Volume 3, Issue 5 “From Beyond”

Saw some posts and e-mails looking for a place to talk about the new issue, so let’s make that happen!

In case you live under a rock, which is totally understandable in this economy, the fifth and final issue of Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time came out this week. Don’t forget to get your copy. For those of you who prefer trade paperbacks, that’ll be available on December 9th. Meanwhile, here’s a non-spoiler preview of what you’re missing.

Let’s open the floor to discussion about issue five, or hell, the whole series, what we’re doing next, all that jazz. If it’s Robo related, get to typin’!

  • tdellaringa

    I've loved the series so far Brian. I can't get me enough of Robo. Looking forward to how all the loose ends come together especially the one about a monster who can never be defeated because he can come back in any time whatsoever. What a Jerk!

    What can you give us on the next series? Will it be another 5-parter? A crossover with Marooned? (Well, he DID travel to Mars once!) ;)

  • SmallLindsay

    Oh Jenkins!

  • vynsane

    hell's yeah, the jenkins aside was probably the best moment of the comic.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    @tedellaringa: You'll find out when you read the issue! Vol 4 info: it's four issues and it involves an invasion by the Vampire Dimension, Power Rangers, Dr. Dinosaur, and Robo's newest villain who is also his oldest villain.

    @vynsane: Yeah, that was a great little moment Scott snuck in there. I love it!

  • ReaperMonkey

    I didn't feel this latest one was as strong as the others in the series, but all in all it was an excellent wrap-up of Vol. 3. I think my feelings are mostly associated with the fact that you had to squeeze in all 3 endings as well as a fourth story, and there wasn't enough space to give each the amount of detail it deserved. Are there any mini-stories planned to add to that? I'd love to know the fate of Lovecraft; don't think he's supposed to die yet, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

    That said, I found #5 very enjoyable, especially the parts with Robo arguing with himself. And Jenkins is great, as always. Can't wait for Vol. 4!

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    I was afraid it was going to fall flat after Sagan rocked the fourth issue so hard, but it stands as a solid issue on its own. I've heard other people complain about the previous issues because none of them had resolutions, and they love this one because they finally understood why.

  • yayap91

    I loved this recent issue. Through 1-4 I was very curious how you could end it while making sense, and it answered all my questions! However, at one point in the comic robo says time travel is “impossible”. I thought I heard somewhere that time travel was theoretically “possible”. At least backwards in time anyways, which would make sense since the future doesn't exist yet. I don't know, I'm no tesladine employee.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Time travel is implied mathematically in a number of theories, but making that math into a reality will be far beyond our technological ability for a very long time. And maybe always. And it might turn out that better theories come along in the meantime that don't allow for time travel “loopholes.”

    Robo's refutation of time travel is based on the fact that, as a practical matter, it may as well be impossible because the conditions needed to travel through time as we current understand it cannot (depending on the method) exist or be survived.

  • Mike

    There is some talk that is being taken at least semi-seriously that time travel might be possible, but you can't travel any further back than the moment that the machine was first turned on. I don't understand all the math of it, but my understanding of the main gist of it involves quantum entanglement and the same theories that “work” for teleportation.

  • http://www.warongod.com/ Noah Schafer

    I felt like it was short, but it just seemed that way because the dialogue and action just flowed. So many awesome concepts and hilarious little bits. Because of the breeze of reading it, I read it again immediately, and only then did I catch exactly what had happened with Jenkins. I got the joke on the first go through, but I didn't see the Knife and bookmark until the second go through. That is how I read. Someone interrupts, I finish my sentence, then I deal with the intruder. Great stuff! Also, I like how you've fleshed out Robo the business man. Mr Fantastic is always portrayed as doing this big thing or that but never feels like more than a costumed yahoo. I'd invest in Tesladyne. As long as he follows through on reading more abstracts.

  • Josh_B

    “You'll find out when you read the issue! Vol 4 info: it's four issues and it involves an invasion by the Vampire Dimension, Power Rangers, Dr. Dinosaur, and Robo's newest villain who is also his oldest villain.”

    I love how because this is Robo, that isn't at all ridiculous.

    Vol. 3 easily tops the other two. Scott's art continues to get better, and that's a little scary. Maybe it was the subject matter which tips the scales, but… damn. I just love Robo so much.

  • Scott!

    I didn't add the entire Jenkins bit. Just the last two pages.

    @ ReaperMonkey -originally the script showed him splashing down in the East River and being pucked up by a tug boat, but I argued that some more Jenkins fighting the Monster would be more fun. :)

    @Mike -yes, there is a scientist at MIT I believe who has invented a “time machine” that can send electrons back in time to itself. So like you say, only as far back as the machine was turned on. The who concept sort of gave me a headache though, I so I can't explain it to anyone.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Hell, I don't even want to think of Atomic Robo without Ronda or Jeff on board, much less with one of us missing.

