->''"Y'know how you can watch a documentary about archaeology, and it’s a bunch of university professors and grad students carefully brushing dust from rocks? And then they learn something very important about pottery? Meanwhile Franchise/IndianaJones is also an archaeologist, but mostly he [[AdventurerArchaeologist runs around shooting bad guys and having car chases]]?\\
"Now apply the Indiana Jones model to [[ScienceHero every other field of study]].\\
"That's ''Atomic Robo''."''
-->-'''Intro to the ''Atomic Robo Roleplaying Game'' book'''

''[[http://www.atomic-robo.com Atomic Robo]]'' (written by Creator/BrianClevinger, of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' and ''Literature/NuklearAge'' fame) is a comic about, well, Atomic Robo, a robot built by UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla in the 1920s. Given citizenship by the US government in exchange for missions against [[StupidJetpackHitler Nazis and other similar scumbags]], he later started Tesladyne, a high tech organization devoted to fighting really weird evil and advancing human knowledge. Along with his elite team of Action Scientists, he travels the world (and further) fighting things on the fringes of human knowledge.

In addition to these, there's a spinoff series called ''Real Science Adventures'', with each issue containing several new stories, either one-shots or multi-parters, involving either Robo, side-characters from the main comic, or other people from the setting. One series deals with The Sparrow, while another focuses on the two-fisted science adventures of Tesladyne's predecessors; UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla, Ehrie "Creator/HarryHoudini" Weisz, Charles Fort, Creator/HPLovecraft’s dad, George Westinghouse, Annie Oakley and Wong Kei-ying (father of UsefulNotes/WongFeiHung) - ''the Seven Centurions of Science.'' Which is ''exactly'' as awesome as it sounds.

There's also a TabletopRPG spinoff, which uses the [[TabletopGame/{{FUDGE}} FATE]] system.

The series was originally published by Red 5. When the contract expired, the series shifted to a free webcomic format starting with Volume 10 in 2015. Later in the year, Creator/IDWPublishing picked up the license for the physical print versions. ''Real Science Adventures'' also shifted to a web format in 2016, but only released one new volume and stopped updating soon after.

[[folder:Comic list]]
* Volumes:
** '''1:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Fighting Scientists of Tesladyne'' (2007-08)
** '''2:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War'' (2008)
** '''3:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time'' (2009)
** '''4:''' ''Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness'' (originally ''...and the Vampire Dimension'') (2010)
** '''5:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science'' (2010)
** '''6:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X'' (2011)
** '''7:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'' (2012)
** '''8:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'' (2013)
** '''9:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle'' (2014)
** '''10:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire'' (2015-2016)
** '''11:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Temple of Od'' (2016)
** '''12:''' ''Atomic Robo and the Spectre of Tomorrow'' (2017)
* ''Real Science Adventures'':
** '''1:''' (Untitled anthology) (2012)
** '''2:''' ''The Billion-Dollar Plot'' (2014)
** '''3:''' ''Raid on Marauder Island'' (2016)
* Short stories:
** Free Comic Book Day stories: "The Tsar Bomb" (2008), "Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur" (2009), "Flight of the Terror Birds" (2010), "The Science Fair" (2011), "Team Up of the Century" (2012), "Project SAINT" (2013), "The Centralia Job" (2014), "The Trial of Atomic Robo" (2015), "Martin and Lewis Try Again" (2016)
** "Two-Fisted Tales: Along Came a Tyrantula" (2015, [=ComiXology=] digital exclusive)
** "Bug Hunt" (2016, break between vol. 10 and 11)
** "Project Millipede" (2017, break between vol. 11 and 12)

!! ''Atomic Robo'' contains examples of:

* AchievementsInIgnorance:
** Sometimes used to handwave seemingly impossible physics.
--->'''Robo:''' This is just-- you can't have giant bugs. [[SquareCubeLaw They'd crush themselves.]]\\
'''Jenkins:''' But do ''they'' know that?\\
'''Robo:''' Probably not, no.
** Also Dr. Dinosaur's trademark. Or possibly it's ObfuscatingStupidity. Or possibly he really IS such a genius that Robo just doesn't understand what he's saying.
--->'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' I had CRYSTALS!
* ActionGirl: The Sparrow, one of Britain's top operatives, who ended up working (rather reluctantly) alongside Robo in parts of Volume 2. They didn't really get on. More turn up in other volumes, such as Bao Lang (early-21st-century Tesladyne) or pretty much any given Flying She-Devil.
* AdaptationalVillainy: ''The Billion Dollar Plot'' guest-stars a trio of actual 19th-century DimeNovel {{Science Hero}}es -- as a triumvirate of UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans villains.
* {{Adorkable}}: Young Atomic Robo. Especially with the "Talk" Nikola Tesla tries to give him.
* AFoolForAClient: Dr. Dinosaur attempts to represent himself in court in "The Trial of Atomic Robo". Since he labels his briefcase "MY LAW BOX" and declares that the system is now on trial under the law of the jungle, it doesn't go well for him... though [[spoiler:his ''actual'' plan to humiliate Robo ends up being rather successful.]]
* AgentScully: Robo is usually rather open-minded, but he becomes this out of spite whenever confronting the inexplicable mad science of Dr. Dinosaur.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Discussed in ''The Ghost of Station X''. Lewis observes how fortunate humanity is that Robo didn't turn out like [[Franchise/{{Terminator}} Skynet]], [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL]], or the ''Film/EventHorizon''. [[spoiler:The story's Big Bad, ALAN, is a straightforward example.]]
* AffablyEvil: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', the BigBad repeatedly tries to reason with Robo and convince him [[spoiler:[[WeCanRuleTogether to join it]], even as it's trying to kill him]].
* AlienGeometries: "Zorth", the fifth cardinal direction, is actually so alien it only comes into play when something capable of destroying reality intersects with the observable universe. Thus, though Robo has spent literally his entire life researching it and put it to use multiple times, it isn't actually of use much of the time - except as the source of his [[RunningGag bitter rivalry]] with Stephen Hawking.
* AllOfThem: In Issue 5 of ''Ghost of Station X'':
-->'''[[LegacyCharacter Sparrow]]:''' We're being asked to hold [[HeroWithBadPublicity Robo]] for "the authorities".\\
'''Lewis:''' Which ones?\\
'''Sparrow:''' ''All'' of them.
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The RPG adaptation has a ''lot'' of background information, ranging from the nature of DELPHI to the names and one-paragraph backstories of every significant Tesladyne character except the guy with the pink hair from "The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur".
** The [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/timeline timeline page]] on the website lists all of the major events of the series in chronological order. It also lists dates for stories that have yet to be published, each listed only as "TOP SECRET"; ''The Spear of Destiny'' (TheSixties), ''[[Film/JamesBond Diamonds Are For Never]]'' ([[TheSeventies 1973]]), ''[[Creator/WilliamGibson The Mirrorshade Overdrive]]'' ([[TheEighties 1985]]), and ''The Soldiers of Fortune'' ([[TheNineties 1993]]).
* AlternateHistory: The comics feature a hefty amount of well-researched {{Historical In Joke}}s and archaic scientific concepts. Not to mention multiple {{Historical Villain Upgrade}}s.
* AlternateUniverse:
** The Vampire Dimension--a universe where all humans of the early [=1900s=] were turned into vampires due to an unknown worldwide catastrophe (like ''Film/IAmLegend'' without Will Smith).
** The Exoverse--a barren, featureless void outside of space and time and The Shadow's point of origin. Or it might be The Shadow's [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm true form]].
* AmazonBrigade: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific, former military support who refused to go home after WWII ended.
* AmericanRobot: ''[[RoaringTwenties Now in 20th Century Flavor!]]''
* AnachronicOrder: The story readily jumps around from any time period to another in Robo's decades of exploits. Sometimes the background or resolution to a story will not be shown until a few volumes later.
* AnimatedAdaptation: [[http://thefictory.com/atomicrobo/ In the works]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZrKE2MT0o Have a trailer]]!
* AppropriatedAppellation: Dr. Dinosaur, who take his name from Koa calling him "Some kinda... Doctor ''Dinosaur?''", when he burst in on Dinosaur about to slice off Robo's head with a circular saw.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Robo has a bad habit of this.
** He calls the Odic Force a debunked source of energy, despite [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v4ch4-page-15 evidence to the contrary literally staring him in the face]].
** Robo regularly dismisses Dr. Dinosaur's ramblings as worthless pseudoscience, even when he should know by now that beneath the rampant insanity his creations have worked (whether they can be controlled is a different story...) ''every time.'' He also flat-out states that time travel is impossible, even to three of his past selves at a place ''outside'' time, at which point it's just a matter of semantics. [[spoiler:And then Dr. Dinosaur's "time bomb" blows him into the 19th century.]]
* ArchEnemy: Helsingard is Robo's most frequently recurring nemesis, and as a MadScientist BrainInAJar piloting GiantMecha bodies, he parallels the purely mechanical ScienceHero Robo. There's also Dr. Dinosaur (a super-stupid dinosaur scientist opposing a super-intelligent robot scientist) and Undead Edison (who was the arch enemy of Robo's father). Basically, Helsingard is Robo's most frequent and dangerous enemy (Robo calls him "an unparalleled genius"), Dr. Dinosaur is his most humiliating (since he is stupid and yet manages to continuously outwit Robo), and Edison is Robo's oldest and most personal (Robo even calls him "[his] greatest enemy"). Another major contender is Majestic 12, an anti-Robo conspiracy.
* ArcNumber: In ''The Shadow From Beyond Time'', "infinity minus one".
* AreTheseWiresImportant: One of Robo's favorite techniques.
* ArtEvolution: And it was nice art to start with!
* ArtifactTitle: ''Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War'' was named because the original outline had Robo fighting Dr. Valkyrie's [[{{Werewolf}} Wehrwolf]] soldiers. The Wehrwolf Formula was given a token mention at the end of the Dr. Valkyrie conflict and a mention on the back cover of the trade paperback.
* AscendedFanboy: Emma Armstrong from "The Science Fair". The ten-year-old granddaughter of one of Robo's old action scientist comrades, who ''really wants'' to join Tesladyne and get away from her boring school and stupider teachers. The KidSidekick potential is subverted when Robo points out that [[RealityEnsues legally, he cannot hire a ten year old, especially considering the hyperdangerous shenanigans he gets up to]], but--in light of the fact that she [[ChildProdigy completed her grandfather's life work by solving a decades-old paradox and building a prototype out of car parts]]--he tells her to come back in ten years or so and there will be a job waiting for her. The Epilogue shows her after college, meeting Robo for the employee tour.
* AttackItsWeakPoint:
--> '''Robo:''' Y'know what they should call you? ''Baron von [[JustBetweenYouAndMe Blabs About His Only Weakness]]!''
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: Lampshaded, see below.
* AwesomeMcCoolname:
** Quite a few, scattered around.
--->'''Robo:''' Why don't you tell me a little about yourself, Doctor... Cannon, is it?\\
'''Cannon:''' ''Rex'' Cannon.\\
'''Robo:''' [[LampshadeHanging Good name]].
** Not many people realize it, but Robo's full name is Doctor Atomic Robo ''Tesla'':
--->'''Creator/CarlSagan:''' Your name is Doctor Atomic Robo Tesla?\\
'''Robo:''' Yeah...\\
'''Sagan:''' [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall They should make comic books out of you]].
* BadassBoast:
** In the very first issue Helsingard makes absolutely sure that there are no doubts as to what he is capable of:
--->'''Helsingard:''' I did not bring ''ruin'' to an underground utopia pre-dating the dawn of ''agriculture'' solely for the purpose of ''not'' gaining ultimate power over the fabric of reality. Do not make me ''end'' you and implant the organ myself, Doctor. I no longer have the fine motor control for self-experimentation and time is of the ''essence''.
