The reviews are rolling in for Atomic Robo and the Shadow Beyond Time #1! This issue hit some stores this week and apparently will be shipped by Diamond to other stores this coming week. Be sure to pick up your copy!
The script for Shadow From Beyond time is easily Brian Clevinger’s most polished to date, treading with a pace properly fit for a longer miniseries, while never dropping the same sort of quip-ish humor that made the initial two series so much fun to read. But while the book is certainly funny, it’s also heavily plotted, providing a story much more in-depth than did Dogs of War. While the second volume of Robo moved a tad too frantically with its action-heavy crux, Shadows begins with a more tempered approach that ultimately pays off with a witty punch line and a well-wrought cliffhanger.
In the meantime, Wegener’s pencils continue to improve with every series. The artist has really come into his own over the last year as he has learned to flesh out his excellent character work with comparatively lush backgrounds. Wegener has always been able to imbue the character of Robo with an incredible amount of personality– especially when considering the robot is inherently stagnant in his metal casing— and now, the backdrops and scenery are fit to match.
Ultimately, Shadows From Beyond Time is the most mature Atomic Robo story to date. Not necessarily from a humor standpoint, but certainly in both scope and design. For fans of the franchise, this issue proves that Clevinger’s series can easily make the transition from standalone comedy to full-length adventure, and most importantly that it can do so without sacrificing the mischievous attitude that makes it so wholly unique.
This is a wildly entertaining and very funny issue, and Wegener, as usual, draws the crap out of it. I mean, until the alien manifests itself, it’s basically three human-sized figures standing around and talking, but Wegener makes Lovecraft such a paranoid goofball and, impressively enough, makes Robo look world-weary even though his face has no expressions. And his alien is nicely creepy, too.
Anyone who has ever felt a bit burned out by whatever killfest DC or Marvel is publishing right now needs to buy an issue of this comic. I don’t know how long Clevinger and Wegener will be able to do this series until the Big Two come, put them on X-Force or Teen Titans, and suck out their very souls, but that’s why you need to buy these issues now! Come on – where else will you read the line “We have to kill Howard Phillips Lovecraft”? Not in the latest issue of Green Lantern, I’ll tell you that much!
I’ve made no qualms about the fact that I’ve really been enjoying Atomic Robo and have been looking forward to this latest volume. I’m certain that all existing fans are also eager to get a hold of this latest issue. If you’re not yet a fan, I’m not sure what I could say to convince you that it’s a great read other than, “READ THIS BOOK!” It’s really fun and charming and entertaining and everything I look for in my entertainment. I know the economy makes trying new books harder for many of you, but the multiple volumes make plenty of great jumping-on points (this latest issue being one of them) and it is head-and-shoulders one of the consistently better comics I’ve read in years.
Wegener’s exaggerated style certainly works well with the comedic tone that dominates the first half or two thirds of the issue. I love Robo as the befuddled straight man to the weird ramblings of Fort and Lovecraft. Wegener’s depiction of the two writers reminded me of the style of Cory (Invincible) Walker. The strongest visual, other than the surprisingly expressive Robo, is the monster that’s revealed toward the end of the issue. Wegener’s sharp, angular style works quite well when it comes to conveying the twisted, organic, flailing form of the antagonist. It’s creepy, cool and powerful in appearance all at once.
Typical of the previous series, there are plenty of references to huge moments in history, features cameos by historical figures, and ties it up nicely with superb humor. The opening pages of Lovecraft and Fort pounding on Tesla’s door and interacting with Robo are classic as Clevinger quickly develops the two writer’s characters in a side-splitting routine that could have easily been done by Abbott and Costello.
Fans really waited too long for this new series to arrive, but thankfully it looks like REd 5 Comics have everything under control, as life without Atomic Robo on my pile of must read comics is a really really sad one (even more so than having a stack of must read comics next to the bed). The well paced writing, art style, character design, and color scheme all come together in this pulpy tale about pulpy characters, earning Atomic Robo: Shadow Beyond Time #1 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
For those of you who are looking for something completely different, I really think you’ll enjoy Atomic Robo a great deal, and it really deserves to be in the top 10 comics sold for the month.
Clevinger clearly has the entire series mapped and thoroughly thought out with what’s probably the most in depth story we’ll have seen yet. The script has its humorous moments it doesn’t overpower or distract from the story. Wegener’s pencils are top notch as usual. For being a robot, Robo exudes a lot of emotion and character and that’s only possible because of Wegener’s talents. The pencils are sharp and well drawn, exactly what you’d expect from this book.
Overall, Shadows From Beyond Time might be the most “dark” Atomic Robo mini-series to date. Robo fans will really enjoy it and new readers can easily get a grasp of who and what Robo is. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new and familiar readers. You won’t be disappointed.
We’ve also been getting review in for the FCBD issue Atomic Robo vs. Dr. Dinosaur:
One of last year’s highlights, Atomic Robo returns for another retro-styled, tongue-in-cheek outing, this time having a shootout with a talking dinosaur as they debate time travel. The ending is choice.
Probably the best of this year’s batch of anthology books. Atomic Robo itself is nicely illustrated and funny