Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wednesday Is In Child-Sized Portions For All I Care #149

Atomic Robo Free Comic Book Day 2012
Bongo Comics Free-For-All! / SpongeBob Comics Freestyle Funnies
The Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-For-None!

Atomic Robo / Neozoic / Bonnie Lass Free Comic Book Day 2012 (Red 5 Comics, 2012, Free)
Atomic Robo is a robot created in the 1920s by Nikola Tesla who battles science gone awry with his organization, Tesladyne. For once, the execution on something like this matches the potential of the premise. This was a really fun story that's good enough to be enjoyed by all ages, but the adults will catch more of the jokes. I'll keep an eye out for an inexpensive trade for further sampling.

Neozoic is one of those things where it's a parallel timeline with people brandish swords and carrying walkie talkies and mind controlling dinosaurs. It is also exactly the sort of thing you expect when you hear that, by which I mean a muddle of genre tropes and flat characters speaking in opaque exposition. Did I mention that it's an excerpt from the first issue of a direct sequel. It reads like that, too.

Bonnie Lass had better characters and art, as well as the good sense to break the fourth wall and just tell the reader what is going on. On the other hand, there's maybe a few new/re-dialogued panels, and the rest is an underwhelming excerpt. I'm not won over.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All! / SpongeBob Comics Freestyle Funnies (Bongo, 2012, Free)
"Tales of the Springfield Bear Patrol" was a Simpsons story. I lost virtually all interest in that show when its seasons still numbered in the single digits, but if you like this sort of thing, it's not a bad example of such. I enjoyed Sergio Aragon├ęs' "My First Peso" more, as the artist reminisced about his earliest paid work. It's not the sort of thing I'd pay money for myself, being light nostalgia and all, but it was fine for free.

On the flip side, I don't understand how you can get away with offering an unlicensed Silver Age Aquaman comic that's so on the money in imitation that I can't even see it being covered under parody. Still, the Mermaid Man story was amusing and well drawn/colored in period style. James Kochalka supplied some "Spongefunnies" strips in the back that were nifty.

The Incredible Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-For-None! (Capstone, 2012, Free)
Rockhead is the kind of super-hero that you might have come up with in a grade school class using found objects, so it's perfect for its target demographic. C.S. Jennings art is the right shade of crude. It makes a lot more sense to have a rock-paper-scissors battle in this context than, say, John Byrne's Trio. This is just an excerpt from a bookstore skewing tpb though, so it just stops rather than ends.

I didn't like Zinc Alloy, "The Invincible Boy-Bot" as much. The art by Douglas Holgate was more polished, but Donald Lemke's script is trying harder than Scott Nickel's while accomplishing less. Where Rockhead makes the best of a lousy power set, Zinc is flush with gadgets that he is incompetent in employing. Aside from that though, the premises are so nearly identical as to be interchangeable. It's two white male suburbanites picked on in a classroom. I may like Rockhead better simply because I read it first.

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