|"I wish there was some light."|
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Atomic Robo Volume 5: Atomic Robo and The Deadly Art of Science is the fifth volume of the Atomic Robo series. The volume takes place in the 1930's, and documents most of Robo's adventures in his youth. The volume introduces Jack Tarot as a minor character.
- Released on November 9, 2010
The volume introduces us to a father-daughter vigilante duo, Jack Tarot and Helen, codenamed Nightingale. Apparently, Jack is investigating the an incident in which supposedly, the Chicago Outfit had robbed a laboratory. After intercepting a runaway gangster car, his findings lead him to a warehouse in New York.
A month later, we see a young and bored Robo yearning for adventure as his creator tries to find a way to get him interested in the field of science. Later, while sweeping the lab, he comes across Jack as he hangs onto the hood of a gang car. Finally seeing his chance, the curious robot comes running after them. Jack momentarily flees as the car crashes into a nearly fire hydrant, and one of the gangsters barely make it out alive with a package on hand, fleeing the scene after being helped up by Robo. Unfortunately, he gets in the way as Jack pursues the fugitive, and constantly asks him questions as he loses the gangster's trail. While searching the other gangster in the car, Robo asks if Jack is part of a secret order, getting the idea from the comic books he reads. He shoots him, but the robot recovers quickly, asking to be part of his vigilante group. Jack dissuades him by foretelling the dangers of his profession, leaving Robo saddened as the vigilante leaves in a huff. The robot quickly comes to terms with his unwavering resolve and follows Jack's car. As Jack talks to Helen about the failed mission, Helen reveals that their targeted warehouse is owned by a man named F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. As Helen fixes her father's car, Robo manages to find the vigilante's secret hideout. As he pries his way through the hidden gate, he sees Jack's daughter and takes off Jack's mask, insisting that he join their group now that he knows the vigilante's identity. Helen, after hearing the story from her father, is eager to accept the robot, and introduces herself and Jack to Robo.
Meanwhile, the gangster that got away with the package arrived in the warehouse. He presents it to a mysterious gentleman, and expresses his boss' disdain at having been hired by him. The mysterious gentleman's robot then comes in to seize the gangster, and the gentleman assures that if any trouble arises, he will pay his syndicate accordingly, revealing his plans on killing the gangster on sight while holding a mysterious skull artifact.
- Released on December 15, 2010
After a few minutes of rummaging around the hideout, Robo asks many curious questions to Jack, whose patience is growing thin with his presence alone. Helen tries to convince her father that the robot might become a valuable asset to them, given his strength and ingenuity, having found the hideout in the first place. Jack is reluctant to take Robo under his wing, but accepts, seeing as his daughter is adamant about keeping him. An overjoyed Robo insists on starting right away, but as morning comes, he needed to return to the lab and come back another day.
When he finally came back, Tesla catches him and almost finds out what he was doing, mistakenly assuming that Robo had cleaned the garage to avoid his studies. The robot goes along with this, and after being told to change, assisted his creator in an ongoing experiment with an "electronoscope", which ended up being the discovery of the Vampire Dimension.
Meanwhile, Jack and Helen disguised themselves as newspaper reporters and visited Mr. Mitchell-Hedges's house for an interview. While asking about the robbery that occurred the night before, the man, named Frederick, rants about how the incident is not being taken seriously by the police. He tells them that the stolen good, which was a crystal skull artifact of Atlantean origin, had powers to bring about ruin to an entire civilization if sought by the wrong hands, and so he kept the skull in his residence for safe-keeping. Helen had a hard time believing this, and seemed to imply that Frederick had kept the skull for selfish purposes, which offended him. As the interview was cut short, the chances of finding another lead on the stolen artifact seemed to slim. Jack speculates that the robbery might be due to a feud between rival families, or that Frederick had hired gangsters to "rob" the good in order to raise superstitions around it. With not a definite conclusion to deduct, Jack resorts to tapping the police reports once more.
Back at the lab, a vampiric creature from the newfound portal took a liking to Robo as Tesla thought about its origins. Restraining the monster, they conducted experiments with it and Tesla had Robo put on a diving suit with a cord on the back in order to explore the portal. After seeing that the portal only led to a desolate place with nothing but these creatures, the disappointed Tesla had no choice but to destroy the portal. As the day went on, Tesla spent the entirety contemplating the universe until he fell asleep, allowing Robo to leave the lab and visit Jack's hideout once again.
