Review: Atomic Robo #3

by

In which Robo meets the Sparrow, and all hell breaks loose

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Can you believe it’s been a full year since the first Atomic Robo issue hit the stands, rocking the world of Major Spoilers, and making us fans of the snarky robot with a past that goes all the way back to Nikola Tesla?  Can you believe this is the second review in a row, Tesla has made an appearance?  Did you know I still can’t afford the Tesla automobile (ahem – tip jar to the right)?  Did you know Atomic Robo once had a fellow espionage agent in Europe?  Should I stop asking questions, and get to the damn review?

atomicrobo3cover.jpgAtomic Robo is in a bit of a pickle, while trying to destroy Nazi war machines, he let a couple slip through his metal fingers, which means he has to track them down, and it looks like they are on board a train to nowhere.  Along the way, Robo meets up with The Sparrow, a cute redhead of a girl (or is it brown, or chestnut?), who is on the same mission he is.  Fortunately, after a bit of a rough start, the two get their act together to try and solve a mutual problem, it’s too bad they got their act together a tad too late to save their collective butts.

Once again Brian Clevinger has written a fascinating tale of our favorite Nazi hating robot.  The dialogue in this issue is once again quick and witty, and the parallel story telling with The Sparrow is spot on.  It works so well that you don’t even notice the moment when you move from reading multiple double page spreads to a single page layout story.

I don’t want this to come off as a dig on Clevinger, because it totally isn’t, but I find Atomic Robo stories are better when the dialogue is kept to a minimum.  It keeps long exposition balloons to a minimum – which I hate – and gives more impact to the exchanges between characters, or in the case of Robot and Sparrow, that much funnier.    Those wonderful exchanges even include the Nazi commanders on the train who have set up a trap, knowing Sparrow and Robo would both show.  I would have to go back and do some fact checking, or at least run it by my World War II professor at college, but some of the arguments the dastardly duo make against Hitler seem to be real facts.  And if this is the case, makes the research done into the time period that much more impressive.

My take on that art style remains the same today as it has been since reading the first issue.  So unless, you want me to go on and on about how much I like the style, and how much I wish I had an original Atomic Robo sketch or page from the issue featuring Robo taking down a giant robot with brain in a jar, I’ll just say I like it very much, and think it is perfect for this title.  My only concern has to do with the Cyborg Mutant Nazis that look a tad too much like a certain robot zombie army in Invincible.

When you buy this issue, make sure you flip a few pages past the Atomic Robo pin-ups and read the hilarious back up tale featuring another operative from Tesladyne.  It’s written by Clevinger, but the art is by Lauren Pettapiece.  It takes a moment to get used to, and is okay for a back up tale, but I wouldn’t want to see it in the main Atomic Robo tale.

Once again, I’m blown away by the work seen in Atomic Robo, and kudos to Red 5 for keeping this title alive and bringing it back as a regular series.  While readers haven’t seen the time jumping story told in the first series, I like expanding the story so we are familiar with the expanded Robo universe.  I’m giddy with glee over Atomic Robo #3, and I’m sure I’m going to be going through Atomic Robo withdrawal when this mini ends in two more issues.  Still, Atomic Robo #3 earns high praise once again, as I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

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