Upon further reflection, I may have been overly harsh towards Fraction about John Aman in yesterday's post. It has been previously established Aman can exist and do damage on a spiritual plane (or against spirits, whichever). He still shouldn't be this successful given the power of some of the people arrayed against him. I know Strange ain't what he used to be, but come on.
Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #2 has apparently never shown up at the store. Which is disappointing but not devastating.
Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #3 by, Brian Clevinger (words), Matt Speroni (colors), Jeff Powell (letters), and Ryan Cody (artist for "To Kill a Sparrow"), Guruhiru (artist for "Tesla's Electric Sky Schooner"), John Broglia (artist for "Leaping Metal Dragon") - This is why it isn't devastating. Having Robo to read, albeit out of order, is better than no Robo at all. So, your opinion: Is Robo mimicking the Shadow or the Spider on that cover?
They shifted the format a little this month, cutting it to three stories (plus a reprint from Volume 1). The ongoing stories are still just 4 pages, which is still hampering the momentum. "To Kill a Sparrow" does a little better since we see Sparrow and Artemis not only elude capture, but capture their attempted captors, and we learn what their mission is, which may have been established in issue 2, but I haven't read that yet, so I wouldn't know, would I? "Leaping Metal Dragon" is just Robo learning how to use his strength more efficiently by kicking posts. He makes sarcastic comments, Bruce Lee responds in a calm, but teasing manner, that's about it. "Tesla's Electric Sky Schooner" is the real winner, since it's a complete story which introduces us to Tesla's team of adventurers (as mentioned in Volume 3), while on a mission to destroy a war zeppelin. And as my love for the Blimpmaster and Colonel von Zeppelin might tell you, I like stories where bad guys use airships. I don't know what Brunel intended it for, but that's OK. The story certainly made me want to see more of their adventures.
All the artists do a fine job, especially Guruhiru, since their story gives them the widest array of things to draw, but again, I want to give credit to Matt Speroni, the colorist, for giving each story it's own look that matches the story. "To Kill a Sparrow" is set during a grim period of war, in occupied France, at night, so everything is very dark, greys and blacks, matching their furtive movements and grim faces. The Sky Schooner story is much brighter, sharper color, enhancing the art and giving the story the feel of an animated feature. Leaping Metal Dragon fits somewhere in between. It's not sepia-toned, but there's a faded aspect to the colors that suggests a flashback, and also gives the story a placid feel, which makes sense. Even though Robo's being frustrated and snarky, he's still not fighting for his life, simply learning something new. It's not (yet) the high-risk situation he normally finds himself in.
Atomic Robo: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1 by, Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Nick Filardi (colors), Jeff Powell (letters) - You probably can't make it out in the cover image I'm using, but the person in the jetpack painted a shark tooth grin on her helmet. The WWII aviation lover in me appreciates the nod to the P-40.
Robo's test-flying a jet in 1951 when he's attacked by odd craft. He's then saved by several people in jetpacks. People who turn out to be women. Women who have a secret base on an uncharted island, where they fight using the stuff various nations left behind after the war. The people they're fighting against are also doing this, and some of them aren't willing to accept the war is over. These someones also found the She-Devils island, so that'll be bad. And Robo may object to his wrecked jet prototype (looks like an F-86, sweet!) being classified as "salvage". So we'll see how that goes.
I was going to comment about Robo's surprise at his rescuers being women, but I don't want Clevinger to show up and yell at me. I mean, it'd be cool if he commented, but preferably not to rail against me. Frankly, it isn't really that frequent, and I had come up with an explanation that worked in my head, but still probably better to move on.
So, yeah, it's an interesting start. Air pirates are always fun (as attested to by Crimson Skies being in my Top 5 XBox games, as you will see if I ever get around to a Favorite Games: XBox post), and I like the idea of there being long-term repercussions to war beyond those we normally associate with it. I think Scott Wegener likes drawing flying scenes. At the very least, he's quite good at it, so one hopes he enjoys it. Also, the panel where we see the view Hazel told Robo about works very well. Even though we're seeing it from somewhere outside, rather than flying over it, Wegener and Filardi really sell it with the placid ocean, the scattered stars, and the silent islands jutting up from the ocean, all in these muted reds and deep blues. Beautiful panel.
Like I said, Atomoc Robo review day is always a happy day. Now I have to consider whether I should add that "aviation" label I keep thinking I've added when I'm adding a "sherlock holmes" label. And maybe a "sergio leone" label while I'm at it.