"Let’s make believe this is our clubhouse and get in it, huh?"

§ June 11th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "Let’s make believe this is our clubhouse and get in it, huh?"

And now, the most depressing robot story ever, from Midnight Mystery #7 (Oct 1961)…sure, the title splash is promising:

…but it’ll all end in tears.

Dr. Gregory develops a super-intelligent robot on behalf of a buyer who wants it as an attraction at the World’s Fair:

…but, as it turns out, the buyer wanted a robot that would provide a spectacular display, like motorcycle jumping or flaming plate spinning, not just a machine that could recite facts.

Without a buyer, Dr. Gregory seeks a way to recoup his losses and places a “ROBOT FOR SALE” ad in his local newspaper.

In short order, a low-rent carnival gets its mitts on the robot, and, now dubbed “ROCKY THE WONDER ROBOT,” is commanded to rook rubes out of cash via those exciting chess matches you see at your better carnivals:

The customers quickly realize playing chess against Rocky is a bad idea, and the carnival’s owner moves Rocky to a new attraction…as a “living” target:

This constant abuse begins to take its toll on Rocky, and during his down time he reflects on the day’s events:

Apparently in the same room Rocky is sitting, the carnival’s other employees sit down for an evening of television. And, coincidentally enough, what are they watching? A film about space robots running wild on Earth. Rocky can’t help but notice what he’s being shown:

Suddenly, Rocky has only one thing on his mind:

Inspired by the film, driven by the thoughts of his mistreatment, Rocky escapes the carnival and begins his reign of terror.

Or, rather, he’s just about to begin his reign of terror, as his first stop is an auto-wrecking plant near the train tracks. There, he witnesses a couple of boy geniuses playing in a cardboard box on the tracks:

And God knows what they were getting up to in that box to make one of them exclaim “This is fun,” but fun was apparently being had, and thus they do not hear the approaching train car:

Now, my initial thought upon Rocky’s action at this point…stopping the car:

…was that, given what these kids were up to…playing in a CARDBOARD BOX on TRAIN TRACKS…would the gene pool have missed them all that much, really? But then again, maybe that was Rocky’s plan, his long-term revenge on humanity, by letting these two survive to pass on their dumb genes to their misbegotten offspring.

But, whatever the reason, save them Rocky did, and what was his reward?

That’s right, Rocky gets pie, Soupy Sales-style. And rather than just rip off these two punks’ heads and use them as shot puts, Rocky wanders off to the nearby auto-wrecking plant. He briefly mopes by one of the presses:

A search party from the carnival arrives, but they’re too late, too late:

And there’s one last panel where all the humans discuss how the robot was just a pile of wires and circuits, and couldn’t have actually taken its own life purposefully, don’cha know.

There just ain’t no robot justice, friends, so I’m declaring Rocky the Wonder Robot the official mascot of the forthcoming robot uprising, joining Robot Phil, Robot Chris, Robot Mike, and our newest member, Mr. Robot Dan Kelly.

You live on in our mechanical hearts, Rocky the Wonder Robot.

For another pathetic robot story, may I direct you to this old post of mine? Man, robots are always gettin’ the shaft.

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