Brian Clevinger’s latest Atomic Robo series, REVIEW: Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures, is a collection of short stories and spin-off pieces aimed to please both hardcore fans and casual readers a like. The latest entry, Atomic Robo: RSA #2, does just that.
Clevinger has put together a nice team of artists for this book; some returning to continue stories left off in the first book and some fresh new faces you may not be familiar with. Anthologies can be hit or miss, but let’s make one thing clear: Clevinger is still one of the sharpest writers in the business today, and you won’t miss that here. Every title, from top to bottom, is pretty well written.
The first story, “To Kill a Sparrow,” is a continuation from issue one and features Virginia Hall and The Sparrow; two World War II heroes on a mission to thwart the nazi cause. Last issue we saw the pair interrupt some nazi shin-dig with a bang (or to shamelessly tag ourselves, a kabooooom). Part two is the aftermath of that, which is basically the couple escaping some cranky Germans.
As stated, Clevinger does a great job here. It’s funny at all the right moments and the pace of the book moves fast enough to get the flow moving for a short story. The artist on the piece, Ryan Cody, does a pretty good job of giving it a noir-like feel to it, which works well for the book. Some of the characters look a little off to me, but it’s not enough to take away from anything. At the same time, nothing really struck me as special, either.
The second story “Monster Hunters” is a fun one-shot short with what appears to be the Team Fortress crew of video game fame. For that alone, I am already a fan. The story has Atomic Robo getting together the motley crew for a mission involving the capture of the Yonkers Devil, but things don’t go the way they’re planned and things get bad/hilarious. There’s also a fun little twist at the end, but I won’t spoil it for ya.
While the Team Fortress guys are a fun addition, the story confused me and seemed a little out of place in this issue’s line up. The art, done by Rob Reilly, is probably one of the better drawn pieces in the book, but it just lacks the pulp-feel that the rest of the titles are going for. Even so, the fact that you get to see the Classic Crew in an Atomic Robo title is probably enough to read and enjoy this one.
The third story, titled “Leaping Metal Dragon,” is a continuation from last week and features Bruce Lee. I know; pretty random, and so far we don’t know much else besides the fact that Atomic Robo is just trying (and failing) to train with the legend. However, it’s still fun and fits well in titles collection. Artist John Broglia does an okay job here but I can’t help but nit pick a little; just not a fan of how Broglia draws his Bruce Lee. I know, I know. Small thing, but it just doesn’t look like Lee.
The last story, “Atomic Robo vs Rasputin,” is easily my favorite entry in this book. It just reeks of the random, over-the-top humor that Clevinger is known for; the story is straight up exactly what the title says it is: Atomic Robo fighting the spirit of a Russian historical figure. Uh, what? Artist Zack Finfrock does a pretty awesome job here. I haven’t seen any of Finfrock’s stuff prior to this, but he leaves a good impression and I’m hoping to see him more on this title in the future.
Overall, Atomic Robo: RSA #2 isn’t any ground breaking or industry changing, but it’s a fun, quick read for people to flip though and enjoy. Do not miss Atomic Robo fighting the ghost of Rasputin! Sorry, still hung up on that.