Archive for Atomic Robo

The Rising Tide

The Massive #2

Callum Israel and the crew of the Kapital continue to search for their missing shipmates and for their sister ship, the Massive, which vanished during the world’s environmental and economic breakdown — all while trying to avoid attack by pirates off the coast of Kamchatka. Amongst all this, we also get flashbacks to the crew’s visit to a partially submerged Hong Kong, as well as some quick looks at all the different ways the ecological collapse messed the world up.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Still a fascinating look at how the world goes on after the world ends. Great tension in Kamchatka and action in Hong Kong, and the brief looks at how the Crash affected everything from ships at sea, satellites in the skies, and fuel supplies in North America.

Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #4

More short stories in this Atomic Robo anthology. The Sparrow runs into serious trouble behind German lines. Robo learns that Bruce Lee has some more tricks up his sleeves, and he tries to pick up his comic book habits from his youth during the grim-and-gritty ’90s. Plus a visit to a Japanese Atomic Robo, and a look at Jenkins’ past.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good stuff all around. Not quite as amazing as the previous issue of this book, but still a lot of fun.

Batman #11

Batman faces off with Owlman, who claims to be his brother, Thomas Wayne, Jr. For the most part, Owlman repeatedly cleans Batman’s clock, while Bats gets a number of pretty lucky breaks. Then Bruce and Dick Grayson sit around and try to figure out whether Owlman was really who he said he was.

Verdict: Ehh, sorry, but thumbs down. It was a slugfest, followed by a talkfest, and neither one was particularly entertaining.

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So Much Robo!

Holy zambonis, two Atomic Robo comics released on the same day?! We all must have been very, very good boys and girls this year!

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1

Robo is out over the South Pacific in 1951 testing an experimental aircraft when he gets attacked by a bunch of sky pirates flying foo fighters — and then he gets defended by a squad of pilots wearing jet-packs! And once Robo gets his plane safely crash-landed on a beach, and the foo fighters are run off, he discovers that the jet-pack pilots are all girls! Yeah, holy cow, ya mouthless atomic-powered robot, way to get all judgmental about gender, dork. Anyway, they give Robo a ride on their frankly astounding flying machine and meets Hazel, Lauren, the technical genius, Valerya, the pilot, Captain May Carter, and the other members of the She-Devils, a bunch of renegades who are operating as sky pirates against all the other sky pirates in the region. But the She-Devils have plenty of enemies, and Robo’s arrival may give them the opportunity to destroy them…

Verdict: Thumbs up, of course, because Atomic Robo is awesome. I’m loving the characters we’re meeting, too. Even the ones we meet for just a few panels are interesting folks. I do think this one is going to be fun — be sure you pick it up!

Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #3

Lots of great stuff here — the ongoing adventures of the Sparrow during World War II, Robo being trained in martial arts by Bruce Lee, and Robo forced into a surreal mental battle against a computer virus. But the best one here is “Tesla’s Electric Sky Schooner,” set in 1895, and starring, on the first page, Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse, and Charles Fort preparing to lay siege to the terrible War Zeppelin Nemesis — but there are plenty of awesome members of their strikeforce in reserve…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I love the stories, but wow, the art is just phenomenal. Ryan Cody, Gurihiru, John Broglia, and Christian Ward just hammer the ball outta the park. Again, far and away, my favorite story here is “Tesla’s Electric Sky Schooner” — I would love to see Brian Clevinger and Gurihiru do an ongoing series about this one. Also, how much do I love that cover with Robo as the Shadow? I love it a lot.

Superman Family Adventures #2

Bizarro makes his way to Earth, causing a huge panic in Metropolis. Supergirl and Superboy hear the racket all the way in the Fortress of Solitude (where they’re hanging out with — huzzah! — the Tiny Titans!), so Supergirl and Streaky head out to see what’s up. She has her hands full keeping him from tearing the city apart, and even Superman has trouble with him. But Supergirl eventually gets the situation handled… with ice cream! With Bizarro calmed down, they bring him to the Fortress, but it’s not long before he’s causing more havoc, by releasing all the Kryptonian animals and scattering Kryptonite everywhere! How are Supergirl and Superboy going to clean up this mess?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Cute artwork, funny storytelling, good all-ages fun.

