Title: Atomic Robo
Words: Brian Clevinger
Pictures: Scott Wegener
Crayons: Anthony Clark
Atomic Robo is finally back in action! Well, he never really left, but now said action can once again provide paper cuts as the story continues both online and scribbled upon the corpses of chemically treated trees!
And that whole thing about Robo being back? Kind of a misnomer, because our snarky, robotic genius appears MIA in this issue, because apparently writer Clevinger enjoys playing with my damn heart!
Clevinger opens the new arc with a desperate attempt to catch readers up with crazy amounts of background story that might leave new readers a bit muddled. There are no robots, no dinosaurs, but we do get a quirky gaggle of super scientists trying their best to play the heroes in a world without direction.
The cast is quirky and fun, but the basic purpose for this whole issue seems absurdly summed up in a couple pages, as the beefiest of our science cast vomits out a super long and non-sensical diatribe to catch new and lapsed readers up on the whole story up to this point. It basically makes no sense, but writer Clevinger forces the characters to all but admit the story is confusing nonsense at this point.
A little shy on action, this issue shoulders the classic burden of laying out back story while trying to ramp up things for future more exciting issues. It really just feels like an issue of tragic necessity but does seem to segue easily into a dash of excitement by the issue's conclusion.
Picture booking and color scribbles by duo Wegener and Clark continue to fill pages with a cartoony charm that is both absurdly sleek, while being reverently cheesy and ridiculous. Tragically, due to the mundane nature of this opening issue, the duo don't really get to flex their muscles a great deal beyond a bevy of rather simple characters largely chatting the whole issue.
The art of the book seems tame, but it really just feels quiet due to a docile opening volley, and the style and tone remain untouched which leaves me infinitely optimistic about future issues, as historically this is a book that is ridiculous and entertaining visually.
In summation, it's kind of a slow opener, but sometimes Robo takes a minute to ramp up. The issue spends the whole time trying to explain basically to the reader why we are here, and its just not too terribly exciting, but it's heading somewhere and I am sincerely interested in where we are going next. The visuals appear somewhat flat, but this feels like a tragic reflection of a slower narrative.