Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time #2
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Red 5 Comics
Release date: June 3, 2009
First off, how can you NOT love a comic called Atomic Robo and the Shadow Beyond Time? Everything you need to know about this comic is sitting right there in the title. It’s got robots, horror, and just the right about of humor. Of course, the book itself is pretty good too, which is a good thing because people generally buy a comic for more than just its title.
This is the third mini in the Atomic Robo series, and from the first two issues, I’m enjoying it even more than I did the first two. In this one, we follow Atomic Robo in 1920’s New York as he has to stop a Lovecraftian monster who has taken over the body of the actual H.P. Lovecraft. And that’s not even the craziest of the ideas in this issue. Brian Clevinger continues to make this a supremely fun comic. It’s filled with a lot of humor, but I wouldn’t really describe it as a humor book. It’s an adventure book, and Clevinger always keeps the action at the forefront. This issue in particular has a great balance between action and comedy, as Robo has a great conversation with Nikola Tesla while taking on the monster. The other nice thing about this series is that you never know what kind of story is going to be told. Each series has told a different kind of story, yet the central character keeps the whole thing together.
It’s been nice to see the evolution of artist Scott Wegener as he cuts his teeth on this series and moves on to bigger things (if you have read his story in the Marvel Human Torch 70th Anniversary, I’d highly recommended it.) It’s also nice to see that while he’s now getting work from Marvel and Image, he hasn’t abandoned this series, because honestly, the series wouldn’t be the same without him. With each series, you can see steady improvement on his art, and it continues here. Wegener pulls off a great car chase in this issue which is never an easy thing to draw. Robo’s expressions have never been a problem with this series. Wegener has always been able to get a great deal of emotion out of Robo’s mostly featureless face, but the biggest thing to me is the improvement in his human figures and their expressions.
If there’s one indie series you should be reading, it’s this one. You won’t find a more enjoyable book on the stands and its well worth your time and money. I’ve heard this book be compared to Hellboy before, and I guess I can see the comparison, but I think this more than stands on its own two feet. If you haven’t read the series before, be sure to check out the first two volumes, or just jump in and pick this issue up. Any issue is a great starting point, so give this one a shot.