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The Science of Awesomeness

Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2

I got the first issue of this soooo late I didn’t even figure it was worth reviewing, but the second issue got here on time, so here ’tis. It’s a bunch of different stories about Atomic Robo, all written by Brian Clevinger, with art by different creators. Most of them are pretty short, and several are multi-parters, with a chapter each issue. We’ve got one story starring the Sparrow, British secret agent, during WWII; another with Robo in 1924 fighting off the ghost of Rasputin; another with Robo learning martial arts from Bruce Lee, and one more with Robo teaming up with, of all things, the characters from the “Team Fortress 2” computer game to capture the legendary Yonkers Devil.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I enjoyed everything — and got a nice surprise from the Team Fortress cameos. My only disappointment here was that there wasn’t another Dr. Dinosaur story, like there was in the first issue. Dr. Dinosaur is the greatest comic character ever.

Avengers Academy #30

During the “Avengers vs. X-Men” crossover, a lot of the X-students are rooming at Avengers Academy — supposedly to keep them safe, but the X-kids have strong suspicions that they’re actually prisoners at the school. Adding to the stress is the fact that Sebastian Shaw — longtime X-Men foe who has now been mindwiped — has escaped from custody and is likely to come gunning for everyone to get revenge on Emma Frost, the woman who he’s just recently learned is responsible for his amnesia. The teachers decide not to tell the students about Shaw’s escape, partly to avoid a panic and partly because they’re worried the X-students will side with him. While X-23 bonds with Hazmat and Finesse, Shaw is busy taking down all of the teachers. How will the tensions between the groups play out, and how will Shaw use those tensions to his advantage?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, good action, good dialogue. Great characterization for everyone, but particularly X-23, Hazmat, and Finesse. This is definitely one of my favorite team comics — hope you’re buying it, ’cause we want to make sure good stories get fan support.

Wonder Woman #9

Diana is trapped in Hell, because she agreed to stay if Hades would let Zola go free. Hermes, Hephaestus, Eros, Lennox, and Zola make plans to return to Hell to rescue her, while Wonder Woman prepares for her wedding to Hades. But does Wonder Woman really love Hades, even after getting shot by Eros’ (ahem) love guns? Or is she faking it for Zola’s sake? And what test will Hades and Strife devise to determine her feelings?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This issue really shines in the small details and surprises: elderly, blood-splattered War; the revelation of Persephone; the introduction of Aphrodite; Hades’ bloody throne; and especially Wonder Woman’s wedding dress, part beautiful, part superheroic, part fetishistic, part gory.

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Phone Home

Dial H #1

Man, they’re shoehorning this comic into the second wave of the DC Reboot, and it doesn’t belong there at all. This is a Vertigo Comic, born and bred.

Our main character is Nelson Jent, an overweight, depressed guy who’s gunning for an early grave until a bunch of thugs attack his only real friend, Darren. Nelson makes his way into an antique phone booth to call for help — but the help he gets isn’t what he expected. Instead he finds himself transformed into a spindly, indestructible, smoke-belching monstrosity that calls itself Boy Chimney. He routs the bad guys and gets Darren to the hospital before he reverts back to tubby Nelson Jent — and when he finds out that Darren works for the bad guys, and that they’ll keep coming after him, Nelson returns to the phone booth, trying to figure out what triggered his transformation. When he stumbles on the proper sequence, he ends up turning into a mopey goth called Captain Lachrymose, who can trigger traumatic sorrow in others and then becomes energized by their tears. He goes after the criminals targeting his friend — but he’s not the only person in town with weird superpowers…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantasy author China Mieville has apparently been wanting to write a comic book for a while, and I don’t know why DC put him off for so long. What he churns out here is grim and deeply bizarre pseudo-superheroics — Boy Chimney may be the scariest thing we’ve seen in any comic in months. And it’s got a great level of characterization, too. Nelson is a really interesting character — his desire to help his friend struggling to overcome his depression. And Mateus Santolouco’s artwork is a great complement for all of this — his jangly, shadow-drenched illustrations work perfectly for what we’ve got going on here. Go pick it up, folks.

