EDITOR's NOTE: Atomic Robo: The Dogs of War #2 will be available in stores on September 10.
ďAnd Then Thereís the RobotsĒ
Earlier this year, Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener scored a surprise hit with Atomic Robo, a quirky, fun series about the exploits of an immortal, intelligent, wisecracking robot. They combined big action with sarcastic, deadpan wit and slick artwork to tell some incredibly fun stories that ranged throughout the entire 20th century. Now, theyíve followed that original mini-series up with this new series, which, instead of jumping around in time, focuses on one story, a mission that takes place during World War II.
This time around, Robo is tasked with taking out a group of Laufpanzer, mecha-style bipedal tanks, in order to allow the Allied forces to invade Sicily. The original plan was for him to stop them at the factory, but he didnít make it in time, so he ends up spending this issue duking it out with them across the island, trying to keep them from stopping the invasion. Itís a great showcase for Wegenerís dynamic artwork; he splashes the action across the pages beautifully, cramming tons of detail into the panels while still maintaining his cartoony look. Itís pure, grin-inducing adrenaline for Robo fans.
Clevinger also demonstrates his skill at dry wit, with Robo and others uttering plenty of funny dialogue during the battles. My favorite is probably when Robo commandeers a tank, and after they score a shot on one of the mecha, he tells the gunner ďNice shooting, Tex!Ē The soldier replies, ďItís Sam, sir.Ē To which Robo answers, ďNo. You're Tex now.Ē But the violence of war does creep into the story, as we see some surprisingly striking deaths of nameless soldiers in the background. Itís good that Clevinger and Wegener donít try to downplay the horrors war and make it all a fun, wacky time. Theirs is a crazy, enjoyable story, but they donít try to bend history into something that it wasnít.
So if youíre a fan of Atomic Robo, this series continues to offer the stuff that made the series popular to begin with (in a four-page backup strip illustrated by Derrick Fish, it also answers the question of what happened with the giant pyramid monster that was left hanging in one of the issues of the original mini-series). And if youíre new to the concept, by all means, check it out. Itís a great, fun, exciting ride, with some sharp writing and beautiful artwork. Donít miss it!
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