RoboCop (comics)

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RoboCop refers to a number of comic book series spun off from the feature film of the same name.

The main character is a cybernetic police officer from Detroit who begins as a human police officer Alex J. Murphy, who is killed in the line of duty by a vicious crime gang. Subsequently, Murphy is transformed into the cyborg entity by the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP). Since his 1987 film debut, the RoboCop character and franchise have been exercised through numerous entertainment media, including multiple comic book mini-series and ongoing series.

Marvel Comics[edit]

RoboCop
Cover of the 1st issue
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Genre Crime
Science fiction
Thriller
Publication date March 1990 – January 1992
Number of issues 23
Main character(s) Alex J. Murphy/RoboCop
Creative team
Writer(s) Alan Grant
Artist(s) Lee Sullivan
Creator(s) Alan Grant (writer)
Lee Sullivan (illustrator)

In March 1990, Marvel Comics released the first issue of an ongoing RoboCop superhero comic book series based on the film. The series ran for 23 issues, ending in January 1992. In addition, a one-shot was released in August 1990, reprinting in color the 1987 black and white magazine adaptation of the film. That same month also saw a black and white magazine adaptation of the film sequel RoboCop 2, as well as a three issue mini-series, printing in color the same contents as the RoboCop 2 magazine. (The RoboCop 2 adaptation, as well as the monthly comic, are notable for depicting the same locations, set design and OCP logo as the first film and not the substitute designs/sets seen in the actual film RoboCop 2. This would continue in the Dark Horse comics.)

The stories told within these issues take place between the second and third RoboCop films. Entering a Marvel Universe, though not the main superhero universe by Marvel, RoboCop's futuristic setting is expanded with more futuristic elements like gangs riding on hover bikes, urban droids carry out public services like waste disposal, and almost anyone with the know-how or money can create a giant killer robot. About mid-way through the comics run pressure from fan letters convinced Marvel to eliminate some of the more fantastical elements, such as flying characters citing that RoboCop was set only in the near future. This let to a few conundrums and contradictions such as having biker gangs riding flying cycles in one issue and then switch to standard motorcycles by the next. The comic also had to uncomfortably deal with inconsistent characterization misconceptions in the films. For example, in the first movie, OCP's Chairman "The Old Man" is portrayed as a good natured oldster who grew OCP from a small business and has little patience for the greedy corporate types he employs. In the second film his character has changed to a corrupt villain. This proved very unpopular with fans of the first film who had liked the character. It also created a major paradox for the writers of the Marvel comic monthly series, as we see the "Old Man" as a good guy in the RoboCop film adaptation, as a villain in the RoboCop 2 adaptation, and strictly a good guy in the early monthly series of original stories. What followed was a transformation that uncomfortably teetered between strictly well intended, morally ambiguous, and corrupt, but with a good excuse. Another slight, yet noticeable, change was the character of OCP executive Donald Johnson name to Daniel Johnson. This was most likely to avoid criticism from fans of the TV series Miami Vice, though the original naming of the character was likely an in-joke referring to Miami Vice star Don Johnson.

The consistent theme throughout the 23 issues is RoboCop's continuing struggle to balance his humanity with the machine made after his brutal death. In the meantime, he’s fighting street gangs, gangsters, drug pushers, addicts, politicians, terrorists, killer robots, mad scientist, cyborg animals, corrupt OCP employees, OCP’s rival companies, foreign nations, mercenaries, OCP’s attempts to mass produce RoboCops and competitive attempts to do the same, as well as criticisms from an otherwise well-meaning public.

RoboCop (one-shot film adaptation) (Oct 1987)[edit]

Writer / Penciller Publication date
Bob Harras/Alan Kupperberg and Javier Saltares July 28, 1987 (cover dated October 1987)
This issue follows the plot of the movie of the same name.

Note: This issue was originally published in a black and white magazine format before being reprinted in a color trade paperback format in 1990.

RoboCop Vol. 1 (23 issue ongoing series) (Mar 1990–Jan 1992)[edit]

Issue # Title Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Kombat Zone Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan January 16, 1990 (cover dated March 1990)
Continuing his duty as a police officer, RoboCop maintains peace and order the best he can in a still dark and violent Detroit while OCP enters the next phases for building its CEO’s prophesized Delta City. A competing company called Nixco tries to muscle in on the Delta City contract, however, and steals specs from RoboCop’s design to release their own version of law enforcement. Manufacturing a small army of robotic Nixcops, their first mission is to destroy RoboCop along with an apprehended criminal who can tie a Nixco executive to a murder. Without possessing a human mind the Nixcops are no match for RoboCop who utilizes quickly reprogrammed, by RoboCop himself, ED 209 enforcement Droids in his defense.
2 Murphy's Law Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan February 20, 1990 (cover dated April 1990)
RoboCop escapes the Nixcops but is severely damaged and his witness is taken into Nixco custody where he is subjected to experimental surgery. After being rebuilt, RoboCop remains immobile, reflecting upon a civilian who was fatally wounded in his battle with the Nixcops. Not until his partner, Anne Lewis, is reported kidnapped by a criminal named Scarface does he find the motivation needed to jump back into action. Arriving at the scene, he find Nixcops and ED-209 droids fighting it out for Anne’s rescue; each one’s creator seeing her kidnapping as an opportunity for positive publicity. RoboCop defeats both sides and rescues Anne from Scarface.

