REVIEW: The Complete Frank Miller Robocop Omnibus

Way back in the late 80’s, a raft of films started hitting the screen, borne from the excess of the decade.  Whether it was the glitz and glamour of Top Gun or any of the random violence and wise cracks of Arnie, film goers were treated to larger than life characters with a panache for taking things to the extremes.  From that mold, came Robocop, part man, part machine ALL cop!

Robocop is my all-time favourite movie from this particular genre/mind-set of Hollywood.  A satirical look at media, big business with stark language and a Frankenstein monster for a hero.  Obviously, I was not the only one on which an impression was made.  A cartoon, a Marvel comic run, two sequels, the Dark Horse Comics run, a TV show and a reboot all go to show that Officer Murphy has plenty of fans, even if nobody seems knows what to do with him.

This omnibus collects Frank Miller’s Robocop and Robocop’s Last Stand,  both are based on the unproduced screenplays for Robocop 2 and 3 respectively.

Robocop, is written by Miller and shows pretty much the excess that has come to play in his work.  There is foul language, satires that aren’t funny and a level of violence that is so over the top its laughable.  On top of that is the sexualisation of every female character in this book.  Even Lewis somehow manages to have her blouse cut up along its buttons.  I can understand it in part; Miller is trying to get a reaction by ensuring that everything is exaggerated to the nth degree.  But in reality, it’s sickening and vulgar.  The art by Juan Jose Ryp is Miller by default.  It’s as if Ryp only got the job because he could draw like Miller.  Again, sexualisation of women is s problem; in my day job I work in an office with 18 women.  At no point has any of them struck a pose that Dr Love is put in.  At least, looking back at this book, I can see that women’s place in comic and comic book stories has improved since this first hit the stands.

Robocop’s Last Stand is again written by Miller although for the most part its is a trifle more restrained, there is still the violence element and of course there is that jet pack.  Art is supplied by Korkut Oztekin with a style that is reminiscent of Miller’s old partner in crime Klaus Janson, before devolving in to a crayon coloured mess.

If there was ever an idea that didn’t need to be over thought or over worked it’s Robocop.  The many different attempts have all failed to live up to the spirit of the original movie.  If anything, the one Robocop run I did enjoy, Robocop vs Terminator, which is written by Miller is somehow missing from this “complete” work.  Maybe the title lends more to the idea that the omnibus contains the complete and full ideas that were meant for the subsequent movies.  With the latter in mind and given the fact that both Robo-sequels are ridiculed as bad movies, it goes to show how  unenjoyable this book is when I can safely say the movies were indeed better in the lack of completed-ness.

Writing – 1 Star
Art – 0 Stars

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Frank Miller, Steven Grant, Ed Brisson
Artists: Juan Jose Ryp, Korkut Öztekin

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