Atomic Robo Volume 9: The Knights of the Golden Circle, by Brian Clevinger

1_and_owenly's review

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Easily my favorite Atomic Robo collection to date.

Yes, I have seen the reviews that did not like it.

Fine, this book was not their cup of tea. It was definitely mine. Will it be yours?

Robo has been sent back in time to 1884 by events from the end of Atomic Robo Volume 8: The Savage Sword of Doctor Dinosaur. If you have not read that book, well, that is most of what you need to know in order to enjoy this book. That and the fact that in the aforementioned collection is where he encountered vrillium and knows what effects it has.

Also, Ironhide is a character that Robo read about in the pulps as a youth.

There are other bits which reading the previous volumes would illuminate, but for the most part a new reader would be fine just jumping in.

Anyway, I adored this book. Partially because I love a good western. I love the action, the settings, the people.

Also, I love a good steampunk tale. One where the tech is crazy, but not stupid. That maxim could be a theme for Atomic Robo comics in general.

Third, I love the historical references... Doc Holliday, the Knights of the Golden Circle, and my absolute favorite BASS Freaking REEVES!

The freaking was my addition.

Seeing him interact with Robo was a dream come true. And his banter with Doc Holliday was hilarious.

I love how this story answered an unasked question about one of Robo's villains... what were they up to before we see them in volume 1?

I love the reference to one of my favorite TV shows I saw in reruns as a child, Wild, Wild West!

I love Robo attempting to do what's right, even though he's not sure if he'll survive. It's a level of vulnerability that we do not usually see from him. It makes his actions all the more poignant.

I love him wrestling with the nature of time travel. Previous adventures showed him as believing that time travel was purely impossible. I wish we could have seen the space between the end of volume 8 and the beginning of volume 9. How did he learn when he was? What was his reaction? How long did it take to accept it? And how did people react to seeing him?

I'd love a Free Comic Book Day special just showing that.

I love his initial caution since he does not know whether his actions will have consequences that could change his future.

I love little visual nods to other westerns that Wegener slipped in.

And as always, I loved the extras at the back of this collection. The Trial of Atomic Robo was hilarious. And Doctor Dinosaur's notes are so much fun.

Anyway, if you like action packed, steampunk laced, quippy, western fun, then you should give this volume of Atomic Robo a try.

And then you should check out the other volumes. The rest are not Westerns. Most are close to present day. Some are flashbacks to his adventure in the 20s, WWII, and beyond. But Robo is Robo. And that alone is worth the price of admission.