William Kulesa's Reviews > Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne

Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne by Brian Clevinger
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M 50x66
's review
Jan 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, graphic-novels
Recommended for: Fans of Hellboy, pulp, steampunk, and science-fiction
Read on January 06, 2010 — I own a copy

In many ways, Atomic Robo is very similar to Mike Mignola’s Hellboy as it deals with a non-human protagonist living in a world populated by humans that frequently misunderstand him or seek to use him in some manner. Unlike Mignola, series creator Brian Clevinger doesn’t mine fables, fairy tales and myths for his inspiration but pop culture and the mythology of the American experience. Throughout the series Robo finds himself facing giant ants straight out of the 1954 B-movie classic “Them!,” Nazi scientists, giant mummies, Lovecraftian horrors, making the first “manned” trip to Mars. Adhering firmly to the American dream, Robo has made himself a successful businessman and is something of a celebrity. All of the series’ weird science is infused with a heavy does of pulp and steampunk sensibilities, creating a truly eclectic and unique story. Robo’s recognition by the U.S. government as a human being and American citizen also hearkens back to a favorite film from my youth, “Short Circuit,” though he doesn’t get the spiffy gold plated treatment that Johnny 5 does.
It is easy to imagine Clevinger as mad as his villainous Nazi scientist Baron Heinrich Helsingard, as he gleefully throws the many elements of Atomic Robo into some kind of literary blender. Fortunately, despite the disparate and numerous elements, Clevinger succeeds in fitting them together seamlessly - I suspect it may be due to the fact that he clearly picks up the proverbial pen with his tongue firmly set in his cheek. Atomic Robo is not just pulpy, B-movie science fiction, but witty and frequently laugh out loud funny.
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