Robert W Monk review Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire #1…
Atomic Robo disappeared two years ago when Tesladyne was invaded by Majestic 12 and transformed into ULTRA, a task force leveraging the U.S. surveillance and military industries against scientific pursuits deemed to be hazardous. Now, the few remaining Action Scientists finally have a plan to find Robo, but they’ve got to dive deep into ULTRA territory to do it! (And meanwhile, giant monsters from the sea might destroy all of civilization.)
I must confess to being a bit of a n00b when it comes to Leet, the coding geek-speak tellingly referred to in Atomic Robo – the Ring of Fire #1. That’s something that got old without me even noticing it. As with Atomic Robo – a great looking comic book saga created by Brian Clevinger (8-Bit Theater) and Scott Wegener that has recently joined the ranks of IDW publishing – there are vast swathes of the comic book world that happened without my knowledge… oh well, I’m sure they’ll get over it.
Anyway, as with many other long running stories, getting into Robo isn’t completely straightforward. The reader is pitched headlong into the weirdness of the story’s parallel world and must contend with panel after panel of groundwork on what’s proceeded. As a narrative device this is a bit cumbersome, but as with all introductory sessions there’s bound to be a little discomfort!
Thankfully, Wegener’s artwork is engaging and vibrant, with a classic cartoonish take on layout and style. The plot itself – as far as I could discern – largely focuses on the Action Scientists attempts to locate where their leader Atomic Robo is. He’s been missing for two years and the team has got back together to try and figure out exactly where in space and time he is. Oh, and they’re also trying to escape the attention of the heavily armed militaristic group ULTRA.
While Robo himself only makes the briefest of appearances, there’s enough in this issue to intrigue and create anticipation for further progression… however, some background reading is recommended.
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and writer.