Robocop

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 8 (February 2015)

Robocop #8

I’m not sure how I’d describe Killian, Williamson’s long-in-the-tooth antagonist in Robocop, but soap opera tough guy might be the best description. There’s no depth to the character, which is starting to get really annoying. Though Magno’s design for the him does look a lot like an eighties tough guy, which fits in with it being a sequel to Robocop.

This issue has Williamson lift a scene from Batman Returns to get stuff done, which is fine (there’s nothing else to do in that situation), but the parts with Robocop all of a sudden an upgraded superhero, doing things impossible to do with a man in a tin can suit? It’s where Robocop breaks. It’s where you can’t suspend disbelief long enough to hear Peter Weller’s voice saying the lines.

Williamson is still earnest with Robocop, but he’s not restrained enough. Not having a “budget” hurts it.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 7 (January 2015)

Robocop #7

Seeing Robocop run–he gets upgraded–reminds of two things. First, it’s like running zombies. Second, it’s a little like Batman on ice skates. It’s just too much. Magno’s art is stronger than it has been in the last few issues so he’s able to tone it down and keep the action grounded, but it’s still too much.

However, Robocop being faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound isn’t the emphasis of the issue. The cops finally get around to going after the bad guy; Murphy gets some evidence, Lewis gets some evidence. Williamson’s Mr. Big is going down!

But not this issue. This issue has a boring hard cliffhanger.

Still, Magno does well with all the action and talking heads and so on and Williamson does really well with Lewis’s arc this issue. It’s problematic licensed property stuff, but still worthwhile.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 6 (December 2014)

Robocop #6

It’s a bridging issue. An undercover cop goes after Killian–in one of Williamson’s most unexpected moves, the character (who everyone is accusing of being an undercover cop) turns out to be an undercover cop just in time for the cliffhanger. Robocop gets beat up by the new ED–209, which has a silly name I can’t remember. And Anne Lewis gets into a yelling match about how she’s not going to back down from her job (with another female detective).

And Robocop gets new legs. He can run now. Not quite a jetpack, but… a running Robocop.

Next time, because this issue is a bridging issue.

It’d probably be okay if it weren’t for some real compositional laziness on Magno’s part. He’s wasting a lot of space, with angles intended to fill space with blah content. Without anything particularly good in the narrative, the art pitfalls hurt the issue.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 5 (November 2015)

Robocop #5

Once again, there are occasional moments where this issue of Robocop feels a little bit too much like Robocop 2. Not even the action, but the way Williamson is moving things along for Murphy. The evil OCP conspiracy, him having to get fixed. In terms of action, however, there is an ED–209 fight and Murphy having a super-nightstick instead of a gun.

Also, Robocop not getting a gun feels a little too much like Robocop 2 as well.

I hate bringing up those comparisons, but Williamson was setting Robocop the comic up to be something different. Magno’s art is still gritty (though really problematic in this issue) so some of the details really don’t play.

But there’s good character work on Lewis, if her dialogue gets a little too much towards the end of her scenes. And some nice small parts from familiar movie characters.

Not bad stuff.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 4 (October 2014)

Robocop #4

Williamson does a couple unexpected things this issue. First, he brings a level of what one has to call Robocop 2 ultra-violence–well, technically Magno brings it–but Williamson wrote the scene. It's a big hero moment for Robocop and it's awesome. Robo saves the day.

Then Lewis turns around and figures out a way to save the day a little bit more, if only temporarily, because Williamson doesn't have a short game for Robocop. He's going long with the series and he's asking the reader for something of a significant investment. He's going beyond the accepted norms for a Robocop comic.

Sure, the cliffhanger–gun control is so tight Robocop has to lose the sidearm–is a Robocop 2 moment in the worst way, but the issue shows some definite ambition on Williamson's part.

The really awkward scene where Murphy talks about dying is great too.