When he returned, Robo asks if Jack has an origin story, getting the idea from the comic books he reads on a daily basis. Jack brushed his imaginations aside as Helen quickly notifies them of an incident in the Brooklyn campus of New York University. Robo thinks it might be in the vicinity of the engineering department and insists on coming with Jack, who refuses. Regardless, Robo forced himself to come. While in the car, Jack gives him explicit instructions not to do anything reckless. As they arrived to the campus, a giant automaton crashes through the window with a suitcase in hand, taking notice of them as the two look on perplexingly.
- Released on February 9, 2010
The next morning, Robo and Tesla have a heated argument over the events last night. How he and Jack were able to survive the automaton's rampage is partly unknown, but scenes from the previous night reveal their vain attempts to attack it, as it grabbed onto Jack and pursued after Robo, slashing his coat. Tesla, being sick and tired of having repeated conversations of this magnitude with Robo, grounds him, forbidding him to leave the lab out of concern for his safety. Robo insists that he had always been protecting himself, but that did not stop Tesla from proving he is correct by taking precautions before dealing with anything dangerous. Robo points out that Tesla was ridiculous enough to put him in a diving suit in the last issue, and Tesla concluded that because of it, the robot was safe and the suit "served its purpose". This caused the robot to snap, and concludes that he's not serving his purpose if he's not outside. Against his creator's wishes, Robo leaves the lab and visits Helen and Jack, offering his services full-time.
While in their house, Jack recovers from his wounds in a recliner while Helen tells Robo of Jack's rather uncanny origins. Robo expresses to Helen how much he wants her father to train him, disappointed that he couldn't stop the large automaton from stealing the suitcase, which apparently was an analytical computer. Jack overhears what he said, and a few minutes later, Robo helped him deduce some of the leads that they've caught on the string of robberies they've investigated. Jack seems skeptical as to how the crystal skull is related to all this, but Helen insists that there must be something going on with it, and Robo supports her argument. She returns the favor by holding his hand.
That night, Jack trains Robo in the art of vigilantism. In the rooftops, Jack closely observes the warehouse mentioned in the first issue, and though a bored Robo insists that they charge their way in, Jack remained calm this time, asking if the robot had any experience with guns. Months passed, and Robo started to develop a close relationship between the father and daughter, training with the vigilante and helping out the mechanic as time passed, while Tesla worked and ate alone. At some point, Jack trains Robo in the art of Zen archery and teaches him how it relates to shooting a gun. Soon even, Robo and Helen started going out and spending time together.
Then one day, after finishing some work on a car, Helen tells Robo about all the amazing things she's done for her father's vigilantism business, and how most of the time she's cooped back in the hideout because of it. Robo seems to relate with her, seeing as both their talents cause them to be held back. While he gives her a hand at picking up something from a shelf, she ends up not picking anything up, making up an excuse as they share a passionate kiss. Robo realizes something after their talk, and soon returns to Tesla's lab, offering his creator a bowl of vegetable soup and some calculations. Robo apologizes to Tesla, knowing that his creator only wanted what's best for him, and the robot thought the same for him.
As they catch up on old news, Tesla brought up Robo's association with Helen, having known about it after reading a tabloid newspaper. Robo tells him about his training, and his creator, though miffed, tells him to promise that his life would be more than crime-fighting. He brings up Helen again, and wishes to meet her father, but Robo doesn't want to hear anymore from him out of embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Thomas Edison was out having dinner with his wife, Mina, when he brings up to her what he's been working on. He regrets never having enough time to spend with her, and foreshadows that once he finishes what he's working on, they will have "all the time in the world".
Robo • Jenkins • Jack Tarot • The Sparrow • James Milligan • Lt. Everett • Carl Sagan • Dr. Yumeno • Science Team Super Five • Baron Heinrich von Helsingard • Otto Skorzeny • Dr. Vanadis Valkyrie • The Shadow From Beyond Time • Dr. Shinka • Thomas Edison • Ivan Koshchey • Dr. Dinosaur • Minor characters
|Terms and Technology|
Automatic Intelligence • Tesladyne • Big Science Incorporated • Lightning Gun • Action Scientists League • Gladys • Jeb • Laufpanzers • Brutes • Zorth • Vampire Dimension • Biomega • Weather Cannon • Quantum Decomputer • Dirk Daring, the Daring Dirk of Derring-Do • Operation Paperclip • Operation Majestic Twelve
|Personnel (aka Team Robo)|