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Richie Rich Gold & Silver 1, September 1975, story 6, page 1

© Harvey Comics

"The Big Treatment"

Editor: Unknown
Penciller: Warren Kremer or Ernie Colon?
Inker: Unknown
Colorist: Unknown
Letterer: Unknown

Richie Rich was Harvey Comics most successful character, headlining dozens of comic-book titles from his first appearance in Little Dot 1, September 1953 until 1982, and again from 1986 to 1994.  He also appeared in animated cartoons beginning in November 1980, and a live-action Richie Rich feature film, starring MacCauley Culkin, in 1994. Numerous supporting characters were added to Richie's cast over the years:  his parents, Richard and Regina Rich; their butler, Cadbury; his girlfriend, Gloria Glad; his buddies, Freckles and Pee-Wee Friendly; and his snobbish cousin and rival, Reggie Van Dough.  One of the more obscure characters was the Riches' robot main, Irona.  In this two-part, ten-page story from Richie Rich Gold & Silver 1, Mrs. Van Krudd orders her robot maid Goldie to knock Irona out of commission so that Goldie can win a robot maid competition. Goldie covers Irona with tar, gravel and rocks, but after steam cleaning she feels better than ever. Later Mrs. Van Krudd seals Irona in a barrel and sends her over a waterfall.  Irona survives, and Goldie leaves Mrs. Van Krudd's employ.  Irona wins the contest by default.

Even in a story this simple, it's interesting how the writer plays with the characters of the elements.  The Riches are rich but honest, so they have a robot maid made out of the plain but strong, salt-of-the-earth metal iron. On the other hand, snobby, scheming Mrs. Van Krudd's robot maid is made out of the expensive, elitist metal gold. The writers of DC Comics' Metal Men used similar characterizations of the metals.

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