Wednesday, 29 August 2012

So I Read Atomic Robo and The Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne

A 250 word (or less) review of the first Atomic Robo collected edition.
By Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, Red 5 Comics

Atomic Robo is a fun comic. Specifically, it is a fun adventure comic with a liberal helping of comedy. In Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne we follow the adventures of Atomic Robo, a charismatic nuclear powered robot built by Nikola Tesla in 1923, and his team of Action Scientists as they confront paranormal threats. The collected edition works as an encapsulation of the entire Atomic Robo concept: to tell funny, action packed stories set throughout the various time periods of Robo’s life (the 20’s to the Modern day). The upside of this is the comic doesn’t waste time on excessive exposition and can focus on the most entertaining moments in Robo’s life. The downside is that at times some helpful setting information is lost on the altar of Action and that this first trade lacks a central narrative which gives it a schitzophrenic feel (for instance a two issue cliff hanger is left a-dangle).1,2 The balance of this equation, though, is a comic that sees Robo fight Nazi’s, battle cyborg armies, combat giant ants, study a mobile attack pyramid, and take an uneventful trip to Mars… which is pretty great. It also bears mentioning that Atomic Robo is audibly funny. I am not a person prone to laughing aloud at my fiction very often, but Atomic Robo had me snorting up a storm. Celvinger and Wegener have created exactly what they sought to: a funny, action-packed adventure comic. It’s unique, laugh-out-loud funny, and genuinely good comics.

Word count: 249

1: I want to know what happened with the giant mummy robot, damn it!
2: This is mostly an artifact of it being a collection of single issues. Subsequent trades are more cohesive and better. But still, great comics.

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