When earth’s greatest heroes die in The Atomic Victory Squad, all that’s left is a motley crew of obscure characters to save us; but can they?
This review covers The Atomic Victory Squad #1-4, written by Lowell Dean, director/creator of WolfCop. On art and colors is Javier Martin Caba, and Micah Myers on letters. As of the publication of this review, The Atomic Victory Squad #1 is on ComiXology, with the others soon to follow.
THE ATOMIC VICTORY SQUAD’S FORMATION
Dean uses the page count to his advantage by taking the four issues to flesh out the team. Granted, it seems that the origin story arc isn’t complete; the slow pace is nice. Instead of making it a quick-paced origin, Dean uses each issue to introduce you to the team. That’s The Atomic Victory Squad’s strength; it takes the time to make you root for the team. Yeah, some of the characters will annoy or piss you off from the get-go, but later on, you learn why they’re like that. You can tell this was the plan from the first issue, as Dean spends no time building up the old team. Instead, he kills them off so we can learn of the new team.
At first glance, The Atomic Victory Squad’s cover seems a bit cartoonish, especially the character designs which will have you thinking it may be for kids. However, don’t let the cover fool you because the inside is filled with drama, action, and themes more suitable for teenagers and up. Be that as it may, not all of these story elements pay off. These moments are a handful of jokes and humorous scenes. The Atomic Victory Squad does include some hilarious dialogue and some hijinks, yet it doesn’t always pay off. In a few cases the joke doesn’t hit the high notes as the others.
Yet, each character is endearing in their own manner. As The Atomic Victory Squad is Dean’s first steps in the comic writing game, there a few stumbles, but nothing that’ll kill your enjoyment.
THE CRAZY WORLD WE LIVE IN
Dean mentions a few times that this story has been living in his head since the ’80s. Included at the end of each issue are character designs he and others have created throughout the years. As great as those designs are, Caba’s art really brings them to life. The world at large in The Atomic Victory Squad isn’t ever fully shown, but the parts that are are quite interesting. Not only do humans inhabit the earth, but so do anthropomorphic animals and other oddities. However, Caba makes none of it look out of the normal. Instead, each design and background character seems like they belong.
Yet, one of the funniest moments visually is when Invincibull’s (Alien Cow hero) planet is showcased. His planet, Cowtopia resembles earth, yet it has udders on it. The design makes absolutely no sense, but it matches the comic so well, and his hilarious to boot. Caba also handles colors, which he handles very well. The color palette throughout The Atomic Victory Squad matches the story’s tone. When the team starts to fight, the colors are bright, poppy and gives the scenes more emphasis. Nonetheless, when the scene transitions to a sneaking mission, the colors as well adapt.
MONSTER IS A BIG WORD
Much like Caba’s art helping tell the story, Myers’ lettering magnifies the scenes just as much. When the villain Ridando is introduced, its design is cool, but Myers’ lettering takes the introduction up a notch. Instead of having the villain use usual word balloons, Myers forgoes those and uses a huge gnarly looking font. Not only does that help set the villain apart, but it makes the creature even more terrifying. Howbeit, this doesn’t only apply to Ridando, as other characters often have unique fonts and colors.
THE FUTURE OF THE ATOMIC VICTORY SQUAD
While reading the four issues, I was often reminded of Axecop. If you didn’t know, Axecop was created by two brothers with the younger (aged 5) coming up with the ideas. It’s a fun, senseless ride at points, and that’s how Atomic Victory Squad feels. It makes sense as Dean started work on these when he was much younger in the ’80s. Yet, that’s what makes the first four issues a blast to read. At some points, it makes sense, while others it leaves you stunned, while still having fun. The origin stories of each character are fun to read, as well. Despite a few bumps, Atomic Victory Squad is a fun start to a new superhero team.