** And then you have Creator/CarlSagan's boast when he starts on a plan to defeat the Shadow, very similar to stuff the man himself said in real life:
--->'''Carl Sagan:''' We are ''made'' of starstuff. Our consciousness, our ''intelligence'' is the machinery of the cosmos discovering itself. Our ''science'' will be its candle in the dark.
* BadassBookworm: Carl Sagan. Tesla.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Tesla. When he goes into battle, he does so in full black-tie, complete with [[NiceHat top hat]] and WaistcoatOfStyle. And a suit similar in its capabilities to Iron Man's.
* BadassNormal:
** Jenkins, who has survived the Vampire Dimension, blown up an ancient Egyptian monster while the others were debating what to do with it, crippled the Big Bad's giant robot body, and killed an entire crime cartel (including an ''entire beach full of armed people'') while sent on an enforced vacation to unwind.
** [[Trivia/AtomicRobo James Milligan]] in Volume 2, essentially a Scottish Jenkins in WWII as part of the British Royal Commandos.
* TheBadGuyWins: The end result of [[spoiler:Majestic 12's raid in ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur''. In the wake of the raid, Tesladyne is forcibly disbanded and replaced by Majestic, operating as Task Force ULTRA.]]
* BavarianFireDrill: About [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v10ch5-page-21a transporting a potentially city-busting piece of nuclear technology]]...
-->'''Phil:''' Customs was a pain. I just yelled [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Energy DOE]] protocols in no particular order. Long story short: I got through.
* BeamOWar: Between [[spoiler:Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla]], of all people.
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy:
** Volume 9 reveals that Doc Holliday and Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves helped defeat a MadScience invasion of the USA in 1884.
** It's revealed in Volume 5 that the [[spoiler:''War of the Currents'' was a front for Thomas Edison's attempt to distill and bottle Von Reichenbach's Odic Force as an immortality drug using a Direct-Current "Odic Capacitor"]]. It [[HoistByHisOwnPetard didn't end too well]] for him.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia_mine_fire Centralia mine fire]] which has been burning underground in Pennsylvania since 1962 was the result of Robo blowing up a mad scientist's ElaborateUndergroundBase.
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Deliberately averted with Robo. His exploits are often side-exploits that allow real-life history to proceed without interference--for example, his participation in the Mars probe consisted of sitting in a craft and doing nothing for a year. He got ''really bored''.
* BigBad
** Baron Heinrich von Helsingard in ''The Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne.''
** Otto Skorzeny in ''The Dogs of War.''
** The creature from ''The Shadow from Beyond Time.''
** You just ''know'' that the mysterious grumpy gentleman from the first issue of ''The Deadly Art of Science'' is going to be revealed as Edison, even before you see his face.
** [[spoiler:ALAN]] in ''The Ghost of Station X''.
** BigBadEnsemble: Dr. Dinosaur and Majestic 12 in ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'', Task Force ULTRA and the Biomega in ''The Ring of Fire''.
** BigBadWannabe: Butcher Caldwell in ''The Knights of the Golden Circle'', before being usurped by [[spoiler:a young [[HijackedByGanon Helsingard]].]]
* BigDamnKiss: [[spoiler:Helen and Robo's kiss in 5.3 gets an entire page.]]
* BotheringByTheBook: NASA, and ''how''.
-->'''Charlie Bolden:''' Robo, this is NASA. There's ''thirty'' pages of protocol [[SeriousBusiness for using the bathroom in space]]. ''Thirty-six'' counting appendices. We do ''everything'' by the book.
* BoxingLessonsForSuperman: Robo spent months learning martial arts from Bruce Lee, so that he wouldn't be dependent on just brute force. Bruce had already stopped taking students, but agreed to train him because Robo was the only person capable of surviving his full-strength attacks.
* BrainInAJar: Helsingard. [[spoiler:Several of them, in fact. When one goes down, another is activated, and apparently has all of the previous one's memories.]]
* BraveScot: [[Trivia/AtomicRobo James Milligan]], the commando from the Guernsey mission of ''The Dogs of War'' is a prime example. He takes out most of a fortified Nazi base by himself, faces off against opponents that gave ''Robo'' pause, fights his way back out of the base (while carrying half of Robo) and ends up flying a prototype helicopter to safety after rigging the entire fortress to explode. All while maintaining a "just another day at work" attitude and spouting nigh-incomprehensible Scottish one-liners.
* BrickJoke: In ''Ghost of Station X'', Robo calls Steve Jobs to complain about how his hands don't work on touchscreens. Later, he finds a smartphone that he can't use because of the same impediment.
* TheButcher: Butcher Caldwell in Volume 9. Lampshaded:
-->'''Holliday:''' They don't call him ''Butcher'' Caldwell because of his charm.
* CallForward: Seen from time to time thanks to the stories being told out of order.
** During "The Trial of Atomic Robo", Dr. Dinosaur [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v8fcbd-page-6 declares]] that his ''next'' monster will have a remote control. But we [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/vol5fcbd-page-5 already know]] how well that's going to work out.
** The ''Real Science Adventures'' arc ''The Billion Dollar'' plot, set before Atomic Robo's "birth", features Nikola Tesla's first use of the telluric vest and hand blasters he brings out of mothballs to rescue Robo at the denouement of ''The Deadly Art of Science''. The final scene has him embarking on a line of research intended to [[spoiler:add flight capability to the ensemble, which he also uses at the denouement of ''The Deadly Art of Science'']].
* CallingCard: Jack Tarot, the '30s vigilante who features in ''The Deadly Art of Science'', leaves a tarot card at the scene of his victories.
* CallingTheOldManOut: To Nikola Tesla, [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v5ch3-page-2 here.]]
-->'''Robo:''' ''You're'' the one who shoved me into an alternative universe filled with ''monsters''! You don't get to flip your lid if I wanna take a ''walk down the block''!
* CapsLockNumLockMissilesLock: When Robo and [[Magazine/ForteanTimes Charles Fort]] go hunting an EldritchAbomination, Robo brings [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v3ch2-page-3 appropriate hardware.]] Just mind the dial. Better yet, don't touch the dial.
-->'''Robo:''' ''These'' are {{Lightning Gun}}s. They collect electric charges from the air and boost them to ''obscenely'' dangerous levels through an even ''more'' dangerous process. Nothing unusual.\\
'''Fort:''' I say, a portable Wardenclyffe!\\
'''Robo:''' Yeah, just whatever you do, ''don’t'' move that dial past five. Or ''to'' five. Or ''near'' five, actually. In fact, set the dial to one and then ''forget it’s there.''\\
'''Fort:''' Is this entirely safe?\\
'''Robo:''' No. Not even a little.
** The zag is that sometimes you ''[[ForbiddenChekhovsGun want]]'' a big damned explosion, and rarely will you have much time to prep it. [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v3ch2-page-18 Case in point]], Robo turns the dials on ''both'' guns up to '''nine''' when he decides;
--->'''Robo''': …My years with Mr. Tesla have taught me that there’s one underlying scientific principle common to *all* existence.\\
'''Fort''': And that would be?\\
'''Robo''': ''Everything'' explodes.
* CarFu: "Automobiles have been the best melee weapons to use against giant monsters since the '50s. It's science fact."
* CartoonBomb: A fight scene in ''The Billion Dollar Plot'' involves a stash of dynamite in the classic red cylinder form, with "TNT" helpfully printed on each stick for good measure.
* TheCavalryArrivesLate: At the denouement of ''The Billion Dollar Plot'', the New York police arrive in force just ''after'' the heroes have disposed of the villains and their secret army, and attempt to arrest the heroes on the assumption that as the only people left standing they must be responsible for all the noise and property damage.
* CeilingCling:
** The first zombie creature in the 1957 section of ''The Shadow from Beyond Time''.
** Jenkins does one in ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'' to avoid the threat of [[spoiler:paperwork]].
* CentralTheme: ReedRichardsIsUseless. Robo finds himself regularly disdaining his the circumstances of ''his own chosen field of Action Science'', saying that though he has personal knowledge of what human science is capable of, most of the time it's only used for '''blowing shit up.''' Robo decries the UsefulNotes/ColdWar as "wast(ing) trillions of dollars and half the scientific talent of the world for ''three'' generations." Whenever he faces a MadScientist for the first time, he tells them, "YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood." Tesladyne ''itself'' can't focus on pure, productive science - no matter how much Robo would like to - because they spend so much time and effort ''[[WhoYouGonnaCall cleaning up other people's messes]].''
-->'''Robo''': ''[noticing that his employees have built an ObviouslyEvil computer]'' I ''really'' need to restructure my life so I can spend more time reading abstracts and less time punching dinosaurs.
* ChainsawGripBFG: Robo carries one on an action zoology expedition into the Amazon rainforest. Mostly, it's there to make him feel safe despite being surrounded by [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes insects]].
* CharacterBlog: [[http://twitter.com/Dr_Dinosaur Dr. Dinosaur]]
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: In the 70s, Robo decides he needs to stop relying on super-strength and learn how to fight smarter. Who does he go to? '''Creator/BruceLee.''' When they finally spar, Bruce puts on boxing gloves... for ''Robo's'' protection. No-one else on the planet can withstand his attacks at full force.
--> '''Robo:''' Bruce, c'mon. ''[on the ground]'' Wait. What just happened?\\
'''Bruce:''' I kicked you.\\
'''Robo:''' That was like... [[LightningBruiser being hit by a truck.]] And I've ''been'' hit by trucks.[[note]]TruthInTelevision; certain documentaries have calculated that the force in one of Bruce's kicks actually ''was'' equivalent to a fully loaded truck going at 30 miles per hour![[/note]]
* ChekhovsGun:
** A literal case in ''The Ghost of Station X''; after Robo's signature [[RevolversAreJustBetter WWII revolver]] gets trashed [[spoiler:on re-entry]], and he has his quartermaster repair it. The guy gives him an ''anti-material handgun'', which Robo later uses [[spoiler:to take out an Apache helicopter, and later to aid him in destroying ALAN's OrionDrive]].
** Inverted with [[spoiler:[[KillSat Projekt Longinus]]]]; due to the series' AnachronicOrder, the setup (''The Spear of Destiny'') comes after the payoff (''The Ring of Fire'', where it's used to [[spoiler:destroy the Biomega Nexus]]).
* ChekhovsGunman: In 2010, [[spoiler:Rex Cannon]] appeared on four pages before being [[spoiler:unceremoniously killed off at the very start of a vampire invasion]]. They NeverFoundTheBody...[[spoiler:because, as revealed in the 2016 Free Comic Book Day story, he's now the King of the Vampire Dimension]].
* CoatHatMask: Jack Tarot is one BadAssLongcoat short of this.
* CoolOldGuy: Robo. He's a grumpy old man in the body of a super-strong robot.
* ContinuityCreep: The first few volumes had standalone stories, but ''Ghost of Station X'' began an ongoing storyline in the modern-day-set volumes (though stories set in the past are still relatively unconnected to each other).
* ContinuityNod:
** "What's this about a ''[[AlienGeometries fifth]]'' cardinal direction?"
** Bernard can be seen hiding from Jenkins in the cafeteria background in 3.5, which canonically takes place about a year after the "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" B-story.
** In ''Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'', it's mentioned that Robo has flown with the [[EagleSquadron Flying Tigers]] during WWII (his flight jacket even has the China-Burma-India Theater patch on the left shoulder), which was shown way back in the second issue. He even wears the panda bear patch of [[ShownTheirWork 2nd Squadron AVG]].