The Amazing Spider-Man #685

It’s still Spider-Man, the Black Widow, and Silver Sable against the Sinister Six — and this time, the rest of the world is on the bad guys’ side. After narrowly avoiding getting arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D., the trio contact as many other superheroes as they can (and even a few villains, including the Titanium Man) to help turn the tide against Dr. Octopus. They finally track down Doc Ock’s largest satellite-manufacturing factory — just in time for Octavius to launch them all into orbit. But is Dr. Octopus really the villain this time, or is this going to be his biggest trick ever?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bit slow-moving, but we are at the mid-point in the series. The best point is definitely the cliffhanger at the end — it hits all the drama, suspense, and action points it needs to keep the story running in high gear.

Oh, and hey, Free Comic Book Day was Saturday, and I got some pretty good stuff. Let’s check it out real quick.

Atomic Robo: Free Comic Book Day 2012

If there’s any serious guarantee on Free Comic Book Day, it’s the guarantee that the Atomic Robo comic is going to be one of the best things offered. And it’s so again! Atomic Robo and the Fighting Night-Shift Accountants of Tesladyne have learned there’s a serious problem with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that could cause devastation across the space-time continuum. And he’s brought in a special consultant to help out — Dr. Dinosaur?! But aren’t he and Robo terrible enemies? Isn’t Dr. Dinosaur a lunatic? Isn’t Dr. Dinosaur only kind of a genius and mostly an idiot? Well, yes, but to save the space-time continuum, Robo is willing to work with him.

Except… Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! It was all a ruse by Dr. Dinosaur to wreck the Collider using Futuresaurus Rex — an armored T-rex with missile launchers! And guns he carries in his teeny-tiny forelegs! So adorable and badass! But Futuresaurus Rex is just as great a danger to Dr. Dinosaur as he is to everyone else, because Dr. D is an idiot who didn’t design a proper remote control for it! Can Robo and Dr. D really work together to save the day?

On top of that, we’ve got stories from other Red 5 comics like “Neozoic” and “Bonnie Lass.” But listen, we all tuned in for Atomic Robo, and everyone knows it…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Huzzah! Dr. Dinosaur! The greatest character in comic book history!

Mouse Guard and Other Stories: A Free Comic Book Day Hardcover Anthology

Okay, I don’t mind telling you, there’s one thing about this that’s gonna blow your mind: it really is a hardcover book. It’s not a huge book — it’s just 48 pages long, and it’s dimensions are a bit smaller than a standard-sized comic book. But it’s an actual, fer-realz hardcover, and they gave them out for free. Archaia Entertainment just stepped up their game in a way that no other publisher could match, that alone should be enough to make them this year’s Free Comic Book Day champion.

Even better: It’s a really good comic book. We get a story of the Mouse Guard as told through a children’s puppet show. We get a story about the characters from the movie “Labyrinth.” We get a story about the Dapper Men, a hilarious story called “Cursed Pirate Girl: Ramblings from an Old Sea Dog Who Likes to Be Called Alice” which is every bit as mad and surreal as you’d expect, and a story by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos about the “Cow Boy,” a pint-sized bounty hunter who’s sworn to capture his own outlaw family members. And they’re all great stories. They’re all worth reading and enjoying.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Publishing this as a hardcover is a great way to get attention, but ultimately this is a winner because the stories and art are absolutely worth any gimmicks. This was an outstanding comic, possibly the best Free Comic Book Day comic ever.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I bet y’all have heard by now that MCA from the Beastie Boys died last week. I say the only real way to commemorate a great musician is to play their music. So here’s the best music video ever.
  • Here’s one of the Beasties’ classic goofy vids from the ’80s.
  • Here’s a more recent fave.
  • And if you got time to watch a 30-minute mini-movie, here’s a bunch of people pretending to be the Beasties.

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Friday Night Fights: Dino Damage!

I don’t know about y’all, but this has been a rough week — and I’m pretty sure next week is gonna be a heck of a lot worse. So let’s live it up while we can and enjoy a quick dose of… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us all the way from April 2010’s Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #3 by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. BEHOLD! The epic battle between our hero Atomic Robo and our other hero Dr. Dinosaur!

