What Did I Learn?
Robot 13 Colossus! by Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford forebodingly starts out with monsters of legend but soon we find out a little bit about Robot 13’s past. We also learn where he is from, his purpose and how he came to be – or some of it, at least.
There are some curious objects in the background in that set of scenes. The significance of one seems obvious given what happens later in the comic but others leave me with more questions that answers. Robot 13 gets better and better at foreshadowing and subtle story cues the more issues that come out.
And due to the mythical nature of the comic, I forget that it takes place in the 1930’s and so there are thing like guns. Don’t get excited, though. The gun only makes a cameo so you won’t see a big gun battle or anything. But just having firearm technology available puts a modern spin on an old tale which is what this comic is all about.
A couple of other things that somehow escaped my active notice before include the word balloons and the nature of the art.
Robot 13’s word balloons are blue text on black and surrounded by a blue outline. Normal people have normal balloons while mythical creatures have different text colors and effects in their balloons. It adds a nice touch which helps the speech of these personalities to stand out. They are not to be confused with mere humans. They are bigger and badder. Robot 13 himself wastes no time asking why a monster is after him – he just takes the fight to the monster.
About the art: The art continues to make startling improvements. It has that quality that some artists like Mignola or Leonardi have where what looks like a random spot of black or detail initially looks indistinct. But actually isn’t. In this case, little details like the smudges you see on the sides of Robot 13’s…uh… shell are actually Frankenstein like electric knobs and I never consciously noticed the 13 in the middle of his forehead before. Plus, the wordless visuals of three (two surviving) new members of the cast that the story ends on each add an emotional impact moment of their own. The art really gives the story a sense of weight and mystery that dialog alone would not be able to easily accomplish.
What Did I Learn?
Everything is on the details. Any included details have to support and add to the overall feel and direction of story – just like the advice given to writers where no unnecessary words should be in the manuscript. I need to ask myself if this or that detail adds anything necessary and if not, cut it. And should you want to order this issue of Robot 13 then just click here.