*** And much later, ''The Temple of Od'' shows us how Robo met General Claire Chenault, the Tigers' founder, in 1939.
** The Majestic 12 attack force in Volume 8 includes the robot from the "Project SAINT" Free Comic Book Day story.
* CourtroomAntics: The 2015 Free Comic, "The Trial of Atomic Robo". The trial itself is short-lived, as the plaintiff (Dr. Dinosaur) is found in contempt of court within the first two pages.
* CranialProcessingUnit: Discussed in ''Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'' after Robo is knocked unconscious by enemy forces. One of them suggests removing his head before he recovers, and another points out that they don't know if that will actually do anything since his main processing unit might be somewhere else in his body. It later turns out in ''Ring of Fire'' that it ''is'' in his head.
* CrossOver: ''Real Science Adventures #2'' features a short story in which Robo recruits [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 The RED Team]] to capture the Yonkers Devil. They all die by the end, at which point Robo is revealed to have been replaced by [[MasterOfDisguise the BLU Spy]], who had been hired by [[GovernmentConspiracy Majestic 12]] to keep the beast free for study.
* CrossReferencedTitles: "Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur" (FCBD 2009) and "Why Dr. Dinosaur Hates Atomic Robo" (''Other Strangeness'', issue 3).
* CulturedBadass: Jenkins is seen reading a book of poetry while awaiting the call to action in the "Project SAINT" Free Comic Book Day story.
* CyberCyclops: The EvilKnockoff robot in ''The Deadly Art of Science'' has a single eye.
* DarkestHour: The beginning of the ''Ring of Fire'' arc. Robo is [[spoiler:lost in time and presumed dead]], the rest of the team is either presumed dead or in hiding deep underground, Tesladyne has been taken over by Majestic 12 and turned into Task Force ULTRA, which is also commandeering other major scientific organizations unopposed, and the world is facing a major Biomega outbreak - against which any organized effort would conflict with ULTRA's goal of [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v10ch1-page-1a hyperdominance.]]
-->'''General Sheng''': In years past, the international science defense community could be trusted to put politics aside in a crisis. Task Force ULTRA makes this impossible. [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v10ch3-page-3a No one trusts anyone.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Robo.
* DeepImmersionGaming: Used frequently in the Roleplaying Game book, which takes sequences from the original comics and adds narration from a Game Master and Players to demonstrate those scenes in game mechanics.
* DefaceOfTheMoon: On Mars, after Robo gets sent there because Creator/StephenHawking told NASA he has a hybernation mode (he doesn't). "STEPHEN HAWKING IS A BASTARD."
* DefectorFromDecadence: Before joining Tesladyne, [[spoiler:Jenkins was a Majestic agent]].
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Creator/HPLovecraft's infamy as a huge racist and xenophobe ''even for his time'' is reflected in the comic, as when he mistakes Robo for a pygmy in ceremonial ritual armor:
-->'''Robo:''' 'Scuze me.\\
'''Lovecraft:''' ''Ah!'' Look, it's attempting to ''communicate''. No doubt the savage thing knows language as a house pet knows its reflection in the mirror. The sense is taken in, but the process, the ''meaning'', is forever lost.\\
'''Robo:''' Yer razzin' me.\\
'''Lovecraft:''' See how vainly it cobbles together a string of sounds not unlike words? Take. Us. To. [[UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla Magic. Thunder. Man.]]\\
'''Robo:''' Uh-''huh.''
* DemBones: Undead Edison.
* {{Dissimile}}: In ''The Billion Dollar Plot'', Annie Oakley and Wong Kei-Ying hijack a monocycle from an enemy mook:
-->'''Annie Oakley:''' How d'ya figure ya ride this thing?\\
'''Wong Kei-Ying:''' Much like a horse. But differently.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In Volume 8, the TV punditry using the events of Volume 7 as an excuse to get the public behind the attack on Tesladyne resembles the worst excesses of how 9/11 was used as an excuse to get the public behind the attack on Iraq, most obviously in the repeated invocations of "8/11".
* DrinkingContest: In one issue Robo reminisces about a pilot he served with in World War II who challenged him to a drinking contest even though he's a robot and doesn't have anything to drink ''with''.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Dr. Dinosaur.
-->'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' Behold! An ordinary motorist! ''[crashes through a building]''
* DVDCommentary:
** Sort of. The website has pages of writer Creator/BrianClevinger and artist Scott Wegener commenting on their issues over instant messenger ([[http://www.atomic-robo.com/?p=187 here is the page for issue #1]]), doing such things as mocking the early art, arguing over how Helsingard should have been more obviously not-Nazi and pointing out that [[ImproperlyPlacedFirearms they gave Germans English guns]].
** As of volume seven, Clevinger and Wegener have been doing a segment called ''[[http://nerdyshow.com/atomicrobo Atomic Robo: Nuts and Bolts]]'' on the Nerdy Show podcast. They and the interviewer go through each issue as it comes out and discuss where certain ideas come from, their writing process, and how Scott never looks at Brian's scripts.
* EarlyBirdCameo:
** Two cases in ''Other Strangeness'': The photo of [[spoiler:Jack Tarot]] on Robo's desk, and [[CallForward the eventual fate of]] [[spoiler:Thomas Edison]], both of whom are key players in ''Deadly Art of Science''.
** Early on in ''Deadly Art of Science'', Tesla catches Robo reading a pulp magazine about "Ironhide, scourge of the Old West". Fast-forward ([[TimeTravelTenseTrouble rewind?]]) to ''Knights of the Golden Circle'', where it turns out that [[spoiler:Ironhide was a real person, whom Robo gets mistaken for]].
* EldritchAbomination: The Shadow. We're not even sure if it's ''alive''. It's defined, at best, as a temporally non-linear "being, force or ''malevolence''" that exists outside the Universe and intersects it at several points in history. The thing is, from ''its'' point of view, all the intersections are simultaneous, so killing it once isn't the same as banishing it forever. Had it gone unchecked, it would have expanded exponentially to swallow the Universe whole, then retroactively erase its existence. A hint of its strangeness comes when you realize that, in its dimension of origin, it exists as practically ''everything'', while Robo exists as four versions of himself. So you might as well interpret it as a ''living universe''.
* TheEndOrIsIt: The last panel of ''The Ghost Of Station X'' shows [[spoiler:a small plant with electronic "veins" growing on ALAN's base]]. ''The Ring of Fire'' ends with [[spoiler:a small chunk of Biomega coming back to life at the bottom of the ocean]].
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', [[spoiler:ALAN has spent fifty-plus years exerting subtle and powerful influence throughout the world, including shaping the development of the Cold War, to bring his plan to fruition. He doesn't understand why Robo has a problem with this, and when Robo tries to point out that he could have done a lot to help people with that kind of power in fifty years, he can't see what purpose that would have served.]]
* EvilCounterpart: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', [[spoiler:ALAN is one to Robo: they are both powerful automatic intelligences created by eccentric scientific geniuses, but where Tesla raised Robo with love and taught him to help people, ALAN was left without guidance at an early age after Turing was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labouchere_Amendment prosecuted for homosexuality]]. As a result, ALAN has no regard for human life, engineering the Cold War solely to develop nuclear technology for his own ends - specifically sterilizing the entire planet with an OrionDrive launch]].
* EvilGloating: Despite having spent most of his scenes in the story complaining about being in a hurry to complete his scheme, Edison still spends three pages monologuing to the captive Robo about what he's doing, which gives Tesla time to track them down and turn the tables.
* EvilKnockoff: In ''The Deadly Art of Science'', Edison responds to Tesla's creation of Robo by building a larger, stronger robot of his own. How it stacks up to Robo in intelligence and personhood is never really addressed, since he basically uses it as a near-indestructible mook (in contrast to Tesla, who's shown in the same story to worry about Robo's safety and care about his intellectual development), but it ''does'' seem to have an unusual fondness for hats.
* EyepatchOfPower: Captain May Carter of the Flying She-Devils. Even better, her flight goggles have her bad eye covered with a lens with a skull on it.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner:
-->'''[[spoiler:Robo:]]''' I already know how it ends. ''You don't win.''
* FantasticRacism: Played for Laughs, as Dr. Dinosaur regularly dismisses "mammal"... well, anything. This extends to calling Robo a mammal robot, which he has no idea how to respond to.
* FirstNameBasis / LastNameBasis: Most of the Action Scientists' first and last names are known, but they're typically only referred to by one (Vik, Bernard, Ada) or the other (Lang, Louis, Martin). It's unknown which category [[OnlyOneName Jenkins]] falls into.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: [[spoiler:Robo in the late 19th century]].
* FiveTokenBand: Based on their names, the six primary Action Scientists (Alpha Team and Beta Team) are of German, African, Hawaiian, Indian, Chinese, and some kind of Germanic origins. At least partially confirmed in the RPG manual: Vikram is [[TwoferTokenMinority the son of African and Pakistani parents]], Bao Lang is the child of Hong Kong Royal Navy officers, and Koa hails from Maui.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** In ''The Shadow From Beyond Time'', Robo rants that the Army is telling Eisenhower that Sputnik means the Russians have thousands of space-capable nuclear weapons, and America should build a thousand of their own, which will cause the Russians to build a thousand ''more'' - despite not knowing if the Russians have ''any at all''. In ''The Ghost of Station X'', it turns out that [[spoiler:ALAN was deliberately driving this arms race to further his own goals]].
** ''The Ghost of Station X'' itself is packed with it:
*** Lewis' comment about [[spoiler:how we're lucky Robo is morally upright]], later contrasted with [[spoiler:ALAN, who is most certainly ''not'']].
*** One of Martin and Lewis' many tangent theories when investigating the disappearing of a whole building is that it's AGlitchInTheMatrix, because they figure future technology will either be unsustainable or so advanced we're probably already living in their simulations ("''Film/MadMax'' now or ''VideoGame/TheSims'' later."). [[spoiler:ALAN predicted the former, which is why he plans to leave Earth on an Orion starship to look for more resources, destroying the Earth in the process]].
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: [[spoiler:ALAN chooses to interact with Robo as a holographic projection of its own creator, Alan Turing]].
* ForScience: Robo does stuff for it. [[http://www.dadsbigplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/atomic-robo-vol-6-4-convoy-for-science.jpg Like ask for truck convoys.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: Robo is moved during volume 8 to demand to know where Dr. Dinosaur's rock-men army got face lasers.
* FriendlySniper: Annie Oakley in "Tesla's Electric Sky Schooner".
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: During the '70s segment of ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', Robo meets with Carl Sagan at a diner. A waitress inside is sufficiently distracted by this scene to [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v3ch4-page-2 cause a bit of a mess...]]
* FunTShirt: Modern-day Robo has a penchant for them.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** In ''The Ghost of Station X'', [[spoiler:ALAN: Automatic Learning Algorithm Network. Built by, you guessed it, Alan Turing]].
** In ''The Ring of Fire'', the [[spoiler:"Scientific Emergency and Containment United Response Experts" ([[TheWarOnTerror S.E.C.U.R.E.]]) Act, which essentially outlaws Action Science, leaving world-saveage in the hands of the incompetents in Majestic 12. During a Kaiju invasion]].
* GainaxEnding: ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'' ends with [[spoiler:Jenkins blowing up a large portion of Tesladyne's base, Dr. Dinosaur's "time bomb", going off, and Robo ending up in Oklahoma, [[TimeTravel in 1870]].]]
* GeniusBruiser: Robo himself.
* GeniusDitz: Dr. Dinosaur. Capable of great scientific feats, but at the same time:
-->'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' I ''knew'' you would be here, Atomic ''Hobo''! Witness how I have deconstructed your name into an ''insult!''\\
'''Robo:''' Yeah. Wow. NeverHeardTHATOneBefore.\\
'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' ''Shut up!'' I hacked your mainframe and downloaded your itinerary. Yes! ''All'' your computerized scheduling secrets are now ''mine!''\\
'''Robo:''' You ''joined'' our ''newsletter!''\\
'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' ''You can't prove that!''
