The Atomic Victory Squad is an independent comic book series from creator Lowell Dean (Wolfcop, Supergrid), artist Javier Martin Caba, cover artist Joel Hustak and letterer Micah Myers. Here is my review of issue 4:
The Atomic Victory Squad is a globe-trotting, world smashing superhero comic with characters that could only exist in animated form. They’re a team of unique misfits, forced to defend the earth when all the “real” heroes are violently killed.
“Make no mistake, I’ll milk you within an inch of your life.” – Farmer Bob (from The Atomic Victory Squad #4)
The penultimate issue of the first story arc for Lowell Dean’s twisted indie comic series The Atomic Victory Squad is the the most emotionally charged and unsettling chapter yet. We take a break from the action (though not entirely… there’s still some mayhem here in smaller doses) in order to psychologically evaluate the team as a new doctor enters the fray in order to pick apart the brains of our heroes following the major battle from last issue. You know – sorta like on all those police shows where the gruff detective is forced to sit with a therapist after shooting a bunch of bad guys in the face. It’s a genius move story-wise and it still allows the suspense to build while we learn more about the backstory and mindset that these heroes are currently in as they veer towards the final showdown next issue. Javier Martin Caba’s art is just as gorgeous in these quiet moments as it is during massive battles. I love how he manages to convey how screwed up everyone is psychologically simply through realistic facial expressions coming from outlandish characters that would otherwise have trouble visually showing a wide range of emotions in still images.
There are two particular brilliant doses of character development and backstory which I really enjoyed in issue 4: Bubble Myers voicing his frustration over intimacy issues (considering he can only be out of his special suit for seconds at a time) and Gary The Mime’s origin story (which still isn’t complete, but sheds a lot of light on his past). I loved both of these revelations, as well as Zoozanna reflecting on the madness of multiple animal personalities struggling to take control. There’s also some additional romantic drama between a couple characters that was most welcome after some hints in previous issues that this could be a possibility. I really like how Dean’s story doesn’t shy away from real world drama considering the concept is so outrageous and there are plenty of hilarious moments to be had. The issue even begins with more of my favorite comic news team – DNN (aka DOG NEWS NETWORK), so yes animals DO SPEAK and dress like humans in this world, which very much by design feels right at home in the Rick & Morty multiverse of madness.
Comics in general have taken a major hit in 2020 with most comic shops just now starting to open back up this past week, so if you’ve been craving something new and different after catching up on all your old books, The Atomic Victory Squad should be at the top of your list. It’s an indie book, so it’s tougher to find a physical copy, but the book is now hitting Comixology and you can reach out to creators via their website below. You will not regret it – this is a series that is destined to become an animated series someday so I suggest you get in on the ground floor and embrace the madness. I mean – the villain in this issue wants to milk our main hero to death, so that’s something you won’t be seeing in any other comic book today right? I love Atomic Victory Squad. It’s so f***-ed up.