Review by Jamie McNeil
After their previous adventures Alex (12) and Freddy (6) Sharma are working for the government agency R.A.I.D (Robotics, Analysis, Intelligence and Defense). Freddy is loving the new found fame, the chance to kick bad guys’ butts and, most importantly, leave school earlier. Alex, on the other hand, is coming to grips with the peculiar human experience of puberty and trying to work out his place in the world. Meanwhile the secrets about their origin that R.A.I.D. swept under the carpet are coming to the light, egotistical robot creators are looking to build their reputation by tangling with the boys, killer robots are on the prowl and the government whether or not it is safer to shut the boys down. That’s nothing compared to the daily challenges of going to school and normal everyday life for the Mega Robo Bros!
Previously published as Mega Robo Rumble, David Fickling Books have been reprinting both their classic and new titles in a fresher condensed format. You’d think that would affect the art negatively but the opposite is true. Spreading it over more pages highlights visuals that were previously squeezed out of focus but it’s still the same funny, imaginative, action-packed story except now you can truly appreciate creator Neill Cameron’s stupendous illustrations.
What’s so impressive about Cameron’s storytelling is how he thinks through the scenarios. It’s one thing dealing with a child throwing a tantrum because they can’t have ice-cream for breakfast, another entirely when said child has powerful lasers that could incinerate you in seconds. When human brothers start a kerfuffle, there’s bound to be some destruction. When said brothers have the capabilities of small nuclear station… ?
While Cameron also renders some marvellous action, it’s choosing to focus on the wonderfully human and vastly different personalities of Fred and Alex that makes the series fantastic. Spreading the art over more pages also has the unexpected benefit of giving the narrative more congruency. Mega Robo Rumble felt like there were a lot of short stories squeezed into a bigger book but that’s changed here as it reads more smoothly. Moving the pages round has altered it for the better.
Like Power Up before it, Double Threat has new bonus content including another fabulous Freddy story. Just when you thought you couldn’t love Alex’s and Freddy’s adventures any more, it turns out you can.
The new updated adventures continue in Mega Robo Bros: Mega Robo Revenge.