** He later goes on a world-wide crime spree in order to... build a fairly ordinary (desktop) computer, which he uses to send spam emails to Robo.
* GenreSavvy: Robo's team of Action Scientists are understandably reluctant to break through a pair of huge, ornate, conspicuous locked doors in an abandoned Helsingard facility:
-->'''Action Scientist:''' Okay, seriously? These are ''end boss'' doors.
* GentlemanAdventurer: Charles Fort and Creator/HPLovecraft.
-->'''Robo:''' You guys don't ''look'' like adventurers.\\
'''Fort:''' Adventure was more a hobby. We're ''writers'', really.
* {{Gesundheit}}: In ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'':
-->'''Robo:''' We're here because the sightings are suspiciously close to Kukenan Tepui.\\
'''Vikram:''' ''[to Bernard]'' Robots sneeze?\\
'''Robo:''' A tepui is a flat-topped mountain, Vikram. Kukenan is one.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: "Your problem will be solved." "With violent science." "That is SO a band name."
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: In "The Trial of Atomic Robo", Robo survives an explosion with all his clothes burned off except a pair of boxer shorts with love hearts printed on them.
* GoshdangItToHeck:
** Robo doesn't curse, instead using odd euphemisms like "Horsefeathers!" and "Cheese and Crackers!"
** Averted at one point in Volume Three, though. [[spoiler:After seeing the Shadow from Beyond Time [[BodyHorror "intersect" with one of the Action Scientists]], Robo shouts out, "Holy DAMMIT!"]]
** The "odd euphemisms" are how young (read: kid) Robo curses. You'll notice that his "vocabulary" expands as he gets older.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Majestic 12, an organization dedicated to researching Tesla supertech, are the prime suspects for the elaborate anti-Robo conspiracy that's been going on in ''The Ghost of Station X''. Robo originally dismisses the theory, stating that the attacks are [[MoreDakka too overt]], and that Majestic like to play the long haul (since they've been hiding since the '40s). He's quickly reminded that for humans, 70 years ''is'' a long haul.
* GratuitousGerman: Averted, thankfully. Skorzeny's German is accurate.
* GraveHumor: The cover of one issue of ''Knights of the Golden Circle'' depicts a graveyard, with a couple of tongue-in-cheek headstones in the background. All the inscriptions, except the one front-and-center that's related to the plot of the issue, are actual inscriptions from the famous Boot Hill graveyard in Arizona.
* GreenRocks: According to Dr. Dinosaur, crystals (no particular kind of crystal, just crystals in general) can do ''anything''.
* GreyGoo: Biomega, the setting's resident {{Kaiju}}, turn out to be a biological form of this. If left unchecked, they will eventually devour the Earth, then the solar system, the galaxy, other galaxies...
* GunFu: [[TheGunslinger Jack Tarot]] is an interesting case. His marksmanship looks nothing like this, but his aiming technique is an adapted form of "Zen Archery".
* HandCannon: The Webley Mk VI Robo got in the 1930s and carried as his main gun for nearly eighty years. After that breaks in Volume 6 his weapons technician [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v6ch3-page-5 gives him]] a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiappa_Rhino Chiappa Rhino]] [[http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/725 2"]](made from superdense materials that lets it fire rounds with extremely powerful propellant); it's described as an anti-materiel handgun. Soon afterwards, it proves its credentials by shooting down an attack helicopter.
* HeroicBSOD: Robo goes into one for a few pages near the end of ''The Ghost of Station X'', after [[spoiler:he meets the only other true artificial intelligence ever created and then has to kill it because it's a sociopath that's planning to wipe out the human race]].
* [[HeroStoleMyBike Hero Stole My Rocket Fuel]]: When Robo discovers a basement full of BigCreepyCrawlies in the basement while inspecting the new Tesladyne Institute building, he has Bernard steal a tank of liquid rocket fuel from his neighbors...the Virgin Galactic spaceport.
-->'''Bernard:''' You think they'll mind?
-->'''Robo:''' About the tanker? We're neighbors and adventure industrialists. That was like borrowing a cup of sugar.
-->'''[[DistantReactionShot Sir Richard Branson]]:''' [[ThirdPersonPerson Sir Richard Branson]] thinks you should ask ''before'' you borrow something.
* HistoricalBadassUpgrade: ''[[WorldOfBadass Everyone.]]''
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade:
** Creator/CarlSagan wielding lightning guns and MacGyvering Robo's mad science tech.
** Charles Fort and Creator/HPLovecraft battling a real EldritchAbomination. Though if we're honest Howard is only marginally helpful.
** At the climax of Volume 5 we see [[spoiler:''Tesla'' flying and shooting [[HandBlast energy blasts]] with the help of a [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman minor rig]].]]
** ''Real Science Adventures'' shows a veritable dream-team of these back in the late 19th and early 20th century: UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla, Charles Fort, George Westinghouse, [[Creator/HPLovecraft H.P.]]'s dad Winfield Scott Lovecraft (the President's [[OccultDetective occult secret agent]]), Creator/HarryHoudini, Anne Oakley and Wong Kei-ying.
* HistoricalInJoke: In ''Knights of the Golden Circle'', the villain's airship is brought down while it's flying over Nevada. When secret service agents come to investigate the wreckage, a caption reveals that it's at Groom Lake, later to be the site of {{Area 51}}.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade:
** You could say this about Otto Skorzeny, the Nazi commando from Volume 2, but looking at his biography, fighting wise-cracking American robots seems to fit right in.
** Thomas Edison using the ghost of Rasputin in an attempt to assassinate Tesla. Which turns out to be only ''one'' of his villainous schemes.
** In Volume 8, Robo mentions in passing that Guglielmo Marconi (another of Tesla's rivals, only officially declared to have stolen the credit for inventing radio from Tesla ''after both of them were dead'') had worked for the Nazis and built them a Science City; ergo, ''he coordinated their entire weapons program.''
--->'''Lang:''' Marconi's [[StupidJetpackHitler secret Nazi space program]]? '''[[YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe Seriously]]''', Robo?\\
'''Robo''': I don't joke around about Marconi, Lang.
*** AluminumChristmasTrees; Marconi was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guglielmo_Marconi#Later_years BFFs]] with ''UsefulNotes/BenitoMussolini.''
** While not exactly villainous, James Forrestal, Truman's Secretary of Defense, was the man most responsible for the creation of Majestic 12, an amoral black ops program which causes problems throughout the series.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Dr. Dinosaur's schemes have a tendency to blow up in his face (sometimes literally) more often than not. He keeps at it, though, because there's also a better-than-even chance of said schemes blowing up in Robo's face (often literally). There's quite a bit of overlap.
* HowUnscientific: Plenty of sci-fi craziness to go around, but Robo is utterly (and, apparently, rightly) incredulous about Dr. Dinosaur's supposed time-travel machine. Considering that it was apparently constructed of fronds, rocks "[[LargeHam and CRYSTALS!]]", even given the super-science world he lives in he's arguably right to be.
* HumongousMecha:
** The Nazi ''Laufpanzers'' from Volume 2 fit this pretty well, and arguably so does Baron von Helsingard's various robotic bodies throughout Volume 1. They're both rather small by HumongousMecha standards, though, being the size of a large car at most.
** There is a suitably giant robot in a Volume 2 backup story, used by North Korea in 1950.
** In Volume 3, a giant robot is tested in the background at Tesladyne, and promptly falls over and explodes.
** Big Science Inc's [[{{Sentai}} Science Team Super Five]] pilots the [[HumongousMecha Mecha Robo]] in Volume 4 Issue 2, to limited effect. It requires a large ground support crew, is barely capable of moving without falling over, and was only deployed so it could fire an extremely large weaponized ''orbital delivery'' railgun at [[{{Kaiju}} an improbably large mutant monster]]. Also, it looks more like something out of Battletech than any sort of mecha you'd see in Franchise/SuperSentai. Interestingly enough, it appears to be based on ''Robo''. Having an existing robot capable of every range of human movement probably inspired some engineers to borrow a few ideas. That, or the Japanese scientists are just big fans of his.
** In ''The Ring of Fire'', Big Science Inc has five "Titan" mecha in their arsenal, which Task Force ULTRA commandeers to fight the Biomega threat.
* HyperCompetentSidekick: Jenkins, despite Robo being very competent and tough himself. Clevinger and Wegener have joked that Robo is actually Jenkins' sidekick.
* HypocriticalHumor: Jack Tarot spends the first half of ''The Deadly Art of Science'' insulting Robo's love of pulp adventure stories, before turning out to have a hilariously-pulpy backstory of his own, involving a plane crash in the Himalayas, learning Zen-archery from a secretive order of monks, adapting it to firearms, and going from the wastrel son of a rich industrialist to a gun-toting vigilante.
* IChooseToStay: Bernard in the Hollow Earth in ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur''. [[spoiler:The others rightly point out that his estimated lifespan down there is something like a day, and haul him with them anyway.]]
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: Robo tries this on the mecha-converted Caldwell in ''Knights of the Golden Circle''. Caldwell's response is to try and kill him, which Robo complains doesn't give him any evidence about whether it worked (since they were enemies before and this is something Caldwell might plausibly do whether or not he was still brainwashed).
* INeedAFreakingDrink:
** Helen's second reaction after the realisation hits, after she's been dating Robo a while, that he's technically only seven years old. (Her first reaction is to nearly throw up.)
** How Carl Sagan copes with the sight of an EldritchAbomination.
--->'''Sagan:''' I require a stiff drink. Several of them, in fact. Enough to paralyze a cow.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Inverted with [[spoiler:Otto Skorzeny in the '70s. He attempts to have Robo give him a soldier's death by informing him he killed Tesla and used his technology for the Nazi war effort - and even ''gives Robo a weapon first.'' Robo seriously considers doing it, but instead leaves him to die a painful, lonely death of cancer.]]
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou: In "The Trial of Atomic Robo", Dr. Dinosaur mentions in the middle of a rant that he has a self-destruct mechanism for his latest killing machine in his briefcase, "But that's a secret and I'm ''not'' telling you about it." [[spoiler:It turns out to be a trick.]]
* InexplicablyAwesome: Dr. Dinosaur, as of volume 8. His origin is obscured, and all of his appearances feature him managing something completely impossible--with no explanation beyond Dr. Dinosaur's own questionable TechnoBabble.
* InsistentTerminology: Bernard correcting anyone who refers to magma as lava in ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur''.
* IntelligibleUnintelligible: Edison's robot in ''The Deadly Art of Science''.
-->'''Robot:''' Bzz Bzbzzz bzzzlb.\\
'''Edison''': I say, you've been busy, lad.\\
'''Robot:''' Bzz!\\
'''Edison:''' Yes, of course.
* {{Irony}}: For all Robo's insistence that time travel is impossible, it turns out that the explanation for ''his own'' temporal jaunt at the end of Volume 8 is zorth cartography, ''his own'' theory.
* IsItAlwaysLikeThis: ''Other Strangeness'' depicts Bernard Fischer's first few days as an Action Scientist, which includes an invasion of other-dimensional vampires and a visit from the disembodied consciousness of Thomas Edison. Near the end, he asks Robo the traditional question; Robo's reply is, "No, sometimes it gets ''weird''."
* ItsForABook: In ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', young Robo tries to get advice from Tesla on fighting the eponymous extradimensional menace, without admitting that he's fighting it instead of doing his homework, by claiming that the radio serial he has on as background noise is about a battle against an extradimensional menace and he's curious about whether it's getting the science right.
* {{Jerkass}}: A few examples:
** Creator/StephenHawking (the bastard!)
** H.P. Lovecraft, although to be fair, by all accounts he ''was'' like that [[spoiler:apart from being the physical form of an EldritchAbomination.]]
