COMIC REVIEW: Atomic Robo presents Real Science Adventures #3

Action, adventure, daring-d0…and science! Nikolai Tesla’s greatest creation returns in the third issue of his very own anthology series!

Cards on the table, I’m a huge Atomic Robo fan but I haven’t been picking up this series as I wait for the trade (or the digital collection), not having the patience for reading books that I love month-to-month. As such I’m straight into the thick of things with this third issue of Robo inspired anthology tales. Oddly, only one of the tales within the review copy has full credits so I’m relying on trusty for the credits below.

As I mentioned above anthology is the order of the day, which I consider a brave move by the Robo team as the US comics market is notoriously unwelcoming of anthologies. In this book we’ve got four stories featuring or inspired by Atomic Robo. If you don’t know who Robo is then the single-sentence premise is that he’s a sentient robot pulp action hero built by Nikolai Tesla in 1923. The main Robo series features the writing of Brian Clevinger and art of Scott Wegna however here we’ve got Clevinger working with a much more varied cast of artists, some of whom work for me, others not so much.

The stories are:

To Kill A Sparrow Part 3
Art: Ryan Cody
Colourist: Matt Speroni

This story is set in WWII and deals with The Sparrow, a daring British spy who Robo has crossed paths with previously, as she turns the tables on the Nazis. The art has an interesting palette of purplish hues which works well as a flashback, the faces have touches of Wegna’s work on the main Robo series but the torsos are a bit looser and Mignolaesque at times. The four pages here are light on story development but easy enough to jump into.

Rating: 3/5

Tesla’s Electric Sky Schooner

Art: GuriHiru
Colourist: Matt Speroni

I know GuriHiru’s work best from the various Power Pack series that Marvel had on the go a few years back. Here it’s used superbly and captures the tone of 80’s toon classics like Mysterious Cities of Gold. You’d almost be forgiven for thinking that this was shot with cells from an animated feature, except they’re far more dynamic. The assembled historical figures in this story will lead to the inevitable and obvious comparison to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but the tone here is completely different. This is an all-action romp, with none of the dark undertones of Moore’s work.

This tale, set in the late 19th century, has Tesla and his team (the Centurions of Science) flying the titular sky schooner Intrepid Spirit against a war zeppelin designed by famed engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is by far my favourite of the four stories. This has tons of actions, memorable and recognisable characters and great art…I demand to see more of this team!

Rating: 5/5

Leaping Metal Dragon Part 3

Art: John Broglia
Colourist: Matt Speroni

Here we have Robo under the tutelage of Bruce Lee learning to control his prodigious strength and whilst it’s a fun little story I don’t think the rendering of the human faces is particularly strong. I wasn’t expecting a complete likeness but the character of Bruce seems to go off-model quite a bit and has very limited expressions which hinders the comedic element of the story.

Rating: 2/5

Atomic Robo and the Electromatic Dream Machine

Art: Christian Ward

This renders Robo’s thoughtspace as he’s attacked by a scientist whose funding he’s rejected. As such the art’s a little trippy at times and I think I spotted a little Mignola homage in there. The story itself is pretty straightforward but has a few humourous touches.

Rating: 3/5

And as a whole? From what I’ve seen here I’m keen to read the rest of the series, particularly To Kill a Sparrow, which it just feels like I hit at a lull.

Overall Rating: 4/5

GS Reviewer: Dave W

Source: Atomic Robo

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