WLG #416: Beginnings and Endings

A column article by: Kyle Garret

It’s all about beginnings and endings in this installment of WLG.  But does anything really end in comics?

I know for a fact that Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #5 is not the last we’ll see of Robo and company; his next series has already started.  For this, we should be thankful.  It’s getting harder and harder for me to praise Atomic Robo in these columns, simply because I’m running out of words.  Robo brings us a wonderful combination of adventure, humor, and crazy ass science.  It’s a fun book with brains behind it.  This particular series has fleshed out the universe of Robo a bit more, and it’s clear that writer Brian Clevinger has more than enough ideas to fill an entire line of Robo books.  While I enjoyed seeing other artists play in Robo’s world over the course of Real Science Adventures, it’s nice to see Scott Wegener back on the book that’s successful due in no small part to his art.

From what I understand, RASL volume 4: The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla is the end of the series, which is something of a double edged sword.  On one hand, I’m grateful that we’re going to get an actual ending, or something resembling as such.  On the other hand, this book has been wonderful, and I’d love for it to go on forever.  That said, I’m sure Jeff Smith probably has more seeds to grow, some of which might stem from RASL.  Tesla gets a lot of love in both Atomic Robo and RASL, and while RASL is much more series than Robo, it’s just as enjoyable.  These two books have really made me realize how much I missed great science fiction, particularly sci-fi that’s so firmly entrenched in the real world.

Speaking of realistic science fiction, we have The Massive #3, which could more accurately be described as speculative fiction.  Like it or not, climate change is a real thing that’s having a negative effect on this planet, and it’s only just begun.  The dystopian future aspect of The Massive is interesting on its own, but it’s the backstory that Brian Wood fills in over each issue that gives this series depth.  I can’t think of another comic on the stands that’s telling the same kinds of stories that we’ve seen so far in The Massive, which is nearly enough of a selling point.  It’s also got wonderful art by Kristian Donaldson, whose work is like Leilnil Yu’s but with heart.

Finally, we’ve got Archer and Armstrong #1.  Honestly, I don’t think I ever read a single issue of the original series.  It was the David Aja variant cover that piqued my interest for this title.  I’m also a sucker for both Valiant (because I think a strong Valiant Comics is good for the industry) and for brand new superhero books.  Granted, this all works on the assumption that Valiant’s books won’t suffer from the fatal flaw of the Big Two, in that the characters are intellectual properties, and thus nothing can be changed about them for fear of ruining their marketability.  I think it’s probably a safe assumption to make, given that Valiant aren’t part of some monolithic corporation.  Regardless, the preview pages I’ve seen look good, even if the name of the main villains (the 1%) suggests a storyline with all the subtly of a 500 pound gorilla.

That’s four great books this week, with RASL being my pick of the week.

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