"RoboCop #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carlos Magno
2014, 24 Pages,
Comic released on July 2nd, 2014
Despite the fact that the Detroit police force has a cyborg on their payroll, crime is still running rampant. Fortunately, Alex Murphy doesn't need much sleep, being that he's mostly machine now. As a result, he's ready to bring justice to the streets one lowlife at a time as RoboCop. BOOM! Studios has launched this new series set in the aftermath of the original 1987 film.
This first issue shows a typical day on the force, with RoboCop busting up a gun ring in ways that only he can. We're introduced to Killian, a criminal who is fresh out of prison and looking for a way back onto the wrong side of the tracks. RoboCop wasn't around when he went in, so this presents an interesting new problem for the ex-con as he sets his sights on the cyborg cop.
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Writer Joshua Williamson captures the tone of the movie right away, then expands upon it, growing the characters in a very organic way. RoboCop is larger than life, immediately taking over any scene he's in. There's a coldness to him, as his humanity has been almost entirely wiped out. There are moments where it comes through, such as the swirl of his gun before he returns it to his holster. Otherwise everything is by the book and methodical.
RoboCop's partner Lewis also gets some time to shine. She's caught studying for the detective exam by another officer. The two get into an awkward exchange, as realistically Murphy will never get promoted or retire. He's peaked in terms of life and career as a part-man, part-machine cop. Lewis wants to take her career to the next level, but does that mean leaving RoboCop behind? This is an interesting side to the story that I'm happy to see explored further. It's the human element that could easily be forgotten in favor of cyborg-on-criminal action. Don't worry though, there's plenty of that.
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Carlos Magno was born to draw RoboCop. The first time he appears in the comic, it's in a two page spread with bullets flying every which way. He's standing in the street, surrounded by officers, firing up at some criminals up in a building. He's got one guy by the throat and he's shouting, “Dead or alive, you're coming with me!” How badass is that? It only goes up from there. RoboCop slowly climbs the steps within the building, which creates this sense of growing tension. What's he going to do when he finally gets up there? The bad guys can see and hear him coming. Magno delivers one of the most gruesome and amazing panels I've seen in months, It both showcases how awesome RoboCop is and why he's been around for over twenty years.
The first issue of RoboCop has set the stage for a number of cool plot lines. The title character is just as tough as I remember when seeing the original film as a kid. New and old fans will enjoy this comic. This is the sequel we all wanted but never got.