Silverwolf’s Den: Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific

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I’d be lying if I said I read a fair amount of Indy comics. Heck, I’d be lying if I said I read more than a few! Luckily, a close friend of mine is a big fan of Atomic Robo, arguably one of the best independent comics released in the last half-decade. This same friend recently lent me Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific, the seventh and most recent volume in the franchise.

For those that don’t know, Atomic Robo is a story about a nuclear-powered robot designed by Nikola Tesla in the 1920s. Given the fact that Robo is, well, a robot, he doesn’t age and the series jumps through time from the early 20th century up to the present day, detailing adventures which craft an alternate history of our Earth. I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume of Atomic Robo when I read it, but did this latest installment live up to the hype?

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is a five comic arc which occurs over the course of a few days in 1951. World War II is over, but a secret group of ultra-loyalist Japanese troops plot to drop a gravity bomb capable of sinking North America. It’s up to Robo and an all-female team of sky-pirates (with jetpacks!) to halt this dastardly scheme.

Brian Clevinger, who many knows as the mind behind the popular webcomic 8-Bit Theater, is Atomic Robo’s one and only scribe. This volume contains the snappy humor, historical references, and wild technology for which the series is infamous. In my honest opinion, however, all of these things were less exciting than in the other Atomic Robo material I’ve looked at. The jokes just didn’t make me smile as much. Furthermore, the She-Devils, while an unquestionably cool group, didn’t receive as much characterization as they should have. I wish there had been one more full comic in this collection just to add more pages of Robo and the She-Devils talking in order to further develop the characters of these tough women.

Concept art for one of the She-Devils. Never let it be said that this series is conventional.

Concept art for one of the She-Devils. Never let it be said that this series is conventional.

Scott Wegener is also an Atomic Robo alum, having drawn the series since its inception. His art has definitely evolved since his early work, and his pencils are very strong this time around. The covers for this mini-series are especially awesome and deserve particular praise. The character designs for the She-Devils, as well as both their tech and that of the Japanese troops, are super cool with a retro flair that fits the story perfectly. My only gripes with the art are some of the long-distance shots look sketchy while some of the battle scenes are too frenetic and appear jostled.

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is a creative, interesting comic collection. It’s by no means the best Atomic Robo stuff out there, but it’s still pretty good. As I said before, I feel like an extra issue or two would’ve benefited this arc and allowed for further character development for the She-Devils. This comic is also written in such a way that you don’t need to know any of Atomic Robo’s backstory to enjoy it, so new readers shouldn’t fear. If you’re looking for a totally unique comic with some retro themes, pick this comic up, though honestly I’d suggest Volume 1 (Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne) over this one.

Pros:

-great art, especially the technology and character designs

-good humor throughout

-cool setting

Cons:

-long-distance drawings and battle scenes are frenetic

-She-Devils don’t receive sufficient characterization

-storyline and humor are weaker than other Atomic Robo comics

Rating:

rating35

 

Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He thinks this volume could have gotten a 5/5 if Doctor Dinosaur showed up for even one panel.

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Silverwolf

Moar Powah's very own Clark Kent.

One Comment:

  1. Pingback: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science Review | Moar Powah!

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