Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time #1 (of 5) (Red 5 – Clevinger / Wegener / Pattison / Powell)
New York City, 1926. ATOMIC ROBO’s dull night of studying for a physics exam is interrupted by a duo from NIKOLA TESLA’s past with a dire message: the imminent doom of all life in the universe! Guest starring CHARLES FORT, HOWARD PHILIPS LOVECRAFT, and the TUNGUSKA INCIDENT.
This third volume of everyone’s favorite “automated man” reads a little bit like a light-hearted version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Historic paranormal researcher Charles Fort and occult expert and all-around oooky author H.P. Lovecraft show up in the middle of the night to get Tesla’s help to get rid of of an inter-dimensional alien they thought they had gotten rid of years previous… this sort of set-up has fun written all over it!
The whole Robo creative crew is back! Brian Clevinger continues his fantastic tale of Robo, a “data”-like character with House’s sense of humor. In all honesty, not much happens in this issue action-wise… Fort and Lovecraft show up with their request for Tesla, with Tesla gone they have to deal with the Robo’s unbelieving dry-wit, Lovecraft wanders off and Fort gives the real reason they are there and then Robo has to deal with Lovecraft’s “secret”. This is how I knew it was great writing, it was almost a whole issue of back and forth dialouge and I loved it! Totally sucked in and drooling for issue #2. Scott Wegener’s art is fun and straight forward. Put that hand in hand with Ronda Pattison’s expert use of the subdued color (it’s amazing how much can be expressed with only shades of blue and grey) and you have exactly what is needed to present a beautiful and compelling page while keeping the light-hearted nature of Atomic Robo.
As usual, Red 5 is kicking butt and taking names!
Issue grade: A