Every time a new issue of Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener’s Atomic Robo comes out is a reason to celebrate. This series is endlessly inventive, perpetually hilarious, and quite simply one of the most consistently awesome books on the market. This new untitled volume has been every bit as great as previous ones, but could they close it out as successfully as they opened it?
Find out after the jump for whether or not they did.
Poor Dr. Fischer. He’s only been working at Tesladyne for a week, and he’s already been subjected to a vampire infestation and now the appearance of a ghost in Tesladyne HQ itself. The good news is Robo decides that it isn’t necessary (yet) to remove brain matter to figure out the correlation between Fischer and all of these weird happenings, so I suppose there is upside for him yet.
This issue, after the initial discovery of said ghost, turns into another madcap adventure of pure entertainment and imagination by our trusty creators Clevinger and Wegener. They turn every little detail into something that is massively entertaining. Even small panels in which we just see a snippet of their ghost experiment check list (“Incorporeal __ Corporeal __”) come across as massively entertaining within the context of the issue, especially given the fact that their grand experiment is to throw a piece of paper at said ghost.
One of the gifts Clevinger has in this Robo universe is the power to constantly reference other stories in the timeline within the book, whether we’re aware of the reference or not. In this case, we get a shout out to Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time but also from early adventures featuring Tesla and Robo vs. the nefarious Thomas Edison that we’ve never seen before. That the ghost ends up being Edison himself (or “Undead Edison” or as I call him in my head “Undeadison”), who evidently is both his newest and oldest enemy according to the summary before the issue, was genius in itself.
The issue even ends with a bit of foreboding, as Edison confronts an unknown character with “You shouldn’t have brought me back.” Nice set up Mr. Clevinger!
Scott Wegener is just so damn perfect for this book. I feel like he must have a blast drawing it, getting to illustrate ridiculous sights like “Undead Edison” or Fischer with his bizarre, wire ridden helmet from the beginning. So much of the humor is either derived from or esclated by Wegener’s art, and it is just a blast to look at this book. His command of Robo is astounding too, especially at the end of the issue when Robo becomes a bit sullen. For a robot man with no real facial expressions, Wegener is an ace at conveying when he is troubled or any number of other emotions.
If Atomic Robo was an ongoing series, it’d be hard to argue that it wouldn’t belong on the Mount Rushmore of currently running ongoings. However, we do not get 12 square issues a year, so that leaves me to simply say that on any given month that it comes out, it is flat out the most fun in comics. This issue is a perfect example of that.
Final Verdict: 9.4 – Buy