The internet is all fired up after the release of the trailer for the remake of Robocop. Some love it, some hate it, turning it into the Marmite of the film world (Marmite for non-UK folk is a condiment you can buy in England which to my palette tastes like poison, but to others tastes like scrumptious spread). What else is trending at the moment is the news on the new Jurassic Park movie. So what would you think if I told you there is a comic that combines both of these pieces of news? It would blow your mind right? Yeah well don’t get to excited, because it is not as good as you think.
Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce to you Robocop the Marvel comic series.
Perhaps a little back story is in order. Though most people will recognize Robocop comics in the form of Dark Horse publications, Avatar Press, and Dynamite Comics, it first came to light in 1990 with Marvel’s title. This was meant to fill in the gaps between the second and third film. The title was always a bit of a mish mash of ideologies. Marvel started out writing the title like one of their super hero titles and pretty much ‘anything goes’ attitude was approached. After negetive responses from the fans, who did not like the change from near future to down right fantastical, it got re-focused more on the crime side. This still didn’t do it any favors as it was cancelled after 23 issues. This gave way to Dark Horse taking over who had a better idea of what the fans wanted to see in their Robocop titles.
This all brings us to the title itself and for the purpose of this article, issue 7, which had not quite shifted the fantasy style elements because it features dinosaurs. Below is a Wikipedia synopsis of the title.
If it sounds familiar then that’s because it’s basically Jurassic Park. It has a criminal causing mayhem in the zoo, resulting in the dinosaur riot. At times it feels like some of the earlier issues of Judge Dredd where he was fighting dinosaurs used in circus style shenanigans. The main root of the problem is that it is a pretty rubbish story full stop. The execution of the story leaves much to be desired, and though the art by Lee Sullivan is pretty good. The main fault seems to be with Robocop himself who is not quite the character we see in the first movie. He actually comes of quite a lot like a softer version of Judge Dredd, telling people to shut up and generally being a grumpy old bugger. Also because it is an early Marvel title the violence is all PC friendly so you do not even get to see him letting lose. The pirate robot he encounters is almost as annoying as Jar Jar Binks (so be warned) and the humor level is for the kiddies, and not the dark humor employed in the movie. This is understandable as Marvel were trying to sell this to a youth market but it does not make it any more painful to read.
It is not a great issue by any means, but it certainly was an intriguing one, even if that intrigue only lasts a few minutes. Without this comic however we may not have had the natural progression of the series to the style that Dark Horse employed, so it is not all bad news. The issue even at its worst at least has the fun scene of Robocop smacking about some raptors and that’s a scene anyone can enjoy.
The whole series however is quite fun so do not judge the comic run on this single issue alone. See if you can find the complete run cheap somewhere and check it out.