Not many comic books improve with their second issue. Generally, writers and artists put everything they got into the first. First issues want to catch the readers with their debut so that they stay around. Most of the time the second issue of a comic book series is all setup. It’s usually the quiet reprieve from the action before the build-up to the climax that is still a couple issues to come. Atomic Robo is not like that at all. In fact, Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2 is better than the first issue!
In my review of the first issue, I was very positive of the entire series of Atomic Robo, and for good reason. Atomic Robo is rarely a book that you can predict. Generally, it fires at all cylinders at all times, throwing jokes, action scenes, and crazy science concepts at you that make you re-read pages over and over. That’s exactly what this second issue does.
Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2 begins right where the first issue left off. Robo just got a face full of explosion, he’s unconscious, and he’s beginning to fall to the Earth. Hats off to the writer and artist team of Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener for crafting one of the most exciting comic sequences I have seen in a long time. The pacing of Robo’s fall through the atmosphere is pure brilliance.
With each page turn, you are left on the edge of your seat as Robo’s team tries to catch him with a plane. Wegener’s vertical panels emphasize the fall, and make you realize just what a dire situation this is. I have to be honest. Having read some of the previous volumes of Atomic Robo, I half expected Robo to not make it. But the book is called Atomic Robo after all, and I doubt Red 5 Comics wants to re-title the book only two issues into a five issue miniseries.
The rest of the issue is set-up for the big mystery of the miniseries. Who exactly blew up the space station? Why was Robo called up there? All of these mysteries are introduced, and even a bigger one on the last page which I will not spoil here. The introductions of these mysteries are wrapped around slower scenes of Robo dealing with the entire repair that has to happen when one falls through the atmosphere. This gives the book a good sense of momentum with just the right mixture of character beats. Wegener’s expressive art instills real emotion into Robo as he deals with what happens to one of his favorite objects.
I cannot say enough good things about Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2. So much story is packed into twenty two pages, and yet at no moment does it feel rushed. Atomic Robo is an example of the best of the comic medium. How comics can have an unlimited budget, but still bring us up close and personal with its characters. Atomic Robo is awesome fun mixed with charm and SCIENCE! Everyone should buy this book. Seriously, stop reading this, and go buy the book. NOW!
Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2 Grade: A+