Atomic Robo

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For the similarly named arcade video game, see Atomic Robo-Kid.
Atomic Robo
Cover art for Atomic Robo Volume One.
Art by Scott Wegener
Character information
First appearance Atomic Robo #1 1st printing, although the 3rd printing came out the same month, it was a few weeks later (October 2007)
Created by Brian Clevinger
Scott Wegener
In-story information
Abilities Standard robotic powers, relative super strength, super eyesight, but nothing overboard powerful
Publication information
Publisher Red 5 Comics
Schedule Generally random, current series is TPB's and Real Science Adventures
Formats Original material for the series has been published as a set of limited series, graphic novels, and one-shot comics.
Genre
Publication date Atomic Robo
October 2007 - March 2008
Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War
August 2008 - December 2008
Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time
April 2009 - September 2009
Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension/Other Strangeness
February 2010 - July 2010
Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science
November 2010 - May 2011
Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X

August 2011 - February 2012
Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific

June 2012 - December 2012
Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur

June 2013 - January 2014
Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle

May 2014 - Ongoing
Number of issues Atomic Robo
6
Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War
5
Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time
5
Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension/Other Strangeness
4
Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science
5
Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X
5
Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific
5
Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur
5
Main character(s) Atomic Robo
Creative team
Writer(s) Brian Clevinger
Artist(s) Scott Wegener
Zack Finfrock
Derrick Dean Fish
Letterer(s) Jeff Powell
Colorist(s) Ronda Pattison
Creator(s) Brian Clevinger
Scott Wegener
Editor(s) Scott Chitwood
Paul Ens
Reprints
Collected editions
Volume 1 ISBN 0-9809302-0-0
Volume 2 ISBN 0980930227
Volume 3 ISBN 0980930251
Volume 4 ISBN 0980930286
Volume 5 ISBN 0980930243
Volume 7 ISBN 098689852X

Atomic Robo is an American comic book series depicting the adventures of the eponymous character, a self-aware robot built by a fictional version of Nikola Tesla, created by 8-Bit Theater writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener. The series is split into several mini-series, each depicting a different era and adventure in Atomic Robo's long life-span.

Publication history[edit]

The series began as a six-issue limited series published by Red 5 Comics starting in October 2007.[1] It was nominated in the "Best Limited Series" category of the 2008 Eisner Awards,[2] won by The Umbrella Academy.[3] Colorist Ronda Pattison was also nominated in the "Best Coloring" category subsequently won by Dave Stewart.[2][3] The first six issues of the series have been collected as Atomic Robo Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne. Atomic Robo Volume 2: Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War was released as a trade paperback on February 18, 2009.[4] The third series, Atomic Robo Volume 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time, was released in trade on December 23, 2009,[5] and a fourth, Atomic Robo Volume 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness, has been released in issue format and will be published in trade in the summer of 2010.[needs update] A fifth volume, Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science, was released in November 2010 and came to its conclusion in May 2011.[6] In April 2012 Atomic Robo Volume 6: The Ghost of Station X became the second Atomic Robo miniseries to be nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.[7] Starting in March 2012, an additional title was published, Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures, in which all writing was done by Brian Clevinger, but there were five different stories or chapters of stories, continued each issue, each drawn by a different artist.

Storylines[edit]

Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne shows some of Robo's adventures in the 20th century, featuring giant ants, a trip to Mars, a walking pyramid, and two showdowns with his nemesis, Helsingard. Volume 1 is currently being released on the iTunes Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch, one issue per month.

Free Comic Book Day '08 - Atomic Robo must stop a rogue Russian scientist from destroying the atmosphere.

Volume 2: Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War deals with Atomic Robo's missions during World War II, fighting Nazi "weird war" projects. Robo must destroy walking tanks known as the Laufpanzers before they end the Invasion of Sicily. He must team up with British spy, the Sparrow, and must work with soldier James Milligan to end the Weird War once and for all.

Free Comic Book Day '09: Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur - Atomic Robo fights Dr. Dinosaur in 1999, refuting his idiotic claims of creating a time machine out of sticks and rocks. Dr. Dinosaur then offers Robo what he claims to be the secret of time travel, which turns out to be a box of active hand grenades.

Volume 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time deals with Atomic Robo fighting against a creature based on Lovecraftian horror. The five-issue story details four battles with the creature, each at a different point in Robo's life.

