Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific

How have I not written about Atomic Robo before??

OK let’s start with the basics: Atomic Robo is a comic about a robot built by Nikola Tesla in the 1920s who goes on to become a PhD, a World War II flying ace, the founder of the company Tesladyne, thwarter of the Cold War, an astronaut, and an inventor.

He battles Dr. Dinosaur, numerous Russian, Chinese, or Japanese enemies, a giant robot pyramid, and of course his creator’s nemesis, Thomas Edison.

We’re talking good old fashioned comic books here.

But they’re not just good old-fashioned comic books, they’re good old fashioned comic books written and illustrated by creators that understand what the flaws of old-fashioned comic books were and they do not repeat those mistakes.

For example, Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is not just a post-WWII comic about an attempt at Japanese conquest via a super weapon. It’s not just a graphic novel about women pilots and mechanics who become air pirates over the Pacific. No, it’s all of those things and it’s a send-up to eight women in the comics industry who are fantastic in their own right.

Author Brian Clevinger summarizes their goals in the introduction:

The text doesn’t contort itself to show these ladies in a positive light. Nor does it pat itself on the back for featuring these ladies as its main characters in the first place. It doesn’t make bad guys say sexist things so you know they’re bad and wrong. No one praises the She-Devils’ ability or know how or pluck for a girl. None of them picks a lock with a hairpin to save the day.

Because normal is what goes unremarked upon.

I love it when a comic team doesn’t need to make a big deal out of women characters because, in the context of their universe, women are as common as men, and as accepted. Doubly so for an action/adventure type where honor, hard work, and sacrifice are driving the plot.

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is volume 7 of the Atomic Robo series and I’ve got at least four more volumes waiting for me in the library. This may have been the first time I’ve mentioned Atomic Robo, but these comics are so good you can be pretty sure it won’t be the last.

Day 827: time off to fish

Day 827:

Figure as long as I’m home I’ll take some time to do some fishing.

It’s a good way tor rest. Duck knows my body needs it.

From the center of the river, looking north toward the field where crops are growing. A fishing line is in the water.

Day 826: More ranching

Day 826:

I spent the day ranching like a rancher. I cleaned up the field a bit, butchered a couple of pigs (the population in there’s getting a little high) and sheared some of the sheep to make carpet for the cold cave floors.

I also harvested some pumpkins and started roasting them to make pie. Roasting pumpkin is hard because the heat source has to be putting out a consistent heat if you don’t want the meat burned, but wood and even coal aren’t particularly prone to consistency. So in reality I spent most of the time fussing over my fire and the rest of the time ranching and shearing.

Oh! I forgot to mention that yesterday on the way home I caught the other skeleton horse! So now I have two skeleton horses, four angry pig men, and lots of sheep, cows, and pigs.

And yes it probably is rude of me to call them pig men, but their skin is the same color as my pigs, they grunt like pigs, and they have little pig ears. Plus, after the weird thunderstorm four of my pigs had disappeared but four pig men complete with swords and armor were in my pond.

I’m not saying one caused the other but I live in a place with real zombies and undead skeletons so I’m no longer the queen of skepticism either.

Picture of a file with a brick path cutting through it. It is surrounded by dark wood fence posts. Pigs, sheep, cows, and the occasional skeleton horse can be seen in the field.

Day 825: a picture of my angry pig men

Day 825:

I’m back at home base because I ran out of tools to the east and I’m not finding diamonds fast enough at night to keep the tools in good condition. (I have a small store of them back home.) It was also a good chance to make sure that all my animals were safe and healthy, and that my crops are still growing.

And to pack up some chicken jerky to take with me because the potatoes I took last time are getting kind of old and I don’t just mean boring.

Here’s a picture of the top part of my ranch bit.

View of a pond with a glass floor. inside, zombie pig men stand on the glass in the pond.

You might notice that there are strange pig-like men with half their face missing in the bottom of my pond. One night we had a horrible thunderstorm and the next morning I found them living in my pond. They don’t seem to need air? They just stand down there? They do seem to know what they’re doing with the swords, though, so I’m just at a live-and-let-live stage with them.

Day 824: Sunset over the easternmost entrance

Day 824:

So I think I mentioned that there were at least two more skeleton horses roaming the woods at the base of the mountain.

I managed to catch one of them today. I thought of using it as a mount, it seems like a nice enough horse, but there are so many murderers around right now that I don’t want to lose this one again as fast as I lost the last one. (That loss still stings a bit.)

Instead, I’ve put the horse in my ranch area paddock meadow field thing. It has the creepiest neigh.

Once I figure out what (if anything) I can do about these murderers, I’ll start using my horse more. The horse is definitely easier (especially overground) to use for travel than the mine carts underground are. For one thing, it’s hard to steer a mine cart around a zombie if there’s no track available.

It was a beautiful sunset tonight, so I took a picture of it.

The sun setting over the granite roof of the easternmost outpost.