What to Read #11 – Atomic Robo
First, a couple of announcements.
1) I commissioned a Medusa sketch from Danielle over on Tumblr. Isn’t she beautiful???
2) I went to the doctor today about an ongoing issue. I’m fine, but I need to dramatically cut down on sweets, all caffeine (including chocolate), alcohol, and, oddly enough, mints. This is going to lead to me being tired and cranky much of the time. If you’re actually within my physical sphere of influence… sorry!
3) Thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Catherine, I’ve signed up for 750words.com. It’s a site devoted to helping you meet your writing goals. I really like it so far, so I thought I’d share.
Ok, enough of that. Onto my recommendation for today; Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne by the awesome team of Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Ronda Pattison, and Jeff Powell.
I found this book thanks to the radiant (and only occasionally homicidal) Seanan McGuire and the SF Squeecast. SF Squeecast, if you don’t already know, is billed as “a never-ending panel discussion of vague positivity.” In previous seasons each panalist would bring something to squee about. They’ve changed the format a little bit recently and are aiming to focus more on the panel discussion aspect. This show has been wonderful for my list of media I want to consume.
The SF Squeecast is where I first heard about Alex Bledsoe, the tv show Lost Girl, reminded myself that I wanted to watch Mockingbird Lane, and so many more things. The last two episodes have focused on the Hugo Award nominations. Episode 33, An Alien Invasion in Tight Pants, was all about comics and this is where Seanan introduced me to Atomic Robo. (She is recommending the latest volume for Hugo consideration, but I’m discussing the first volume from 2009.)
The premise of Atomic Robo is that Nikola Tesla made a fully AI powered robot named, appropriately enough, Atomic Robo. After Tesla’s death, Atomic Robo goes on to found the company, Tesladyne, to manage Tesla’s many inventions and ideas. Along the way, Atomic Robo becomes something of a Nick Fury-esque character. He, and eventually, the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne get hired to deal with the strange and mysterious. From secret Nazi bunkers run by mad scientists, to crazed magicians, or mobile pyramids; Atomic Robo can deal with it all. With (usually) minimal structural damage to the surrounding countryside.
The book is humorous in the best way, while still acknowledging the plight of the unaging hero. Atomic Robo is in his 80’s by the present. He’s seen friends, enemies, and even his creator all fade away. That’s a tough place to be for anyone. But, the story never dips into melodrama. The trades are collections of single issue comics, and Vol. 1 has a few complete story arcs, as well as setting up a few things that I expect to stretch on for several books, if not the whole series. I’ve already got Vol. 2 and I plan to order the rest when I get to work today.