THAT’S A SENTENCE I NEVER HEARD BEFORE
ROBO’S BACK! Highlighting a very light week is my first legitimate switch to a digital format, along with finishing Bioshock Infinite (more Friday) and Bioshock 1 again. Also, a 2 day hangover from a wedding related bender, which explains why I’m sitting down to review last week’s comics at 10:30 the night before a new week comes out.
ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADVENTURES #7: Or issue 1 of volume 2 of Real Science Adventures, if you want to look at it that way. The first 6 issues of RSA were an interesting anthology experiment by Team Robo. It was smaller stories taking place in the Atomic Robo universe, given a couple of pages each issue to move on. There were a bunch of fun stories, including a Sparrow/World War 2 tale, Bruce Lee training Robo, and the precursor to the story that’s going to occupy volume 2, a story with the turn of the century “Centurions of Science” and also Annie Oakley and Wong Fei Hung’s father (I think they should be called Science Team 6 BECAUSE IT’S TOPICAL [edit: dammit, there's 7 of them. I'm an idiot]) fighting an old Robo villain. Two problems arose from this format, though: one, a problem for me because I’ve bought and read and reread everything Robo I can get my hands on, was when reprints started showing up. It had the feel of filler, and contributed a bit to the second problem: the issues really exposed some of the flaws of a monthly comics format. When you’re buying comics every week and you have 4 weeks between issues, it’s easy to forget what’s happening in stories, especially if you’re juggling several separate plots for each issue. It’s doubly hard when you start seeing reprints, because these stories were already breezy reads to begin with–it’s rare that I reread old issues before the end of an arc. The first six issues read great in the trade, and they were all very enjoyable stories, but the decision to offer up little bites of several stories made the book less enjoyable to read monthly. That looks to have changed now that RSA has returned, and it doesn’t hurt that the focus is on Tesla’s 7.
The basic plot, where Tesla does magic to a bad guy and explains how it’s science to George Westinghouse while discovering that his big macguffin was robbed, is fun. Erica Henderson, who provides the art and colors, has a distinctly cartoony but incredibly familiar style, and does well keeping even the talky framing scenes fun and interesting to look at. Clevenger’s writing is up to his usual standard, and that standard is great. Overall, I’m glad to have the book back.
[LATE EDIT: I totally forgot to mention that this book is also 75 cents cheaper if you buy it online as opposed to paper, so much love to the Red 5 folks for making it more cost effective for me to go digital for singles and then buy the trade after.]
THUNDERBOLTS #8: Apparently the Venom symbiote can make you have nice eyes now, too. This is very much a transition issue, and despite the amount of blood in it, it’s actually almost slow paced. I really would buy a monthly Venom book drawn by Phil Noto, though. He’s outstanding.
WONDER WOMAN #19: The Wonder Woman “WTF” cover is predicated entirely on whether or not you give a rat’s ass about who she’s dating. If not, at least you get a gatefold Cliff Chiang drawing. First and foremost, Laura Sneddon at the Beat has written a pretty interesting take on the Wonder Woman book–definitely check it out. She hits on a lot of my issues with Wonder Woman, particularly lately–she feels like a secondary character in her own book, the focus is entirely on worldbuilding, and she’s not terribly well characterized. That said, I am certainly sticking around for Azzarello, Chiang and Akins’ New Gods. What can I say, I’m clearly a sucker for old Kirby stuff.
X-MEN LEGACY #9: Do you know how hard it is to cynically undercut your own self-conscious riff on Watchmen at the very beginning, and then pull it off over the course of the next 17 pages and have the reader barely notice? Under almost every other circumstance, this book would have been not only not good but aggressively stupid about it, but Spurrier does a really, really fantastic job with it. There’s a real softie lurking underneath that cynical British wit, and he really shines when he lets it out. This is probably one of my top 3 X-Men runs of all time.
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