Dr. Dinosaur is the greatest comic book character in history, and if you say otherwise, it’s just because you filthy mammals are jealous of his reptilian genius.

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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.

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The Hero Sandwich List of Favorite Comics for 2011

Well, everyone else is doing end-of-year best-of lists, so I reckon I will, too. What’s Newsweek magazine got that I ain’t got, right? I mean, the way magazine readership has been falling, there’s a decent chance that I’ve got more readers now. ZING! Oh, Newsweek, you know I kid ’cause I love.

Anyway, this is not a list of the very best of all comics. I haven’t read all comics. I haven’t even gotten close. This is my list of the comics I read that I enjoyed the most.

Also, I don’t think I could manage to say which of these is the best — so I’d rather just arrange them in alphabetical order.

So here we go: The 16 comics I enjoyed reading the most in 2011.

American Vampire

This series by Scott Snyder is still carrying the torch for serious vampiric horror with great characterization, boundless imagination, and really awesome bloodsuckers.

Atomic Robo

One of the best comics out there — this one packs in action, humor, and mindblowing science into something that is always fun. Fun cameos by the famous and infamous, and an incredibly cool lead character.

Avengers Academy

Thank goodness someone still remembers how to do a good teen comic. You can do teen angst without it turning into a bloodbath. This series combines a great concept with outstanding characterization.

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth

The most audaciously imaginative comic of the year, thanks to its seven-year-old writer. Loved the drama, loved the action, and laughed out loud at the humor.

Batgirl (pre-Reboot)

Stephanie Brown’s tenure as Batgirl was marked by great writing, excellent action, and a very strong sense of humor. Stephanie is still MIA in the new DC, unfortunately.

Batman comics by Scott Snyder

Whether it was on Detective Comics prior to the Reboot or on Batman afterwards, Snyder wrote some of the most engrossing tales of the Dark Knight.

Batman Inc.

Reading Grant Morrison’s Batman has been a treat for years, and it was fun to watch him create the new Batman megacorp.


J.H. Williams III’s writing has been fine, but his art is simply breathtaking. This was absolutely the most beautiful comic book on the stands in 2011.


Daredevil? I’ve never cared for Daredevil in my life. But this one is a blast. Writing and art are incredible. Humor, action, characterization — and again, fun. You can make a pretty good comic if you make it fun, ya know?

Dungeons & Dragons

Did anyone ever expect a D&D comic to be this good? Excellent dialogue, humor, action, drama, suspense — all while doing a pretty good job spotlighting the RPG it’s based on. Best fantasy comic of the year, right here.

Hellboy: The Fury

Mike Mignola has enjoyed another excellent year of comics, and I could’ve put almost any of his B.P.R.D. comics in here, but this one — Hellboy’s last hurrah — was really something special.

Knight and Squire

Paul Cornell’s miniseries focusing on London’s version of Batman and Robin was fun storytelling, along with a quick course in British pop culture. Excellent characters and adventures, and a wonderfully created setting.

Secret Six

Gail Simone’s awesomely epic series of supervillains occasionally doing the right thing had some of the funniest, saddest, most dramatic, most astounding moments in the comics world. Absolutely grand characters, too. Losing this series was one of DC’s biggest mistakes of the Reboot.

Supergirl (pre-Reboot)

After years of being the DC Universe’s version of the useless mallrat in a belly shirt, several creators finally realized they could make the character awesome by treating her more like a real person instead of an MTV stereotype. Yes, DC, character is everything!

Tiny Titans

The best all-ages comic on the market. Still can’t believe they’re going to let something this awesome go.


One of the weirdest comics to come out this year. There was usually at least one really mind-blowingly weird thing in every single issue. Beautiful art, too, along with great writing and dialogue. It was a joy to read.

And one more little category? How ’bout Publisher of the Year? DC and Marvel are out — they’ve spent the past 12 months pandering to the worst in comics, cancelling great series, and randomly insulting their readers. IDW, Dark Horse, Red 5, Image, all the other independents came close, because they’re doing more of what good comics publishers should be doing — gunning for new readers, pushing the artistic and storytelling envelopes, making excellent comics.

