The Atomic Robo anthology series continues this month, as the tales of mad science gone madder take an interesting turn. Will Brian Clevinger and the art teams hit another one out of the ballpark?



ATOMIC ROBO PRESENTS REAL SCIENCE ADVENTURES #2
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artists: Ryan Cody, Rob Reilly, John Broglia, Zack Finfrock
Colorist: Matt Speroni
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Editor: Lee Black
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $2.75

Previously in Real Science Adventures: Instead of waiting months for new stories to arrive, Brian Clevinger and a variety of artists came together to tell short stories of Atomic Robo, and other popular characters in the AR Universe. The Sparrow finds herself behind enemy lines during World War II, The Yonkers Devil needs to be stopped, and Robo heads to Japan China to learn from Bruce Lee

SECOND VERSE SAME AS THE FIRST?

It’s an interesting concept to take a popular character and tell three different stories at the same time, spread out through multiple issues. While the first issue of this series gave us the setup, issue two invites the the reader to invest some time in the characters as the next plot twist is revealed. For Sparrow, it’s being chased by Nazis, while Bruce Lee and Robo run through Tokyo Hong Kong. Both of these are interesting reads, but I can’t help but wonder if the complete story wouldn’t be better served by telling them in a single issue. At the end of both of these chapters, I kept thinking, “and then…?” I felt left hanging without much of a cliffhanger or incentive to read these installments next time.

The other two stories do stand out, and the Monster Hunters story really shines. In this chapter not only do we get some team action hijinks, but a deeper plot unfolds in the final panel that could easily create dissent in the Action Scientists, and Majestic’s involvement continues building the mythos of the Atomic Robo Universe (ARU). The final story once again pits Edison and Robo, and though it feels like we’ve read this tale before, there is a lot of humor in this story. Robo reacting to Rasputin’s Russian, and Edison using the resulting explosion as a way to discredit Tesla and Robo even more is well done.

ARTISTS SHINE

Zach Finfrock is known to many for his online videos where he taught indie filmmakers to build gadgets and props for their short films, and more recently with his Fallout: Nuka Break fan film on YouTube. He’s also a huge Atomic Robo fan and freelance artist, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he gets a chance to take on Robo in the Atomic Robo vs. Rasputin story. His work is solid, and my only complaint is the lack of detail in the panel backgrounds.

The other artists continue to do a bang-up job, with my favorite overall artist being Rob Reilly with his continued work on the Monster Hunters. There’s something about his flowing lines and loose style that brings life to the page. The ‘70s feeling that John Broglia brings to the Leaping Metal Dragons installment is an interesting homage to the time period, and Bryan Cody gives just the right touch to a night chase through the countryside.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH THE PRICE

While there are some odd story breaks in this issue, that is the risk you run when doing an anthology series this way. Regardless, this issue has more hits than misses, and it’s certainly worth picking up. Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #2 earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

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...

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6 Comments

  1. N
    May 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the review. I picked up the first volume after hearing the Major Spoilers Crew podcast discussing vol 3. I enjoyed the first trade but while reading it, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Atomic Robot and Bellboy. Both characters have a story setting in WW2. Father figures both professor types. Tesladyne and B.P.R.D both fight the unknown using their main fields of expertise (science or occult type magic). Ever notice this? I’m just hoping for the crossover that’ll probably never happen. Here’s wishing.

  2. May 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    I loved the riff on the Team Fortress 2 guys. Really dug that story.

  3. May 18, 2012 at 11:29 pm — Reply

    Hong Kong, not Tokyo, Japan. The Bruce Lee story was set in Hong Kong.

    • May 19, 2012 at 12:25 am — Reply

      correct

      • May 19, 2012 at 12:42 am — Reply

        Indeed. Just thought I’d point that out if it was a mistake :-/

        I was slightly disappointed that the Engineer did not get more time in the TF2 story. Seemed like he would appreciate all the SCIENCE!

  4. May 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm — Reply

    We have seen the Rasputin story before. It was in volume 1, #4. There’s an asterix on the contents page that points this out.

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