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Atomic Robo tpb vol.1: Atomic Robo and the fightin' scientists of Tesladyne

By Patrick Bérubé
June 27, 2008 - 08:02

He is a robot built by Nicolas Tesla in 1924. He likes to thwart evil scientists' plan, fight giant ants and travel to other planets. Add to that a sense of humour, a gift to resolve problems with violence and a bunch of action-scientists fighting alongside him. Meet Atomic Robo, a robot dedicated to protect mankind from abnormal threats.

This trade paperback contains the six issues miniseries of Atomic Robo released in late 2007 and early 2008. The first and the last issue act as a conductor line and give a sense of continuity even if each issue can be read as a stand alone story.  Brian Clevinger skilfully develops each story, alterning between scenes from the past and actual events. This leads to a dynamic storytelling and by revealing only snippets from the past, he makes me want to know more about all of Robo’s adventures. He clearly enjoys writing this title and it shows. There is no pretension involved here and it is refreshing. The touch of humour is actually really funny and natural as compared to other comic books where it oftenly seems forced.

The pencil of Scott Wegener equally matches the story in quality. His clear line is easily accessible and perfectly fit the retro design of the character as well as the historical settings.I would only have liked to sometime get more elaborate backgrounds. But then again, it might have cluttered the panel and take away the clean layout. Mr. Wegener is assisted on the colour by Ronda Pattison who was recently nominated for a Shuster Award and an Eisner Award for her job on this comic book. These nominations speak for themselves and give you a good idea of her talent.

The only problem I had with this comic book was the page-setting they used. Since every issue is a stand alone story, I would have appreciated if they could have marked the end with a break page or a cover. Instead, they are printed as if they were a continuous story with the credit pages sometime thrown at the fifth or sixth page of a plot. This takes away a lot of fluidity and creates odd transition between the different issues.

I would suggest that you avoid any comparison between this title and Hellboy. Even if there is some superficial resemblance (two characters in the same time period dedicated to stop threat outside the norm), Atomic Robo clearly has its own identity as a comic book.

Threat yourself and read this comic book. It’s refreshing, without any pretension and funny.

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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