Dead or alive, youâ€™re coming with me
RoboCop is one of those movies that changed how we viewed violence on the silver screen. The version we saw in theaters was heavily edited from its original X rating due to the intense graphic violence – remember, it wasnâ€™t every day that you saw someoneâ€™s hand disintegrated from a shotgun blast. RoboCop launched the career of director Paul Verhoeven, and even had several sequels, and a Dark Horse comic book series in the 1990s. RoboCop may be out of the spotlight at the moment, but it isnâ€™t out of our mind as Dynamite Entertainment brings officer Murphy back for another look at the not so distant future.
One of the stranger aspects of RoboCop the movie, was the odd television news and game show segments that appeared throughout the film. Itâ€™s a gimmick that Verhoeven used again in Starship Troopers to mess with our minds and give us pause as to the role media would play in future society. Those segments are back in this first issue, and it gives readers a look at how much worse Old Detroit has become. Crime is at an all time high, employment is at an all time low, and people are starving.
Following the death of Ronny Cox Dick Jones, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has placed Edwina Odenkirk in charge, and as a business woman she has a plan to clean up the streets of Detroit. Itâ€™s a three fold plan that entails A) firing the current police force, B) allowing a new (glitch-free) line of Ed209s to run through the city keeping everyone safe, and C) keeping officer Murphy on staff as the figure head for the new improved police department. Itâ€™s a dangerous business move as it does nothing to endear the citizens to their cause, but it is only the first issue, so maybe things will get better…
BWAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Iâ€™d buy that for a dollar indeed.
The writing by Rob Williams is good as he brings the feel of Old and New Detroit to life. Thereâ€™s plenty of colorful language and extreme violence throughout the issue, so those with young children, probably donâ€™t want to leave a copy of this issue lying around. Itâ€™s odd that 23 years after the original movie, I feel like Iâ€™ve stepped back into the world of RoboCop, without missing a beat.
And that seems to be where the issue falters. The plot points and elements that appear in this issue seem to be a rehash of the story themes and ideas that were found not only in the first movie, but the sequels and the video game that I sunk many a quarter into during college. Itâ€™s not a bad story, but it is a familiar one. This series appears to take place after the first movie, but before the second, almost like everyone wants to forget the insanity that was Frank Millerâ€™s RoboCop 2.
Fabiano Neves pencil work is good, but I think the coloring kills it with the water colored style that is applied to every panel. Considering the slick color palette and starkness of the film – which will stick in most peopleâ€™s minds when they hear of this issue – going with a soft color feel to the art doesnâ€™t create the feel of a dystopian future to this reviewer.
Overall, I enjoyed this issue, even with itâ€™s faults. In a day and age where violence in video games and other graphic novels (many released by Dynamite), the edginess of the character seems to have faded. The story continues to build on the RoboCop mythos, which is welcome in a day and age when franchises are being rebooted left and right, and should appeal to fans of the series. RoboCop is not without its problems, and thus earns 3 out of 5 Stars.