Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time (Red 5)

Atomic Robo vol 3

Rating: 5/5 – So good I read all of the other volumes before I finished this review!

For many years, I was only dimly aware of the fact that four-color funny books could actually be funny without becoming slapsticky or childish. Maybe I was the wrong demographic, maybe it was a quirk of personality; even now humor for the sake of humor across any genre tends not to be my thing. I like funny to be part of a compelling story, but it can’t be my only ticket to ride.

This brings me to Atomic Robo; such brilliant fun!

This is the epitome of what imaginative comics can be without having to resort to the grim and gritty Moore/Miller archetype deconstruction. Sometimes you need something bright and shiny all ages friendly to offset the impenetrable depression the latter comics bring on.  With that said, writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener accomplish this in spades!

Robo is a Tesla manufactured, alternating current powered sentient robot, adventure scientist. Take a moment to drink that in. An adventure scientist, who in their right mind wouldn’t select that as their major if they could go back and do it all over again?  It’s Indiana Jones meets Iron man, set in an awesome alternate history where Tesla changed the world. What a great thing to aspire to be. Travel the world, investigate weirdness, run into giant monsters, and stop them with Tesladyne powered science!

Rendered in a very cinematic style by Scott Wegener; volume three deals with the menace of squidly evils literally spilling from the head of H.P. Lovecraft as it tries to devour all life across time. To fight this menace, Robo inadvertently enlists his own help across the eras to stave off the end of everything. He accomplishes his task with tight, snarky interplay between versions of himself spanning from the nineteen-teens through to present day, suck it Doctor Who!

Brian Clevinger had me in stitches during this read which is why this book is one of those rare finds that reminds you of why you love comics, it’s quirky definitely a bit mad, but above all else SCIENCE!

Guest Reviewer: Asher L. Turnaround – jonin21@gmail.com
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