Volume 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness [8] (titled Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension in its release as individual issues) [9] is a four-issue series of one-shot stories taking place in the space of one week, including a sequel to Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur,[6] entitled Why Dr. Dinosaur Hates Atomic Robo.

Free Comic Book Day '10: Flight of the Terror Birds - Atomic Robo, Benjamin and Lang go hunting for a prehistoric bird.

Volume 5: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science'[10] the fifth series that ran for 5 issues from November 2010 to May 2011. Featuring Robo, Tesla, and Jack Tarot, the man whose picture is on Robo's desk in Volume 4.

Free Comic Book Day '11: National Science Fair - Atomic Robo is the celebrity judge at a science fair when Dr. Dinosaur interrupts the proceedings.

Volume 6: Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X is the sixth series that ran for 5 issues from August 2011 to February 2012. Robo must contend with repeated assassination attempts orchestrated by an unknown enemy with seemingly limitless influence and resources, with the fate of all life on Earth hanging in the balance.

Free Comic Book Day '12: Team Up - To stop the Large Hadron Collider from destroying the universe, Atomic Robo must join forces with his most hated foe - Dr. Dinosaur.

Volume 7: Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is the seventh series, which ran for 5 issues. In the aftermath of WWII, Robo joins forces with a mercenary band of rocket-pack flying women to stop a rogue Japanese super-science counter-attack on America.

Free Comic Book Day '13: Project Saint - Robo fights a robot.

Volume 8: Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur is the eighth series, which ran for 5 issues. While the top-secret government agency Majestic 12 assaults Tesladyne Island, Robo and his team of Action Scientists become trapped in Hollow Earth, whose inhabitants have fallen under the control of Dr. Dinosaur.

Free Comic Book Day '14: Atomic Robo's day of Action Archaeology is complicated by an encounter with the Yonkers Devil.

Volume 9: Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle is the ninth series, which is currently ongoing. Transported back in time to 1884, can Atomic Robo save the wild west from Helsingard's cyborg cowboys before his atomic fuel runs out?

Major characters[edit]

Atomic Robo is a robot possessing "automatic intelligence", created by Nikola Tesla in 1923.[11] He is a core member of Tesladyne Industries, "a thinktank dedicated to exploring the fringes of scientific inquiry", whose Action Scientists often respond to paranormal and supernatural emergencies.[12] Robo has a developed sense of humor, and makes numerous wise cracks at his foes' expense.[13] In the past, he has secretly worked with the United States government as well as NASA. Robo's personality is based on Clevinger's grandfather.

Baron Heinrich Von Helsingard, one of Robo's major enemies, is a Nazi scientist who has attempted to gain immortality, along with godlike power and world domination.[14] His experiments have reduced him to a series of cloned brains preserved in jars and implanted into various robotic exoskeletons, with a new brain becoming 'activated' whenever its predecessor is destroyed. He has been described by Robo as someone who "attacks Tesladyne regularly."

Jenkins is a member of the Action Scientists, who first met Robo when the latter rescued him from the vampire dimension.[11] His almost super-human combat competence represents a running gag for the series, and Robo has been jokingly referred to as his sidekick. Was formerly part of Majestic 12, a government paramilitary organization dedicated to the collection and use of advance technologies.

The Sparrow is a covert British spy with whom Robo teams up to take down Skorzeny during World War II. It is implied that "The Sparrow" is a title passed down an English family of wealthy aristocratic spies as Vanadis implies killing the brother of the WWII Sparrow, and Robo works with the Grandson (Also named Sparrow) in Volume 6, The Ghost of Station X.

Otto Skorzeny is the main antagonist of the second volume. He leads the Laufpanzers, walking German tanks, into battle.

Vanadis Valkyrie is a German scientist whom the Sparrow is sent to assassinate. She is working on her Wehrwolf Formula, to be used in creating Nazi super-soldiers.

James "Scottie" Milligan is a soldier who rescues Robo from the clutches of Skorzeny during World War II. James Milligan is loosely based on Wegener's grandfather, who shares the same name and nickname and also fought in World War II.

