It would be a reasonable assumption when hearing about a new RoboCop series to imagine that it would be some kind of tie-in to the RoboCop remake that came out earlier in the year.
Thankfully that assumption gets blown right out of the water in the first panel of RoboCop #1 which features a television with the “I’d buy that for a dollar!” guy from the first RoboCop. In fact, at least as far as the first issue is concerned, this series ignores the two sequels and is set some undetermined time after the first movie.
The story starts by introducing a recently released from jail career criminal named Killian. Killian is being told how things have changed since he went away, mainly in the form of RoboCop, a cybernetic policeman who is almost singlehandedly cleaning up all the crime in Detroit. This segues nicely into our introduction of RoboCop as he comes to the aid of his fellow policemen engaged in a shootout with gun smugglers.
RoboCop utters his famous catchphrase “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!”and immediately gets to work proving just how little he cares which option you choose. With machine precision he guns down the bad guys and even takes the time to get his hands dirty by punching one fiend’s eye right out of his head. After two PG-13 movies, a TV show, and a cartoon RoboCop has finally come back to his hard R ultraviolent roots.
Violence alone of course does not a good comic make and the story, involving OCP -the corporation that owns the Detroit Police Department and RoboCop himself- outlawing all guns in Detroit except for the Police, is both engaging and timely.
The art is spectacular. Carlos Magno’s line-work and crosshatching are an excellent fit for RoboCop and his his world of a rundown Detroit. Magno just captures the essence of RoboCop so perfectly with his drawings one can only hope that he illustrates all forthcoming stories featuring the character.
The world of RoboCop boils down to essentially three things: the increasing privatization of America by corrupt corporations, extreme violence, and the dark satirization of both. RoboCop #1 definitely gets the first two right and though there wasn’t a whole lot of satire in the first issue, two out of three ain’t bad.