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Laughing Mad Genius: Atomic Robo Vol. 4 #3 [Review]

I know that I’ve been a bit repetitive in my praise for Red 5’s “Atomic Robo” series, written by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Scott Wegener. But the latest issue, in which Robo encounters nemesis Dr. Dinosaur (who first appeared in last year’s Free Comic Book Day issue) stands out even from the normally high standard set by the title. This issue reads like a combination of the best Warner Brothers cartoons and an action-adventure movie. And I mean that in the best possible way.The latest issue, another one-shot as part of a series of single issues making up the title’s fourth volume, further details Robo’s first meeting with his wily yet idiotic enemy. Dr. Dinosaur is a mad science who happens to also be a taking velociraptor, brilliant enough to pose a challenge to the hero and his supporting cast while at the same time profoundly dumb enough to make losing to him a shameful embarrassment.

Clevinger’s dialogue is amazing, some of his finest work in the series yet. There’s an extended back and forth between Robo and Dr. Dinosaur in which the villain’s plan is explained and Robo attempts to point out every logical flaw involved, only to receive even more flawed counter-explanations in response. And Wegener, asked to make a talking velociraptor in turns comical, crafty and insane rises to the task, using wild contortions of Dr. Dinosaur’s eyes, mouth and limbs to communicate the character’s manic scheming and his overwhelming sense of pride in his dino-superiority.

I know that I bring this book up a lot, and that perhaps that by this point there isn’t much more I can say to further convey the high opinion I have of it. But this is an issue that needed to be recognized for going above and beyond the expected level of quality. So I guess I will stop saying good things about this comic when it stops being so incredibly good.

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