Review - Atomic Robo Volume 4 #1

Red 5 Comics is still a relative unknown when it comes to comics, and it's a shame really. One of their latest releases, Atomic Robo Volume 4 #1, is actually a great joyride of a comic that features Atomic Robo, vampires, scientists, an interviewee named Rex Cannon and Jenkins. The issue starts the "Revenge of the Vampire Dimension" storyline and should serve as an active warning about messing with quantum dimensions. The issue chronicles the frenetic first day of new hire Dr. Bernard Fischer at Atomic Robo's place of employ, Tesladyne HQ. Like anyone else in 1999 he was looking to parlay his academic knowhow into a job at a tech firm, and what better tech firm than Tesladyne HQ alongside THE Atomic Robo himself. The interview quickly turns into the first day on the job for Fischer and while most of us can commiserate with his "trial by fire" first day I don't think we've experienced anything close to what he experiences. He makes his way through it though, and Atomic Robo is perplexed by how the vampires got into their dimension and what exactly happened to temporarily halt the invasion. Writer Brian Clevinger's dialogue is almost nonchalant and is pretty good at conveying that intimidating first day. Shaw is characterized as a geeky scientist who prefers to watch amoeba split then Jenkins split vampires, but his character should be something of a foil to Robo's. The art by Scott Wegener (with coloring by Ronda Pattison and lettering by Jeff Powell) is almost Saturday morning cartoonish but I like it. It keeps the feeling of the comic relatively lighthearted and reminds you that this isn't a comic you should be viewing as a grand treatise on life. Honestly, this issue screams Hellboy and the BPRD. That's definitely not a bad thing, nor do I think Red 5 is intentionally trying to capitalize on the success of the Mike Mignola creation. What they are doing though (at least in my mind) is creating a story that readers can relate to on some note and isn't as fantastical as Hellboy. The storyline is only four issues and I'm curious to see what Dr. Fischer has up his sleeve for figuring out which dimension the vampires came from and how exactly that door got closed. The issue hit stores this week and marks a milestone for Red 5 Comics in that it's the first time in their history that they've got three different titles on the shelf (in addition to Drone #3 and ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction #6).