Atomic Robo #4.2 Review

It’s about time the Atomic Robo writer got some grander opportunities. Of course, everyone and their grandma loves Robo for its refreshing mix of humour and action in a very aware pop culture package. It’s the kind of quirkiness that geeks like me find irresistible. Now, Brian Clevinger is writing an all-ages mini focused on The Infinity Gauntlet saga for Marvel. Nice one.

So, back to Robo. The old robot adventurer is really Red 5’s flagship character, as he should be. Instead of an ongoing series, Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener have wisely chosen to create a series of mini-series, of which this is the fourth, with the subtitle Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension. Last month’s first issue had Robo interviewing two candidates for an Action Scientist position, filled with the usual great dialogue such as:

Bernard: What were you doing in a volcano?

Robo: Action geology.

and an attack on Tesladyne Industries’ base by the titular “vampires.” This second issue (set in 1999) is fittingly titled Big in Japan, in which Robo meets Japan’s version of  his team, the Science Team Super Five! It’s not long after the introductions that a few nasties invade Tokyo Bay and the Science Team must go out on their first real mission with all the energy, dramatic posing and primary coloured costume wearing of the Power Rangers parody that they are. Then a rather…crabby former colleague of the Science Team’s leader shows his face and Robo comes to the rescue.

With a subtle Star Wars reference, a Mecha Robo and photocopiers as weapons, this is yet another winner in this series. It’s not as funny as previous entries, but there’s still two more issues to go (and presumably more of the vampires, as they don’t show up here). Wegener’s timing and spot on expressions are chuckle worthy as always. He and Clevinger really are a great duo, with an eye on reliable fun at all times, and show yet again that Robo is a witty and accessible series; the kind of book that both jaded fanboys and comic book newbies need.

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