Dr. Dinosaur is a dinosaur who claims to be from the past. He seems to be a Deinonychus or Utahraptor. He is a talking, intelligent dinosaur who claims to be a time-traveller from the prehistoric past and frequently flouts traditional logic in asserting his own superiority. He originally appeared in 2009 in the Free Comic Book Day comic titled "Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur". He was also featured in issue 3 of Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension, the Free Comic Book Day comics for 2011 and 2012, and the B-story "The Lizard Man", included in the trade paperback Volume 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness. Brian Clevinger has said that he will reappear in 2013 as a major character in Volume 8, titled Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur.[15]

Atomic Robo first encounters Dr. Dinosaur in 1999 after being sent to Taravai Island in French Polynesia to investigate hikers' reports of a lizard man.[16] Throughout an extended firefight, Robo and Dr. Dinosaur argue about the plausibility of Dr. Dinosaur's claimed origins and agenda. Dr. Dinosaur believes that "perverse mammalian energies from your September 19, 2008 destroyed my world even as it empowered me with unparalleled genius!"[16] He claims that he managed to harness the "specific resonant frequencies" of the mammal energies using crystals, constructs a time machine, and has travelled through time to exact revenge on mammals. Robo is highly skeptical, asserting instead Dr. Dinosaur is an illegal genetic experiment based on the theoretical difficulties of time travel, the fact that Dr. Dinosaur speaks English, and that "real dinosaurs don't have larynxes" and so could not speak at all in the first place. He adds in "Why Dr. Dinosaur Hates Atomic Robo" that he is "modeled after an entirely fictional species from Jurassic Park",[17] which Dr. Dinosaur derides by saying that "your mammal film is nothing but propaganda and lies".[17] These objections to his credibility notwithstanding, Dr. Dinosaur continues to assert that he is, in his words, a time-travelling genius. Finally, in a standoff, Dr. Dinosaur promises Atomic Robo the secret of time travel, which turns out to be a cooler full of hand-grenades.

Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #3 covers the rest of their encounter on Taravai Island. After the explosion of the hand-grenades, Dr. Dinosaur is seen to have captured Atomic Robo in an "anti-gravity bottle",[17] powered by crystals according to Dr. Dinosaur despite being plugged in to an electrical socket. Dr. Dinosaur reveals that he has been studying television broadcasts of Atomic Robo. He plans to cut off Robo's head, mail it to the United Nations, and thus prove that dinosaurs will return to power. He intends to prove that by including a note in the box with Robo's head, which he has signed "H'ssssk". This prompts Robo to argue that Dr. Dinosaur should use a different name, stalling for time so that Jenkins and other Tesladyne scientists can rescue him. One of the scientists is the first to christen H'ssssk "Dr. Dinosaur" in an off-handed comment. Dr. Dinosaur eludes the team from Tesladyne while managing to consistently injure Robo, until he is chased into a sub-basement where it is revealed that he actually does have a massive crystal powering his station. Robo shoots it, causing a massive explosion in which Dr. Dinosaur is presumed dead, although he is seen vowing revenge in the last panel.

The 2011 Free Comic Book Day story [18] tells of another encounter with Dr. Dinosaur at an 4th grade science fair in Boston, where Atomic Robo is attending as a celebrity judge. Meanwhile, a young girl named Emma has built a telluric interchanger based on her grandfather's work which she hopes will impress Atomic Robo enough into letting her join Tesladyne. Dr. Dinosaur appears wearing a coat and hat and attempts to steal the telluric interchanger. When Robo asks how Dr. Dinosaur got the guns he wields, a flashback shows him purchasing them at a gun show, proving his identity by pointing to a picture of Dromaeosaurus in the Big Book of Dinosaurs. Emma ambushes Dr. Dinosaur and steals back her telluric interchanger as Jenkins attempts to crush Dr. Dinosaur with the Tesladyne van. Robo promises Emma that if she continues to apply herself, in ten years she would have a place at Tesladyne while Dr. Dinosaur steals the Tesladyne van. A flash-forward to ten years later shows an older Emma shaking hands with Atomic Robo on Tesladyne Island.

