Atomic Robo/Foster Broussard/Moon Girl #1
Title: Atomic Robo in National Science Fair
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Art: Scott Wegener
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Cover: Scott Wegener
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Atomic Robo is one of those titles I may never have found if it wasn’t for Free Comic Book Day, so having that book available every year has become something I look forward to with true, genuine excitement. This year, as always, that excitement turned out to be wholly justified. In the Atomic Robo story we meet a young girl who believes she’s destined to become an Action Scientist, one of the special operatives that work with Atomic Robo, and using her Telluric Interchanger to win the fourth grade science fair seems the best way to do it. It helps, of course, that Atomic Robo is there for the fair. It doesn’t help as much that his arch-nemesis Dr. Dinosaur is there too. I’m a fan of Robo in general, but the Dr. Dinosaur stories tend to be my favorite. He’s the most deliciously incompetent supervillain ever created – a super-intelligent dinosaur, which still makes him kind of a moron compared to Robo, who isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is, but is nonetheless terribly dangerous. He’s also guilty of strangely specific denials (“I do not even know who Tom Baker is!”) and really entertaining moments of destruction. I’d totally read a Dr. Dinosaur miniseries, Brian Clevinger. I would.
Two other stories in this issue…
Title: Foster Broussard in Demons of the Gold Rush
Creator: Trevor Pryce
Writer: David Ziebart
Pencils: Dan Glasl
Inks: Ambert Gant
Colorist: Adam Guzowski
Letterer: Troy Peteri
This is probably the story in this issue I enjoyed least, which is to say, it’s still pretty good. In Victorian England a young man named Foster Broussard is convicted of numerous crimes. As he stands on the gallows, waiting for execution, he finds a way to sweet-talk no less a personage than the queen herself, scoring him a commuted sentence and the chance to go to California to seek the newly-discovered gold. It’s okay, and Foster himself seems cut from the “charming rogue” template quite nicely, but you don’t really get a taste of the series as a whole. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a comedy, an adventure, or even a horror story based on what we’re reading here, and that’s not enough to go on to make me want to buy a new comic.
Title: Moon Girl
Writers: Tony Trov & Johnny Zito
Art: The Rahzzah
Colorist: Gabe Bautista
Moon Girl, on the other hand, definitely gives me a taste of the comic book, and it’s something I wouldn’t mind reading more of. In New York of the 1950s, high-flying heroine Moon Girl is forced into battle with her own former mentor, Satana. The battle is exciting and the artwork is gorgeous. It also helps that Red 5 doesn’t really publish superhero comics. Moon Girl is very close to a superhero title, blending elements of the superhero with Shadow-like mystery men and some 50s-era science fiction to create a character that feels both classic and new at the same time. This is a title I would like to see more of.