Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rayboy's Review: Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1 (ABC)

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1 (of 6) is written by Peter Hogan, penciled by Chris Sprouse & inked by Karl Story. This couldn't have come at a better time, since most of the offerings from both DC and Marvel roil around the latest batch of mega-events.

I actually don't want to spoil this book since I was a fan of the original series from DC's America's Best Comics imprint, just exult in the fact that Hogan, Sprouse and Story ably return the pulp-inspired Strong in a reality-bending mini-series that picks up on elements from the original series run involving Ingrid Weiss and her son Albrecht. The issue is a fairly "quiet" introductory one with few special effects style bells and whistles, with the bulk of this issue occuring after the twisted pair of villains manage to create an alternate-reality in which Tom Strong's wife, Dhalua and daughter, Tesla have perished long ago in a Nazi death camp and King Solomon has been vivisected; even Pneuman, Strong's steam-punk robot, has been reprogrammed to serve the new world order under Nazi control.

Without his support infrastructure in place, Strong is left to contend with these dire ramifications and ultimately this was the only weakness that I found in the otherwise fine first issue. Having the impacts of these events occur "off-camera" elevated the effectiveness of hearing them related to Strong, but whether Hogan dropped the ball in his script descriptions or Sprouse didn't find a way to capture the horrific emotions that the fates of his family members should have elicited from Strong, the overall effect of receiving this "news" is sadly muted. As readers, we should have seen the emotional impact of this massive paradigm shift playing out on the main characters face. There is a brief tearful moment on the final page, but it should have been presented as being much more powerful.

I will still gladly pick up the whole run and hopefully this will be the first of many "returns" of Tom Strong. Recommended!

1 comment:

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I loved the original run of Tom Strong! I love Chris Sprouse's powerful line-work and his deceptively simple style. This is already on my pull list (as the kids say) and I hope to be reading it soon. Thanks for the positive heads-up review, Chuck!