In Review: Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur #1
The cover: Our quartet of heroes is packed and dressed for action, with Mariana knocking on Robo’s dome. With this image and this outrageous title, how could I not pick this up and give it a try? There’s no credit on the inside cover, but I’m assuming the art is by Scott Wegener with colors by Nick Filardi. I wish the colors had been brighter, because this fades in with all the comics on the shelves. Overall grade: B+
The story: Robo’s watching several news channels debate his being a weapons smuggler (he isn’t), when he receives some intel that cryptids have been sighted in Venezuela. He assembles his team (Bernie, Vikram and Mariana) and off they go. The reason for their trip is because the sighting is suspiciously close to Kukenan Tepui, where Marconi built Science City, the heart of the Nazi space program. Once landed and deep in Canaima National Park, the group discovers tire tracks where there shouldn’t be any. Back at Tesladyne Island, Robo’s HQ, and arrival creates an explosive problem for those left behind. I liked the humor this problem bought with it and it’s going to have to connect with the A story of our heroes in Science City, I’m sure. Inside a crater a discovery is made, with a big, better and hilarious reveal on Page 21. This was just fun to read. Thumbs up to writer Brian Clevinger. Overall grade: A
The art: Scott Wegener’s art looks more like freeze frames from an animated movie than “comic book” art. Robo looks cool, as a robot should, and the baddies that are revealed on Pages 21 and 22 look awesome. I really liked the cave interiors and Page 19′s three panel shot against the splash (so to speak) was a smooth way to show the fall of each character. My only whine: if it wasn’t for Mariana’s chest I wouldn’t have known she was female. The best image was Page 12′s second panel, which made me laugh out loud. Overall grade: A-
The colors: I wanted to see a good combo of bright science glows, a living green jungle and a brown, rocky underworld. Nick Filardi does all of these, but with faded colors. I wish some primary colors had come in at some point. I wanted something–anything–to pop, and the only two things that did was a tie and someone’s Hawaiian shirt. This is the second Red 5 comic I’ve read and I really think the dreary colors are hurting sales. Why would anyone choose this book when it looks as though each page has been exposed to the sun? Things should be brightened! Overall grade: C+
The letters: Good job by Jeff Powell throughout, with the highlight being the villain’s font on Page 21. Overall grade: A
The final line: This fills my science fiction-robot-Indiana Jones-dinosaur comic craving! I just wish it were a brighter experience. Overall grade: B+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as possible, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.