Robocop #1


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Robocop #1


  • Words: Rob Williams
  • Art: Fabiano Neves
  • Colors: Diogo Nescimento
  • Story Title: Revolution Part One
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 27, 2010

“Part Man. Part Machine. All Cop.  The Future of Law Enforcement” is back!

Robocop is one of those fond memories of my youth.  While it doesn’t hold up all that well (the special effects are woefully outdated, the acting pretty dreadful, and it’s all a little Brazil-lite by way of Terminator), it certainly is a lot easier to watch than Mike Hodges’s Flash Gordon.

The film was all concept and action.  With swift and clever news breaks and ads, it was like watching The Dark Knight Returns in action.  Weller’s wooden acting made sense with the rigid moves of the robotic police officer watching over a dystopian nightmare.

The comic presented here is set right after the first movie.  I guess we have Robocop 1.5 here.  I’m not real sure how it fits into the second movie.  Maybe Dynamite has decided to ignore the rest of the franchise or maybe I just remember it wrong.  I got a box set upstairs, maybe that is what I can do while snowed in from Snowstorm 2010.

So, OCP is in new hands... well, maybe, Ms. Odenkirk seems exactly like Dick Jones, except with breasts.  However, a boon in war profiteering has given the corporation a new life and new Eds are replacing the police force of Old Detroit.  All of the police force, save one, good ol’ Murphy, gets to hang on board as the public face of this new regime of law and order.

It all smacks of cliche.  Which is a shame, because the charm of Robocop was that it overcame its kitsch and familiarity to become something of a cultural icon.  It was grim dirty and dangerous.  Everything here feels recycled.  Even the news blurbs seem to just be taken out of today’s headlines instead of sensationalized like the Enquirer just became the pinnacle of hard hitting journalism.  The only shocking thing is an African American Nazi, which just seems wrong, but whatever.  In the end, all the players and pieces are in place, I’m just not sure I care.

The art doesn’t really help matters either.  The designs are goofy.  Even though Murphy and Lewis look like their real life counterparts, the art just doesn’t seem real.  There is a nice line to the work, but the execution is sloppy and all over the place.  The faces are never presented in the same manner twice.  To make matters worse, Robocop is the most fluid natural character in the whole book.  Everyone else seems wooden and posed. 

Then there is the coloring.  It is grimy and over rendered.  Maybe the art team was trying to give it a feel like watching the dvd on an HDTV, but it just comes off as muddled.  It reminds me of the recently re”mastered” Valiant hardcovers.  It just looks like it should look better than it does.

Comics are a nostalgia business.  There is no doubt about it.  Comics like this are evidence presented to the court of the outside world.  All this book really has going for it is the fond memories of its readers and, unfortunately, this will not help foster warm memories.  Maybe I should hunt down the Frank Miller Avatar stuff. Didn’t Juan Jose Ryp illustrate that book?  Given its publication period, I bet it is manic and gory; that’s the way I prefer to remember Robocop.

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  • Noel Bartocci

    Noel Bartocci Jan 30, 2010 at 11:23pm

    Awwww. I was so hoping for this to work. I still want to give it a read, but I can see how this material could easily be mishandled. The first film works because it's able to balance the ultra-violence, propaganda and humor. It's almost genius on some levels... but since then, there has been no other medium that's gotten the tone just right. Good review, mate!

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Feb 3, 2010 at 3:28am

    yeah the first Robocop was basically an exploitation movie in Hollywood disguise! Other work by Paul Verhoeven worth seeking out is Flesh and Blood, a gory medieval action movie.

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Feb 3, 2010 at 4:14am

    hahahahaaa...I am not sending this one over to DE. Bad for business :D

  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Feb 3, 2010 at 8:06am

    See, Boom keeps the exploitation theme alive by being a good Pimp!

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Feb 3, 2010 at 8:37am

    ROBOCOP is not really my bag but Rob Williams is one of those writers who always delivers for me so I might give it a look-see when collected. I guess the thing with licensed books is that we're never sure just what restrictions/instructions the writer/publisher are under in their use of the characters and that can have a bearing.

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