Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Atomic Robo TPB

I get it. Atomic Robo is basically Hellboy. He's got the Action Scientists to mirror BPRD. He's going his running Nazi villains. He's got the big gun. He's got the workmanlike attitude. You could probably plop Hellboy into this story with little to no difficulty. That said, I LIKE Hellboy, so getting more of that material is not a bad thing. Brian Cleavenger's story is a fun one, and it packs and amazing amount into 6 issues. We get a slew of Robo's missions, from space travel, ant smashing, zombie smashing, to 2 encounters with his arch-nemesis. Robo has some great dialogue throughout the series, my favorite being how quickly he beats his main foe since he always announces his weaknesses, that was some fun stuff. I also loved the throwaway gag that the Action Scientists of the 1980s was the GI Joe team. They are clearly visible in one flashback, and that's a fun gag. I will say that including so many time jumps between the story made part of the book difficult to read. I got a little confused around issues 2 & 3 when I wasn't sure where one story ended and another began. Nothing I couldn't plow through, but worth noting. Things did seem to clear up by issue 4. I do really enjoy the time spent developing the Action Scientists. I appreciate the work to make them more than generic back-up, a problem that does happen in the BPRD stories from Mignola.

The art by Scott Wegener was decent, but he is much better drawing Robo than he is normal humans. His style is Mignola-influenced, but more for ambiance and setting than for how he draws people. The Robo design itself is a neat one with the lead character having no mouth.


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