Posts Tagged ‘Atomic Robo’

The internet rewards OCD.

And so do I.  Look at this awesome Atomic Robo costume.  Just look at it.  From JT’s favorite comic.

Atomic robo cartoon

Even after months of reading all the world’s best comix, JT’s favorite is still Atomic Robo, a fact that does not unsettle me in the least. Atomic Robo is a great comic.  It’s funny and frequently smart and Dr. Dinosaur is a truly great comic book villain. Though I’ve never gotten into Celvinger’s other stuff like 8-BIt theatre, I do have a soft spot for AR (not Arkansas, though I do love Hot Springs, true home of Bill Clinton).  Now, it seems, it’s also going to be an animated short film. It doesn’t look as if Dr Dino will be in it, but it still looks cool.

via io9

Why do I like things everyone else hates?

Awesomely derivativeOk, I suppose ‘hate’ is too strong a word and ‘everyone’ is too broad, but, then, ‘like’ is very often an understatement.  And so it is with the miniseries The Helm, published by Dark Horse Comics.  Now, I really, really like this comic.  And others do too, based on the praise notes on their website.  However, and I’m not making this up, they link to a youtube video that praises The Helm and which, at last count, has 87 hits.  Not real encouraging. And IGN gave it a 3.  Out of 10.

Still, the heart wants what it wants.  The Helm is the story of an epic loser having a very bad day, his girlfriend dumps him, he gets fired from his job at a movie rental place,  and, on the way back to eat Cheetos in his mother’s basement, he happens upon a yard sale where a bronze helmet starts talking to him, saying that anyone who can hear him must be the chosen one.  When the loser five finger discounts said helmet, it realizes what a loser he is and proceeds to berate the loser, the inexplicably appealingly named Matthew. (though his last name is Blurdy)  The helmet guides Matthew to become something of a hero, the Valhalladrim, slaying minions of a great evil threatening to envelope the earth.

I don’t begrudge The Helm it’s flaws.  It is sort of derivative: the concept is frustratingly close to The Mask, and it is eerily reminiscient of The Pro, and, sure, The Incredibles (which had it’s own issues with derivation).  The pacing has issues, as the it rides on the one joke pony of an odd couple made up of a fat guy and a Norse helmet who talks only to him for far too long.  There’s almost no development of the plot to fill the world with evil.

Still, it does have quite a bit to recommend it.  The protagonist is a bona fide loser, unlike a lot of other superhero spoofs where the protagonist is just a true winner behind thick glasses, a bad hairdo and braces.  The helmet’s insults are pretty amusing, intensified by his lack of ability to control the situation.  I also appreciated the subplot where Matthew becomes convinced that he is imaging the whole thing because no one else sees his exploits and the villains he kills turn out to be real people.  It takes shots at lots of geeky mantras and hits the bulls eye on more than a few, especially Lord of the Rings.

There were also some missed opportunities, the most being the villains introduced in the final pages of the volume.  These are the absurdist villains out of an episode of Robot Chicken.  Stretched out over a couple of issues, they could have made this comic unmissable.  The Helm is still a compelling, if frustrating read. I love it like I love Atomic Robo.  I’ll save that one for another day.