But I think the Publisher of the Year is Archie Comics. What? But I don’t read any Archies! But Archie is doing even more than the other independents to push the creative and social envelope. They’ve gotten lots of publicity with their Archie marries Betty/Veronica comics, but they also had a great crossover with the Tiny Titans. And who would have ever imagined that staid, conservative Archie Comics would end up being the most progressive comics publisher — whitebread Archie Andrews has recently dated Valerie Brown, the African-American bass player from Josie and the Pussycats, and Kevin Keller, Archie’s first openly gay character, has become more popular and more prominent in the comics. Archie Comics is outpacing all the other independent publishers and rocketing past the Big Two in terms of how much they’re moving the comics industry forward.

So there we go — 16 grand, fun comics series. And I think I’d still have to declare 2011 one of the worst years for comics we’ve seen in a long time. Almost half my list is made up of comics that were cancelled, will be cancelled in the next few months, or are in continual danger of being cancelled. DC enjoyed a nice sales surge in the first few months of the Reboot, but the numbers on many of their series are already dropping back to more normal levels. And they spent months alienating and angering long-time fans in one public relations disaster after another. Not that Marvel has fared much better — they’ve been cancelling comics hand over fist. The independents have a better track record for producing good comics — but of course, they’ve also had more trouble getting those comics sold.

2011 has been an awful, terrifying, depressing year for comics fans. I’d like to tell you that I think 2012 is going to be better. But I don’t think I’d get my hopes up very high. No one’s learned any lessons from this year’s catastrophes, and I’m not even sure the Big Two are even capable of doing anything other than shooting themselves in the foot.

Let’s just hope the non-comics portions of 2012 will be better for all of us. Y’all stay safe, buckle up, call a cab if you need to.

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We Got a Great Big Convoy Rockin’ through the Night

Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #4

Robo and his team are under attack and definitely out-gunned by the secret government agency Majestic-12. They’re able to escape them — very narrowly — thanks to tricky driving, tons of crazy science, Jenkins’ badassery, and a convenient truck stop. Once inside, Robo meets up with a bunch of rough, burly truckers and tells them he needs a convoy… for science! And of course, when a robot from the ’30s escapes black helicopters and asks you to risk your truck for him, they all sign on immediately.

Now the major problem for Robo is that he can’t call Tesladyne for help or even send them an e-mail because MJ-12 is certainly monitoring the company’s communications. Well, as long as you’re running in a truckers’ convoy, why not use CB and ham radio? So while a worldwide network of amateur radio enthusiasts work on tracking down the mysterious signals that were tracking Robo and feeding info to MJ-12, former employees Louis and Martin are trying to figure out if their case of a stolen building is the work of a rogue artificial intelligence. Can Robo find out who wants him dead, and can he figure out how to get his metallic fingers on him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is definitely one of the best comics out there. Fun art, great dialogue and action. Robo forming his Science Convoy was definitely a highlight, but it was also cool watching the CB and ham radio guys tracking down the rogue signals. All in all, just a great comic book.

Snarked #3

Princess Scarlett — now the Queen, in the absence of her father — needs to get hold of a map hidden in the palace that will show where her father is being held. After a daring trip past the castle guards, Scarlett searches the castle for the map — and then tries to figure out how to escape — while Wilburforce J. Walrus, Clyde McDunk, and Prince Rusty try to hire a ship to help them find the king. Unfortunately, the only crew willing to talk to them seem to all be completely insane. Can the get the map and a ship without attracting the attention of every guard in the city?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully warped all-ages fare. Grandly goofy artwork and writing, too.

