I loves me some Atomic Robo. I think I might actually have an unhealthy obsession with Atomic Robo, based on how many times I‘ve written about him. Still, I felt the second volume, Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War, just wasn’t as fun as the first, Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne. I have to admit, I think I’m a little spoiled, given that I was able to enjoy both of the first two volumes in their trade paperback editions (why no hardcovers?). No waiting between issues. Sometimes, I like to enjoy things that way – like the TV show 24. I know half the fun in a cliffhanger is the wait, but there’s just something about instant gratification, you know?
So it’s frustrating having to wait a full month between issues of Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time. And it’s so frustrating because the book is so damn good. Volume 3 in the Atomic Robo series, The Shadow From Beyond Time brings back some of the more fun aspects of the first volume, while bringing something new to the mythos.
As it starts, it’s 1926 and Robo is studying for a test while his creator, Nikola Tesla, is out of town. Two men come knocking one night, one of which is a man named Howard Lovecraft, looking for Tesla, the only man capable of stopping a tremendous tentacled creature that is here to destroy all of existence. Of course, with Tesla out of town, that leaves Robo and some lightning guns to save the day. Madcap hilarity ensues as Robo tries to track the monster as it demolishes through town.
Continue reading my review after the jump!
There’s so much to love about this volume of Robo, it almost borders on butt kissing to even talk about it. The setting of 1926 adds tremendously to the experience, with the technology, the way people speak and dress, and the background setting (including the addition of Lovecraft himself). Of course, this is an Atomic Robo series, which means that we’ll be jumping back and forth in time as the series progresses. It makes me a little sad to think that we may have seen the last of the Roaring Twenties with this week’s second issue, as issue #3 takes place in 1957, #4 in 1971, and #5 appears to be in present day.
See, the Shadow From Beyond Time is, literally, beyond time. Which means that it can exist in multiple times and places simultaneously. I know, it’s an odd concept to wrap your head around, but it totally works under the expert talent of Clevinger and Wegener. Issue #2 comes out this week, and is such a great read that I wanted to immediately re-read it upon finishing. Oddly, despite how much happens in the issue, it’s funny that so little happens too. Robo and Charles Forst chase the creature through the city. But it’s the events that unfold during their pursuit that will have you laughing out loud and pinned to your seat in excitement. A rare accomplishment in comics nowadays.
It’s interesting that some of the hilarity in this issue reminded me of some of SLG’s comics, like Jamie Smart’s Bear and Ubu Bubu. Wegener’s art, and just the insanity of the issue, is sure to appeal to fans of dark humor and high adventure.
I’m not a fan of waiting for the trade…but damn. I kinda wish I had issue #3 right about now.