Atomic Robo Volume 6: The Ghost of Station X
Published by Red 5 Entertainment
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Jeff Powell
The latest volume of Atomic Robo takes the Sparrow crew across the world on a hunt for a building gone missing. If you’ve never enjoyed an Atomic Robo story, this, as all of the volumes, is a great jumping on point. You meet all of the poignant characters and quickly see the roles that they play on the Tesladyne team.
What starts off as a mission to save an endangered Space Shuttle (with a whole ticking clock scenario) quickly turns into a deeper conspiracy full of action, humor, and scientific jargon. Clevinger’s story is quick-witted and grounded in fact with our scientific characters filling in the gaps for us through clever exposition and six dollar words. Robo is no light reading and some of it may be challenging, but it gives all the characters their own unique voice. Plus, for every character with a large, scientific vocabulary, there’s one with simpler speech patterns.
Artist Scott Wegener gives us the physical comedy and big action sequences that we’ve all come to love from the series and though at times it can be difficult to figure out what’s happening within an action sequence, but the time you get to the end of it, all of the puzzle pieces have fallen into place. Great splash pages and technically sound drawings round out the end of the trade. There’s a lot of talking heads in the first few issues (like, a LOT), but the action payoff to come is absolutely worth all the setup.
Colors by Ronda Pattison give the word a tactile feel and subtly suggest an old War time color palette to keep with the Robot’s origin. During the final showdown in the book, there’s some great use of colors on the big bad that keep things visually intriguing.
Letterer Jeff Powell rounds out the talented cast of creators and his sound effects are solid and appropriate, never pulling the reader out of the action. There’s a significant amount of dialog within this book and we run into every kind of word balloon ever invented along with tons of stylized balloons. This man should be given a bonus for keeping everything straight and easy to read. Because there is so much dialogue to read, he and Scott Wegener seemed to have planned very well to ensure plenty of room for it within the panels.
Overall, I enjoyed this volume very much. I’ve always thought that Robo would do well as a serialized television program and this volume further proves that. Our current CGI technologies should allow someone to bring Robo’s adventures to the screen and I would hope that Clevinger and Wegener would be right there to help them create it.
Robo is big action, and big fun… something that comics should always be.
Wes Locher is a lover and writer of comic books. He gets sad when comics aren’t fun. weslocher.com