Real Name: Arthur Dodds
Identity/Class: Human soul inhabiting magical robotic armour
Affiliations: Merlin, Dr. Metallius, Mike Merlin, Round Table of America
Enemies: Thieves and crooks
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unknown
First Appearance: Big Bang Comics #1 (Big Bang, Spring 1994)
Powers/Abilities: Bulletproof, unaging. Carries an array of trick arrows. Skilled archer.
History: Earth A, circa 1939. A suit of armour "not designed to be worn by any knight" and containing "an intricate system of gears and mechanisms, dating back to the middle ages" was found hidden in an English castle. The armour was sent to a museum the USA for study, where Arthur Dodd worked as a security man. Dodd, a small but brave fellow, realised at once that the suit was actually some kind of robot. Investigating noises made by thieves stealing an Egyptian statue, Dodd was fatally shot in front of the armour. He had a dying vision of Merlin and King Arthur at the fall of Camelot. The suit was one of three built by Merlin to house the soul of a fallen knight, being "strong as any shield, (with) skill and marksmanship more precise than any mortals". Much to his suprise, Arthur Dodd found himself looking down upon his own dead body, through the eyes of the robot-armour. Wishing to capture the thieves (and avenge his own murder), Dodd grabbed a bow and arrows from a display and used them to pin the thieves to the walls by their clothing, their bullets bouncing harmlessly off of his new body. The shaken thieves told the police that they were captured by a "robot Robin Hoood - a Robo-Hood". Taking this as his new name, the former Arthur Dodd set out to fight crime with the aid of an ingenious array of trick arrows and the occasional help of Merlin himself.
Sometime in the 1960's, Robo-Hood was trapped in a car-crusher by some crooks he had been pursuing. His body crushed beyond repair, his still living head was turned over to US government scientist Dr Metallius, who tried to use science to transfer Dodd's soul into a new android body. This could not work as Merlin had used magic and it was only Dodd's memories and skills that were transferred, not his emotions. With a new quiver built into his body that could manufacture special arrows as needed, the new Robo-Hood set out to fight evil. He was joined by a young man calling himself Mike Merlin, who claimed to be related to the original Merlin, and who did wield actual magic on occasion. Together, they were present at the formation of the Round Table of America, becoming part time members at first although they did become full members some years later. It is during this "part time" period that Robo-Hood used a disguise of flesh-like plastic in order to appear human.
Comments: The '40's Robo-Hood combines two diverse Golden Age heroes, Green Arrow and Robotman (though he looks like the Silver Age Robotman in a Robin Hood suit). His '60's incarnation adds elements of the Marvel Comics hero, The Vision. (The Golden Age Robotman would also masquarade as a normal human in a plastic disguise). Robo-Hood first appeared on the back cover of BIG BANG # 1 (Caliber series) on what was meant to be a reproduction of the cover of "RED HOT COMICS # 14". (This cover also appears on the back of BB # 2 and as a full page b/w page inside BB # 0) This totally fictional comic starred The Badge and his rookies, with Robo-Hood, Dr Stellar and Vita-man as the supporting features. (A fourth feature, "Stars 'N' Stripes" has not been seen since). It's possible that Robo-Hood and the others were meant as a joke, but Big Bang's readers wanted to see these heroes. Robo's origin was covered at some length in a text feature in BB # 27, but his only actual appearance in a story was as a member of The Round Table of America in BB # 33.
Thanks to Chris Adams for information and images.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Robin Hood, legendary outlaw who serves as Robo-Hood's inspiration.
Robitto, Brazilian hero
Robo-Cable, ally of Robocop
Robocop, cyborg police officer
Robocop 2, the next generation of police cyborg, which went badly wrong
Robo-Hood, Big Bang hero
Robo-Hunter, Sam Slade
Robot Archie, boastful British robot
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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