Re-Reading Comics: Atomic Robo collected volumes 4-6

Robos 4 thru 6, with bonus Mazikitty

This week has been the sort of week that really tests one’s sense of linear time, especially since it’s been going on for almost a month already. Luckily I’ve had three more Atomic Robo collections to see me through it.

Book 4, Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness, is a collection of one-shots and mini comics. There’s a bunch about the Vampire Dimension, a “biomega” kaiju in Tokyo, a ghost (sort of)… but none of that matters because it also has the 2009 Free Comic Book Day story Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur. Dr. Dinosaur.

DR. DINOSAUR.

I love Dr. Dinosaur. As much as I adore Robo, and I really do, Dr. Dinosaur is just a fucking delight. In a comic that’s already bulletproof, this mad genius of a reptile feels like he was written just for me. Like a little treat for being a faithful fan. In this issue we get to see the moment Atomic Robo meets our superior science raptor, immediately hates said science raptor, and in return the good (bad?) doctor hates him too.

Book 5, Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science, goes back to the beginning, telling the story of young Robo training with his mentor, Jack Tarot, while still learning the ways of action science with Tesla. There’s a little more Vampire Dimension and a bit more of Tesla and Edison’s Current War, with a whole lot of bullets in between.

Also a very large robot. And some kissing.

Book 6, The Ghost of Station X, once again takes Robo’s story in a different direction. This time, he’s got to solve a mystery while also fighting against the laws of physics to save a space station from falling out of orbit. There’s fewer jokes and a lot more of Robo’s serious face, but it’s a solid collection that doesn’t disappoint.

As a bonus, you’ll also get to read the 2010 FCB story, “Flight of the Terror Birds”!

Aren’t they cute?

Call up your local comic book shop and order a bunch of Robo books for yourself today!

Re-Reading Comics: Atomic Robo collected volumes 1-3

I’m continuing my big pandemic reread – using graphic novels, collections, and single issues I’ve got in my apartment right now – with another hardback. Last week I talked about the second collected book of MIND MGMT issues, subtitled “The Futurist”. This week I needed something light and fun, so I grabbed a handful of Atomic Robo off the shelf.

If you’re feeling a bit cooped up and restless, call up your local shop to order yourself Atomic Robo V1, “Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne”. Written by Brian Clevinger, art by Scott Wegener (with color by Ronda Pattison and letters by Jeff Powel) the series jumps back and forth through time, telling different pieces of Atomic Robo’s first 83 years of existence. It has everything you’d want from a retro-style modernist comic: video game jokes (Megaman, Jenkins, etc.), Nazis, mummies, steampunk, Carl Sagan being awesome, Stephen Hawking being a bastard, and a wise-cracking intelligent robot swinging his way through it all. It’s sarcastically funny, it’s got a hipster sensibility that perfectly meshes with the crisp, clean art – exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to translate well to t-shirts and messenger bags. It made me happy, and genuinely happy is a little harder to come by these days.

But these are slim volumes, these Robo books, and if I’m going to get through every comic I own in the next few years I have to group smaller issues in these reviews. Which means I also get to talk about the second and third collections!

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