  • Dave W.

    I can remember growing up with Scott and I never, ever, even for one second thought he would ever do ANYTHING that I would like or care about in anyway shape or form, but here I sit, at what is still the beginning of his recent rise to cult appreciation, and hopefully the rise of a long-lived career with all of the fame and glory that brings, and I'm glad to say that I'm really proud of what he & Brian & Jeff & Ronda and all the back-up story artists are coming up with. I didn't think he'd be the one to make a living doing something creative that brings joy and happiness to so many, 'cause I was pretty sure that he was a total nightmare causing jerk, who would eventually have a professional job throwing children out of bush-planes into the arctic circle, while laughing out loud, wearing a flak-jacket, and smoking illegally smuggled Cuban cigars, all the while the mysterious scar that ran down his face glinting evilly in the moonlight, but hey – that was 15 years ago and we've both grown up since then. I now know him to be a really great guy, with an over-active imagination and an artistic talent that is little rivaled in it's field, who takes care of a beautiful family, and may have even developed a sense of humor somewhere along the way. Another thing I'm really happy to report is that I am a fiend for Robo. It's so disgustingly well-natured that I didn't think it was for me at first, but that little metal dude gets in there somehow, because in a weird way he fills me with… what is that word… 'hope'? He really encapsulates a lot of parts of our own humanity without even needing to be human. Oh, and also he kills giant ants with Buicks that he finds lying around. I don't know what bizarre series of coincidence brought you all together, but you have some serious team mojo going on that shows through in the book. You can't make something that good if everyone isn't on the same wavelength. I'm still waiting for my 3.5 to get here, but I'll just have to wait for the mail like a good little person =( 3.4 is still gnawing @ my mind, since I got left with Robo taking a casual stroll into the head of a giant, floating, zombie-monster creating, tentacled creature from beyond time – It's really got everything!
    Much love to Team-Robo!

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    “he was a total nightmare causing jerk”

    Some things never change. But he's a damn talented nightmare causing jerk.

  • StupidSmarch

    Keep up the good work!!! I wonder if volume 4 will contain more Dr. Stephen Hawking?

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    It will not. Sorry!

  • yayap91

    He should totally have more cameos.

  • blueskirt

    Will the Robo visions make their way in the TPB? They were missing in the second Robo book.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Yeah, we'll see more of Stephen Hawking at some point.

  • Josh_B

    On a semi-relatedly note that I'm sure is important to Robo in some way, happy birthday Mr. Wells!

  • Dave

    I just loved Volume 3, the two of you took the stand alone aspect of the first voume and the chronology of volume 2 and ran with it. You created a 5 series mini which had 5 separate self-contained issues still in continuity, pretty brilliant. And I do expect somewhere along the line that we'll see the Further Adventures of Martin & Louis, maybe as a back-up :-).

  • Avi

    How old is Jenkins? Also, could there be a cast list on this website? There always seems to be more and more Action Scientists.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Oh, we'll definitely see Martin and Louis again. It may be a while, but we're not done with them, I promise.

    And, yeah, Avi, we really do need some kind of dossier for all the minor characters on the website.

  • http://thatdangblog.blogspot.com/ StupidSmarch

    yay more action scientists!

  • Dave

    I just loved Volume 3, the two of you took the stand alone aspect of the first voume and the chronology of volume 2 and ran with it. You created a 5 series mini which had 5 separate self-contained issues still in continuity, pretty brilliant. And I do expect somewhere along the line that we'll see the Further Adventures of Martin & Louis, maybe as a back-up :-).

  • Avi

    How old is Jenkins? Also, could there be a cast list on this website? There always seems to be more and more Action Scientists.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Oh, we'll definitely see Martin and Louis again. It may be a while, but we're not done with them, I promise.

    And, yeah, Avi, we really do need some kind of dossier for all the minor characters on the website.

  • http://thatdangblog.blogspot.com/ StupidSmarch

    yay more action scientists!

  • yayap91

    Have you ever thought of a Jenkins and Steven Hawking team-up comic?

    Haha, just kidding.

    (unless you'd do it)

  • Dave W.

    I just finally read my 3.5 – it was tits! No matter what you say about it, there was not enough Jenkins wailing on that monster. The cafeteria transition was perfect, he even looked slightly more bored in the “after” panel, if at all possible. I also appreciated how much present Robo despised his own naivety as a younger version of himself. I can't help but feel that confronted with any previous version of our selves, we too would be dicks to us…. I think that's what I mean anyway. Nice alter-egoing as well. I assume this to be Brian & Scott's way of working out their passive/aggressive relationship on paper :) My only complaint is that the individual books never feel long enough. I look back and I go, “No. Look at all the words and all the panels!” but then you read it and its over way too fast and I'm left with some crapy promo for something or other I don't care about, not that theres anything wrong with other titles, but you can't follow Atomic Robo with “Sexy Jacuzzi Trolls” or whatever the hell that was, its like having the original line up of Led Zeppelin (transported through time as their younger selves) open up for Alanis Morisette. Can you guys just start another comic book called “Jenkins: The Only Survivor” and just have him beat up everything all the time? You could just publish one issue per Robo mini-series that features the story from his side as he destroyed his way through whatever was going on. How long will I have to wait until Vol 4 hits the shelves?
    Congrats on another fine volume of Atomic Robo.

