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Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #1

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Brian Clevinger
Scott Wegener, Zack Finfrock, Ronda Pattison (c)
Red 5 Comics
Itís a sad fact that I havenít had the opportunity to check out the original volume of Atomic Robo. It seems that our little robot friend is such a hit that it has made ordering a copy of the original mini-series near impossible through my local shop. However, there is a reason why the latest issue of Atomic Robo is a #1, starting a brand new mini-series for fans of the original book and new readers looking to join the train of praise.

Dogs of War begins on July 10th, 1943. American troops are storming the beaches of Sicily while the Atomic Robo parachutes in, under radar, to destroy the Naziís secret weapon, the laufpanzer; a walking mechanized tank. Itís a pretty straight forward story whose core we have seen time and time again. I mean, just how many secret weapons projects did the Nazis have during WWII? This plot has been tackled so many times throughout every single entertainment medium, and sadly, Atomic Robo: Dogs of War doesnít deliver its own unique twist to render the plot ďoriginalĒ. The Naziís have a secret project that could win them the war, Atomic Robo is sent in to destroy it. I was really hoping for a twist in the plot to send the story in a kooky and bizarre direction. However, that never came.

Secondly, for being a relaunch, this first issue doesnít do the quintessential job of reintroducing the Atomic Robo. For fans of the first series Iím sure itís right in line, without skipping a beat, but for everyone jumping aboard now, the Atomic Robo simply comes off as Captain America in a robot suit. I mean heís even throwing out clever quips while beating the hell out of Nazis. A blind person could see these parallels. So why read Atomic Robo when you can read the genuine article? Iím not sure -- the issue didnít really tell me.

However, even with these faults, Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #1 delivers an action packed comic that might be light on substance, but is fun nonetheless. Scott Wegenerís energetic pencils, coupled with his page layouts, make a comic that is easy to follow and pretty to look at. I also enjoyed the main Nazi villain having a scar because itís the best clichť people use when having to show just how evil Nazis are. Some people believe we need more proof.

I really went into this first issue with super high expectations and came away slightly disappointed. Like I said, this is a fun book, but by the time I closed the last page I wasnít invested in the title character like I thought I shouldíve been. I already knew going in Atomic Robo was a badass robot, something more to hook new readers in wouldíve been nice. The last thing I will comment on is the bookís closing short story. It started off great and ended hysterically. Kudos to Brian Clevinger for the amazingly clever and funny story title.



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