Atomic Robo #4 (of 6) (Red 5 Comics – Clevinger / Wegener / Pattison) – In 1975, with pressure to deliver a success, NASA turns to Atomic Robo to act as a top-secret escort for their troubled Viking mission to Mars. But one small step for a robot may not be the kind of giant leap for mankind that they were hoping for. I am ashamed to say that I am a sci-fi pulp fan and I have not picked up a copy of Atomic Robo before. What can I say, it wasn’t on my radar… and it should have been! This book follows the journey of a “automatic intelligence” (basically a very cool retro-looking robot man who has traded scientific know-how for US citizenship) in his quest to help the US Government with their top secret military operations. In Issue four, we follow Robo helping the task force in Egypt elude both the Egyptian government and a “Killer Pyramid Monster”. During an accident Robo gets knocked out and has a flashback to the 70’s, when he helped NASA with a Mars landing. With his use of a great action thread, well-placed comedy (Robo is a blast messing with scientists and mocking Stephen Hawking) and having great pacing, author Brian Clevinger is on the short list of phenomenal, under-rated, untapped comic writers. The pencils by Scott Wegener and colors by Ronda Pattison are matched well and fit the feel of the story in this pulpy-fantastic sci-fi book that you probably haven’t read. Atomic Robo is a property waiting to burst!
Issue Grade: A