Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I Bought 9/6/2016 - Part 2

Speaking of comic-related websites, what the hell is going on with the Savage Critics site? At the time I'm writing this, it's been like three weeks since I could get it to load. It just keeps saying there's some database connection issue.

Atomic Robo: The Temple of Od #1, by Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Anthony Clark (colors), Jeff Powell (letters) - Rushing towards a tank in a motorcycle while your passenger dual-wields handguns at whatever is chasing you? That's a pretty solid image to use to sell the book.

It's the late 1930s, and Robo is sucked into investigating a Chinese scientist believed to be in the hands of the Japanese Army, developing some of sort super-weapon, possibly working off the Odic energies Edison was trying to harness in the Atomic Robo: The Deadly Art of Science mini-series. And Claire Chennault decides it would be a good idea to send the most recognizable face in the world, as one of the Japanese lieutenants puts it, on a spy mission. He does have the aid of the Chinese resistance, and also the help of Helen, who along with her father, had been working with Robo in that Deadly Art of Science story.

Helen and the leader of the resistance in Shanghai, Chen Zhen, seem to be in a relationship, and I get the impression Helen doesn't want him to know she and Robo were almost, sort of, in a relationship. She was definitely the first woman he shared a kiss with. Not sure how that'll play out.

I'm not sure if this is true, but I feel like Robo is more glib when he's younger. His present day self (in Ring of Fire for example) seems a little more weary, whereas his past self is more like Spider-Man in that he can't help himself. I could be wrong, but continuing to make wisecracks when captured by Lieutenant Ichiro, including one about how they have the same barber, felt like something his older self wouldn't do. Ichiro's extremely scowling face in that panel, followed by his very cheerful one in the next as he announces he's planning to dissect Robo were both some good work by Wegener. I like Ichiro's design in general. He's kind of wearing a proto, radiation/space suit, but the wraps around his hands have that badass fighter feel to it. Which is a good combination for a guy utilizing strange energies to punch the crap out of Robo.

Henchgirl #10, by Kristen Gudsnuk - It's Coco's bored expression as she and Mari get ready to pounce I enjoy most there.

Mary is on the run, the cops are questioning her roommates and going through her stuff, so she's forced to turn to Coco. Which means listening to Coco's "tragic" origin story, and finding out she's been booted out of the Butterfly Gang. Fred won't take her calls, so there's only one last, desperate plan to fix things. She's been posing as Celestial Angel Amelia's biggest fan on Twitter, and lures her and Fred into a trap, depowering Amelia with anti-magic serum, stealing that healing cape away from Fred, and then the timewatch. Which she uses to go back to when she was 7, but with her adult mind and knowledge. So now she's smart, and confident, and can pass herself off as being psychic. Which is enough to convince her parents to let her join an afterschool program for superkids. Apparently the super-strength wasn't enough. Anyway, things seem to be going well, but there are two problems: One, she feels guilty about Fred, and about only using this future knowledge to help herself, and two, Fred breaks the watch, which brings her back to the present, leaving her 7-year old self very confused and with no clue what's happening. So everything is even worse now.

Some of the looks 7-year old Mary makes in this issue are pretty creepy. The one as Amanda tries teasing her, just before Mary starts giving her hell for having pigtails, that was a little demented. I really believed she'd been waiting years for the chance to get Amanda back for teasing her, and she was a little too excited about it. But it's interesting that Mary had gone into the past ostensibly to do things right this time. She tells herself to be a good person, and unmake her bad decisions. But everything she does still seems to be in service of herself, up to the point where she cracks under some guilt and tries to warn people about the recession and the alien invasion. I don't know if that's meant to be the lingering effect of the evil serum (I assume that's still in effect on her brain), or simply that she couldn't see the difference in what she was doing and what would actually constitute being good.

At any rate, she just keeps digging a deeper hole for herself, and I'm curious how Gudsnuk intends to dig her out of it, if she actually plans on doing so. I'm not sure how much further down she can take it though, before it's going to strain against the overall tone of the book. Because she's still working some jokes in there, about young Mary commenting how big her mom looks to her, and her mother taking that to be some reference to post-pregnancy pounds, or the cops not having money for evidence bags and being reduced to sandwich bags.

No comments: