preying Mantis] 1 6 0 1978 SL2 Pat Mills Carlos Pino <-- 1p, [b&w] Peter Knight
[The Red Mist] 2 12 0 1978
Reprints:

SFS8 (partial: pp1‑6, 9‑12)
SL3-4
Pat Mills
Dave Gibbons: 1
Carlos Pino: 2
various
<-- 4pp, [b&w]
Dave Gibbons: 1
Jack Potter: 2
various
[Midpoint] 2 10
5: Kevin O'Neill
1
1978 SL5-6 Bill Henry Ian Kennedy <-- 4pp, [b&w]
Peter Knight: 1
Tony Jacob: 2
various
[The Ritz Space Hotel] 6 38
9: Graham Cotton
1
1978 SL7-12 Pat Mills Carlos Pino <-- 10pp, [b&w]
Tony Jacob: 1
Peter Knight: 2, 4
Steve Potter: 3
unknown: 5
John Aldrich: 6
various
[Farnborough Droid Show] 2 14 0 1978
Reprints:

SFS11
SL13-14
V. Gross Ian Kennedy <-- 3pp, [b&w] John Aldrich
[Massacre on the Moon] 5 34
16: Kevin O'Neill
19: Graham Cotton
2
1978 SL15-19 Chris Lowder
Carlos Pino: 1, 3, 5
Jose Luis Ferrer: 2, 4
various
<-- 10pp, [b&w]
Jack Potter: 1
Paul Bensberg: 2‑3
Peter Knight: 4‑5
various
[The Tax Man Cometh] 3 23 0 1978 SL20-22 Chris Lowder
Jose Luis Ferrer: 1, 3
Carlos Pino: 2
various
<-- 6pp, [b&w]
Tom Frame / Bill Henry: 1
Paul Bensberg: 2
Peter Knight: 3
various
Death on the Orient Express 2 12 0 1978
Reprints:

2KYB'94
M4.01
86-87
Pat Mills Dave Gibbons [b&w] Dave Gibbons
[Hammerstein's War Memoirs] 5 30
88: Kevin O'Neill [reprinted 2KA'88]
91: Dave Gibbons
2
1978
Reprints:

2KA'88 (partial)
X24
88-92
Pat Mills
Kevin O'Neill: 1, 3
Mike Dorey: 2
Dave Gibbons: 4
Mike White: 5
various
[b&w]
John Aldrich: 1
Jack Potter: 2
Peter Knight: 3
Dave Gibbons: 4
Tom Frame: 5
various
Ro-Jaws' Memoirs 5 30
95: Mike Dorey
1
1978-1979 93-97 Pat Mills Mike Dorey [b&w]
Steve Potter: 1‑2
Peter Knight: 3‑5
various
The Terra-Meks 4 27
99: Dave Gibbons
1
1979
Reprints:

2KA'87
M4.02
98-101
Pat Mills Dave Gibbons [b&w] Dave Gibbons
The Fall and Rise of Ro-Jaws & Hammerstein 13 78
103: Kevin O'Neill
108: Mike McMahon
112: Kevin O'Neill
114: Mike McMahon
4
1979
Reprints:

X24
103-115
Pat Mills
Kevin O'Neill: 1‑2, 9‑10
Mike McMahon: 3‑6, 11‑13
Mike Dorey: 7‑8
various
[b&w]
Peter Knight: 1‑7, 9‑13
P. Bensberg: 8
various
Avalanche! 1 10 1979 2KA'80 unknown Kev F Sutherland [b&w] unknown
From Ro‑JawsRo-Jaws
1 6 0 1979 SLA'80 unknown unknown [b&w] unknown
[Earthquake] 1 6 1980 2KA'81 Chris Stevens Dave Harwood [b&w] Peter Knight
[Mafia Meltdown] 1 8 0 1980 SLA'81 unknown unknown [b&w] unknown
Bax the Burner 1 6 0 1981
Reprints:

M4.07
FCBD2
2KA'82
Alan Moore Steve Dillon [b&w] Tom Frame
Old Red Eyes Is Back 1 6 0 1982
Reprints:

B2KSE1
X24
2KA'83
Alan Moore Bryan Talbot [b&w] Steve Potter
Thunderbirds parody.[Stormeagles Are Go]
1 6 1983 2KA'84 Alan Moore Joe Eckers [b&w] Steve Potter
From The A.B.C. WarriorsReturn to Ro-Busters
12 82
1962: Clint Langley
1964: Clint Langley 
1968: Clint Langley 
1972: Clint Langley 
4
2015-2016 1961-1972 Pat Mills Clint Langley <-- Annie Parkhouse
>> Posters <<
Starlord Pin‑Up.Hammer-Stein and Ro-Jaws
1 1 0 1978 SL19 n/a Kevin O'Neill <-- n/a
Star Pin‑Up.Hammerstein
1 1 0 1979 103 n/a [photo of a model] [b&w] n/a
Star Pin‑Up.Charlie - Hero of Northpool
1 1 0 1979 111 n/a Dave Gibbons <-- n/a
Mek Wars! 1 2 0 1979 SFS2 n/a Kevin O'Neill <-- n/a
Star Pin‑Up.Tyranno-Mek
1 1 0 1979 116 n/a Dave Gibbons <-- n/a
[Ro-Busters] 1 1 0 2001 p2002 n/a Trevor Hairsine <-- n/a
[Terra-Meks] 1 2 0 2017 2K40 n/a Cliff Robinson Dylan Teague n/a
>> Features <<
2000AD Futuregraph.Preying Mantis
4 4 0 1978
Reprints:

2KA'82 [as 2‑page spread]
89-92
editorial unknown [b&w] n/a
I, Robot 1 1 0 1979 SFS2 editorial [photo of a model] <-- n/a
Book of Robots 4 8
1
1979 119-122 editorial photos, reprints <-- 4pp, [b&w] n/a
Linked to The A.B.C. Warriors
Supertitled: "Scissor‑Scan".
Hammerstein and Ro-Jaws
1 1 0 1987 SFS10 n/a P. Smith <-- n/a
Data‑File.Ro-Busters
1 1 0 2001 p2002 editorial n/a <-- n/a
>> Floating Covers <<
Ro-Bust-A-Move ~ ~ 1 2007 X24 n/a Boo Cook <-- n/a
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