Friday, August 30, 2013

Review - Robocop: Last Stand #1

"Get them for me Murphy."

Efforts to fight crime have evolved. Long gone are the concepts of a sheriff holding court over a sleepy town in the west. Now, we've got SWAT teams and police forces and surveillance. The future expects to take those concepts a little bit further, perhaps by offering robots in law enforcement. Enter Robocop and Robocop: Last Stand #1 from BOOM! Studios.

The first issue is written by Frank Miller, illustrated by Korkut Oztekin, colored by Michael Garland and lettered by Ryan Ferrier.

Alex Murphy is something of a legend in the city of Detroit. Well, he's actually a ghost. There are forces seeking to find him and presumably remove him the streets, but the streets are still so dirty that he's got a place and a job to do. Not everyone is looking to kill him though, as Marie Lacasse wants to help him do his job that much more efficiently. Omni Consumer Products continues their run as a vile corporation, ensuring that Robocop has plenty of work to do in an effort to stop evildoers.

Miller hasn't really lost his ability to portray the extremely dingy underbelly of society. Robocop takes place in Detroit, a city already burdened with a harsh reputation, but Miller manages to make the Detroit Robocop exists in feel even more sullied. There are police who aren't really police anymore, yet still offer brutality. There are prostitutes roaming the streets freely. There are rundown public housing projects that are home to feisty citizens looking to stand their ground. All of them participate in the ecosystem that embodies Detroit, somewhat parasitic in nature. Miller and Robocop make a perfect match as far as writer and character/setting.

Oztekin's art is equally as dingy as the atmosphere presented by Miller. It's a violent world, but Oztekin doesn't saturate the pages in blood and gore, instead allowing the decayed city act as the framing for the negativity. There are a couple of particularly well done pages that has Robocop squaring off against an ED-209, offering a sense of scale between the two players. Just about every page Robocop is on has him presented in something of a heroic pose, enforcing his symbolism as a beacon of hope to a town devoid of any.

Robocop: Last Stand #1 doesn't really tread new ground as far as story or art goes, but it does take readers back to a world that they may have forgotten about. It helps to have some awareness of the universe to this point (primarily via the movies), as it frames the events of the comic better. Still though, Miller does a great job in making the book accessible to new readers as well, effectively presenting a setting and character for readers to grab hold of. If you're a fan of the property or feel that you're lacking in dystopian militant police state stories, then you should definitely check out Robocop: Last Stand #1.

Robocop: Last Stand #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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