Robot Archie was one of the trademark characters from Lion. An invention of Ted Cowan and Ted Kearnon (who would remain on the strip for most of its' duration), Archie appeared in the very first Lion as 'The Jungle Robot'. In 1957, he would return in a self-titled strip which would run until 1974, lasting as long as Lion itself, and even after this he would continue to feature in annuals until 1983 (again, as long as the publication, though by the last years he was represented through text stories and reprints of old strips).

The mechanical man was always accompanied on his adventures by Ted Ritchie (nephew of the robot's inventor, Professor C. R. Ritchie) and Ken Dale. Formative years were spent causing massive property damage in various colonial backwaters in the search for lost treasures (where native tribes invariably mistook Archie for a god), before in 1968 Ritchie invented a time-machine, incongruously disguised as a giant chess knight, and the two 'pals' and 'Ol' tinribs' got to cause massive property damage throughout history. Initially, Archie couldn't speak, and was reliant on Ted for directions, but soon a voicebox was added (giving him a wonderfully boastful personality), and with time he was basically independent. He also received upgrades physically, gaining telescopic arms and flame-throwing fingers, amongst other additions. Archie tended to carry a sword as well.

Archie was also a considerable success in Holland, and artist Bert Bus redrew many Archie strips, even adding some of his own. Despite the fact this material recoloured Archie (making him silver; as the flagship character, Lion always had him red when he appeared in colour) and morphed Ted and Ken into Color Climax-era pornstars, these stories were used to represent the character in Vulcan's formidable roster (no doubt due to being in colour), with the Dutch dialogue switched back to English.

The character's iconic nature means he usually gets chunky roles in anything reviving the old Fleetway inventory, and thus he appeared as Acid Archie in Zenith , and getting turned into a killing machine by Bad Penny in Albion. While the latter is something of a perversion, it made for a nice T-shirt transfer... Thankfully 2000AD avoided him for their notorious Action Special, meaning we were robbed of an army of Archies artificially inseminating the Queen, or somesuch shit.

I'd love to have a full-blown section on Archie as the stories I've read have nearly always been fun (especially from about 1967 onwards, where his personality really starts to come to the fore), but the material's so hard to get hold of I couldn't hope to do justice to his two-plus decade career.