Friday, January 15, 2010

Comics that Deserve Greater Recognition Pt5

I only discovered Atomic Robo last year.

Yes, I know, I'm a horrible person.

So, in 1929 Nicola Tesla built an Atomic robot who has spent most of the last 80+ years with his company dealing with science gone mad, monsters and mystical creatures (well, it's fine if you think of them as mythical, but Robo doesn't believe in magic, so there's that). He's also been to Mars and helped explore the world.

Now, critics have said that the concept leans heavily on Atomic Robo. Two things:

-Not that much, no.
-You really could do worse then taking one of the most popular and enduring creator-owned franchises of the last twenty years as a model.

While Robo and Hellboy are both known to crack wise while fighting monsters, well...that's where the similarities end, really. Robo is a confirmed skeptic and scientist who doesn't buy into magic and the supernatural. Sure these creatures are monsters, but he tries (and largely succeeds) in framing them in scientific terms. He tries to reason his way out and goes as far as to point out the scientific and logical implausibility of the creatures he faces. Which is even more funny when he starts smashing them up really good. Atomic Robo is all about scientific romance; hell why else would you have Carl Sagan as a guest star in your book?

Atomic Robo is straightfoward, no-holds barred action comedy that combines classic sci-fi with a wry wit that leaves me entertained even after multiple re-reads. I'm very glad I ran into this book.

No comments: