Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #2 Review

Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

The first issue of Dogs of War fell a little short of my lofty expectations and I think, after reading this issue, I know why. I think Clevinger and Wegener were taking themselves too seriously in their attempt to pay homage to WWII and went for a more somber and dire tone to the story compared to the usual battle driven and one-liner ladden Robo formula.

When you're accustomed to reading about a talking robot from WWI that routinely fights giant insects and blows up pyramids, it's a little jarring when they switch over to the serious tone that the first issue had.

While the first issue was still good, with this second issue, the story has shifted back to the old formula that we all know and love. Even the "serious" letter to loved ones that a soldier was writing manages to poke fun at itself with the final line, "And then there's the robots.", when discussing the horrors of war. It still manages to hit those serious tones the first issue overwhelmed us with, but this issue packs in the trademark wit and charm of the original Atomic Robo series and made for a much more enjoyable read.

Continuing from last issue, Robo is busy trying to take down the armoured robot division of the nazi staging ground in this area and we get some great action and moments as Robo gets tossed around before finally disabling the machine. This culminates with Robo and a platoon of soldiers tracking down several more of the robots before being assigned to a special task force later that night.

Along with the main story was the hilarious backup story, which is set in the present day, as Robo and his team debate what they should do with the giant monster about to crush them - whether to fight it or preserve it or bring it back to the lab to study - and how they would go about doing these things. They even have a nice reference to the first series and how Robo destroyed one of Egypt's pyramids. In the end, one of the teammembers takes out a bazooka and blows the monster away before it does anything to them, ending the debate.

Verdict - Must Read. This was exactly what I was expecting from a new volume of Atomic Robo and I can't wait to read the rest of this mini-series.

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