Atomic Robo #4 (Red 5 Comics)
by Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener & Zack Finfrock
Judging from the many Best of 2007 lists I’ve read online in the past few weeks, Atomic Robo has developed a strong following in the comics blogosphere, and for good reason. Writer Brian Clevinger has managed to capture the sense of fun and adventure that’s made such comics as Hellboy so appealing; he’s just approach the same sort of adventure comic from a science-fiction perspective rather than gothic horror. Atomic Robo — both the title and the character — boasts a great sense of humor, and I love how Clevinger incorporates real-world figures, past and present, into the oddball action and exploration. The writer also delivers an accessible script that anyone can enjoy; I missed the second and third issues of this series, yet I had no problem diving right back into the fun. The rivalry/enmity between the title character and a certain theoretical physicist stands out as the highlight of this particular issue, and I like how it’s mirrored in the backup story, featuring the continued antagonism of Clevinger’s re-imagining of Thomas Edison. Another big advantage of this premise — and another trait it has in common with Hellboy — is that the creators have crafted a property that allows them to tell stories from a variety of periods in industrial history.