Jan 20 2009
Atomic Robo is OK. The writing is occasionally stylish but mostly forgettable. Artistically, the main character is done pretty well and everyone else looks kind of awful.
- Brian Clevinger is more capable than this. I’m not a huge fan of 8-Bit Theatre, but it’s far more witty and likable. With the exception of a few witty one-liners, the writing of AR feels like it’s been stripped from a summer war movie.
- It took ten pages to get to a laugh-line. Nor does the writing shine in some nonhumorous way. Placing this story in WWII-Europe, possibly the most cliche historic setting, doesn’t help.
- The WWII arc is totally not working. The writing tends to be far more stylish and enjoyable in the mini-stories at the end of each issue. Clevinger is much better when he’s not constrained by his “war is hell” message. (Uhh, yeah. Cutting insight there). The zany robotic antics are much, much better and make this story into something more than just a WWII action movie with robots.
- The writing is unfocused; the camera spends too much time with soldier extras.
- The fight scenes are decent.
- The good: The lettering is very serviceable, and Robo’s expressions are great (even though they are far more cartoony than anything else in the story).
- The OK: the rest of Robo.
- The ugly: Everything else. I’ve included a typical panel below. In the comic, this panel took the top third of a page. If I gave a panel that much space, it would probably be because I needed to show off something interesting, like a carbomb.
- I think the coloring here is notably subpar, but this panel was screwed well before it went to coloring. These characters have not been inked particularly well and it’s difficult to conceive of a more boring way to frame this shot. This really was not interesting enough to deserve that much space. Also, couldn’t we at least get mountains or something in the background for a little bit of flavor? I’ve seen Garfield strips with more setting than this. Finally, what the hell are those white puffs?