I’m a robot, and you’re a brain in a jar…


The final issue of the adventures of the Tesla created robot sits before me – a culmination of a story that has been building for over 70 years as Atomic Robo faces his most diabolical foe. As this is the last issue in this series, it begs the question, “Does Atomic Robo rock, or should he be left to rust?”

atomicrobo6cover.jpgIf you’ve read the previous review of Atomic Robo on the site, or listened to the Major Spoilers Podcast panel rave over the series, it’s a pretty good indication that Atomic Robo is a favorite at Major Spoilers HQ. Past issues have been perfectly balanced between exposition and action, but if you were to compare each issue against one another, issue #6 is more like the first in that it is heavy on the action, light on heavy dialogue, and overflowing with comedy gold.

This issue features the smack-down drag out battle between Atomic Robo and Helsingard; the villain Robo defeated in issue one. Only instead of using the Vril to try and stop Robo, Helsingard has once again survived defeat by transferring his brain into a bigger better automaton.

The battle rages throughout the entire issue as Helsingard and Robo exchange fists and words. Helsingard, ever the ultimate villain, spends his time monologuing; complete with barbs at his enemy on why he will win.

Robo’s response?

He’s a robot that has his snark meter set to eleven, what do you think happens? Page after page of humor that had me laughing out loud. Lines like the one leading into the review, and cracks like “What? My audio’s rebooting, you kicked it out of whack.” and “Action scientists, why do I even bring these guys?” catapult Atomic Robo beyond the “Ah, Crap!” lines exclaimed by other comic heroes, into the realm of movie matinée action stars (Yippie-ki-ay).

I love the pacing as page after page, and panel after panel flow smoothly as the action builds. As the duo fight, I can’t help but think of cartoon fights where the characters try to outdo one another with bigger and badder weapons, as they move from fisticuffs, to pipes, to oil drums, to guns. Kudos to Brian Clevinger for bringing his A game to this title once again.

Of course good triumphs in the end, Robo frees the captured action scientists, and Helsingard is dead.

Or is he? There is a great scene at the end of the book that lets everyone know Helsingard will return to annoy Robo to no end.

The Good

  • No one can crack wise like Robo
  • Brian Clevinger’s writing and pacing
  • The art by Scott Wegener

The Bad

  • Not a dang thing. This issue rocks!

Previous reviews have compared Atomic Robo to Hellboy, but after reading six issues, I have to say there really is no comparison. Atomic Robo approaches stories from the scientific stand point rather than the supernatural historical myth angle that is used in Hellboy. Since I am vastly more familiar with the many science and pseudoscience topics that are brought up in Atomic Robo, naturally I tend to like this series a lot more, which is why I’m giving Atomic Robo #6, 5 out of 5 Stars.


Red 5 Comics has a very special title on its hands, which is why I’m so excited this isn’t the end of Atomic Robo – LONG LIVE ATOMIC ROBO! A stand alone issue arrives in May during Free Comic Book Day, and a new series kicks off this fall. I hope the new series features the entire crew from this mini-series because someone else trying to write the witty words or attempting to ape the art would fall flat.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I met Wegener this past weekend at the Boston Comicon (very small show) and he was working on the second issue of the ongoing!

    For the trade-waiters out there, he also confirmed that a trade was coming in June/July!

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