EDITOR's NOTE: Atomic Robo: The Deadly Art of Science will be available November 10th.
Atomic Robo has so much that I canít say ďnoĒ to: robots, Nikola Tesla, fun all-ages type books, titles like The Deadly Art of Science. Shame to admit it, but this is actually the first time that Iíve ever read an Atomic Robo comic. No time like the present, right?
This adventure follows Atomic Robo as a young and surprisingly well-dressed robot in 1930s Chicago. Bored one night, a chase scene crosses his path and the pulp-obsessed robot tags along. One of the participants is the annoyed, Shadow-like pulp hero Jack Tarot, and before we know it we have a team-up on our hands.
From what I can gather, Atomic Robo skips around the titular characterís timeline, not unlike the Indiana Jones movies--an obvious influence on the series, which should tell you just what the comic has in store for you. Brian Clevengerís script is fairly light and fun, but doesnít feel like the writerís holding back. At one point Jack shoots Atomic Robo in the head out of annoyance, a move I previously thought youíd never, ever see in something with such broad appeal. Despite that, itís not an inherently mean comic. Atomic Robo himself has the incessant curiosity of a child, which makes for an amusing innocence/experience dynamic between him and Jack. Heís a fairly easygoing robot, not even harboring any hard feelings about being shot in the head.
Scott Wegenerís art is a mix of highly-detailed geometrically perfect backgrounds and objects that give the comic a sense of reality and physics. His characters, however are angular and cartoony, which give Atomic Robo a sense of comedy and lightheartedness. Iím particularly fond of how he draws Atomic Robo himself--his face is fairly simple, but Wegener gives him eyelids, making him ultra-expressive in that iconic Wall-E sort of way. His style is clean and straightforward, letting the story speak for itself rather than depending on needless stylistic quirks.
The Deadly Art of Science is the fifth volume in the Atomic Robo saga, but make no mistake, itís highly accessible like any good all-ages kinda book should be. Iím looking forward to the second issue of this series to see the adventure really kick off.
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