Here’s some more internet lovin’ for our latest Red 5 Comics. Why do we post these? Because we thrive on positive affirmation.
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction #1
…this comic featres a nifty premise that’s set up and executed (this first issue, anyway) expertly. There’s no fat at all—virtually the entire issue is a battle-turned-zombie massacre, yet all the information we need to draw us in is elegantly conveyed in a few dialogue exchanges. I could quibble that Krane seems a little too obviously hubristic and dismissive of the potential dangers of zombies—he may as well have “AUTHORITY FIGURE DUE FOR A COMEUPPANCE” tattooed on his forehead—but to Grevioux’s credit he’s not a simpleminded villain. He almost makes you believe that deploying zombies in any way, shape or form is a good idea.
ATOMIC ROBO AND THE DOGS OF WAR #1
YEAH! Oh baby the man is, er Robot is back. This time we are being treated to a five part series set in WWII. Robo is dropped behind enemy lines to take out the laufpanzers, which are for lack of a better term Transformer tanks. After taking out some troops Robo gets to the weapons depo only to find they had been deployed to defend the beaches at Sicily. One was left behind who clocks Robo. The story is entitled “Operation Husky” which is the actual name of that WWII operation which was the largest amphibious and air operation of the war and launched the invasion of Italy. Then there was just a pure fun short story of Robo fighting a sea monster. The last scene cracked me up as he jumps from the beach to renew his fight with the giant crab and we see Robo has flip flops on.
And finally to my main pick of the week, Atomic Robo: The Dogs of War. After the success of their first hilarious mini series (now available in trade paperback) the boys at Red 5 bring us the first arc of this new ongoing series. If you don’t know Robo, he’s the creation of Nikola Tesla, who since his creation in the 20s has fought the good fight. He founded his own company, and with his team Action Scientists of Tesladyne he’s become the world authority on the unexplained. The new series is set during the war and features Atomic Robo fighting off Nazi super mechs. If that doesn’t convince you to buy it, I don’t know what will!
In its amazing release in October of 2007, Atomic Robo is back and he has come bearing a fatty of a war epic! Taking on Nazis, giant insects, and crazed destructive machines, there is nothing that can bring down the wise cracking robot, Atomic Robo. Creators Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener take what was great with the first volume and continue with an enticing and amusing storyline. Atomic Robo: Dogs of War – Part One doesn’t skip a beat. Our hero is pushed right into the heat of a proverbial death ray of action.
Entertaining, and I’ll be around for the remainder of the series.
ATOMIC ROBO AND THE DOGS OF WAR #2
Scott Wegener and Ronda Pattison continue to make an excellent art team. I mention Pattison specifically because, although only credited as the colorist, I think she steps up Wegener’s game and really makes his linework shine. It’s especially impressive in this issue, where she uses a fairly muted color palette but still manages to make everything “pop” exactly where it needs to. Kudos to both Scott and Ronda.
As another interesting contrast to the straight-up, old school slug fest in the issue, the back-up story features a contemporary Robo and his crew facing off against a giant Mummy-monster-thing-in-a-diaper. It provides a striking contrast to remind readers how verbose modern decompressed comics can be when, really, we all just want to see the bad guy get busted up. A quick, fun little tale that also provides a nice epilogue to volume 1’s pyramid adventure.
Clevinger also demonstrates his skill at dry wit, with Robo and others uttering plenty of funny dialogue during the battles. My favorite is probably when Robo commandeers a tank, and after they score a shot on one of the mecha, he tells the gunner “Nice shooting, Tex!” The soldier replies, “It’s Sam, sir.” To which Robo answers, “No. You’re Tex now.” But the violence of war does creep into the story, as we see some surprisingly striking deaths of nameless soldiers in the background. It’s good that Clevinger and Wegener don’t try to downplay the horrors war and make it all a fun, wacky time. Theirs is a crazy, enjoyable story, but they don’t try to bend history into something that it wasn’t.
So if you’re a fan of Atomic Robo, this series continues to offer the stuff that made the series popular to begin with (in a four-page backup strip illustrated by Derrick Fish, it also answers the question of what happened with the giant pyramid monster that was left hanging in one of the issues of the original mini-series). And if you’re new to the concept, by all means, check it out. It’s a great, fun, exciting ride, with some sharp writing and beautiful artwork. Don’t miss it!
Man, I so want to see a team-up book with Atomic Robo and Hellboy. They would fit together so nicely. Anyhoo, this second issue of the second volume from writer Brian Clevinger with art by Scott Wegener is a super fun read with the WWII adventures of Atomic Robo, on a mission to stop the Nazis and their “Laufpanzers” –walking tanks. The action is no holds barred as Robo goes after Laufpanzer after Laufpanzer with help from the G.I.s around him. It’s nothing deep but if you want an entertaining read then you can’t go wrong with Atomic Robo. Grade: A-
Action + Comedy + Robots = Rip roaring good time. Clevinger and Wegener just have a formula that works. Simply put, a great read with some fresh and energetic art. A series you should be reading.
Facing off against the giant Nazi warbot, Atomic Robo attempts to make a daring escape, but winds up leading the enemy into battle against the Allied soldiers attempting to take Sicily away from the Axis powers. And friends, if that sentence isn’t enough to make you realize this comic book is awesome, you just don’t know what awesome is. If there’s any way to make two fighting robots more exciting, you’ve gotta make one of ‘em a Nazi to root against. The book is exciting, the writing is crisp, the artwork is sharp and the comic book as a whole is more fun than anything else I’ve read all month. The back-up, featuring a more contemporary Robo fighting a giant monster in a diaper, is equally exciting and silly. This book is pure joy, and you owe it to yourself to pick it up and remember that comics are allowed to be fun once in a while.
Verdict – Must Read. This was exactly what I was expecting from a new volume of Atomic Robo and I can’t wait to read the rest of this mini-series.
And here we have one of the most unique reviews we’ve ever run across. It’s done by a 7 year old comic fan. Check them out!
It was a pretty good comic that I never heard of before and I want to read the next issue to find out if Robo beats the bad robot or not. It should be a crazy battle.
I like how everything is drawn in the book. The pictures with the army guys and the battles are very good. Everything looks realistic and the cars and tanks and robots are drawn very well. It’s strange to see a robot wearing pants and boots and a uniform and stuff but I like how he is part of a team with the humans and does a good job.
You can also check out a few video reviews of Robo at the following links:
I just wish this was a monthly book. I love how much happens each issue. This is a great series.
The overall story is wonderful and rich with some many elements of world building that I love reading this book when it comes out.