Turing Point

Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #5

In the finale of the latest storyline, Atomic Robo has had himself packaged up and shipped to Hashima Island, Japan, the source of the conspiracy against Robo and the Action Scientists of Tesladyne. It’s the same location that his former employees Louis and Martin and the British secret agent, the Sparrow, have traveled to so they can find a house that was mysteriously, um, housenapped. When they find the house, Robo goes in to look around and finds an artificial intelligence that calls itself Alan, after its creator, Alan Turing. Well, Turing was a nice guy — surely the Alan AI is nice, too? Nope. Alan wants to blast off of Earth to become the ultimate space-computer, and he plans to destroy the planet in the process. Can Robo fight off a computer that controls a vast underground complex in time to save the Earth?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Talky — but if you can’t handle comic-book science talk from computer minds built by Nikola Tesla and Alan Turing, you really shouldn’t handle comic books. Good fun, good humor, good action, and high stakes.

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #2

Newspaper reporter Cindy Tynan has been saved from gangster Arnie Wald’s goons by Lobster Johnson, and he has her in hiding to keep her safe. Of course, Tynan isn’t real happy about that, but Lobster won’t let her go free until he knows Wald is out of business — and dead — permanently. Tynan is able to clue the crimefighter in on one of Wald’s hideouts, and though Lobster takes out Wald’s goons, the mobster gets away. And when he gets back to New York, he goes about finding some mystical protection…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent art, fantastic action. Don’t know what else I can say — it’s good stuff, so if you love supernatural-themed pulp, this is something you may like.

Batgirl #6

Batgirl has to fight a mind-controlled Bruce Wayne, but she starts to suspect he’s faking the mind control — partly because he isn’t fighting as well as Batgirl knows he can, and partly because Batman can resist any mind control. Gretel makes her escape when Babs engineers an excuse for Wayne to break free of her mental powers, then we get Gretel’s origin story — she used to be a reporter named Lisly Bonner who was trying to expose a mobster, but when her secret was exposed, she got shot and dumped in the bay. But the brain injury awakened psychic powers which she’s using to get revenge on the mobsters who attacked her. Batgirl is able to figure out her secret and she sets up a trap for Gretel — but will she and Bruce Wayne end up getting killed when Gretel takes over the minds of the Gotham police?

Verdict: I have to thumbs this one down. I didn’t mind most of it, but it lost me early on with a couple of game-breakers. First, I don’t buy the idea that Batman can actually resist all mental attacks — he’s got a lot of willpower, yeah, but I don’t buy that he can completely shrug off a telepathic attack so easily. Second, Gretel even says she was in Bruce Wayne’s mind — either she was telling the truth and never realized that she couldn’t control him, or she was lying and knew she wasn’t controlling him, and then stuck around to risk capture. And we also got no explanation for the weird fugue state that Gretel went into during last issue. On top of all that, I’m just really not digging Barbara Gordon’s subplots — I don’t care beans about her estranged mother, and I don’t buy that this obsessed cop would keep pursuing Batgirl when Commissioner Gordon had already told her she didn’t have a case.

The Defenders #3

Dr. Strange, Namor, the Silver Surfer, Iron Fist, and Red She-Hulk are underneath Wundagore Mountain hoping to stop Nul, the Breaker of Worlds from busting up a machine that will destroy the universe. They also have to stop Prester John from trying to escape the universe before everything goes kablooey. Can they pull all that off by themselves?

Verdict: Thumbs down. Here’s the problem with this — if the Defenders had never shown up at all, the end result of this would all be the same. The machine’s guardian would’ve banished Nul whether or not they showed up. And Prester John would’ve gone flying his big spaceship around without really doing any harm, but now the Surfer messed up his trajectory, and… I don’t really see the point. The art is nice, but these guys just ran around for three issues and accomplished nothing. You get better results from the Inferior Five.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments are closed.