Monday, June 11, 2012

Atomic Robo and the Fighting Scientists of Tesladyne

A few weeks ago I read this Cracked article that briefly mentioned Atomic Robo.  The article linked to the Atomic Robo website where I explored and read The Promise which guarantees:

- No angst
- No “cheesecake”
- No reboots
- No filler
No delays

After reading the rest of The Promise, I was really impressed, especially with the no "cheesecake" and the fact you can pick up any issue and enjoy a fun adventure.  This also sounded like something that I could read and enjoy with Venessa.  I have to say, after picking up and reading Volume 1, Atomic Robo and the Fighting Scientists of Tesladyne, which covers Issues #1-6, I am even more impressed by this comic series.

Now, I'm no comic expert, but I do have some knowledge of storylines and what is out there.  And I do enjoy a good comic/manga series (Elfquest and Fullmetal Alchemist are just two examples).  Lately, I've been reading a lot about the ridiculousness of book covers and comics (two examples can be found here and here), particulary those that focus a lot on T&A, or rather, the impossible body bending way women are drawn/posed to feature their T&A.  I never really noticed it before and the more I’ve read up on it, the more I don’t want to have to deal with it.  It also partly started a few years ago when I gave up on the Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake series.  I’m just tired (or maybe a little too old?) of these types of fantasies or having to be subjected to them.  So when I read about Atomic Robo (and especially it's no "cheescake" promise) I had a feeling this was going to be worth investing some time into.

Atomic Robo is the creation of Nikola Tesla, a robot with automatic intelligence and powered with atomic energy.  In exchange for Atomic Robo's help in a top secret military operation, Robo is granted American citizenship and goes on to found Tesladyne, an organization of Action Scientists who then become the go-to task force of all sorts of science-y weirdness.  In Volume 1 we get a series of adventures that pits Robo against his nemesis, Baron Heinrich von Helsingard, for the first time, and where Robo exploits the monologuing villain's weakness.  There’s also a taste of what Robo experiences when a friend passes with a fond recollection of a picture taken of him compared to the thousands of times he's been photographed throughout his career.  We also get a storyline of a two year mission to Mars where Robo finds out there is no reading material on board because Stephen Hawking profiled him incorrectly, leading to Robo spelling out a message in rocks on the surface of Mars letting Stephen Hawking know what he thought of that blunder.

There’s adventures with giant ants where the Action Scientists debate the cause of the mutation while Robo would rather get the job done.

And there’s fun with a steam powered pyramid filled with clockwork mummies, which the Egyptian government would like stopped, but not destroyed so they can research it.

It’s all very episodic, it’s got action, adventure and it’s a lot of fun.  There are moments where it jumps back in forth in time but it’s not confusing.  There’s also some great back and forth dialogue amongst the Action Scientists and a fun camaraderie between them and Robo.

I love the art as well; clean lines, bright colors, nothing confusing about what is going on.  Also, in the copy that I got, there are some B Stories in the back that explore Robo in different styles that are a lot of fun.  I really, really enjoyed these first six issues and I’m looking forward to reading more adventures of Atomic Robo.

No comments:

Post a Comment