Comic Review: EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots

EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots
Written by Shawn Pryor and Adam Besenyodi
Art by Daniel Logan
Action Lab Comics
Release date: February 29, 2012

Transforming robots and super-powered humans are what you can expect to find in EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots. Though it doesn’t have the most original idea, this graphic novel has a unique perk. Action Lab released EX0-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots as a limited release with only 500 signed and numbered copies. Signed and numbered anything demands my attention as a collector of all things geek. That being said, I only wish the content within the book was as strong as the limited collection aspects of EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots.

Almost every standard comic book staple makes an appearance in EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots. There are giant transforming robots, time warps, aliens, ordinary people infused with super powers, werewolves, ancient artifacts, and finally a ghost. It’s almost like the writing team behind this comic wanted to make 13 different comics but had to settle on throwing them all together into one.

For the record, I am no enemy of any of these comic staples. I just don’t know if they can all work cohesively under one title. Writers Shawn Pryor and Adam Besenyodi give it their best shot though. The dialogue and pacing of this book work well for the most part. It would have all worked wonderfully if not for the one-too-many comic book clichés.

Artists Daniel J. Logan is working with a ton of different comic standards here and luckily he fairs well. Logan captures the heavy action theme of EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots with some great action sequences and big set pieces. As it usually is with most action comics, independent or otherwise, the characters are illustrated as handsome muscle men or busty heroines. Again, I don’t have a problem with this style of illustration. It would just have been nice to see someone, especially an indie artist, step outside of these archetypes.

EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots is a comic that had a good amount of potential. The creators of this comic tried to create something new by incorporating every aspect of tried and tested comic storytelling. However, when you try to incorporate all that material into a scant 96 pages, it comes out undeveloped and uneven. If you took out the ghosts, aliens, and maybe even the (dare I say) superpowers, EXO-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots could have been a really fun action comic.

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