Atomic Batteries to Power

Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #2

It’s 1930, and Atomic Robo is a relatively young robot, working for his creator, Nikola Tesla. But he runs into crimefighter Jack Tarot and desperately wants to join in his life of adventure. Jack wants nothing to do with him, but his daughter Helen thinks Robo is keen and pressures Jack to let him tag along in the next night’s investigations. During the day, however, Robo has to help Tesla conduct experiments (which means fighting interdimensional vampires), while Jack and Helen pose as reporters so they can interview F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, whose priceless crystal skull has been stolen. And that evening’s investigations lead Jack Tarot and Robo to an apparent monster sighting at a nearby university. Are they prepared for what is awaiting them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, comedy, and dialogue. You should be reading this.

Green Lantern/Plastic Man: Weapons of Mass Deception

I’m a complete sucker for anything with Plastic Man in it, so of course, I had to pick this one up. Plas has a lead about some alien thieves who are stealing nuclear material and organizing human criminals for some sort of colossal heist, and he recruits Hal Jordan to help him take care of the problem. This leads to multiple trips from outer space to Earth, as the two heroes take on the duck-like aliens (Why ducks? I have no idea.) and human criminals, and as they continuously butt heads about their wildly differing approaches to crimefighting.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s not particularly well-written, and it meanders all over the place. And I’m a bit irritated that comic writers who should know better keep writing my pal Plastic Man as a 95%-of-the-time screwup, or as someone who absolutely no one ever takes seriously. I’d just love for a writer to put together a story that acknowledges that Plas has been fighting crime since the ’40s, has been a member of the Justice League, and is vouched for by Batman and Superman. When both Grant Morrison and Frank Miller both agree that Plastic Man is made of pure stretchy awesomesauce, isn’t it time for the rest of the comics world to quit living in denial about it?

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