I wasn't sure what to expect from My Greatest Adventure #1. I'm not all that familiar with Tanga and Garbageman, and while I really dig Cliff Steele, I wasn't sure if he was the Robotman appearing in this comic. Still, the book had a solid creative line-up that included Aaron Lopresti and Kevin Maguire, so I figured at the very least, it was worth checking out. While I wasn't crazy about every one of the book's three tales, it did manage to give me my money's worth, in spite of the title's $3.99 price tag.
My favorite story of the bunch was the first, which did indeed focus on the Cliff Steele version of Robotman. This appears to be set before the formation of the Doom Patrol, and I kind of like that. I don't feel like the Doom Patrol has ever been as successful as it should be, and starting from the beginning might be just what it needs. I'm a sucker for adventure stories and detective agencies, so Robotman's mention of his Detective/Adventure agency was a delight, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of that. Writer Matt Kinot gives him a strong voice and an interesting perspective, and his tale ends on a pretty interesting cliffhanger. The only thing that really struck me as strange was Maddy- I couldn't tell if her name was a reference to Madame Rogue, or if it was just a weird coincidence. Odd name aside, she certainly seems like she could develop into a likable character given the time.
I felt like I didn't appreciate the Garbageman story as much as I should have. I was given enough information so that I wasn't lost, but not enough to develop an emotional connection to the characters in the story. I don't know anything about Garbageman's secretary and their friendship, so the scenes referencing it didn't mean anything to me. Likewise, I wasn't particularly interested in the strange, homeless reverend or whatever business Garbageman had with him. This appears to pick up right where Weird Worlds left off, and for all I know, it's a great continuation. It just doesn't have a lot of offer storywise to anyone jumping on here.
The Tanga story is Kevin Maguire at his goofy best. I wasn't really sure why she needed to go see this blue guy, but it didn't matter, because she was charming, silly, and fun. In spite of the book's lighthearted vibe, the ending was kind of horrific, and I'm very curious to see where this tale goes next. What really made the difference for me was that I wanted to know more about everything I didn't understand. I may very well see if I can't find Weird Worlds the next time I hunt through a back issues bin because of this one. Some people may be put off by being dropped into the story, but I think Tanga will win most folks over.
All three of the stories offered solid artwork, and I'm hard pressed to name a favorite. Kevin Maguire's brilliant facial expressions were put to good use throughout the Tanga tale. Robotman may look a little weird on the book's cover (which was edited before release), but Scott Kolins does a perfect job of rendering here. His interiors remind me a little of Scott Wegener's lively and fun work on Atomic Robo. Aaron Lopresti do es a beautiful job rendering the backgrounds in Garbageman, and gives the character a sort of ragtag appearance that helps differentiate him a bit from Swamp Thing. Colors were also great throughout the book, but I thought Mike Atiyeh's bright, fun work on Robotman was the standout.
I didn't read Weird Worlds, but I'd have to imagine that anyone who did would enjoy the continuation of those stories here, Lobo or no Lobo. Both Robotman and Tanga seem like they could carry their own titles, and while Garbageman fell a little short for me, I think it's worth looking at for the art alone. I'd recommend that any fan of weird characters or anthologies give this one a try. All of the writers pack plenty of story into the 11 pages that they're given, and I think a few people on the new 52 ongoings could stand to take some tips from them. Dropping $3.99 on a comic book isn't easy, but My Greatest Adventure packs plenty of story into every page, and makes its asking price a little easier to swallow.