It’s the fight of the century – Atomic Robo versus Dr. Dinosaur! Time travel! Crystals! Bazookas! And the dinosaurs who use them! Yes, this comic will change your life forever. The explosive conclusion to the story that began in Red 5 Comics Free Comic Book Day 2009!
Click behind the cut for the review
There are very few comics that are so consistently great that I read and immediately want to jam down people’s throats screaming, “READ THIS! WHY AREN’T YOU READING THIS?!” However, on the list of comics that make me want to do this, Atomic Robo is right at the top, and this issue pretty much proves why.
The very first comic I ever read in the Atomic Robo series was the Free Comic Book Day special featuring the first appearance of Dr. Dinosaur. I had heard about this series and liked the idea of a wise cracking robot made up of some kind of atomic nature, so Free Comic Book Day offered a great entry into the series (which led me to catch the last two trades and start with volume three and a nice little Robo statue! (Cool brag, I know)). Since then I have been highly anticipating the return of Dr. Dinosaur, and this issue sees the return of everyone’s favorite quirky raptor.
In this issue, Robo is called in to investigate reports of lizard people, and instead find himself captured by a lizard person. This creature, whose name we later learn is fairly unpronouncable, claims to be a time traveling dinosaur genius, despite several scientific inconsistencies. What this leads to is Atomic Robo incapacitated while he and Dr. Dinosaur have witty banter about the improbability of his existence until rescue can arrive.
Needless to say, this is the strongest issue of the latest volume so far. To say that Clevinger gets is characters is obviously an understatement, but out of all of Atomic Robo there have been only three characters that I believe Clevinger REALLY loves writing, Robo obviously being one of them and Dr. Dinosaur being the other (if only because Dino has his own Twitter). Not only that, but Dino and Robo have such a great dichotomy between the two characters that this issue, as unbelievable as it is, feels believable – in that I could really see this conversation happening (if it happens to be between a robot and a dinosaur, I’ll take it, but if not no worries). The humor level of this issue is incredibly strong and the book reads very well, instantly lending itself to obvious re-readability. I’ve already read this issue multiple times myself, and not just because I have to review it. It’s just such an intensely fun issue of Atomic Robo, and perfectly shows off exactly why I feel the need to force people to sit down and read this.
Scott Wegener is also obviously improving as an artist, and it’s incredibly fun to watch an already talented get better at his craft. This issue is full of lush illustrations and backgrounds, and one of the biggest things to notice in this issue is the heavy use of motion. Whether it’s through clever sound effects or clearly drawn straight lines, there is a lot of action in this comic and it reads very well. Not that the written word wasn’t enough, but Wegener does an excellent job of portraying Dr. Dinosaur’s dementia through visuals, especially in a scene of juxtaposed panels where Robo calls Dr. Dinosaur out near the end, and (and this might be an odd comment, but) I love the way that Wegener draws Dino’s eyes, because in every single panel they just make him look that much more crazy!
Basically, this all boils down to: when you get robots and dinosaurs together, you create great material. This is a lesson that everyone could, should, and needs to learn.
Final Verdict 9.4 – Buy