Current Reviews


Madman Atomic Comics #6

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Mike Allred
Mike Allred, Laura Allred(c)
Image Comics
By golly, I almost understood this. Madman: Atomic Comics reads and looks like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon illustrated and written by individuals that experienced some psychedelic episodes.

The Crimson King confronts Madman and the Atomics. You have to give Allred credit for tapping into the megalomaniacal vibe for his Big Bad. There's almost a larger than life Stan Lee/Jack Kirby quality to the antagonist's dialogue and his actions. Madman and the Atomics defeat this menace by being the antidote to his disease. I'll let you dope that phrase out.

If you're on the fence about this issue, I would argue that the artwork, which is ginchy and gorgeous, should push you over. That said, Allred takes some liberties I'm not too thrilled about.

The scene with the braineater which fells one of the Atomics seems contrived. I suppose being on an alien planet would naturally make alien fauna dangerous to our heroes, but why didn't Crimson King absorb it like he did with practically everything else? While the character wasn't my favorite, he certainly deserved better.

Allred seems to be taking the Mephisto waltz route with Joe, Frank's girlfriend, but I don't buy this for a second. Allred firmly establishes Haley's infatuation with Frank, and the Horn who knows about her feelings toward Frank is mysteriously missing.

Readers haven't seen too much Joe's and Frank's relationship which is a pity. It's one of the most winning elements in the series. Joe's alleged death acts as an artificial impediment. It's also a rather stupid ploy for an alien intelligence to make. What's Frank going to do? Immediately fall into Haley's arms and begin a relationship right after he witnessed Joe's demise? Doesn't strike me as good planning. Allred probably didn't need the fake twist.

Luna the It Girl benefits immensely from this story. Her mind-meld with Frank heightens her already above average intelligence and gives her greater poise suitable for a super-hero. Laura Allred's colors wash pastels all over the story and make this such an attractive comic book. Even if you didn't care to read the book or felt inclined to care about the characters, you would still be enticed by these soft, complimentary hues.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!