The Spider

Mytek the Mighty

Mytek deals with a warshipThe full-colour lead for Vulcan's nation-wide run, 'Mytek the Mighty' had ran in Valiant for seven years, from 1964 to 1970. The strip was the creation of the great Tom Tully, perhaps best known for being the principal writer of 'The Steel Claw' for much of its' run. His other credits include 'Kelly's Eye' and 'Janus Stark' for Valiant, as well as the criminally underrated 'Robo Machines' and the updated 'Dan Dare' for the 1980s incarnation of Eagle. The artist was the superb Eric Bradbury ('The House of Dolmann', 'Doomlord', 'Tharg's Future Shocks') for the first two years, and then Bill Lacey ('The Sludge') until the end of the run.

Gogra crows over the capture of Dick MasonThe story centred on a giant robot ape, the titular Mytek. It was built in the image of a god worshipped by the warlike Akari tribe. Its' inventor, Professor Arnold Boyce, hoped to use it to convince the tribe to abandon their vicious ways, but reckoned without his bitter assistant Gogra. The villainous dwarf stole Mytek, and the tribe followed his destructive path. Boyce and his gamekeeper, Dick Mason, then tried to recapture the mighty robot.

Mytek destroys tanks sent to battle himMason is the nominal heroic lead, but he and Boyce fit more in the role of Gilmore and Trask from the early 'Spider' serials or Professor Barrington from the initial 'Steel Claw' strips - the real attraction is Gogra and his rampaging robot monkey, who wreaked merry havoc each week. In later strips, Mytek (similar to 'Robot Archie') would develop waxing levels of autonomy, largely without explanation.

The first arc, covered in the Scottish Vulcan, covered the origin of Mytek and Gogra's initial rampage, ending with both the dwarf and robot seemingly falling to their destruction in the sea. The second arc, which started in the nationwide incarnation, saw Gogra and Mytek return, but concluded with the duo recapturing Mytek. Gogra escaped and would later devise a series of his own robots to battle Boyce's robot. A later story featuring Mytek under Boyce's control was featured in the Vulcan Annual.

'Mytek the Mighty' was successfully translated into French as King Kong Le Robot from 1972 to 1974. In 1992, the character was harshly raped by Si Spencer for the story "Mytek Lives!" for the abysmal 2000AD Action Special. A more sensible reappearance came in Leah Moore's glorified 2006 Fleetway fanfic Albion, where Gogra was imprisoned in a Scottish prison along with many other old heroes and villains. Mytek itself was kept deactivated with all the other confiscated weapons, and when the inmates escaped was reactivated. However, Gogra wouldn't get to pilot it again - Mytek was taken by the Spider, who presumably killed the villainous dwarf during the confusion of the escape.