Comics You Should Be Reading: Atomic Robo
- May 28th, 2010
- Posted in Comics You Should Be Reading . Comics/Graphic Novels . Opinions
- By Seth
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“Comics You Should Be Reading” is a new column, exclusive to Primary Ignition, in which Seth Miller talks about the comics that you should pick up RIGHT NOW.
When I go to the comic shop on Wednesday, there are a few comic books that I never leave the store without. Anything Green Lantern related, Captain America, The Goon, and whatever Brian K. Vaughan writes. But there is one comic I will always get no matter what: Atomic Robo.
Granted, the title sounds pretty lame, the book is full humor, action, and references to every concept in sci-fi, comics and geek culture. The series follows the adventures of Atomic Robo, a robot developed in 1923 by Nikola Tesla who develops emotions and goes on to create Tesladyne, a corporation that develops experimental technology and fight threats that no one else can deal with. The book covers Robo’s various adventures from the 1920s to the present day as he fights with enemies like super-intelligent dinosaurs, Nazi scientists, Cthulu, and Stephen Hawking.
Writer Brian Clevinger takes the reader back to a time before comics like Watchmen, when comics were about the insane situations that our characters get into while combining it with some modern sensibilities and smart-ass humor. The storylines are designed for those that want something different than the traditional narrative of today’s comics, which are filled with retcons, deaths & resurrections, Grant Morrison going apeshit on continuity, or just setups for another big event series that is “going to change the comic book universe.” Atomic Robo is a welcome relief to comic fans by not just providing action and storylines free from the trends in other comics, but by giving the fans a comic that sounds like they wrote it.
When Robo fights Nazi robots, giant bugs, or even Thomas Edison; whatever Robo says is pretty much what a comic book reader would say in that situation. In the first issue, a Nazi scientist has a magic heart implanted in his own chest to give him superpowers, and he brags about it. Robo then thanks him for telling him about his weakness and blows the heart up with lightning gun. Robo is speaking for the comic book fan, and the character pulls it off.
The art is good but not as great as the writing. Artist Scott Wegener’s work compliments Clevinger’s writing and does a good job of representing the action in the book. But aside from that there is nothing really that stands out about the art. It’s clear that the art is definitely getting better as the series continues, but it is still not equal to the writing.
While the art may not be the best, Clevinger creates an insane world that is suited for a sarcastic robot whom, despite his vast intelligence, will always solve his problems with the proper balance punches, guns, and smashing cars. This is definitely a cult favorite and it should be the biggest comic on the market. Know how it can become the biggest comic today? It involves you comic book lovers going to your store and demanding that they sell Atomic Robo, and purchasing the trade paperbacks.
For Tesladyne, for action science, for Robo!
Front page image from MichaelMay.us.