* JerkassHasAPoint: For all of Task Force ULTRA's extreme actions, General Brooks does point out that Big Science Inc. ''knew'' that the predicted [[{{Kaiju}} Biomega]] outbreak was A) coming, and B) much worse than anyone else expected, and didn't bother to tell anyone else or otherwise try to get assistance. Dr. Hokuto retorts by saying there was no ''point'' in telling anyone else, as they were (until ULTRA's meddling) the only group with the gear needed to deal with Biomega in the first place.
* {{Jetpack}}: Used by the She-Devils.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Exploited in ''The Billion Dollar Plot''; having reached the limit of what they can deduce about the villains' plans, the heroes allow themselves to be captured on the accurate assumption that one of the villains will fail his roll against gloating and explain exactly what they're up to.
* KidAppealCharacter: Discussed by the creators. When pitching a possible movie adaptation, the studio execs insisted that there be a kid protagonist involved; even though the creators argued that it wouldn't make sense for a child to be employed by Tesladyne, and that Robo himself would theoretically appeal to kid viewers enough as a big friendly robot. Eventually, they came up with the idea of a kid being swept up in an adventure through their ScienceFair project, which was later turned into a FCBD comic.
* KillItWithFire: Robo's reaction to discovering a sub-basement filled with giant insects (triggering his [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes phobia]]) is to flood the place with rocket fuel and burn everything down.
* KillSat: Projekt Longinus, an [[StupidJetpackHitler unused Nazi superweapon]] left behind after WWII, capable of OrbitalBombardment with tungsten rods. It's central to the plot of ''The Spear of Destiny'', and in ''The Ring of Fire'' it's the lynchpin of Robo's plan to destroy the Biomega Nexus.
* KindaBusyHere: In ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', young Robo attempts to battle the eponymous menace when it attacks while Tesla is out of town. Halfway through the battle, Tesla calls to check that he's doing his homework, and Robo has to pass off the background noise as a radio serial he's listening to.
* LargeHam: Several examples:
** Creator/HPLovecraft
** Helsingard, who can't resist making grand speeches about how he is definitely, absolutely, for sure this time going to kill Atomic Robo after seventy years of trying. And whose ''first appearance'' sets the tenor for pretty much all his other appearances. "'''Behold, the Helsingard!'''"
** Dr. Dinosaur. "Behold my mastery of the mammal haiku!"
* LawOfConservationOfNormality: According to WordOfGod in various places, the threats that Robo faces are designed to adhere to this law as much as possible (for example, Robo fights extradimensional monsters but not alien invasions because the latter would necessitate a cultural shift; practical, functioning giant robots are out because of the necessary technologies to invent them should change the world).
* LegacyCharacter:
** There have been a number of British operatives code-named 'The Sparrow', all seemingly from the same family. [[AllThereInTheManual Margaret Weir]] shows up in ''Dogs of War'', with a mention of her brother having preceded her, and her grandson shows up in ''Ghost of Station X'', with an interceding generation (female) mentioned.
** In ''Knights of the Golden Circle'', [[spoiler:Robo is mistaken for a previous "Ironhide" who was believed to have died before the story started, with people speculating that he's a relative or colleague who carrying on where the original left off]].
** Dr. Hokuto inherits Dr. Yumeno's position twice; first as [[{{Sentai}} Guardian Red]], later as the director of Big Science Inc.
* LegCling: Parodied on the cover of Issue #4 of ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur''.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: TheTunguskaEvent.
-->'''Tesla:''' Should an intense young man and a wild-eyed gentleman ever approach you and mention the word "Tunguska", I want you to ''shoot'' them. Promise me.
* LightningGun: When Robo has enough prep-time to pick his loadout, he tends to gravitate towards electricity-based weapons.
* LimelightSeries: ''Real Science Adventures''
* LockAndLoadMontage: Tesla preparing for his final showdown with Edison.
* MadeOfExplodium: Everything that exists, according to Tesla.
* MadeOfIron: Robo, naturally enough. Over the years, Robo has replaced upwards of ninety-five percent of his chassis as parts inevitably wore out, better versions and new materials were developed, and new technologies were invented. As a result, he is really, ''really'' tough. So far, the only things that brought him close to death have been a collision with an ''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill orbiting satellite]]'' followed by re-entry (''Ghost of Station X''), and a crashing zeppelin packed with highly explosive GreenRocks (''Knights of the Golden Circle'').
* MadScientist: As a distinguished Robot of Science himself, it's no surprise that Robo encounters quite a few of these:
** Dr. Vanadis Valkyrie, the female German scientist behind the Brute program.
** Henrich von Helsingard as well. The guy was building tanks as early as 1888, and had cyborgs and mechanical bodies for his brain to ride in during WWII, and possibly earlier.
** Thomas Edison is [[InvokedTrope called]] this in the preview text for the final issue of Volume 5. He also has his own giant henchrobot.
** Dr. Shinka in Volume 4, Issue 2.
** There are scores of them throughout the B-stories, including one guy who was planning to cast a world-altering spell from a rocket.
** Tesla is one as well, given is... ''peculiar'' approach towards building something as innocuous as an electronoscope. He is of the gentle, benevolent variety, though.
** Dr. Dinosaur isn't much of a scientist - most of his stuff is based on rubber science - but he makes up for it with extra madness.
--->'''Dr. Dinosaur''' ''[running from his own creation]'' [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/vol5fcbd-page-5 What hath mad science wrought?!]]
* {{Magitek}}:
** The Backup story for Volume 1 Issue 3 is about Jack Parsons, who builds a rocket as part of a scheme to become a god. Robo blows it up mid-flight because it would have crashed into a city. No consideration was given to whether or not the magic would have worked.
** Edison's plan hinged on a mystical crystal skull of Atlantean origin and Von Reichenbach's since-debunked [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odic_force Odic force]].
* MagneticWeapons: The HumongousMecha in "Atomic Robo Big in Japan" is armed with a giant railgun based on a design originally intended for launching payloads into orbit.
* MathematiciansAnswer: "The Trial of Atomic Robo":
-->'''Robo:''' Can't ''believe'' this thing made it to court.\\
'''Bernard:''' You mean [[FrivolousLawsuit the case]] or [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} him]]?\\
'''Robo:''' ''Yes.''
* MeaningfulName: Dr. Shinka[[note]] "Evolution" in Japanese[[/note]]
** Also, the people of the Hollow Earth have a simple, yet powerful name for themselves.
--->'''Bernard:''' We really should come up with a name for Hollow Earth stuff one of these days.
--->'''Robo:''' Wonder what they called themselves.
--->'''Bernard:''' ''*[[CreepyMonotone remembering]]*'' Akni. 'The People'.
* MemeticBadass: [[invoked]]
** Jenkins is an InUniverse example. Even the creators joke that the titular [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot genius, nigh-indestructible, immortal atomic robot]] is ''his'' sidekick.
--->'''Robo:''' Jenkins doesn't sleep. He ''holds back.''
** During the "Revenge of the Vampire Dimension":
--->'''Robo:''' Oh, no. [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} We're not trapped in here with]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent them]]. ''They're'' trapped in here with ''Jenkins''.\\
'''New Guy:''' What's a Jenkins?\\
'''Robo:''' Jenkins is... well, he's on '''our''' side. You'll come to appreciate that.
** And during "The Ghost of Station X":
--->'''Lang:''' What if they capture Jenkins?\\
''[cut to Jenkins brawling with multiple armed and armored mooks, a robot, and a helicopter--and winning]''\\
'''Robo:''' If they're lucky, it won't come to that.
* MonumentalBattle: Robo's team is faced against a mysteriously walking pyramid. It [[StuffBlowingUp gets destroyed]], much to the ire of the Egyptian president.
* MST3KMantra: Discussed InUniverse in ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', as Young Robo hasn't got the hang of it yet:
-->'''Tesla:''' ''Tell'' me you're not planning to write them about their scientific accuracy ''again''.\\
'''Robo:''' Oh, the ''hack'' responsible for that mole men episode had it ''coming''.\\
'''Tesla:''' Leave those poor people alone. They only wish to entertain.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: At the end of the [[BSideComics B-Side Comic]] "PROJECT MILLIPEDE", which takes place after Volume 2 of the main series, [[spoiler:the Sparrow]]'s role is expanded to coordinate missions across "an elite team of the Allies' ''best'' agents. And Atomic Robo."
* {{Necromancer}}:
** Charles Fort mentions in issue 3.1 that Edison is in possession of a "necrophone," which apparently allows him to speak with the dead.
** The device was seen in an earlier backup story. Edison used it to communicate with Rasputin's ghost. This is based on actual reports from the 1920s that Edison was working on just such a device.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Half of Robo's encounters with Dr. Dinosaur end up this way. And Robo takes it as a given that if no body was found, [[spoiler:Jenkins is alive.]]
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Robot mummies in a steam powered attack pyramid. With solar death rays.
* NobleShoplifter: In ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', Robo and his team stop at a gas station to refuel their vehicle while investigating a deserted town, and Robo leaves an appropriate amount of money and a note.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: Quite logically for a robot (especially one lacking a ''mouth''), but rare in fiction: the hero does not try to romance any of the pretty women that end up near him. Or anyone else. There is a grand total of ''one'' exception to this, as Robo and Helen are interested in each other in ''Deadly Art of Science'', but even then a later adventure (''Temple of Od'') has both dial it back as Helen has moved on since then. Supporting characters rarely get involved with each other either, with again just one big exception: Vik and Lang are shown to be a couple in ''Ring of Fire'' by a scene where she's nearly caught in his room after they spent the night together.
* NoodleIncident: Robo makes mention of a time he managed to convince a soldier that robots can get drunk (despite clearly lacking a mouth and thus the ability to drink) and got challenged to a drinking contest.
-->'''Robo:''' Well, the repeatable part of the story ends there, but let's say it would not surprise me if your grandfather was nursing a little bit of that hangover to the very end.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: The end of the second paperback has a letter written by Tesla stating that he intentionally left nothing about how he made Robo because he didn't want anyone building sentient robots for personal use.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: ''The Deadly Art of Science'' opens with Robo remarking gloomily that "Nothing exciting ever happens around here"; within pages he's become tangled up with a masked vigilante and a sinister mastermind with a crystal skull. It's played with a bit, though, with the intervening pages reminding us that Robo's baseline for "exciting" is a bit unusual in that for him UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla attempting to pierce the subatomic veil with giant arcing electrical machines is an everyday occurrence. (Also, he's a ''talking robot''.)
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Yes, many foolish mammals would insist that Dr. Dinosaur is far too crazy to be an actual threat to Robo and too stupid to be capable of actual planning, but he's defeated Robo on more occasions than all of his other foes ''combined'' and in volume 8, [[spoiler:he's seen [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v8ch2-page-11 here]] in possession of five non-crystal-powered nuclear weapons that almost certainly came from ALAN's embezzled stockpile, which makes him at least peripherally connected to the plot that annihilates Tesladyne.([[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v8ch1-page-9]], [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v8ch1-page-14]])]]
* ObviouslyEvil: The computer Robo's employees construct in Volume 3 Issue 5.
-->'''Robo:''' Computers that ''solve'' problems don't look like this. They're [[BoringButPractical unassuming boxes on a desk. They're refrigerators without the exciting brand names.]] Computers that ''are evil'' have all kinds of unnecessary ornamentation. This thing's ''venting steam!'' Why's it doing that?
* OmnicidalManiac: Ivan Koshchey, the villain of "The Tsar Bomb".
