Sunday, 20 September 2015

Atomic Robo, Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne Review (Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener)

Atomic Robo is a robot that fights baddies and makes jokes and stuff. He fights the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s; he fights giant monster ants; he fights bizarrely anachronistic mechanised pyramids in Egypt; he goes to Mars for some reason; and he fights a brain in a jar on a giant robot body. And that’s it! 

Here’s the thing: I’m a big Hellboy fan and for that reason I couldn’t enjoy Atomic Robo - it’s WAY too similar! Robo punches and shoots stuff, he fights Nazis, he fights monsters, he has a mysterious past, he quips - he IS Hellboy but with a different design! He’s got buddies who help him out in the present with problems - just like the BPRD! I mean, come on, evil brains in jars has Mike Mignola written all over it. 

There are a couple of tender moments, like when he’s remembering an old soldier buddy who’s passed away; Robo doesn’t age of course so he’ll always lose his friends in the end. Robo’s design is pretty good too, those big eyes are unexpectedly expressive for a largely featureless face. 

But mostly it was the comparisons to Hellboy that created this massive rift between me and this book. It was way, way, way, waaaaay, WAY too much like a Hellboy ripoff for me to enjoy. Maybe in later volumes Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener make some changes to the character and his world to make Robo more distinctive but I’m not interested enough to find out. Why read Atomic Robo when the far more exciting and original Hellboy/BPRD is out there? I don’t know - and that’s why I’d recommend those books instead of this.

Atomic Robo, Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin Scientists of Tesladyne

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