Current Reviews


Atomic Robo #3

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2007
By: Chris Murman

Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Weneger

Publisher: Red 5 Comics

This month, if I were ordering my usual Atomic Robo, I would have to add a side of snark with my combo meal. Humor abounds as the robot and geek squad head out to the Middle East, and we have what I believe is the first cliffhanger of the series. Now, tell me why again you havenít tried this book out?

Now, certainly we have seen the robotic daredevil utilize a sense of humor in the two views into his little mechanical soul so far, but the one-liners came out in abundance this time around. Granted, hilarity is the name of the game for Brian Clevinger, but you get my drift. The ďAction ScientistsĒ are sent off to Egypt to investigate what local authorities have determined to be a mechanized pyramid thatís headed for the nearest city. Calamity ensues as the team is grounded by a series of solar beams, then sits back as Robo goes in to save the day as usual.

But, give me a break, the jokes are what we are here for, right?

The best by far was one of the nerds stating he did his doctoral thesis on solar death ray design. ďThe technology had potential for non-apocalyptic applications. In theory.Ē The fact that Robo gave him crap about it made things even better. And who doesnít love robotic mummies making their way onto the scene. AR jumping in and going to town on the mechanical undead, then about halfway through realizing they arenít fighting back was priceless. The rest you can read for yourself, but there were many hysterical moments.

Continuing his surprising job on the art chores, Weneger delivers some really cool splash pages and his work on the lead character could end up making a lasting impression on the current community. What I love most about the design is Scott doesnít try to do too much with it. Characters with great expressions, standing around in humorous poses and Robo narrowing his ďeyesĒ gives just the right amount of emotion to his physical persona. Part of what makes this book such a great read is the pleasing look to the book. Hats go off to not only Weneger, but colorist Ronda Pattison as well.

The only two things I didnít quite get about the book are minor. One, if the death ray wasnít going to allow them to land, how did the plane run aground so easily after being shot down? Itís an easy thing to let go, so thatís an easy pass. The other is the lack of times the Action Scientists use each otherís names. Doing my final pass before beginning the review, I spent at least five minutes trying to get each otherís names straight before giving up. I know every member of the Justice Society, yet each and every month I get a line-up complete with powers description. Is it too much to ask for a little clarity here? Yes thatís you Iím staring at Scott Chitwood, but only because I know you can make up for it with a smile.

With the exciting (well, mildly hair-raising at least) conclusion coming next month, how will AR deal with the fact that he was in an exploding pyramid out in the middle of the desert? Please tell me it involves the Action Scientists having to play a real live game of ďOperationĒ. Yes, thatís why I only review comics instead of writing them.

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