-->'''Koshchey:''' My bomb will kill everything in the world. [[{{Unperson}} I was robbed of my place in history]], so humanity shall be robbed of its ''future''.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Robo is highly proficient in several scientific fields; justified in that, as an 80+ -year-old robot, he's had plenty of time to study a lot of sciences. Enforced in the RPG, since the Science mode contains every single kind of science known to man, woman or robot; someone with Good (+3) Science has a decent grasp of everything from metallurgy to molecular biology.
* OpenHeartDentistry: In ''The Knights of the Golden Circle'', Doc Holliday is able to keep a dying man alive long enough to pass on some crucial information, but not for much longer than that.
-->'''Marshal Reeves:''' Holliday. ''You're'' a doctor.\\
'''Doc Holliday:''' Pennsylvania Dental College neglected to include ''bullet wounds'' in its curriculum. Regretfully.\\
'''Reeves:''' Mouth's a hole. Bullet's a tooth.\\
'''Holliday:''' ...I shall improvise.
* OperatorIncompatibility: Since he's a robot with non-human fingers, Atomic Robo can't operate a touch screen at all. In one scene, he's actually seen complaining to Steve Jobs about how useless the [=iPad=] is to him - and attempts to justify further research by stating lots of people are coming back from overseas with ArtificialLimbs. Later, when Robo has to answer a call on a smartphone, he literally can't, for the same reason.
* OrbitalBombardment: The best plan Robo can come up with to destroy the Biomega Nexus is to use Projekt Longinus, a seventy-year old Nazi KillSat loaded with tungsten rods, designed to be dropped at orbital velocity, providing the punch of a nuclear weapon without the radiation.
* OurMonstersAreDifferent:
** {{Cyborg}}s: Helsingard uses them virtually all the time. In his chronologically earliest appearance they even spool out their observations on ticker tape in Helsingard's command centre.
** EldritchAbomination: Creator/HPLovecraft, Charles Fort, and Nikola Tesla fought one at Tunguska. It exists outside the Universe and is the BigBad of volume 3, [[spoiler:at one point coming out of HP Lovecraft's head]]. We mean that last part [[LiteralMetaphor literally]].
** {{Kaiju}}: "Biomega", with a bit of biological GreyGoo thrown in for good measure.
** [[{{Mummy}} Mummies]]: They are {{Clockwork Creature}}s.
** OurGhostsAreDifferent: In at least one case, namely [[spoiler:UsefulNotes/ThomasEdison]], it's actually a consciousnesses projected via Odic Force perturbations.
** OurVampiresAreDifferent: These vampires are savage bloodsuckers from another dimension.
--->'''Robo:''' They're not ''literally'' vampires. Sunlight, garlic, crosses, none of that applies. But we call them vampires because they're ageless super strong monsters that feed on the blood of the living.
* OwMyBodyPart: [[spoiler:Once Robo's finally reactivated after a century with his head in a box, his first words are:]]
-->'''[[spoiler:Robo]]:''' My ''everything'' hurts.
* PaintingTheMedium: In the 2008 Free Comic, Robo parachutes onto a remote island. As he comes down to land, he passes in front of the SceneShiftCaption.
* PercussiveMaintenance: In ''Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'', Lauren fixes a sputtering engine this way. It works by pure trope power, because she doesn't thump the ''engine'', only the control panel on the flight deck.
* PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs: Dr. Dinosaur believes that "mammal energies" traveled back in time and killed all the other dinosaurs while granting him super-intelligence. Robo thinks this is BS and that Dr. D is just a genetic experiment.
* PhotographicMemory: Unusually for a comic book robot, Atomic Robo ''doesn't'' have one. It seems his memory works like an ordinary human's, not like a computer's. He can forget things, has to study for college exams, doesn't automatically learn foreign languages (e.g., he's never bothered to learn Japanese), etc. Tesla seems to have designed Robo this way intentionally not only to give him true free will, but also avert AIIsACrapshoot (a machine that KNOWS it's as fallible as a human won't see any reason to [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters overthrow them]]).
* PictorialSpeechBubble: The robot guards in the 2008 Free Comic express themselves like this.
* PiggybackingOnHitler: Helsingard is doing this in his first appearance.
* PinPullingTeeth: Jenkins uses his teeth to yank the pin out of a frag grenade while fighting the cyborgs in "Unearthed".
* ThePlan: The BigBad of Volume 6 ''lives'' on this trope. [[spoiler:ALAN's continued existence is due to its being hidden for 50+ years behind many layers of bureaucracy and manipulation going up to he highest levels of both the British and US governments (including [[GovernmentConspiracy Majestic 12]]). Not only was it able to successfully hide itself, but it also managed to build an Orion-class nuclear pulse starship ''in perfect secrecy'' on a Japanese island.]] Extra points for having done much of this via telephone and telegraph [[spoiler:before the existence of the Internet]]. ''Exempli gratia'': moving a ''house'', intact, out of Bletchley Park, England, to Japan, via truck, boat and the sixth-ever-built Airbus Beluga (of which there are only 5), ''with no paper trail''.
--> '''[[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v6ch3-page-11 Lewis]]:''' The sheer bureaucratic gymnastics behind that are ''mind bending''.
* PokeThePoodle: "Dr. Dinosaur's Revenge", where said being goes around the world plundering various electronic devices just to make a computer that floods Robo's inbox with junk mail.
-->'''Dr. Dinosaur''': From hell's heart, I spam at thee!
* PowerCrystal: Dr. Dinosaur swears by these things. Robo is more skeptical about them.
* PreMortemOneLiner: This:
-->'''Carl Sagan:''' When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin, tell them ''CARL SAGAN'' sent you.
* PsychoExGirlfriend: "Along Came a Tyrantula".
* PublicDomainCharacter: The villainous triumvirate in ''The Billion Dollar Plot'' are three 19th-century DimeNovel {{Science Hero}}es (Jack Wright, Frank Reade Jr, and "Electric Bob") gone bad.
* PunchClockVillain: Most of the Nazi soldiers.
-->'''Soldier:''' ''[upon discovering a bomb]'' <Dammit, I don't even '''like''' Hitler.>
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: In ''The Ring of Fire'', from the Action Scientists who escaped [[spoiler:the Majestic 12 raid and subsequent takeover]]. Vik, Lang, and Foley track down Bernard, [[spoiler:reactivate Robo]], and stumble into [[spoiler:Broughton]] soon after.
* ARareSentence:
** From ''The Ghost of Station X'':
--->'''Tucker:''' This is such an honor. I wanted to be a robot when I grew up! You were my hero! Hell, you're the reason why I'm a trucker.\\
'''Robo:''' That's a sentence I've never heard before.
** Before that, at the end of ''Deadly Art of Science'':
--->'''Jack Tarot:''' I had no idea I would spend the better part of a year living with and training a very obnoxious robot. What a ridiculous sentence. [...] P.S. Enclosed is the bill for the hat Edison's robot destroyed. What a ridiculous sentence.
* RealAfterAll: Robo is old enough for Clarke's First Law[[note]]When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.[[/note]] to both repeatedly bolster him and kick him in the head.
** As Tesla and later Robo learned, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odic_force Odic force]] is very real, and the War of the Currents related to its use, with [[spoiler:Thomas Edison later becoming a [[OurGhostsAreDifferent "ghost"]] made out of it]].
** Carl Sagan repeatedly hangs up on Robo when asked for his assistance in containing an EldritchAbomination. He ends up [[INeedAFreakingDrink requiring a stiff drink]]. [[DrowningMySorrows Several of them]], in fact. Enough to [[DrunkenMontage paralyze a cow]].
** Robo should ''really'' learn to stop underestimating Dr. Dinosaur, because ''every'' time the moron makes some [[StupidestThingIveEverHeard painfully stupid]] [[HowUnscientific junk science]] claim, '''[[CrazyAwesome he pulls it off]].''' [[PowerCrystal Gravity crystals]]? Robo gets blown up. [[EvolutionaryLevels Timevolution energies]]? Robo has to fight a T-Rex with ''missile launchers on its head.'' [[HollowWorld Magma worm]]? Ride 'em, Robo! [[RealityBreakingParadox Time-collapsing bomb]]? [[spoiler:Enjoy your stay in TheWildWest, [[YouWillBeBeethoven Ironhide]]!]]
* RealityEnsues: Occasionally a problem for Robo.
** Like many action heroes, he tries to tear the door of an ancient complex off its hinges rather than trying to unlock it. Unfortunately, [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v1ch5-page-7 it breaks apart because the wood rotted away]].
** He can't hire a ten year old girl to be an Action Scientist because.. [[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v4fcbd-page-14 she's a ten year old girl and he would have to deal with child labor laws, let alone child endangerment]].
* ReassignedToAntarctica: Louis and Martin, after building the ObviouslyEvil supercomputer, find themselves transferred to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault Svalbard Global Seed Vault]] in Norway.
-->'''Martin:''' I mean, honestly. Two ''years'' standing in a perpetual ''blizzard''? It was one ''little'' mistake!\\
'''Louis:''' We did ''nearly'' destroy the universe.\\
'''Martin:''' ''Technically''. But, y'know, we ''didn't''.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The EvilKnockoff robot in ''The Deadly Art of Science'' has a single red eye in contrast to Robo's two blue eyes.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless:
** Lampshaded and PlayedWith in Volume 4 Issue 2, with Robo commenting how the Guardian suits' non-military applications alone could solve all of Dr. Yumeno's budget problems, with Yumeno responding by stating the suits' absurd maintenance time[[note]]50 hours per hour of operation[[/note]] and cost[[note]]900,000,000¥ aka 9,000,000$[[/note]]; they ''are'' his budget problems.
** Played completely straight in ''Real Science Adventures'' #11, "Rescue Mission", when Robo discovers that the government stole most of Tesla's research after his death - and spins it into a a RealLife trope:
--->'''Robo''': [[KirkSummation You didn't steal a pile of notes]]. You stole what the world '''could''' have been. For ''what?''\\
'''GeneralRipper''': You can't afford to be this naive. There was a UsefulNotes/ColdWar. [[ShutUpKirk Perhaps you heard of it]]?\\
'''Robo''': Yeah, the Cold War, where men like ''you'' [[ShutUpHannibal wasted trillions of dollars and half the scientific talent of the world]] for ''three'' generations.
** And when Robo discovers the ''real'' reason for all of that waste, it's enough to send him into a full-fledged HeroicBSOD.
--->'''Robo:''' You could have ''helped'' them.
* TheRemnant: ''The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'' has CHOKAITEN; a rogue Japanese military unit that has been waiting six years since the end of the war to unleash a devastating super weapon that will sink the North American continent.
* RetiredBadass: Tesla. [[SeenItAll He never, ever]] [[FantasticallyIndifferent even so much as]] ''blinks'' at all the Mad Science and insane adventures that crop around him. Compare to Robo, who normally is flabberghasted by the shenanigans of the working Universe even after 80 years of life. Just by passing references, Robo is barely catching with him 57 years after he died.
-->'''Tesla''': ''[while Robo is battling a vampire]'' Robo, it is my conjecture that [[DullSurprise the Electronoscope is in fact, a portal to another dimension]].\\
'''Tesla''': [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight Either that or the subatomic world is actually filled with monsters]]. Hmmm.
* ReversePolarity: When a Tesladyne experiment accidentally causes an invasion from the Vampire Dimension, this is Robo's solution, only to discover the machine lacks a reverse setting. He considers this criminally negligent with the sort of ludicrous science they get up to.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', the BigBad's attempts to kill Robo [[spoiler:are intended to preempt one. The launch of his OrionDrive starship would wipe out all life on Earth, except for Robo. ALAN expects that Robo would then attempt to come after him.]]
* RoguesGallery:
** Baron Heinrich Von Helsingard, quintessential MadScientist with a god complex.
** Otto Skorzeny, Nazi commando with a squad of [[StupidJetpackHitler Laufpanzer tanks]]; responsible for [[spoiler:Tesla's death]].
