Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X #4 (of 5)A comic review article by: Dylan B. Tano
Convoy... Convoy... Convoy! "For Science." And with that Robo dives into the world of ham radios, semi trucks, and satellite avoidance. As usual Clevinger delivers a funny, well flowing, and smart story to pages of Atomic Robo. There is something here to like for everyone. Whether it is the clever science jargon tossed around by Clevinger as he weaves in and out creating hypothesis, the well drawn action stylized by Wegener, or the tongue in cheek humor throughout the book; it delivers on all fronts.
I'm consistently amazed by the creative team in charge of this book. They've been delivering a consistent awesomeness with Atomic Robo for going on six volumes now. To bring it issue in and out like that with the constantly changing landscape of comics these days is to be applauded. Between the styling of story weaved by Clevinger, mixing humor and science and the art of Wegener; well thought out, choreographed fight scenes and thrilling chase scenes, the book barrels along, edging ever closer to its inevitable climax.
A familiar film noir twist is used in this book. Two cases that seem to have nothing in common; involving two entirely different teams and set of circumstances, converge on to one central location. As a matter of fact that is one of the things that consistently amazes me about Atomic Robo, it always feels like a giant who did it, regardless of what time period our industrious hero finds himself in. That may seem like a bit of a repeat, but Clevinger and Wegener do such a good job of either parodying the formula or weaving an engrossing mystery that it leaves you guessing and laughing time and time again.
Bureaucracy at work.
If you already follow Atomic Robo, then excellent, keep up the fine work. If you don't, well then get started or we'll send Jenkins after you. Seriously, this book is excellent. In terms of things that are right with modern day comics this has it. It is put out by someone other than the big two, it's smart, witty, just the right amount of action, and doesn't take itself too seriously. The art works with the writing and the characters never slip out of themselves. Every character has a distinct personality and it shows, especially in the side characters. Robo assembles a team of truckers and ham radio enthusiasts to help him figure out who is ruining his day. Each character involved represents a different idea of who a ham radio user would be when the author could have just as easily copped out and made them a bunch of cranky old men.
I mentioned that I was consistently amazed by the team of Clevinger and Wegener several times throughout this review. Consistency is the key word. This volume has kept a steady pace so far, and while not as emotionally touching as some of the prior volumes, it does deliver in other ways. There is humor and a steady story of who and why to follow. Robo doesn't seem to be lost in the modern world anymore, and it is nice to see a character develop and have it stick in a world of comics that constantly resets itself. Read this book, I mean it.
Dylan B. Tano is a relatively new reviewer powered by a love of bacon and constantly distracted by a kitten who would rather use his laptop as a bed. He grew up idolizing Spider-Man and can’t believe he gets to review comics all day.