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Atomic Beatdown

Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #3

Last issue, someone made a pretty good attempt at killing Atomic Robo. Now, he and his team are trying to figure out which of their enemies could be behind the attack — and the attack doesn’t really fit the M.O.s of any of the groups they’ve tangled with in the past. One of their analysts is able to hit a lucky bit of data that lets them trace where the calls into the company HQ were coming from, and the team scrambles to take them out with a surgical strike. Meanwhile, some of Robo’s old employees are working with British intelligence to track a two-story flat that’s been mysteriously stolen — they’re finally having some progress with interviews, but it just opens up more mysteries. And in Omaha, Nebraska, where Robo’s team has tracked the rogue signals, they find an empty office building — and they get ambushed by a large military force. They’re able to elude them and even take out some of their forces, but these guys are not willing to let Robo get away again.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, great art, wonderful humor and dialogue. This comic is insanely fun, and I don’t know why more of you aren’t reading it. Why do you hate fun and joy, non-readers? Whyyyy?

The Amazing Spider-Man #674

Spider-Island is no more, but some people are still coming to town wishing they could get some spider-powers of their own. They’re soon inducted into a new gang that specializes in high-rise burglaries and sometimes killing their members by dropping them from great heights. Peter Parker and his ex-girlfriend Carlie Cooper soon realize they’re after the same group of people, but long before they get too far in their investigation, we are introduced to the high flying gang and their leader, the Vulture.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I don’t know if they really meant that last-page reveal to be a big surprise, but anyone who wasn’t expecting the Vulture after seeing the cover or reading any of the rest of the story just wasn’t paying any real attention. Still, nice story, good dialogue, decent action.

Severed #4

Jack’s friend Sam — a girl passing as a boy to avoid unwanted creeps in 1930s Chicago — is very suspicious of “Alan Fisher,” the shark-toothed killer who is pretending to be a phonograph salesman. She stole one of his business cards and calls his boss, who tells her he hasn’t heard from the real Alan Fisher in days and agrees to meet with her to figure out what’s going on. However, Jack believes what Fisher has told them, and they have a big argument — though they eventually reconcile. Unfortunately, when Sam goes to see Fisher’s boss, it turns out it was really Fisher all along. Is there going to be a good ending for either Sam or Jack? I wouldn’t bet on it…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Dead grim Depression-era horror, with some serious scares and a ton of suspense. I really do love the way Scott Snyder seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the comics world’s best and most important writers.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Here’s a really cool video by Alan Moore, creator of a lot of the best comics in history, talking at length about the importance of the late Harvey Pekar.
  • Lots of webcomics are coming up with interesting ways to talk about depression.
  • Hey, do me a solid and go sign this petition. These Internet blacklist bills Congress is working on passing are guaranteed Internet-killers. They’d shut down Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Etsy, Wikipedia, and most of the blogs in the country, including this one.

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It’s My Party

Tiny Titans #45

All the Batgirls are going to have a Batgirl Party. So that means Barbara is invited, Cassandra, Flamebird… and Stephanie, who finally gets her own Batgirl costume! Plus Starfire and Raven also get some Batgirl costumes so they can attend. Robin isn’t real happy about this, but Batman gave the party his blessing, so what can ya do? We also meet Pantha, the soccer-loving… well, no one seems to know what kind of critter she is. We’re pretty sure she isn’t a bat, because the bats in the Batcave insist that she isn’t. Elsewhere, Coach Huntress’s soccer team isn’t doing so well against Coach Lobo’s team. And who does Coach Lobo have on his squad?

Just the Tiny Titans versions of the Secret Six, that’s who. Lookit, Tiny Scandal is adorable.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one is worth the cover price not only for the Secret Six, but for Starfire and Raven’s Batgirl costumes.

Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2

Last issue, Atomic Robo and his employees managed a short-deadline rescue for astronauts in danger. But there were no astronauts, just a collision with a satellite, leaving Robo facing a long and deeply unsafe fall from low-earth orbit to a catastrophic crash landing. Robo’s pilots manage — barely — to catch him before he falls into the ocean, but he came really, really close to dying or having his atomic batteries meltdown. When his team finally has him rebuilt days later, he gets a call from NASA — they never called him about a shuttle mission in danger because the space shuttle was never in danger. Someone just tried very hard to kill Robo and his company…

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very tense, suspenseful issue — the beginning is a hair’s-breadth miracle rescue which is one of the best things I’ve read in a comic book in weeks, and the rest is the beginnings of several interesting mysteries. Definitely a fun read — if you aren’t reading this, you should be.

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