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New Kids on the Block

Finished writing our thirteenth volume which is almost certainly going to be called Atomic Robo and the Crystal Odyssey whether or not that’s a good idea. This one takes place, oh six to eight months after Spectre of Tomorrow, so it kicks off somewhere in the middle-ish of 2018? Maybe the Fall? Hopefully there won’t be a nuclear exchange in the meantime and make us look like morons for not including it in the story.

Yes, I expect you all to continue reading Atomic Robo comics in the apocalypse.

Crystal Odyssey is the first part of the trilogy we talked about all the damn time last year. It’s a volume intended to re-introduce you to the world of Atomic Robo in the wake of coming out the other side of a gauntlet of near miss catastrophes from the Hashima Incident in 2011, to Hollow Earth in 2013, to Biomega in 2015, and to whatever is happening in 2017. Note to self: sleep through all odd numbered years.

Crystal Odyssey is an opportunity to slow things down after all that and spend some time with our cast. Especially our new cast!

Remember, Robo wants to do less action and more science. Hence the all new (Future Site of) Tesladyne Institute! Think of it as a super science school out in the New Mexico desert where theory meets practice and students gain first hand experience by identifying the problems around them and working toward solutions together.

We wanted a large part of Crystal Odyssey to revolve around three plucky scientists-in-training in their first days/weeks at The Institute as they are introduced to each other, to Tesladyne, and to the special brand of chaos that revolves around Robo.

One problem: who are these kids?!

Quick note. We keep calling them "kids" but they're in their 20s. We're old!

The plan was to invent them the same way we invented the first batch of Action Scientists way back in our first volume: just write dialog for New Kid #1, #2, and #3 without getting too deep into personalities or individual histories/details.

Which sounds like an awful way to write but we didn’t need fully formed viable beings at this stage. Skeletons of New Kid #1, #2, and #3 would be enough to get the ball rolling on who they would become while the rest of the book formed around them. Each scene with the New Kids was a new opportunity to test their proto-personalities interacting with each other without derailing the rest of the series.

Once we had the skeletons in working order it was time to put some meat on them. Scott and I sat down for an afternoon with a copy of Fate Accelerated Edition and Atomic Robo the RPG to do just that. We’ve been RPG nerds even longer than we’ve been comics nerds, so it made sense to borrow the structure of an RPG character creation session to beef up our new comics characters.

Next time I'll share the results of that session with you guys, but first  Scott's gonna give you a Patreon exclusive preview of his designs for them. Look for it next week!

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