Robocop LOL (List of Links)

This list contains links to all the Robocop posts I’ve written over the years, as well as a podcast.

Just to get it out of the way early… the only Robocop movie I’d recommended is the original and the only Robocop comic I’d recommend is Robocop: Last Stand. Everything else is pretty bad.

Movies

Original series, Orion Pictures, 1987-93

Remake, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2014

Spoof, Channel 101, 2014

  • Our RoboCop Remake (2014); posted 26 October 2014
  • Comic books

    Marvel Comics, 1987-92

    Robocop, March 1990 – January 1992

    posted January – March 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

    Dark Horse Comics, 1992-94

    Robocop vs. the Terminator, September – December 1992

    posted February 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Robocop: Prime Suspect, October 1992 – January 1993

    posted February 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Robocop 3, July – November 1993

    posted January 2010

    1, 2, 3

    Robocop: Mortal Coils, September – December 1993

    posted February – March 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Robocop: Roulette, December 1993 – March 1994

    posted March 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Avatar Press, 2003-06

    Frank Miller’s Robocop, July 2003 – January 2006

    posted January 2010

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

    Robocop: Killing Machine, August 2004

    1

    Robocop: Wild Child, January 2005

    1

    Dynamite Entertainment, 2010-12

    Robocop, January – August 2006

    posted September 2010

    1

    Boom! Studios, 2013-18

    Robocop: Last Stand, August 2013 – February 2014

    posted August 2013 – February 2014

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

    posted March 2019

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

    Robocop, 2014 remake tie-in one-shots, February 2014

    posted February 2014

    Hominem Ex Machina , To Live and Die in Detroit, Memento Mori, Beta

    Robocop, July 2014 – June 2015

    posted July 2014 – February 2015

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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Even in the future of the future of law enforcement there is room for improvement

Frank Miller's Robocop #1

Frank Miller's Robocop; Avatar Press; issues 1-9 (of 9); 2003-06; $3.50 to $3.99, 36 pgs ea.; collection (2007), $29.99.

Like most media with a Frank Miller credit on it, Frank Miller’s Robocop does not aged well. More accurately, as far as Robocop goes anyway, it doesn’t improve with age or maturity. It was always as bad as it is now, every reading another bloody stab at nostalgia. Frank Miller’s Robocop is an adaptation of Miller’s original Robocop 2 script. It’s a pseudo-infamous script—Miller, hot off Dark Knight loves Robocop and writes the sequel. There’s a writer’s strike in there somewhere. When the sequel finally does get made, Miller’s script has been rewritten by Walon Green (who wrote some of The Wild Bunch script). The sequel doesn’t get a good reaction, everyone starts thinking it’s because Miller’s script got rewritten. But then Miller’s back for Robocop 3, which should seem weird but actually makes perfect sense because they’re really just using his Robocop 2 script ideas.

So Frank Miller’s Robocop initially comes off more like a Robocop 3 adaptation than a Robocop 2. The first three issues are just Robocop 3, then with 2 elements, but still with a bunch of 3 going on. If only adapter Steven Grant could unravel all these threads….

And he doesn’t. He leaves Robocop entirely jumbled, with Juan Jose Ryp’s highly detailed, precisely messy, very busy art not doing anything to save the comic. Ryp’s art never really hurts it—whoever gives him too many pages for action scenes, for example, is the one who hurts it. Ryp does well with fast paced action. He doesn’t do well slowing down to go through a throw-by-throw. Especially not with the comic’s version of “Robocop 2,” the big villain (sort of) in the finale. It usually feels like Grant’s never seen Ryp’s art, otherwise no one would plot out the scene the way Grant does.

Editing matters. Though with Frank Miller’s Robocop you probably don’t get to tell Frank Miller how his ideas are so bad, even a franchise-desperate movie studio could improve on them.

I’ve read this series something like three times now. Maybe four. Definitely three. I’ve read it as published (often delayed), I’ve read it slowly, I’ve binged it. It never gets any better. There’s never enough story for the issues or even the series. The first three have something like an arc, which suggests Grant might do something similar with the back six, but he doesn’t. Once the big action set pieces start, the comic rushes to get out of there way so Ryp can have too many pages to do boring action.

In the end, all Frank Miller’s Robocop does is raise questions not particularly worth having answered—did Miller write any of these characters any better, did he really have such bad plotting or was Grant trying to make it fit the nine issues (it feels like there’s one missing, though who’d want to read another one).

Robocop 2, the movie, is far from great shakes, but seeing notes on Miller’s script from the studio execs? Seeing those might be interesting, if only because there’s so much to “fix.”

(It’s also strange how few of the “regular” cast show up in the script. Makes you wonder what Miller liked about the first movie).