Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Atomic Robo: Shadow From Beyond Time #1 Review

Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

While the second volume of Atomic Robo failed to captivate like the first one did, I still loved the character and world that Clevinger and Wegener were creating and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That said, I was caught off guard by this third volume, as I must have missed the announcement of it and the solicitation for it. Add in Diamond "forgetting" to deliver copies of this third volume to the entire east coast and delaying it another week and I was starting to think I was being punished for not paying enough attention to one of my favourite books.

Thankfully, I was able to endure the extra week, despite succumbing to temptation and viewing scans from the issue online, which all ended up in the Moments of the Week last week, and, boy, am I glad I finally got myself a copy of this book. Where the second volume went with a more traditional style of storytelling, which focused on a flashback to WWII, this issue proved that the third time is the charm as I haven't laughed out loud at an issue or been this entertained with a comic since the first volume was published.

The setup for this flashback tale consists of Robo being confronted by two former acquantinces of Nikola Tesla, Robo's creator. They are seeking help from Tesla, who is off on some trip at the moment, and settle for Robo after some hilarious dialogue and basic explainations.

As it turns out, the two acquantinces turn out to be the fathers of modern supernatural and paranormal fiction, Charles Fort and HP Lovecraft, and Lovecraft ends up being possessed by the same Lovecraftian monster that the duo helped Tesla stop many years earlier. Clevinger has managed to integrate these two obvious influences on his writing into the Atomic Robo universe much in the same way he did for Nikola Tesla for Robo's origin. It's fun, tongue in cheek and just plain works in the context of this story and setting and having Lovecraft possessed by a version of his own Cthulhu monster is just too good to be true.

Verdict - Must Read. One of the most polished Robo scripts to date, excellently paced and beautifully drawn, this is an excellent start to the third volume of Atomic Robo and you do youself a disservice if you aren't picking this book up.

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