Thursday, 17 January 2013

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures volume 1 review

Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artists: Steve Wegener and various.
Colourist: Matt Speroni
Publisher: Red 5 Comics

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures has a nice variety of artists. Other than regular Atomic Robo artist Steve Wegener, I haven’t read any other comic books drawn by any of the artists included in this volume but it’s nice to have a volume that collects all of them, especially when they’re stories featuring Atomic Robo for the most part.

It’s a bit unfortunate that a book featuring such a large variety of art and styles that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this collection. I was entertained the whole way through and enjoyed my time reading it but it’s not the kind of comic I would lend to someone unless they’re already an Atomic Robo fan. I feel as though this comic doesn’t have much reason for being other than giving Clevinger the opportunity to experiment with stories and to do one-off gags. I shouldn’t think about it too much, though. The comic industry seems to support a dozen monthly Batman books so why can’t we make room for a second Atomic Robo series? I think it’s deserved it’s spot.

I wonder if Clevinger will ever let somebody else write an Atomic Robo story. It seems to me that Real Science Adventures would be the ideal comic for that to happen.

The best story is the Free Comic Book Day 2012 issue. Clevinger seems to write tighter stories for his main artist. My main complaint is that most of these stories aren’t focused enough. They’re too loose. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For all I know that was the point. Maybe Clevinger wanted a comic to spread his wings a little. It also seems like he wanted to share the success of his and Wegener’s Atomic Robo series. This is a nice progression of for the character though since there were always short stories drawn by other artist collected in the Atomic Robo trades.

Out of all the stories I enjoyed Tesla’s Electric Sky Shooner, Once Upton a Time in China (in which Robo looks very big, look at his shoulders!) and FCBD 2012 the most.

As a whole it was a nice experiment. Most of the stories where entertaining and at the very least it serves as a good showcase for artists that have a style different to what you seem in mainstream superhero comics. I would like to point out that it’s pretty impressive that the whole thing is coloured by one person other than the stories that specifically mention a different colourist. The book also has a cover gallery (by the way, where is the FCBD cover?) and some character sketches by Gurihiru.

If you’ve read the main Atomic Robo series and you’d like to read some more or if you like books that showcase several different artists, I recommend you check out Real Science Adventures. If you’re not done collecting the Atomic Robo trades or have never read an Atomic Robo comic, you should check out one of those first. I’m certain you won’t regret it. 

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