Mytek the Mighty
Real Name: Mytek
Identity/Class: Giant robot
Occupation: Fighter against evil
Affiliations: Professor Arnold Boyce (creator); Dick Mason (gamekeeper, ally of Boyce); Akari tribe (worship him)
Enemies: Gogra; Gorgus
Known Relatives: Not applicable
Aliases: King Kong le Robot (French name - King Kong the Robot)
Base of Operations: Africa
First Appearance: Valiant (I.P.C., IPC, 26th September 1964); Vulcan (1975-76); Kobra (Germany), King Kong le Robot (France)
Powers/Abilities: Huge and incredibly strong. Mytek was solar powered, absorbing energy through batteries hidden behind the fur on his back. On one occasion these batteries were covered by mud during a fight, causing Mytek to gradually weaken until the mud was cleaned off.
History: Professor Boyce was a scientist working on research projects in Africa. After his laboratory was destroyed by the warriors of the local Akari tribe, a gamekeeper friend of his, Dick Mason, told him of how the tribesmen worshipped a clay statue of a giant ape "Mytek" which symbolised the powers of strength and destruction. Inspired by this, the scientist designed a colossal robot in the form of that ape, hoping to employ it to convince the tribe to give up their warlike ways. However his assistant, the dwarf Gogra, bitter at the rest of humanity, stole the robotic Mytek and used it to form the tribe into an army, seeking revenge against the world. Boyce and Mason set off in pursuit, and eventually reclaimed the robot, although Gogra managed to escape, and would return time and again with new robots, such as Gorgus, which had his face, seeking to destroy his nemesis and continue his campaign against the human race.
Comments: Written by Tom Tully throughout most (perhaps all) of his run.Both Bill Lacey and Eric Bradbury had turns doing the art for Mytek. Thanks to Jim Croasdale for this additional information.
Mytek varied a lot, between being intelligent and capable of self-motivation, to being unable to move without a pilot.
Mytek reappeared in the 2000AD Action Special, in a bizarre tale that depicted him as the villainous representation of Europe's explotation of the African continent, and ended with his destruction at the hands of the genuine giant gorilla that the robot had been named after. I mention this only for completeness, as it's a really atrocious story which violates the memory of the original, and as such, should be avoided like the plague. Thankfully the story was never reprinted nor continued, not least because 2000AD's then-owners, who had bought 2000AD along with the rights to other former Fleetway series from IPC, discovered that Mytek wasn't actually one of the characters they now owned.
With Mytek still owned by IPC, and IPC in turn now owned by Warner Bros, who own in turn DC Comics, who own in turn Wildstorm Comics (yeesh - large corporations and their subsidiaries), the giant robot ape was eventually revived, alongside other IPC characters, in Wildstorm's Albion. Stored in Cursitor Doom's Scottish castle, which had been used by the British government as a secret gulag for superhumans, Mytek was stolen by the Spider during a mass breakout.
In France Mytek was reprinted in his own comic, as King Kong le Robot. It ran for 16 issues, reprinting much (perhaps all) of his British run. There is an extensive and in depth website devoted to his French incarnation, and I have to give grateful credit to Alain Decayeux, creator of that site, for allowing me to use information and images from it to enhance this entry.
In Germany in the seventies the magazine Vulcan was published under the title "Kobra" showcasing Mytek The Mighty, Tim Kelly, Steel Claw, The Spider and Robot Archie. Unfortunately, the stories which were published in Kobra where incomplete, apparently switching stories unpredictably and abruptly ending with hastily tacked on conclusions. Finally, the magazine was discontinued, leaving German fans hanging as to the fate of their favourite characters.
Mytek, for example, stopped at the point when Gogra threatened the entire world with his magnetic cannons and Mytek battled Gorgus on a volcanic island. Then the magazine ended, so that those in Germany never found out the outcome of the battle...
Thanks to Sven Feyerabend for this intriguing information. Many thanks to Chris "Doc TOC" Halliday for additional information on this character.
- Click on the link to go to Alain's French King Kong le Robot site
Robert Karol mentions that "There was a tribute in The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore (published last year by Twomorrows) in which Rick Veitch (I believe) did a tribute strip with a giant called Moortek the Mighty (that looked like Alan Moore), who was controlled by an intelligent monkey. I believe the monster was opposed by two characters that looked like Bryce and Mason. Veitch seems to be parodying Moore's reinvention/reusage of classic British comics characters by presenting him as one of the characters he never really used."
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
King Kong, the giant movie ape whom the French version of Mytek is named after
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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