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RoboCop refers to a number of comic book series spun off from the feature film of the same name.
The main character is a fictional cyborg -Detroit police officer who begins as a human police officer Alex J. Murphy, who is killed in the line of duty by a vicious crime gang. Subsequently, Murphy is transformed into the cyborg entity by the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products. Since his 1987 film debut, the RoboCop character and franchise have been exercised through numerous entertainment media, including multiple comic book mini-series and ongoing series.
ongoing RoboCop comic book series based on the movie. The series ran for 23 issues, ending in January 1992. In addition, a one-shot was released in August 1990, reprinting in color the 1987 black and white magazine adaptation of the movie. That same month also saw a black and white magazine adaptation of the movie sequel RoboCop 2, as well as a three issue mini-series, printing in color the same contents as the RoboCop 2 magazine.
The stories told within these issues take place between the second and third Robocop movies. Entering the Marvel universe, RoboCop’s futuristic setting is expanded beyond the restrictions of a Hollywood budget. Most likely to give the “future of law enforcement” a more science fiction based reality, gangs now ride on hover bikes, urban droids carry out public services like waste disposal, and almost anyone with the know-how or money can create a giant killer robot.
The consistent theme throughout the 23 issues is RoboCop’s continuing struggle to balance his humanity with the machine Omni Consumer Products made him into after his brutal death. In the meantime, he’s fighting killer robots, cyborg animals, OCP’s rival companies, foreign nations, mercenaries, and OCP’s attempts to mass produce RoboCops.
Dark Horse ComicsEditThe comic book license for RoboCop was later acquired by the publishing company Dark Horse Comics. Between May and August 1992, a four issue RoboCop Versus The Terminator mini-series written by Frank Miller, with artwork by Walt Simonson. This led to several RoboCop mini-series being published by Dark Horse along with two mini-stories that were included in the anthology title Dark Horse Comics.
- Dark Horse Comics #1-3 provided the events that led up to the story presented in RoboCop: Prime Suspect.
- RoboCop: Prime Suspect (Oct 1992 - Jan 1993), 4 issues.
- RoboCop: Invasions Dark Horse Comics #6-9 provided the events that led up to the story presented in RoboCop: Mortal Coils
- RoboCop: Mortal Coils (Sep 1993 - Dec 1993), 4 issues.
- RoboCop: Roulette (Dec 1993 - Mar 1994), 4 issues.
- RoboCop 3 adaptation was published as a three-issue mini-series between July and November 1993.
Avatar PressEditAlmost a decade later, the comic rights to RoboCop were acquired by Avatar Press. Upon announcing the acquisition, the company's publisher, William Christensen, received several offers from artists and writers hoping to contribute to the project (which eventually lead to the Avatar comic RoboCop: Killing Machine). Christensen himself was interested in producing a comic adaptation of Miller’s “lost” screenplay, of which he possessed a copy. Christensen soon got in contact with Miller, who was enthusiastic to the idea of his story finally being told uncensored.
The series was personally overseen by Miller, based on his own unused screenplay for the film RoboCop 2 and notes of unused ideas for RoboCop 3, however scheduling prohibited him from personally writing the comic adaptation or illustrating. It was written by Steven Grant, a long-time acquaintance of Miller’s who had written the comic adaptation of RoboCop 3 for Dark Horse Comics. Juan Jose Ryp, best known for illustrating the Avatar comic Another Suburban Romance (written by Alan Moore), became the title’s illustrator while Miller drew covers.
The series was composed of nine issues that were published from August 2003 through February 2006 under Avatar’s Pulsar Press line, which specializes in licensed comic properties from movies. Issues featured covers by Miller and alternate covers by Ryp.
The machine that was born as Alex Murphy continues his war against the criminals of Old Detroit. But his human soul still haunts him with a sympathetic conscience and memories of his past life.
When his creators and benefactors at the Omni Consumer Products (OCP) corporation get wind of this, they deem RoboCop obsolete. Now our hero and his resilient partner, Officer Anne Lewis, are pitted not only against the scum of the streets, but the new OCP model that shows no mercy.
Critical reaction to Frank Miller's RoboCop comic has been mixed. Randy Lander of comic review site The Fourth Rail gave the first issue a score of 7 out of 10, saying that "there's not a lot of personality to the book" but added that it's "certainly interesting to read and full of potential."
Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the comic a "D" score, criticizing the "tired story" and lack of "interesting action." A recap written for the pop culture humor website I-Mockery said, "Having spent quite a lot of time with these comics over the past several days researching and writing this article, I can honestly say that it makes me want to watch the movie version of RoboCop 2 again just so I can get the bad taste out of my mouth. Or prove to myself that the movie couldn't be worse than this."
See AlsoEditDynamite Entertainment Started producing RoboCop comics in January of 2010.
- The series from Dynamite Entertainment ran from January to June of 2010, with a total of 6 issues.
- RoboCop: Revolution reprints the first 4 issues in trade paperback format.
- RoboCop: Road Trip was the follow up to the 2010 series published in 2011.
- Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human is Dynamite's take on the crossing over of the two franchises.
In 2013 Boom! Studios obtained the license and began publishing RoboCop comics with their 8 part series titled RoboCop: Last Stand, written by Steven Grant. In November it was announced that the studio would publish a series of four "one-shot" books that tie-in with the forthcoming RoboCop remake film. The titles include: