Episode 28 of The Trigan Empire
The Duplication Machine
aka The Duplicator (The Collection)
De superkopieermachine (Dutch title)
The Supercopier (Dutch title, translated)
Written by Mike Butterworth
Illustrated by Don Lawrence
The Duplication Machine was originally published in 10 instalments in issues 496 (17 July 1971) to 505 (18 September 1971) of Look and Learn magazine.
It is reprinted in Volume 7 of The Trigan Empire—The Collection (the Don Lawrence Collection).
It is reprinted in Volume 3 of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire (Rebellion).
496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505
Robi takes the Imperial Examinations. Robi is very intelligent, but because he is also very lazy, he gets high grades by cheating. Thanks to these high marks, he becomes Peric’s student, who sees him as a successor. Through Peric, Robi becomes friends with Janno.
Peric allows Robi to work on developing his machine to teleport objects. Through this work, Robi secretly develops not a teleporter, but a duplicator. Robi teams up with a thief to get hold of expensive items temporarily. The thief steals the objects, Robi copies them and the thief returns them.
Robi discovers that the thief has not been returning all the stolen property, thus endangering his operation. He dismisses him. He then duplicates himself. But his duplicate is killed by his vengeful former accomplice.
An accident causes a Trigan warship to ram a Caton passenger liner. This precipitates another war between Cato and Trigan. Robi lures Janno into a trap and copies Janno. He wants to sell Janno to Cato for money. He contacts Cato and Robi delivers Janno to them. He also has to go to Cato himself. The leaders of Cato prepare a massive air raid on Trigan City. They go in a small plane to see how the battle is going. Janno manages to escape from prison in Cato and overpowers the pilot from the small plane. The real Janno has meanwhile been shot down in a dogfight, his plane has crashed into the sea. The counterfeit Janno flies with the leaders of Cato straight towards a gun battery on the Trigan coastline and is shot down by a direct hit. The Caton air fleet suffers the greatest defeat in their history.
A day later, Janno is found on the beach. Robi returns from Cato and confesses everything to Peric. The secret of the duplication machine remains between them, but Janno is left with a puzzle: is he the original Janno or the copy?
Plot summary (Dutch)
MediaFire via British Comics Compilations