REVIEW: ‘Atomic Robo & The Dawn of a New Era,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Atomic Robo - But Why Tho?

Atomic Robo, issue #1 is put out by IDW Publishing and written by creator Brian Clevinger, drawn by Scott Wegener, colored by Shannon Murphy, with letters handled by Jeff Powell. This issue begins the latest limited series in the adventures of Atomic Robo.

Robo is a robotic agent constructed by Nikola Tesla back in the 1920s. He’s had many adventures over several decades, and fought innumerable foes, all told in prior volumes. But in the first issue of this new series we find our hero in the present day, working for Tesladyne Labs in the desert of the American Southwest. He has a host of supporting characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses to assist him, and an AI pal to work on.

This is a good setup to whatever new perils Robo will have to get involved in, in addition to his own goal There are a few different lanes the book enters into, a story for Robo, his staff, and one scientist, Bernard, doing the expedition into a cave along with a robotic aide. There is a feeling that the days of finding lost cities and fantastic adventures is long over as the staff of the Tesladyne Intstitute embark on a new course, performing experiments for the sake of science and discovery, not profit and the Powers That Be.

The artwork by Scott Wegener is simple and very cool. I got hints of old 40s animation here, and it makes a nifty contrast between Robo and his modern counterparts, who have millennial hairstyles and up-to-date attire. The colors move back and forth from subtle pastels to certain pages being in a monochromatic finish.

I enjoyed much of this book, from the dialogue to the lettering. I could have done with more color to offset the desert surrounding, but it is a very minor quibble. There is a setup to an exploration, a staple of the Robo books, and the supporting cast are interesting. They are curious, fun, independent explorers all their own and seem to be prepped to do work other than just scientific experiments and taking notes.

And then there’s Robo. When not giving out advice to humans, he has his own personal agenda which I found to be classic science fiction. Aside from quoting various famous scientists, Robo offers touches of an earlier era, of movie serials and forgotten explorers, all rolled into one sophisticated intelligent machine. This is a character with a ton of depth, and I see Clevinger has taken his time to develop Atomic Robo over time to be a fully rounded being whose sensibilities and morals I can get behind.

All in all, Atomic Robo is a rock solid book that I’m kicking myself for not investing in years ago. This is a very cool hero who has a good deal of sense and compassion, while offering great notations about science and learning.

I definitely love this book. Lots of science, personal interplay paced great and not a whiff of violence. There is good stuff here with a neat cast and lots of backdrop that, while not necessary to this tale, I want to get into later.

If you love old style stories, robots, sci-fi and thinking heroes, pick this one up.

Atomic Robo & The Dawn of a New Era #1
5

TL;DR

I definitely love Atomic Robo. Lots of science, personal interplay paced great and not a whiff of violence.