** Dr. Dinosaur, GeniusDitz and perpetual thorn in Robo's side, who may or may not be a time traveler.
** The Shadow from Beyond Time appears at multiple points in Robo's life ([[TimeTravelTenseTrouble sort of]]), and threatens to unmake all of reality.
** Thomas Edison, HistoricalDomainCharacter and Tesla's arch-rival, [[spoiler:even in undeath]].
** The Vampire Dimension, a monster-infested reality that has occasionally tried to cross over into our world.
** Majestic 12, a GovernmentConspiracy dedicated to seizing and weaponizing Tesla's technology for its own purposes, [[spoiler:[[TheBadGuyWins which it eventually succeeds in doing]], forming Task Force ULTRA]].
** Department Zero, the Soviet counterpart to organizations like Tesladyne and Majestic. Following the collapse of the USSR, it split into several independent cells, among them a super-science BlackMarket and DELPHI, which specializes in psionic studies.
* {{Robosexual}}: [[spoiler:Robo and Helen in Volume 5.]]
* RunningGag:
** Despite eighty years of punching all manner of weirdness in the face, Robo manages to keep ''under''estimating the volume of strangeness he has to deal with.
** MagicPants: He ends nearly every fight with pants intact, but naked to the waist.
** CaptainCrash: It's best if Robo doesn't take the stick. Just... let someone else fly, alright?
** [[MemeticBadass Jenkins]] being... well, Jenkins. [[invoked]]
** The [[AlienGeometries fifth cardinal direction]], Zorth - discovered by Charles Fort, and researched by Robo himself. Also the cause of an ongoing rivalry between Robo and Stephen Hawking.
** Capacitive touchscreens and insects, as well.
** Many of Robo's encounters end with his antagonist's base (or sometimes the antagonist him/her/itself) exploding violently and flinging Robo through the air to land on his face in the snow/sand/mud/concrete.
* RuleOfCool: Damn near everything.
* SavedByCanon: The DistantFinale of "The Science Fair" takes place in 2021, indicating that [[spoiler:Robo is rebuilt and Tesladyne is reestablished]] before then.
* ScienceHero: Robo himself, and many of his support scientists.
* {{Sentai}}: Parodied in Volume 4, Issue 2 with Science Team Super Five, A team of Japanese Action Scientists who haven't fought monsters in decades and are supporting their technology through furious patent development.
* SequelEpisode: "City of Skulls" revisits the site of "The Tsar Bomb", taking place three decades after the latter story.
* SeriousBusiness: Tesladyne treats the visit to the National Science Fair as a deadly-serious mission, even before Dr. Dinosaur shows up. Actually, they treat it less seriously after he shows up.
-->'''Robo:''' Status report.\\
'''Jenkins:''' We lost Jeff.\\
''[cut to Jeff getting swarmed by children fanboying over him]''\\
'''Robo:''' We don't leave agents behind. Take Julie and ''get him back''.
* ShootingSuperman:
** Robo is immune to small arms fire, and this has been demonstrated repeatedly over his 80+ year career in Action Science. Still doesn't stop {{Mook}}s from trying. And as Robo points out, just because it doesn't damage him doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
** Played with at one point: [[BadassNormal Otto Skorzeny]] shoots Robo with his gun at one point, and it seems like it had no effect. Only then do we notice that Robo is, in fact, disabled, by virtue of a special bullet. It doesn't stop there, however, since Skorzeny ''also'' planned to [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill drop a trainload of heavy ordnance]] on top of him, for good measure.
* ShownTheirWork:
** It's not uncommon to see Brian blog or tweet about doing research for upcoming issues.
** One of Martin and Lewis' discussions when investigating the disappearance of a whole building, revolves around AGlitchInTheMatrix. The explanation for why it might be plausible, seems to be (loosely) based on the academic paper [[http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html ''Are you living in a computer simulation?'']].
* ShutUpHannibal: Robo's whole discussion with the BigBad in ''The Ghost of Station X'' is pretty much this.
--> '''Robo:''' [[YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood You could have helped them]].
* SiliconBasedLife: The Hollow Earth. [[spoiler:It ''may'' come from another world; the only evidence available is Bernard's "hallucinogenic intel" from eating a glowing rock.]]
* SitcomArchnemesis: Robo and Creator/StephenHawking don't like each other very much, and in the first volume Hawking ensured that Robo was bored and miserable for months on end during a space mission. Robo kept himself occupied by arranging Mars rocks so they spell "Stephen Hawking is a bastard." As of ''Spectre of Tomorrow'', Robo's setting up shop in Jordana del Muerto, New Mexico has earned him the enmity of his new neighbor, Sir Richard Branson (sparked when Robo swiped one of Branson's tanker trucks without asking to deal with an emergency).
* SkyPirate: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific spend much of their time battling sky pirates (and are considered sky pirates themselves by some of their foes).
* TheSlowPath: Robo[[spoiler:'s inactive head sits in a crate for over a century, following his destruction in 1884.]]
* SmallNameBigEgo: Jack Tarot. He's an incredibly competent pulp-style vigilante, a terror to mobsters and crack shot, but out of the league when it comes to super-science. But he laid the foundation for Robo becoming the Action Scientist hero that he is today:
--> '''Jack Tarot''': ''[after witnessing [[spoiler:Tesla's thunder suit]]]'' It's official, we are ''out'' of our league.
* SoftWater: In ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'', the action science team falls down an enormous crevasse and lands without injury in a subterranean lake. Mind you, it's a lake of something that glows pink and has the wrong ambient temperature, so it's ''mad science'' water and anything is possible.
* SquareCubeLaw: Lampshaded the impossibility of giant ants in Volume 1. Robo has to fight them anyway. [[CarFu By hitting them with cars]]. A giant monster attack in Volume 4 has Robo ask "Why do we even ''have'' the Square Cube Law?"
* StableTimeLoop:
** ''The Shadow from Beyond Time'', though it's not a time loop, because [[HowUnscientific time travel is obviously impossible]]. Instead, it's a single event being witnessed from multiple time-perspectives, and it's only possible because it involves physics from outside our universe.
--->'''Robo:''' I met three future versions of myself who turned the lightning guns into a bomb using science they told me to invent.
** There's another one, as of ''Knights of the Golden Circle'': [[spoiler:Robo is thrown back to 1870 by Dr. Dinosaur's "time bomb," where he either accidentally inspires the legend of or becomes known as the armored gunslinger "Ironhide." (Who Robo will proceed to read stories about as a "kid" in the 1920s.) Robo finally runs out of power in 1884 and is destroyed in the crash of the ''Basilisk''. Marshal Reeves salvages his head and mails it to a young Nikola Tesla, who mislays the package; it's subsequently put into deep storage at Tesladyne for the next hundred years, where it's finally recovered by Lang and Bernard. If Robo had ever gone through all of his father's possessions, it would have included a box that contained '''[[LosingYourHead his own severed head]].''']]
* StatingTheSimpleSolution:
** In ''The Dogs of War'', Otto Skorzeny attempts to kill Robo by using a missile to blow up a bridge in front of a train Robo's trapped on, and his companion asks why he didn't just target Robo directly. Skorzeny explains that the missile isn't powerful enough to kill Robo, but he has higher hopes of the train-load of armaments Robo is about to have fall on top of him.
** During his first encounter with Dr. Dinosaur, Robo is grappling with him when he states he could just fall backwards, and crush the reptile. Dr. Dinosaur wisely backs off.
* StealTheSurroundings: [[spoiler:ALAN]] is discovered when he steals a house - a whole house, intact.
-->'''Dr. Martin''': You rob a bank with a note and a candy bar in your coat pocket. You don't drag the ''whole vault'' down the street.
* {{Steampunk}}: A pyramid possesses not only a steam-based system that allows it to move, but a ''water-based computer''.
* StockDinosaurs: Dr. Dinosaur is a Dromaeosaurid (for the less jargon-enabled, think "Velociraptor.") And it is explicitly stated that he can't be an actual velociraptor, since: 1. they're extinct, 2. he's too big, and 3. he doesn't have feathers. (Oh, and 4: real dinosaurs didn't have voice boxes.) Robo even states that he is modeled after the fictitious raptors from the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' films. All of this Robo takes as evidence that Dr. Dinosaur isn't really a dinosaur at all, but some artificially created monster.
* StormingTheBeaches: ''The Dogs of War'' opens with the Allied forces storming the beaches of Sicily in July 1943.
* StringTheory: Robo has a string theory pegboard set up at the beginning of ''Knights of the Golden Circle''. It's never shown close up, but it's presumably related to figuring out [[spoiler:how he got stuck in the 19th century and how he can get home]].
* StupidJetpackHitler: {{Deconstructed}}. Throughout Volume 2 Robo, fights Nazi mecha (''Laufpanzers''), Nazi supersoldiers, and various weird science like lightning guns and a ''railgun emplacement'' on Nazi-held Guernsey which turns out to be a "weather cannon". Robo [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] just how dumb that sounds. Equally lampshaded is though there's plenty of RealLife evidence of Nazi "superweapons" that any other government could have used to assert global power, Hitler was so stupid that he couldn't decide which one to support to fruition, leaving him with a bunch of half-completed projects and a tiny number of prototypes the victors would [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar spend the next fifty years fighting over]].
-->'''Dr. Valkyrie''': Hitler gives too little funding to too many projects and they are ''all'' crippled for it.\\
'''Robo''': ''[seventy years later]'' That was Fritz for you. Why build ''one'' super weapon to win the war when you can underfund a ''dozen'' of them?
* SuddenLackOfSignal: At the end of ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'', Robo gets teleported [[spoiler:through time into the 19th century]]. He tries contacting base by radio -- nothing. He tries to establish his position by GPS -- nothing. Then he realizes that he can't detect ''any'' radio signals of any kind...
* SuperSoldier: Volume 2, ''Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War'', has Nazi supersoldiers developed as a part of the Special Weapons Program. They're hardly the archetype of the Aryan ideal, being slavering brain-dead beasts with insane levels of strength and endurance.
* SureLetsGoWithThat: In ''The Deadly Art of Science'', young Robo spends the night running around town with Jack Tarot fighting gangsters, and tries to sneak back into the house while Tesla's at breakfast. Tesla immediately notices that Robo's still wearing the same clothes as yesterday, and cuts through Robo's stammered denials to announce that "any fool could see what you've done": spent the night cleaning the garage to avoid doing his homework. A relieved Robo agrees that this is exactly what he was doing.
* SurpriseWitness: And it is ''[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial most definitely not]]'' a genetically engineered killing machine! Truly, the world missed out on a great lawyer when Dr. Dinosaur chose mad science.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Dr. Dinosaur does this all the time because he has virtually no filter between his scrambled brain and his mouth.
-->'''Emma:''' ...and now he's doing ''Series/DoctorWho'' references at you!\\
'''Dr. Dinosaur:''' It is only a coincidence! I do not even know who Creator/TomBaker is!
* TheSyndicate: The Knights of the Golden Circle are described as "the first and largest criminal syndicate in American history", but are ultimately absorbed into [[spoiler:Baron von Helsingard]]'s army.
* SyndicationTitle: When ''Atomic Robo and the Vampire Dimension'' was collected, it was retitled ''Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness''. Probably because the Vampire Dimension was in only the first issue.
* TakeThat:
** One ''Real Science Adventures'' story has Robo walk into a comic shop in the 90's and be turned off by all the [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Dark Age]] trends, reflecting the creators' criticism of the comics industry at large. The website elaborates by including a list of things that the creators promise ''Atomic Robo'' won't be, unlike the [[Creator/DCComics Big]] [[Creator/MarvelComics Two]] publishers: "No [[{{Wangst}} angst]], no [[MsFanservice cheesecake]], no [[CosmicRetcon reboots]], no {{filler}}"; and before transitioning to a webcomic format, "No [[ScheduleSlip delays]]." (This last one has since been replaced by the promise that [[RuleOfCool "The Main Robot Punches A Different Robot (Or Maybe A Monster)"]].)