  • Lord_Derg

    Well, Dave W., time flies… when your having fun!

    Also, This is why I only buy trades: NO CRAPPY ADS.

    Weeeeee!

  • Dave W.

    @Lord: Agreed! I buy trades anyway just so I can read the whole piece uninterrupted, but in the meantime I also buy the individual issues because I can't help myself. If theres more story I want it ASAFP. Besides, I need the solo copies for my complete, excellent-to-mint condition Robo collection. I've never collected anything before, but its nice to see somebody with the same last name make something worth owning :) Kinda makes me feel like a small part of the legend that is Atomic Robo.
    P.S. – Brian you can feel free to use “The Legend of Robo” title. I don't have any I.P. rights on it and it'd be a shame to let it go to waste :P

  • yayap91

    I just noticed something in the comic. Now I know you guys have both played warhammer 40k, so when I see the term “Dakka dakka” when someone is shooting a machine gun, is that a subtle 40k reference?

    (I'm an ork player, so I noticed it instantly)

  • Just Spence

    I think Martin and Louis and their evil decomputer might have been my favorite part. Martin just seems so stoked about how much it's costing to run this monstrosity he's built in that one frame.

  • EthanFowler

    I also grab both the individuals and the trades. Like Dave said, it's nice to have the whole “collection”. Actually, Robo is the only series that could trick me into buying multiple covers… I love Scott and Ronda's artistic energy. C'mon Scott, all you gotta do for a quick $3.99 is draw a whole new cover!

    Seriously though, as much as I love Scott's stuff, I too would like to know where the B-sides went… Are you hurtin' for artists, or are artists hurtin' for deadlines? The consistent 2-story feature is a great part of Atomic Robo story– and the bonus is it's a story about ROBO. (or Jenkins, but, y'know.) There's nothing worse then hitting the last 4 pages of your comic and realizing the “back-up” is shameless cross-book promotion (thanks, issues 5 and 6 of Hellboy Wild Hunt) about a story you don't want to read.

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    On “dakka dakka”: Yup, it is absolutely a 40k ref.

    On issue brevity: We've gotten this since the first issue of the first series, but I take it as a compliment. Our issues are written and drawn to be punchy and fun and leave you wanting more. Mission Accomplished!

    On Martin and Louis: We'll see more of them, and their terrible, dangerous ideas…eventually.

    On B-Sides: The problem with Vol 3 is that two of the artists we had on tap fell through at the last minute and we weren't about to delay an issue for the sake of a mini-comic. We may put them in the trade or just wait and put them in Vol 4 issues and trade 'cause I'm not a big fan of adding a lot of new story content in trades. Feels too much like a big “Screw you!” to the folks who support us through the floppies.

  • Josh_B

    “I also grab both the individuals and the trades. Like Dave said, it's nice to have the whole “collection”. Actually, Robo is the only series that could trick me into buying multiple covers.”

    I buy issues and trades of Robo, and big hardcovers and issues of Invincible, just because both series are so damn good. I've sort of drifted from collecting comics, but I simply must with Robo. It's a horrible addiction.

  • tdellaringa

    Yeah the Jenkins moment rocked. So well done, everyone is up in arms, but he's sitting there bookmarking his book, and his knife is gone from the holster and the one tentacle is chopped. Masterful!

    I got in stages too – first I realized he wasn't flipping out, then the book, then the tentacle, then the knife. Classic.

  • Avi

    Actually Robo issues only have ads at the back, which I love. After I got a few Robo issues I bought my first Marvel and DC floppies and was so annoyed and ticked off that they INTERRUPT THE STORY for ads. Jerks.

  • Lord_Derg

    Oh, really? okay.

    I was really thinking about buying individual issues for a while, though. But I already buy alot of stuff already (too much) so I had to compromise. I can imagine buying individual issues and being just as happy because Brian doesn't “write for the trade” like Ultimate Marvel does.

    So now I can't wait for Volume 4!!!!

    So Vol. 1 had six issues, and Vol. 2 and 3 had five 6+5=11+5=16. SIxteen robo issues so far! Counting FCBD thats 18. Great. I think I read somewhere that Vol. 4 will have four issues, so that will be a grand total of 20 issues (22 counting FCBD). How many will volume 5 have?