The 2012 Free Comic Book Day story [19] opens with Atomic Robo explaining that the Large Hadron Collider conducted an experiment that has endangered space-time and causality to two graveyard-shift Tesladyne workers. He then introduces an expert on the Large Hadron Collider who discovered the problem at the LHC, revealed to be Dr. Dinosaur. Dr. Dinosaur promises to be able to solve the disturbance with a crystal matrix. As Dr. Dinosaur unpacks his box labelled "crystals", it turns out to hold instead rocket launchers and a remote which he uses to cause an armored Tyrannosaurus Rex to burst through the wall as Dr. Dinosaur declares that "Secretly it was an elaborate ruse!"[19] The T-rex snarls at Dr. Dinosaur, confusing Dr. Dinosaur who complains that it is supposed to obey his commands. Upon examining the remote, he realizes that the only settings he created were "Kill", "Destroy", and "Kill". He runs away as the T-rex's armor opens up to reveal cannons and rockets, with the T-rex even coughing up two small guns that it wields in its tiny arms. Robo catches and threatens Dr. Dinosaur, who explains that he exposed a T-rex egg to "timevolution energies" to cause it to evolve into a killing machine. Robo and Dr. Dinosaur cooperate to turn on the Large Hadron Collider's proton beams, guided by the graveyard-shift workers on spreadsheets. The T-rex is vaporized, Robo is seen to be safe inside a crater, with Dr. Dinosaur again missing, who is seen driving a small car through Switzerland.

Thomas Edison, the famous American inventor and rival of Nikola Tesla, appears in the fourth volume. Following an experiment from 1931 seeking to harness the Odic medium into an immortality drug, he has been transformed into a ghost-like entity that materialized in 1999 in Robo's office complex. In the fifth volume, the details of this experiment - and his defeat at the hands of Robo and Nikola Tesla - are revealed.

Jack Tarot is a vigilante gunman appearing in the fifth volume who acts as Robo's reluctant mentor. He is the son of an industrialist who survived a plane wreck in the far east, where he was rescued by monk's and adapted their zen archery to guns, after which he returned to civilization to inherit the family fortune and become a business man by day and crime-fighter by night. (Vol 5 Issue 3)

Collected editions[edit]

The series are being collected into trade paperbacks:

  • Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (180 pages, June 2008, ISBN 0-9809302-0-0)
  • Volume 2: Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War (also collects Free Comic Book Day story, 160 pages, March 2009, ISBN 0-9809302-2-7)
  • Volume 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time (152 pages, January 2010, ISBN 0-9809302-5-1)
  • Volume 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness (140 pages, September 2010, ISBN 0-9809302-8-6)
  • Volume 5: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science (152 pages, July 2011, ISBN 0-9809302-4-3)
  • Volume 6: Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X (152 pages, June 2012, ISBN 0-9868985-0-3)
  • Volume 7: Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific (152 Pages, February 2013, ISBN 0-9868985-2-X)
  • Volume 8: Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur (152 Pages, June 2014, ISBN 0-9868985-6-2)

Roleplaying game[edit]

In July 2014, Evil Hat Productions published a roleplaying game based on Atomic Robo with input from both Clevinger and Wegener. The game used the Fate (role-playing game system).[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Atomic Robo Debuts October 2007". Red5comics.com. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b 2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named (press release), Newsarama, April 14, 2008
  3. ^ a b The 2008 Eisner Awards: 2008 Eisner Award Winners Comic-Con. Accessed 07 September 2008. Archived 07 September 2008.
  4. ^ deathtoallpoets (2009-05-07). "Atomic Robo Vol. 2 Dogs Of War - Brian Clevinger - Comic Graphic Novel". Heavyink.com. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  5. ^ "Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time". Heavyink.com. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Soon". Nuklearpower.com. 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Eisner Nomination for Atomic Robo!". Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  8. ^ Brian! (2009-07-24). "Robo Vol 4 TPB is out now aaaaaaah!". Atomic-Robo.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  9. ^ Brian! (2009-07-24). "The REturn of Dr. Dinosaur". Atomic-Robo.com. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  10. ^ Brian! (2009-07-24). "Robo Vol 4 TPB is out now aaaaaaah!". Atomic-Robo.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  11. ^ a b "Timeline". Atomic-Robo.com. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  12. ^ "Scott Wegener: Robo Strikes Back: Interviews & Features Archive". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  13. ^ http://www.comicsbulletin.com/features/images/0804/robo/page4.jpg
  14. ^ "Atomic Robo #1: The Will to Power | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News". Major Spoilers. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  15. ^ http://www.atomic-robo.com/2012/12/20/state-of-the-robo-for-2013/
  16. ^ a b Free Comic Book Day 2009: Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur
  17. ^ a b c Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #3
  18. ^ Free Comic Book Day 2011: When Science Attacks"
  19. ^ a b Free Comic Book Day 2012: The Perfectly Legitimate Team-Up Issue
  20. ^ http://www.evilhat.com/home/atomic-robo/

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Interviews[edit]