Related to Monday's post, a couple of days ago Amazon recommended I buy a dutch oven. Which was kind of sweet, that it assumed I can actually cook. Really it was just confusing, but at least it wasn't insulting.
Atomic Robo: The Ring of Fire #3, by Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Anthony Clark (colors), Jeff Powell (letters and design) - Since I'm buying through an online thing now, I should have gotten the subscription variant cover. It was more dynamic.
Ultra has, by appropriating scientists and funds from wherever they please, gotten their giant robots up and running and combating the Biomega. They're sort of winning, though the Titans are getting trashed in the process, and thousands of people are still dying in the battles. Robo and his bunch are working with China's defense industry to build Robo a new body, and devise their own plan to save the world. The former involves a different design of Tesla's as a power source (since no one knows how he built an atomic heart for Robo that small and that efficient). The latter seems to involve supersonic nuclear torpedoes. Hopefully that's a viable plan against the Biomega version of Krakoa, the Living Island, because that's now a problem.
I understand why the Tesladyne bunch would have misgivings about working in the labs of yet another government super-secret science facility, and would be worried their work could be used to further possible nefarious schemes. Even so, I wasn't entirely comfortable with Robo's new power supply being a device which lets him siphon up to 1% of China's nuclear energy output from anywhere in the world, while neglecting to mention to the country in question they did that. Feels distinctly dishonorable. Though I have to wonder if the military has video cameras in the labs, and how the countermeasures Broughton designed can stop lip-readers. Not a problem with Robo, but Broughton is a human, speaking with a human mouth in English.
Speaking of Robo's new look, it's not bad, although his neck having a collared look will take some getting used to. And just offhand, I feel like it isn't as expressive as his old look. Wegener had a real knack for getting across emotions and reactions on a character with not much in the way of facial features. Just going by this issue, it wasn't there. Maybe because Robo tends to show emotion when things start going wrong, and they haven't yet. I wish Wegener could have gone nuts with the Titan designs, but they're being built for the military, and sticking to a standard design would make sense. He gets to have some fun with the Biomega, though, so it all balances out.
Harley Quinn and Power Girl #5, by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Justin Gray (writers), Stephane Roux (artist, pages 1-9 and 19-21), Flaviano (artist, pages 10-18), Paul Mounts (colors), Marilyn Patrizio (letters) - Vartox, it's generally considered polite to ask before introducing tentacles into the, well, I'm not sure what to call that. Hot tubbing, I guess.
The Harvester of Sorrow is a giant head that drives people mad and then feeds on the suffering. He's also so large communication is basically impossible, but his pores do serve as an easy way to get rid of Oreth. Harley decides to try getting inside to wreck things, gets captured, and ends up succeeding in her plans when the Harvester tries to feed on her sorrow, and gets a helping of the Joker, which drives it nuts. And also Harley, who rips the mustache clean off Vartox' face. Ow. Then she kind of snaps out of it in time for everyone to reach a safe distance from the explosion, and when Vartox returns, facial hair restored, he proposes to Power Girl.
I have absolutely no idea who the guy in the leather jacket and sunglasses was that Harley imagined right before charging into the Harvester. Was it Hal Jordan? The sunglasses were green. OK, the Internet tells me it's from a Bollywood film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which doesn't really explain anything, but I guess makes sense considering we're talking about Harley. I should stop expecting this mini-series to make sense. Like what the inner Joker in Harley was? Something the Joker actually put in her, or just the impulses that he would encourage, but which she mostly suppresses or redirects these days. If we're working off the origin they gave her in the first new 52 Suicide Squad book, he threw her into his vat of toxins, which had to do something to her mind. And that might just be the part she remembers, but not all that happened necessarily.
Flaviano and Mounts did combine to make her look suitably scary in the pages afterwards. The laughing while crying, the almost rictus grin where the teeth are clenched. The way she pounces on Vartox, but she jutting out her lower jaw in an aggressive fashion, even as she sort of tousles his hair. It's maybe the closest I've seen Conner and Palmiotti come to touching on Harley's portrayal in other DC stuff of the last few years. She's hurting people, but not restricting it to "bad" guys or whatever, but also allies. She only has limited control. So it becomes less funny and more terrifying how unconcerned she is with what she's doing.