Friday, August 29, 2014

What I Bought 8/27/2014 - Part 2

OK, this is what I was really after, since the store did not receive my Atomic Robos, apparently. Diamond really is a crap organization, run by lazy incompetents. As someone who likes to keep things organized, I have this ugly vision in my head of their operation, just chaos, comics strewn about with no rhyme or reason to it. It's probably not like that, but it's a hard image to shake.

Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #2 & 3, by Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Anthony Clark (colors), Jeff Powell (letters) - Damn, how was Robo able to procure all these fine clothes for himself in the Old West? Look at that jacket. It's fantastic.

Robo and the Marshall attempt to hold off Butcher Caldwell and his men while the patrons of the saloon escape out the back. Robo's even sporting some sort of energy pistol, probably non-lethal, also probably running off his own (rapidly depleting) power cell. It doesn't much matter. Caldwell has a lot of guys, and they have dynamite, and Robo is only narrowly able to save Doc Holliday. The Marshall is blown clear to safety, and decides he'll be going after Caldwell, who seems to have taken the townspeople. Robo's coming as well, naturally, while Holliday is a more reluctant member. The kind sporting handcuffs because of that warrant for murder. The old man who started all this died of his wounds, but gave Holliday a coin, and a schematic for a large gun. For the record Robo, no, they did not have battleships in the sense you're thinking, in 1884.

Our trio catch up to Caldwell in the town of Monte Vista, where Caldwell loads the prisoners on to a train bound for the mountains. Robo boards the train, and thus begins an extended gun battle between an atomic robot, and a bunch of outlaws. And this time Robo's definitely not using non-lethal rounds. He's also running out of fuel, but he frees the hostages, and since the rescue required decoupling the train car they were held in, he comes up with another plan for them to find where everyone had been getting taken. What's waiting at the end is Helsingard, and an army of, I don't know what. Primitive cyborgs? Androids? He's using people, their minds for something, and since it's Helsingard, we can be assured it's nothing good.

My guess is he's trying to make some sort of organic computer by using the computational potential and processing speed of human brains. And that computer will drive whatever massive war machine he's going to attach those guns to. Aw crap, I just noticed he's got one of those maps on his wall. The one of the world, with "Projekt: Vormachtstellung" above it. One of those popped up in the first volume of Atomic Robo, in one of his other bases. Of course, he was a cloned brain in a jar by then. Wait, is he planning to overwrite copies of his mind on those of all these other people? Is that why there are so many extras brains of his lying around. I'm not sure which idea is more horrifying.

So yeah, this is gonna be interesting. As mentioned when I reviewed issue 1, I was completely on board with Robo in the Old West. I wasn't expecting Doc Holliday, and I definitely wasn't expecting Helsingard, but these are both welcome surprises. It's too bad Robo is so low on power; it would be a lot of fun to see him tear through what passes for advanced technology in the 19th century. As it is, I enjoyed Caldwell's men opening up on Robo with everything they've got, and his response being, 'Ow! Hey stop! OW!' Those guys are so outclassed, but they just keep shooting. And throwing dynamite, which does seem to bother him a little more.

I think, though I'm not sure, Clark is dimming the color of Robo's eyes as a signal of his lack of power. Like he's trying to get by with the bare minimum across the board so he can stretch this out as long as possible. Or maybe it's an overall look. A lot of the panels look either dusty or faded. Could just be everything being made out of wood gives it a drab appearance, or that they're in a still somewhat untamed land which has a lot of dust. Could go either way.

Wegener hasn't had to draw much of anything weird so far, outside of the motorized unicycle Robo has, but he's doing his usual strong work. I especially like some of the silent, reaction panels, where he gets to sell us on something with the expressions. Holliday's reactions in #2, first to the bar catching on fire, then to the appearance of TNT, were both quite good. OK, the TNT one isn't totally silent, but it's still the wide-eyed, slightly drooped mouth look that sells it.

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