Best Of British Review: ‘Mega Robo Bros Double Threat’ Delivers More Robo Action, More Robo Fun!
by Richard Bruton
The second Mega Robo Bros book by Neill Cameron, bringing you all the fun and excitement of the first book, but just adding to all that with a fabulous emotional depth – making this one of the best kids comics (to be enjoyed by all of us) you can (and should) buy!
Yes, it’s time for more fun, more wonder, more excitement, and more adventure from Neill Cameron’s Mega Robo Bros, bringing us ‘Double Threat‘ in a new, reformatted, remastered version!
I’ve already told you about just how good the comic is with the first volume in these newly remastered, ungraded, improved digest format versions of Mega Robo Bros in the review of Power Up, but now it’s time to head out once more with volume two of the digest series, Double Threat.
A lot happened in that first Mega Robo Bros book by Neill Cameron. Alex (12) and Freddy (6) have gone from being two (relatively) normal school kids to two new special agents at R.A.I.D. (the international agency for Robotics Analysis, Intelligence and Defence). And, despite the best efforts of their adopted parents, R.A.I.D. chief scientific officer, Dr. Nita Sharma, and her husband Michael, Alex and Freddy have gone from being very well-kept secrets to being absolutely out there in the glare of the media – the Mega Robo Bros have become big news!
I could tell you more, but there’s a wonderful little section at the end of the first Mega Robo Bros book, Power Up, where Freddy pretty much sums up all you need to know, in his own unique way!
Yep, that does so much to both fill you in on what went before and show you just how much fun Mega Robo Bros manages to be!
Inside Volume 2, Double Threat, we catch up with Alex and Freddy as they settle into their new roles as agents of R.A.I.D. – although much to Freddy’s disgust, these special agents still have to go to school…
And if you’re wondering why there’s a robo penguin quoting Jean-Paul Satre… you really do have a treat awaiting you – go and read Power Up to find out the origins of Philosophy Robo Penguin!
Anyway, It’s back to school for both of them, something Alex is a lot more okay with than Freddy. Freddy much prefers it when they get the call to tackle a rogue Mech attacking London… if he can find his shoes that is. And that’s a huge amount of the fun to be found here in Mega Robo Bros… watching these two amazing Robo Bros off doing incredible things yet still being kids, still having all the problems that your everyday human kids have. And Cameron’s so good at making these everyday frustrations into page after page of glorious comedy – I mean, how many other comics have four hilarious pages about looking for your shoes?
Or, for that matter, how many other comics have a shopping trip for a new coat end with Freddy turning his newly found thermo regulation settings up too high?
Sure, there’s loads of action and adventure here in Mega Robo Bros, we get to go underground where Alex and Freddy take on robo spiders and other mechs looked after by the Caretaker, we have fun at the London Robo Expo until Team Robotix, rogue robo-designers, turn up to challenge Freddy to a robo-battle, and then, ominously, there’s the threat of Wolfram and the remains of the Super Robo 7… something very close to home for Alex and Freddy’s mum.
But the joy of Mega Robo Bros comes in the way Neill Cameron grounds everything in the day-to-day lives of these two extraordinary young robots. The big fighting stuff is loads of fun of course, but the book comes alivve when contrasting that adventuring with the down to Earth stuff Alex and Freddy go through. The scenes of Alex and Freddy at school, with their various friendship groups, the school bully, the regular childhood problems of popularity, shyness, questioning themselves, and adding in the unique problems that the Mega Robo Bros are having to face in the public eye… that’s just something that adds so much to the comic and takes it to a completely different level.
Alongside all the action and all of that glorious comedy, there’s such glorious warmth to be found inside Mega Robo Bros, so much emotional depth, and that’s what takes Mega Robo Bros up there into the ranks of the very best of comics for kids.
There’s one big story thread running through this book that’s so cleverly done, so amazingly realised, giving us a heartbreaking moment of absolute comics genius. It’s one that’s so special, so wonderful, that the two pages where we get the payoff of the storyline became one of my comics moments of the year when they were published in the Phoenix Comic back in 2015. It’s also something so special that I’m going to celebrate it properly in another post – some things are so good that they deserve a post of their own rather than being buried deep in a review.
But more on that in a few days, for now, let’s just sum Mega Robo Bros up by telling you it really is just a superb book, essential reading for so many of us, children and adults alike.
This is a comic that deserves to be read and shared the world over, a wonderful thing that works on every single level.
Mega Robo Bros – Double Threat – by Neill Cameron, with additional colouring by Abby Bulmer and Lisa Murphy.
Published by David Fickling Books on th5 August.
And coming soon – YAY…