--->'''Clevinger:''' Pick up any Big Two title and you’ve got a 50% chance of finding one, some, or all of those rules broken between its covers. Pick it up for a year, and it's a 90% chance. This is what's wrong with comics today. I mean, honestly. What kind of maladjust goes out of his way to read melodramatic borderline misogynist stories with incomprehensible continuities that constantly shift when there's a story at all if it shows up on time?
** And a previous version of the elaboration on "no reboots" hits a more specific nerve: "[Fitting an idea into Robo's existing history or abandoning it if it can't] is a much better solution than [[ComicBook/OneMoreDay making a deal that the character would never make with the devil he’d never deal with to change 'one' thing that alters the entire universe in ways that no one in charge seems to fully comprehend or address.]] [[ButIDigress Ahem.]]"
* TakeTheWheel: Annie Oakely to Wong Kei-Ying in ''The Billion Dollar Plot''.
* TheTalk: When Tesla learns that Robo is dating Helen [=McAlister=], Tesla decides it's time to talk to him about some facts of life. Robo manages to stop him before he gets further than "When a manbot loves a woman..." (Judging by his facial expression it's entirely possible that he's just winding Robo up.)
* TalkingIsAFreeAction[=/=]YouFightLikeACow: Robo could give [[Franchise/SpiderMan Spidey]] a run for his money.
* TechnicalPacifist: Tesla would never shoot anybody, heavens no! Because he has a very capable automatic man to do that for him.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: While being chased by a [[BigCreepyCrawlies big creepy crawlie]], Robo bashes through a wall to find hundreds of ''little'' creepy crawlies.
---> '''Bernard:''' "[[http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/bug-hunt-page-8 We have to go now.]]"
* ThisIsThePartWhere: In ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'', when the action science team find themselves being led to a secret underground city, Bernard asks "Is this where we begin the tortuously detailed and embarrassingly self-indulgent lessons about the history and superior culture of Hollow Earth?"
* ThisIsReality: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', Sparrow reassures Martin and Lewis: "You're spooking yourselves. Dodgy sci-fi movies have trained us to look for [[spoiler:scary computers that want to kill us]]... But behind all the Scooby-Doo smoke and mirrors, there's a human pulling the levers." Which just goes to show that he hasn't spent enough time around Robo, because he's 100% wrong.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Louis and Martin in ''The Ghost of Station X'', Ananth and George in "Team Up of the Century".
* TimeAndRelativeDimensionsInSpace: Robo's main argument against time travel is the colossal speed at which planets and solar systems are constantly moving.
* TimeSkip: Naturally, due to the series' AnachronicOrder. A straight example is ''The Knights of the Golden Circle'', which takes place 14 years after [[spoiler:Robo ends up in 1870 at the end of ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur''.]]
* TimeTravelTenseTrouble:
** Dr. Dinosaur's attempt to explain his plan to RetGone human history in "The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur":
--->'''Dr. Dinosaur''': And mankind won't know what happened to it! Because mankind won't have happened, so they won't know what did had happened instead of them! ... Look, it is not my fault the meager tenses of your pathetic grammar are no match for the simplest complexities of time travel!
** ''Knights of the Golden Circle'' offers the following advice to time travelers: "Don't do ''anything''. Except for what you were always ''will have'' done."
* TooManyHalves: In "The Trial of Atomic Robo", Dr. Dinosaur describes his genetically-engineered killing machine as "Half Triceratops! Half Ankylosaurus! Half Stegosaurus!"
* TotallyNotAWerewolf:
-->'''Robo:''' They're not ''literally'' vampires. Sunlight, garlic, crosses, none of that applies. But we call them vampires because they're ageless super strong monsters that feed on the blood of the living.
* TwoFistedTales:
** Robo has encountered and fought Nazis, Lovecraftian monsters, Mad Scientists, and ancient doomsday weapons, just to name a few.
** The original title for the fourth series/volume was "Atomic Robo's Two-Fisted Science Tales". Scott Wegener has also mentioned that he and Clevinger play an unwritten "Atomic Robo: Two-Fisted Tales of Action Science" tabletop RPG. One of which is now [[http://www.evilhat.com/home/atomic-robo/ being made]].
* TranslationConvention: When someone is speaking in a translated foreign language it's written <in angular brackets>.
* TheTriple:
** Dr. Dinosaur come up with two logical and intriguing justifications for the HollowWorld trope before descending into bonzo insanity;
--->'''Dr. Dinosaur''': ''Fact!'' Life arose on this planet over ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_evolutionary_history_of_life three billion]]'' years ago. ''Fact!'' Radical changes in surface conditions have causes no less than ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event five]]'' mass extinctions in the past ''half billion'' years alone. ''Fact!'' Hollow Earth is a vast primordial ecosystem born of the subterranean migration of the giant immortal ''[[HowUnscientific magma worm]]'' named--\\
'''Robo''': [[StupidestThingIveEverHeard Fact. You're an idiot]].
** Unfortunately for Robo's sanity [[spoiler:and [[TimeTravel existence in the 21st century]]]], the third ''also'' turns out to be ''completely true'', simply because it was proposed by '''''[[InexplicablyAwesome Goddamn Dr. Dinosaur]].'''''
* UnPerson: The villain of "The Tsar Bomb" is a Russian genius whom Stalin gave a secluded laboratory and then wiped from all records so that no foreign power would be able to make use of his work. Robo continues the tradition after defeating him, as "Ivan Koschey" was a vicious jerk who had been less than a second away from wiping out all life on Earth as punishment for not knowing of his existence.
* UnsoundEffect: "DOOR!" from the first issue.
* WeCanRuleTogether: In ''The Ghost of Station X'', after Robo has survived several murder attempts and located the BigBad's secret underground lair, the BigBad offers to let Robo in on his plan to [[spoiler:escape the planet and travel the Cosmos, in a nuclear-powered, Earth-destroying Orion spacecraft]].
* VasquezAlwaysDies: ''Other Strangeness'' has a male example. Robo is interviewing two job applicants: [[AwesomeMcCoolname Rex Cannon]], who has an impressive military record and multiple doctorates; and Bernard, who's clearly in over his head. Cannon, of course, is the one who gets killed out of nowhere when vampires invade.
** [[spoiler:He's back... as King of the Vampires.]]
* VigilanteMan: Jack Tarot in ''The Deadly Art of Science'' is a homage to pulp vigilante heroes like the Shadow. Although the story sticks with the series's lighthearted adventure tone, some time is given to the fact that he's murdered a large number of criminals in the course of his adventures.
* WaveMotionGun:
** UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla converted his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower Wardenclyffe transmitter]] into a kiloton deathray to combat The Shadow when it first showed up in 1908.
** The Lightining Guns that Robo uses are essentially scaled-down models.
* WeaponOfChoice: Robo prefers Lightning Guns, as mentioned above. He's also fond of his [[HandCannon Webley Mk VI pistol]].
* WeAreTeamCannonFodder: The Action Scientists aside from Jenkins turn into this during the Helsingard fight. Most of the time, however, at least a few of them will pull their weight.
--> '''Robo:''' Why do I even ''bring'' Action Scientists?
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Majestic 12. Despite everything they've done, they ''are'' trying to defend the planet from a predicted Biomega outbreak that would devastate civilization.
* WhamEpisode: At the end of ''The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur'', [[spoiler:Majestic 12 attacks Robo and his allies, Jenkins blows up Tesladyne, Dr. Dinosaur's device goes off, and Robo is blown back to the year 1870.]]
* {{Whateversaurus}}: Dr. Dinosaur's creations including the "Futuresaurus rex" and "Omnisaur". Dr. Dinosaur himself most likely counts, despite his claims.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Played with when Tesla and Robo capture a vampire-like monster from another dimension and Tesla wants to vaporize it for analysis. When Robo points out that while it's technically not alive ''he'' isn't either, Tesla instead decides to find more about them by sending Robo to investigate its home-dimension. Upon finding they populate a post-apocalyptic landscape and immediately attack Robo, they decide that, yes, it's entirely OK to kill them.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever:
** The second issue implies that Robo has a bittersweet outlook on his immortality. He doesn't (openly) angst about it, though; in a televised interview, he coyly alludes to the problem by saying that he's annoyed that nobody understands his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Benny Jack Benny]] impersonation anymore. [[spoiler:This is after privately reminiscing about a dear WWII-era friend who just died of old age.]]
** Thomas Edison's plan in 1931 was [[spoiler:to use New York as an antenna for his Odic Capacitor, and concentrate enough LifeEnergy into himself to become immortal. When the machine exploded, his consciousness got scattered across the Od, only pulling itself back together as a [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghostly manifestation]] in 1999. When he finds that Robo's analysis inadvertently restored his corporeality (in part), he's [[VillainousBreakdown not happy about it]]. He's later seen nostalgically returning to his historical estate, now a museum.]]
--->'''Edison:''' You shouldn't have brought me back!
* WhoYouGonnaCall: '''''Tesladyne!'''''
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Robo has a phobia about bugs crawling into his body and mucking up his internals. Guess what [[spoiler:shape the EldritchAbomination takes during its third encounter with Robo?]] Robo's phobia is strong enough that he refuses to enter rain forests unless he has a {{BFG}} in hand.
* WorkingWithTheEx: Robo and Helen in ''Temple of Od''. There's a little awkwardness there since Helen has a new boyfriend, but overall they're AmicableExes.
* WorldOfBadass: Admit it. When a ham radio community can successfully track down a over 50 year old conspiracy--with short wave radio no less--then this is a badass world.
* WouldYouLikeToHearHowTheyDied: Skorzeny tries this on the Sparrow in ''The Dogs of War'', taking a moment to reminisce about the death of her brother, the previous Sparrow, just to make her imminent death more painful.
* WrenchWench: Lauren of the She-Devils.
* YouAlreadyChangedThePast: [[spoiler:Being stuck in the 1800s not only shatters Robo's conviction that time travel is impossible, it leaves him terrified of causing some kind of temporal paradox. He hangs a note on his wall reminding himself "Do Nothing - unless you're supposed to." He eventually decides "It's not a paradox if I was already part of the past."]]
* YouCanTalk: Creator/HPLovecraft is rather shocked to discover that the "pygmy" (Robo) speaks English.
-->'''Lovecraft:''' See how it vainly cobbles together a string of sounds not unlike words?
* YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood: Robo is not at all impressed with how the BigBad of ''The Ghost of Station X'' has used his power.
-->'''Robo:''' You had all that time. All that power and, and ''influence''. All this technology. You could have ''helped'' them.\\
'''[[spoiler:ALAN]]:''' [[EvilCannotComprehendGood I don't understand. Why?]]
* YouKilledMyFather: Skorzeny reveals to Robo in Madrid, 1974, that he killed Tesla. It's an attempt to get the latter to kill him and spare him a slow, painful death due to cancer. Robo doesn't give it to him.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Robo during his early adventures, as a result of having been created with a full-sized body and an advanced mind. In ''The Deadly Art of Science'', Helen is horrified when she realizes, after they've been dating for a while, that Robo is technically only seven years old; he assures her that in terms of mental development he's in his twenties, but she's still shaken and the romance never really recovers.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: In ''The Knights of the Golden Circle'', [[spoiler:Robo is running out of fuel, due to being stranded in the 19th century.]]
* YouWatchTooMuchX: In ''The Deadly Art of Science'', Jack Tarot is of the opinion Robo's worldview shows he spends too much time reading or listening to pulp adventure stories.