Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #3 Review

Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

Atomic Robo continues its second mini-series with another action packed issue. While still set during WWII, this issue jumps ahead slightly from last issue's ending, where Robo was tasked with tracking down the remaining nazi walking tanks.

Surprisingly, after spending time introducing Everett and the other human troops in the first two issues, where Everett was recruited by Robo to help with his mission to destroy those tanks, these supporting characters are no where to be seen. In their place is a new character, The Sparrow (see cover), a British covert operative. I have no problemw ith this little switch of the supporting cast, but assumed we'd be following Lt Everett and Robo throughout the series.

The plot of this issue focuses on both Robo and Sparrow as they try, unaware of each other's efforts, to infiltrate a nazi train and take out Otto Skorzeny, the nazi in control of the walking tanks who nearly captured Robo in the previous issues. This leads to the two into conflict as they step on each other's toes in their attempts to take out Skorzeny, which ended up being a trap set for the two all along.

During the infiltration sequence, we were treated to some excellent dialogue between Skorzeny and a woman whom, I believe, is the brains behind the designs of the walking tanks, among other nazi creations. I really liked the way they so casually discussed the nazi movements and Hitler's decisions and it humanized these villains in the process. Many writers fall into the trap of having all nazi's be the, "arrgh, we're evil and eat babies and because we're nazis we don't need motivations!", trap and it was nice to see these being people instead of hiding behind the nazi card.

The biggest surprise of the issue came at the end as Robo, who has been all but indestructible in the adventures we've seen him in so far, is taken out by an EMP or tazer-like gun as he tried to save The Sparrow, leaving the two heroes stuck on a train about to go off the tracks and showing us that Robo can, in fact, be hurt / disabled - something unheard of up until now.

Verdict - Must Read. Another great read from the Atomic Robo team. Fleshes out the villains of the piece, introduces a new character and puts Robo in some real conflict that shows he's not invincible.

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