From the back of the book:
In the blink of an eye, young martial artist Magnus has everything taken from him: his father, his wife, his entire life. He's suddenly thrust into a futuristic world he doesn't understand, populated by humans and robots living together in oppression! Can Magnus fight to get his life back... and once he learns the truth about himself, will he want to? Collects issues #1-4 of the ongoing Magnus: Robot Fighter series.
Magnus, Robot Fighter, is a character that has been around in comics for a very long time, though one that hasn't been prevalent in the medium since Valiant's run in the 1990's. Dynamite, the company that now leases the property has produced an entertaining first up arc that reintroduces the 'robot fighter' yet I'm cautious about investing in further installments.
FLESH AND STEEL takes the reader into a world where robots control the Government. Crime is almost non existent and the policing of the humanist populace acts as a social media outlet of entertainment for the artificial intelligence-dominated place-setting (see #3 in particular). I didn't mind this 'reality' style showcase with the scene reminiscent of STAR WARS Ep.3 and THE FIFTH ELEMENT (the Magnus chance through North AM skyline).
My main gripe with FLESH AND STEEL is the lack of a definitive end to the arc. Author Fred Van Lente has written some of the best 'funny books' during his Archer & Armstrong run and tries to emulate that tongue-in-cheek tone in this sci-fi futuristic pulp like tale - and he's successful, for the most part (I'm still undecided about H8R, Magnus's accomplice from his prison break). I couldn't help but think the story stopped short. The reader is left with Magnus at a pivotal point in his plight to discover the truth of his present (future) day predicament at the end of #4 (of #4). If only the last issue ran a few more panels, I think that closure I'm after would've been attained.
The art feels very comic booky (I know, IT IS A COMIC BOOK) but I like art to take the story further than prose, adding a little something more to the story - it's a visual medium after all. While serviceable to good at times, it's non comparable to the other futuristic comic series I'm reading in RAI vol.1 from Valiant (which I highly recommend reading).
Overall - FLESH AND STEEL is a good introduction that really has an epic feel to it - good for long running series but difficult to review in small story arc instalments.