Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur #5
It’s the grand conclusion of Atomic Robo’s latest storyarc! Dr. Dinosaur has built a gigantic time bomb — a bomb designed to wipe out time itself and roll history back to the age of the dinosaurs! But that’s not possible, is it? Everything Dr. Dinosaur does is stupid, right? But what if his mad science and crystals can finally do what seems impossible? Meanwhile, Tesladyne is being attacked by Majestic-12′s mercenaries — can Jenkins and Action Science save the day?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, as if I would ever give this series anything but a thumbs up! But it’s a great story, great art, lots of funny lines and great action. And it ends with a thoroughly glorious cliffhanger, so now we have to wait even more desperately for the next series…
You may not have noticed, but Marvel just completely skipped Issue #15 of this series. I have no idea why, but they apparently plan to return to that issue soon. Maybe an art issue? Like I said, no idea.
Anyway, this issue focuses on Kate Bishop, living the down-and-out superhero lifestyle out in Los Angeles. Kate runs across a deeply depressed and imbalanced former musician named Will Bryson (clearly based on the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson). Bryson is upset that his long-unfinished masterwork, “Wish,” is being released without his permission on the Internet, and Kate resolves to help him stop his brother from ruining his greatest album. So she goes with her usual M.O. — breaking and entering — which ends the way it usually seems to — caught by the bad guys. Is there a way for Kate to solve the case, or is she just gonna stomped on by goons again?
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fun comic, action-packed, funny, clever, gorgeous art — and it’s also a pretty dark story. The Brysons have a pretty horrible relationship, mostly geared around driving each other more insane, and Kate has to deal with much more ruthless enemies than normal and sustains more serious injuries. And the whole story still ends up becoming a pretty positive thing, even with the ominous mini-cliffhanger at the end. Go read it, guys, this is a great series.
Black Widow #2
Natasha Romanov gets overconfident, gets in over her head, and has to somehow recover from a simple mission that’s gone entirely wrong, all thanks to a cunning schemer called the Iron Scorpion. Will the Black Widow survive — and who’s now plotting against Natasha’s attorney?
Verdict: Ehh, really, I dunno. The problem is that, while the story is decently exciting, the Black Widow is just a femme fatale superspy — she just doesn’t have a unique personality. You get a much better femme fatale superspy in Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s “Velvet” comic.