There was something familiar about Air Raid Robertson as I read it. I actually had to look up what genre it was most similar to and it came out as “idiot hero.” That is to say that our hero Robertson gets into sticky situations because he’s an idiot, but he comes out on top… because of his sidekick or dumb luck. It is in the same vein as something like Inspector Gadget or even The Tick, minus the wackiness. The issue is broken into two stories, one of which is short and sweet called “Big Lizard in My Backyard.” This tale most certainly captures the “idiot hero” as Robertson and his sidekick Ridley recap the events they just escaped from in which Robertson blew his nose on a societies Constitution. The boys are called in to deal with a giant lizard that has been unfrozen and is running amok through the city. This is their fourth time dealing with such a situation. The bulk of their conversation is actually about a date that went poorly because Robertson is a shitty tipper and ogled the woman all night.
The second story, “Welcome to the Jungle” finds the duo crash landing in strange jungle and being captured by ant-eater people. With them being ant-eater people Robertson and Ridley question why they’re being cooked alive; they’re informed that it’s to appease the giant spider god that rules them. Robertson promises to take care of the spider if they let him go and off he was into the dark cavern looking for a spider that may or may not be real and may or not be a god.
Overall I enjoyed the issue, but there were some pacing problems. The first story was too short and the second story was too long. The result of this is that the first story jumps ahead and it comes across lazy or at the very least focused more on the dialogue than story; which would be okay if the dialogue was better, but I didn’t find it to be that interesting, original or funny. With the second story it dragged on to include the character from the cover and that’s when it stopped being fun. If it had ended with just the ant-eaters and spider I would have liked it. Also it seemed as if the story was painted into a corner and that’s why more characters appeared, but I was already accustomed to the story just jumping ahead and saying, “glad we made it safe” instead of actually showing the distance traveled from point “A” to “B.” The result again is one story not showing enough and the other showing too much. With this being the first issue I don’t know which to expect in the future.
Another thing I’ll quickly say about the writing is that the stories that the characters talked about were more interesting than the adventure they were currently on.
The artwork is in all black and white and it’s effective for the story. There’s a classic sci-fi adventure to the story and considering Robertson flies an old ass plane, everything fits with that vibe. The character designs were decent, but the characters also never really move. Everyone is always standing in place which becomes very noticeable in the second story. There were a few times that the perspective shifts behind Robertson’s head and we see the back of his helmet and it just put too much ink on top of ink. It also looks the same each time, but his eye line never quite matches up. Again, it becomes noticeable in the second story.
Overall Air Raid Robertson isn’t a bad comic book. It was an entertaining read, but there is definitely room for improvement. If you’re not a fan of the idiot hero genre then you’re probably not going to like the book. For me it’s a book that I would read if given to me, but I don’t see myself going out of the way to find it.
Writer/Artist: Ryan M. Valentine Publisher: Rocket Blast Comics Website