Atomic Robo Vol 2 #2 (of 5) (Red 5 – Clevinger / Wegener / Pattison / Powell)
The Eisner-nominated adventures continue… June, 1943: control of the Mediterranean hangs in the balance as the Allied Invasion of Sicily crashes against elite Nazi soldiers in “walking tank” armor that only ATOMIC ROBO can stop! Too bad he’s battered, beaten, shot, hit with grenades, captured, and miles away. What does this mean for the Allies who are trapped between the sea and these unstoppable Nazi super weapons?
It’s Vol. 2 and Robo is back! It would seem in this second volume, and the second issue that comes out today, that Atomic Robo has taken a slight detour from being a great sci-fi/noir-ish/comedy book to more of a great straight-out action/comedy book. It’s almost as if I’m waiting for Jackie Chan to show up.
In this issue, Robo takes on Nazi Mech-armored warriors with his strength, smarts and wit (“and you, I hate you the most!”). They aren’t quite the push-overs he assumes they are at the beginning, but with some help from a company of US soldiers he is able to take them out, if only one at a time. Almost the entire issue is combat-related and the plot extends into what is coming in issue #3.
As always, the mesh of story-telling between the writer and artist in Atomic Robo is flawless. The story moves very smoothly. The only thing that gets lost, and this is only once or twice, is there are some close-ups in combat that make me wonder what is going on. We zero in on Robo taking a swing and talking smack and I’m not quite sure where or what is happening to the Nazi mecha-baddie and then Robo is moving on. Maybe it was just me, but in any case it was easy to pass-over and get my attention back to Robo and Allied forces pushing their way across Germany.
Even though the new action-orientation of the book seems to have the sci-fi storyline downplayed for a season, it is still laugh out loud funny at parts and a great read. The end of the issue has a short story about Robo and his science team taking on a giant mummy (with a diaper) in Egypt, a different style of art but also fun.
Issue Grade: A