Kingbeast's Lair

Growling about the RPG industry and my gaming life. RPG and anime reviews from a passionate fan. (Formerly John's Hero HQ.)

Comics Reviews – Atomic Robo Trade Paperbacks And Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology

February 03, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Fun Reads, Media Interests

Atomic Robo Volume 5

-== Atomic Robo Trade Paperbacks ==-

Author: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener
Layout: 6 5/8″ x 10 1/8″, 152 pages, softcover, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Year Published: 2011

-== What is it? ==-

Atomic Robo is a light adventure comic about a robot created and then fathered by Nikola Tesla. The series in penned by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Scott Wegener. I will actually be reviewing the first six trade paperbacks of the series. I purchased these from my friendly local comic store.

-== What I Like ==-

The entire run of Atomic Robo has a light pulpy feel to it. Characters dive out of vehicles and jump from one frying pan to the next. Each story takes up roughly one trade paperback. The tone is very light and the books can be read quickly.

The main character, called simply “Robo”, is fantastic. Even though he is nearly indestructible and super strong he has a sense of naiveté that is charming. In many situations the reader actually relates more to Robo then his supporting cast.

One interesting aspect of the books is that different stories appear in different time periods. Robo is essentially immortal so Clevinger and Wegener have fun moving stories around in his history. It makes for fun reading…what will Robo be wearing next?!?

Wegener’s artwork for Atomic Robo is light and bright. It conveys a strong sense of comedy and action. Though the artwork is light it is a good fit for the series.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

Over the course of the six trade paperbacks that I read some stories are great and others are just fair. Some Atomic Robo tales just don’t have enough emotional impact. Volume 5 was my favorite of the collection I read. This volume covers Robo’s early days in the 1930’s. The story features a really fun love interest as well. Yeah, you read that right…robotic love in all its glory. 😀

-== Summary ==-

If you are looking for a fun adventure series with lots of pulp action then Atomic Robo will be your cup of tea. Another cool aspect of the series is that it is being made into an RPG by the fine folks at Evil Hat Games. I definitely plan to check that out as Evil Hat equals gaming goodness. (Here is a link to the Atomic Robo RPG site.) And remember…all the cool robots wear pants! 😉

I give it 7 out of 10 paws.

You can get copies of Atomic Robo Volume 5 thorugh at this URL for $14.22.

Batwoman Volume 1

-== Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology ==-

Author: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams III
Layout: 7″ x 10 3/8″, 160 pages, hardcover, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: DC Comics
Year Published: 2012

-== What is it? ==-

Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology is a collection of Batwoman issues 0 through 5 in hardcover format. It tells the story of a new Batwoman (aka Kate Kane). I am reading a copy that I purchased from my friendly local comic book store.

-== What I Like ==-

Normally I start with the writing but this time I am starting with the artwork. The artwork by J.H. Williams III for Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology is frankly mind blowing. It includes jagged panels that go all over the page followed by pages that wash over a spread of two pages. The artwork is filled with stunning panoramas. This is masterful stuff.

The coloring is also wonderful. Dave Steward changes from watercolor washes to harsher shadows quickly and convincingly. Each page feels like a piece of art.

The writing for Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology from J.H. Williams III is also pretty good. The stories involve a really inventive street class villain. This villain provokes strong motivations for Kate Kane and the various side characters. By the end of the book you feel like you are just scratching the surface of a very complicated protagonist with a lot of angles.

The comic has a sexy adult feel that is not often seen in comics in the main DC line. I like the feeling and tone of Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

There is a lot to like about this graphic novel but there is one thing that might offend some delicate readers. Williams does not hold back on the fact that Kate is a lesbian with an active sex life. I personally do not find the scenes distasteful but I can see how this might offend some folks.

Not sure if this is a fair complaint but in the second Batwoman trade paperback Williams gives up the artist duties after an issue or two. This severely hurts the series in my opinion. As this is a review of the first trade I’m not sure if that is fair but it is important to know if you get hooked on his artwork like I did. 🙂

-== Summary ==-

Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology is a knockout product. It hits square in the jaw then leaves you wanting more. BIFF! POW! NANANANA…BATWOMAN! 😀

I give it 9 out of 10 paws. has copies for $16.24 at this URL.

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