It's a difficult, not entirely successful comic.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 3 (September 2014)

Robocop #3

This issue is the best one Williamson’s written so far. It’s not Magno’s drawn; he’s better than last time but there are still a lot of perspective issues. They make the body proportions look off when they aren’t. It’s too bad.

The issue opens with a flashback to villain Killian’s youthful offending days. It’s a good move, since Williamson is able to use information from it to flesh out the character in the present action.

Williamson also gives the cops enough to do. He has a new supporting cast member, a detective–who I really hope stays because she plays off Lewis well–and some actual investigating for Lewis and Murphy. They banter sparingly; Williamson shows restraint but it’s also the most personality he’s given Murphy to date.

The issue’s an excellent mix all around. Williamson opens it up a little, peopling the comic.

Only the cliffhanger flops. It feels too familiar.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 2 (August 2014)

Robocop #2

Robocop continues to have problems, but this issue they're different ones. For instance, Magno's art isn't as detailed. He's concentrating on foreground figures and letting the backgrounds go loose (with a handful of splash page exceptions). And his figures get flatter as the issue progresses.

But Williamson is doing better with Robocop and Lewis. Most of Robo's scenes are action ones to further the plot–Detroit is banning guns and the cops are out collecting, so it's a lot of quick scenes of Robocop in action. Good stuff. As for character development, it comes later and Williamson only teases this issue. His Robocop is going to be complicated; his promise seems sincere enough to allow for a delay.

The problem's the villains. He's got a crime boss masquerading as a community leader and then some out of town bad guys coming in. They're so peculiar they're distracting.

Like I said… problems.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop-Boom

Robocop 1 (July 2014)

Robocop #1

This comic is way too short.

It’s frustrating too because creators Joshua Williamson and Carlos Magno go out of their way to show they know how to do a Robocop comic. Magno’s art is excellent, nice amount of grit, nice amount of visual reference to the first movie and especially the actors (without being desperately photo-referenced). And Williamson writes some great scenes. His only slip-up would be using a too familiar quotable.

The problem’s the pace. There’s the opening action sequence and it’s great looking, but it doesn’t really have much impact. It should have been half as long and then Williamson would have had time to establish how he’s going to write Murphy as a character. Williamson has got Lewis down, but she’s not the hard one.

Murphy’s too much a subject, not enough an active player.

So it’s a soft start, but there’s clearly solid foundation.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

robocop-last-stand

Robocop: Last Stand 8 (March 2014)

Robocop Last Stand 008 Cover

So Ed Brisson gets the job of sending the original Robocop into the sunset. My first thought–he does an admirable job, though he could have easily turned it into three issues. He’s got a lot of ideas for how to bring things together. And that spark, even if it’s hilarious fan fulfillment, leads me to my second thought.

It’ll be too bad if Boom! doesn’t continue with the license for these types of series. Experimental ones, where an artist like Öztekin gets free run. Or, if the artist doesn’t get free run, at least it appears he or she does.

This issue, with Brisson’s writing, makes me want more of he and Öztekin’s Robocop. Maybe a prequel… the creative spark seems like it might have mileage.

Robocop, regardless of marketers, was never a film needing a sequel. But Brisson and Öztekin give that franchise a fine send off.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brisson; artist, Korkut Öztekin; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop Boom! Movie tie-ins

Robocop: Beta 1 (February 2014)

Robocop Beta PRESS 1

I feel bad for the creators on Robocop: Beta, it’s not their fault the comic fails, it’s just the nature of pointless movie tie-ins. Otherwise it’s not a bad comic. It’s even got a good reveal at the end, it just doesn’t have anything else going for it. Ed Brisson’s able to give it a solid three act structure and Emilio Laiso’s art is decent.

Well, the art is decent for digest size. It’s hard to explain why, but it seems too big for the standard comic page. At a smaller size, it’d be a lot more effective. But it’s still perfectly serviceable art and the way Laiso draws the Michael Keaton character is nice. Not too photo-referenced but still recognizable.

Brisson can’t do anything with the comic because the comic is, as a part of the conclusion, supposed to be disposable.

It’s pointless and everybody knows.

