Help me understand what is so great about Atomic Robo. I love the concept of "weird science" and pulp adventure, so I get that aspect of it, but that's all there really is. The main character doesn't have any motivations, and reacts with blase snark to the things around him. Like a juggling street performer, I might walk by and agree that it's a cool spectacle, but I would need something more to truly feel invested in the story (including plunking down my money) and embrace the entertainment as many other fans seem to be doing.
Actually, I think his motivations are quite well spelled out. At his base, the character is the head of think-tank that investigates fringe phenomena. The adventure is incidental to the investigation. Being an all around decent guy, when those investigations uncover something hinky, Robo does his best to put a stop to said hinkiness.Too, there's his determination to prevent the use of certain scientific achievements by Tesla to be used for nefarious purposes. That forms a sort of meta-story to the above. He feels a responsibility for his creator's contributions to the world, and wants them to be used as Tesla intended (i.e. for humanity's benefit), rather than as potentially destructive weapons. And earlier adventures (WWII and such) were concerned with him taking on secret missions for the gov't in order to gain the full rights and accords of a US citizen and human being. Which he needed in order to form said think-tank, in order to ensure Tesla's legacy wasn't abused by irresponsible parties. The snark is just a bonus, frankly. But this is what I love most: http://www.atomic-robo.com/the-promise/Doesn't have anything to do with the motivation of the character, but that's both ballsy and pleasing, at least to me.
I have read two Robo trades but I didn't see any of the motivations you really talked about and in fact a very limited amount of characterization in much depth. Instead, it focused more on plot and, uh, well, that's about it. To be fair, there can be any variety of Batman or Spider-Man or Whomever stories that don't rely on deep characterization (and how often do we cringe whenever a Batman story shows his parents' tragic deaths *yet again*). But I would think after two trades I should be able to see some complexity of character that would lead me to care about him. Maybe my misunderstanding with Atomic Robo has nothing to do with the premise or even the character. Like I said, I like pulpy stuff and weird science, and I'm even quite partial to snark. It could simply just be a lack of (ahem) chemistry so our relationship is doomed to fail.
Maybe so. Different strokes for different folks. What's your opinion on Hellboy?
None of us can control our perceptions, but the panel right here on the page is sort of antithetical to "blase snark"...Which trades? Vol. 2 is weak on that front, and maybe 4 if you really squint. Have you read any of the FCBDs or other free-released stuff? http://www.atomic-robo.com/free-comics/
Actually it occurs that I can give a straight answer: In a word, Robo's a goofball. He's got natural advantages, charisma and in modern stories lots of experience at getting people through danger alive, but none of it ever actually makes him...cunning. Don't put him at the controls of any aircraft you want back. He gets punked hard by Stephen Hawking. In the ongoing Vol. 6, Clevinger found a way to turn his agelessness into a weakness. He's made of the moments when the statue drops in front of Indy, when a goon gets the drop on Mal. The creators joke (hint: not a joke) that in the modern era he's actually Jenkins' handy sidekick.Anyway, that's one of the reasons I like the big lug(nut).He's also not very tall, as Wegener's spinning up to play with in Vol. 7.
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