Review - Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2

Pulp in orange juice is gritty. It distracts from the flavor and is not really pleasant to endure. Pulp in comics, on the other hand, is quaint. It's a throwback to the days of comic yore, when comics didn't tackle the more mainstream issues that they do these days. It's an effective device in comics such as Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2.

Published by Red 5 Comics, Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2 is written by Brian Clevinger and illustrated by Ryan Cody, Yuko Oda, Chris Houghton, John Broglia and Joshua Ross, with a cover by Scott Wegener. And it's four stories of pulpy goodness.

The first story is "To Kill a Sparrow," where Sparrow and her colleague are on the run in Nazi Germany. They're on a motorcycle and end up in a dead-end alley. Could be trouble. The second story is called "Monster Hunters." Atomic Robo enlists the help of some of the world's best to capture the Yonkers Devil, only their tactics aren't quite the best for the mission. Of course, Majestic is involved as well, leading to quite a strange ending.

"Leaping Metal Dragon" has Atomic Robo running with Bruce Lee for days. That's it. Just running. Finally, "Atomic Robo vs. Rasputin" features a studious Atomic Robo trying to study in peace, while Thomas Edison uses the ghost of Rasputin to strike back at one of Tesla's creations.

The stories crafted by Clevinger are definitely out there. Atomic Robo has always had a Hellboy feel to it, only in Robo's world the monsters aren't quite as fantastical. That might have to do with Robo's position in history or it might just be he's accepted more as a human since he doesn't have a giant red hand and a subdued desire to end the world.

The Sparrow and Bruce Lee stories almost seems like filler, as really nothing happens. "Monster Hunters" has laid the groundwork best for further exploring a storyline and it's amusing to watch the Yonkers Devil literally run roughshod over Robo and his team. Edison using the ghost of Rasputin to get back at Tesla was probably the most amusing and enjoyable of the stories. It'd be great to see something like that in a standalone series, where great scientists use strange means to get back at other great scientists.

For a work that has multiple artists, there's a nice consistency across the four stories. None of the art styles are so wildly different that you're jarred from one story to the next and overall it feels like one artist is doing the work. The illustrations and coloring really add a nice feel to the work.

The stories in Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2 are relatively stress free. These aren't stories of grand peril threatening the planet or taking a look at the cause du jour. It's just Atomic Robo dealing with whatever life throws at him in the best way he knows how. It's a good, classic throwback to those older days of comics, when you weren't supposed to take them so seriously. It's refreshing.

Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #2 is in stores May 16 with interiors below.