C- 

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brisson; artist, Emilo Laiso; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop Boom! Movie tie-ins

Robocop: Memento Mori 1 (February 2014)

Rc

Is Memento Mori the best of Boom!’s terrible Robocop remake tie-ins? Maybe. It’s definitely the first one where the art engaged. João Vieira has the appearance of an interesting style. Cartoonish, almost. He really doesn’t–he just fakes it on the good panels and the rest are really pedestrian. But until one figures out the art, it does keep the mind occupied.

Speaking of minds and occupation, Mori is the story of Alex Murphy, human cop, as the doctors wipe his memory to install Robocop. Frank J. Barbiere apes countless tv shows, comic books and movies as Murphy runs through his subconscious trying to survive. It’s hideously unoriginal and completely nonsensical. Barbiere fakes having a point to the story.

But the comic does read quickly and one forgives the art problems and the unoriginality as things move along. Barbiere manages to promise something engaging… and fails to deliver.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Frank J. Barbiere; artist, João Vieira; colorist, Ruth Redmond; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop Boom! Movie tie-ins

Robocop: To Live and Die in Detroit 1 (February 2014)

Robocop

Again, not having seen the new Robocop movie, it’s hard to say who’s responsible for the nonsense of To Live and Die in Detroit. It could be writer Joe Harris. He certainly does write some terrible exposition about the Motor City and juxtaposes it against the lame action and activities of Robocop. Robocop, it turns out, is an asshat by the way. But did the editors make him an asshat or did the liaison at the license holder?

The art isn’t too bad. Piotr Kowalski does all right, actually. The sleek image of Robocop is boring, but the rest of the action’s decent. Shame about all Harris’s exposition. It’s nauseatingly obvious and incredibly lame. Unless some Detroit politician wants to give out the comic at a campaign rally.

But not with the resolution. The resolution is pure crap. Whoever came up with it should be ashamed of him or herself.

F 

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Harris; artist, Piotr Kowalski; colorist, Vladimir Popov; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Robocop Boom! Movie tie-ins

Robocop: Hominem Ex Machina 1 (February 2014)

RoboCop Hominem Ex Machina rev Page 1

Okay, it’s a movie tie-in but it’s a prequel and a sequel. Who knows? The new Robocop isn’t out yet so is it even possible to gauge whether Michael Moreci and Jason Copland got the tone right… because they don’t create one of their own.

Moreci follows around Robocop’s human handler–or so the character seems, as I haven’t seen the movie–while Robocop is malfunctioning. There are riots, there are hostages, will Robocop come through in the end? Will Moreci actually write vicious criminals or ones out of toy commercials?

Vicious criminals wouldn’t fit Copland’s style. With the colors over Copland’s pencils–no inking here–Hominem Ex Machina looks like watercolor. It’s not an action style. Copland quite often flings Robocop through the air and it just looks absurd. So does all the tasering; it’s practically a PSA in favor of taser “safety.”

It’s somewhat inoffensive licensed dreck.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Michael Moreci; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Juan Manuel Tumburús; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

robocop-last-stand

Robocop: Last Stand 7 (February 2014)

Robocop Last Stand 007 rev Page 1

It’s an all art issue. It’s an all action issue too, but there’s not even the regular amount of witty banter for an action issue. So it’s just Öztekin doing a fight scene between Robocop and various cyborgs. All the cyborgs look alike. Robocop does have some special gear and there are a couple plot twists and sight gags… but it’s basically just this one fight scene.

I love Öztekin’s artwork but this issue doesn’t challenge him. He’s not doing anything crazy. Gone is the way he paced out intricate action sequences. It’s just Robocop punching one cyborg, then another one. Oh, they gang up on him and he’s got to persevere, but there’s no tension. That lack of tension is Grant’s fault.

Even though this issue has the big fight scene, it feels like a bridging one. What’s important isn’t what has happened here but what’s coming next. Unfortunate.

C+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Steven Grant; artist, Korkut Öztekin; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.