(At this early point in the development of Marvel's "Robo-universe", OCP's chairman "The Old Man" and his executive "Johnson" are rarely seen and are depicted as benevolent and on the side of the law. All this will change drastically as Marvel's writers attempt to keep up with the movie series changes to these characters. In one brief exchange. The Old Man laments the death of "Kinney" at the hands of Dick Jones thoughtless killing machine, the ED-209 and goes so far as to cancel the Enforcement Droid program altogether. Coming off of the first RoboCop film it seems absurd that any ED 209's were implemented at all, but this will make more sense once it is revealed, around the time of issue #11, that these events are taking place almost a year later and after RoboCop 2 and the Marvel Action Universe RoboCop Animated series.)

3 Dreamerama Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan March 20, 1990 (cover dated May 1990)
The Dreamerama is a place where people can pay to live out their fantasies through controlled dreaming. A small group of rocket pack thieves rob certain business men’s recorded dreams from the Dreamerama’s files and plan to use them as blackmail. The Old Man informs RoboCop of his suspicions involving a man named Cybex. Cybex worked for OCP and was the sole man who initially came up with the ideas for Delta City, the ED-209’s, and even RoboCop. But due to a lack of attention to the fine print in his contract, Cybex’s ideas were already owned by OCP which left him penniless for his propositions. A small fight ensued, ending with Cybex becoming crippled from a fall out of a skyscraper window. After checking the facts, RoboCop heads for Cybex.
4 Dead Man's Dreams Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan April 17, 1990 (cover dated June 1990)
RoboCop infiltrates Cybex’s base of operation but is ambushed by his own cyborg creations in the form of a mechanized gorilla and a smaller monkey. Cybex studies the captured RoboCop, learning what he can to build his own loyal army of cyborgs. With Nixco’s president being one of the men whose dreams were stolen from the Dreamerama, Nixco sends an assassin (the kidnapped criminal witness from issue two, now under mind control) to take out Cybex. During the commotion of this assassination, RoboCop follows the dueling criminals to a construction site where he manages to arrests them all.

(This is the first time that Delta City, post RoboCop 2, is shown to be under construction as Old Detroit is demolished. This will tie in later with RoboCop 3, the movie.)

5 War: Part 1 (War Monger) Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan May 15, 1990 (cover dated July 1990)
OCP is presented with the chance to finally test RoboCop in a war scenario. The Spanish military is at war with North Africa and pays for the services of RoboCop to assassinate their enemy’s leader, General Abu Dara aka the Desert Hawk. Dropped into Algeria with heavy artillery, RoboCop makes his way across the desert fighting robotic tentacles and motor cycle troops without his prime directives holding him back.
6 War: Part 2 (War Crimes) Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan June 19, 1990 (cover dated August 1990)
RoboCop reaches the Desert Hawk but is persuaded to see his side of the war as a leader trying to save his people from famine. Convinced of Desert Hawk’s noble intentions, RoboCop leaves to intercept an advancing Spanish military force on Desert Hawk’s fortress. After a brief battle with this small army and an unexpected ED-209 unit also being tested for warfare, RoboCop contacts the Old Man via satellite uplink. The war started because Desert Hawk was sending his people to Spain to survive the famine they were experiencing. RoboCop shares how Desert Hawk had found a viable means of underground irrigation that would save his people but would take time to be fully realized. Impressed with the promise of this technology, the Old Man buys the end of the war by supporting Desert Hawk’s people in return for half the shares in his novel irrigation system, hydroponics.
7 Robosaur Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan July 17, 1990 (cover dated September 1990)
Detroit opens up its newest park, the Detroit Dino Park. Here families can enjoy the site of genetically recreated dinosaurs brought back to life from prehistoric times. Problem is the cages are constantly being sabotaged, leaving RoboCop to face down these towering monsters threatening the public. RoboCop interrogates the neighboring and nearly debunked robotic dino theme park, Robosaur World, but discovers the saboteur is actually a Dino Park employee secretly working for Nixco. The dinosaur rampages are meant to disgrace OCP since Dino Park is the first major lease holder in their “crime free” Delta City.
8 Gangbuster Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan August 21, 1990 (cover dated October 1990)
In order to obtain more land for the expansion of Delta City, OCP instigates a war between two rival gangs, the Urban Kurs and the Psykoids, to decrease property values. Thanks to Anne having an inside man in the Urban Kurs, she’s always updated as to where the gang wars are taking place, leading to a mass arrest of both gangs by her and RoboCop.
9 Vigilante: Part 1 (Power Play) Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan September 18, 1990 (cover dated November 1990)
To help further reduce the rate of crime through concerned citizen participation, OCP broadcasts a new reality TV show called the Detroit Vigilante. Taking from this super hero’s example, people take to the streets as vigilantes against crime which the police force react with nothing less than frustration. After several arrests for acts of vigilantism, RoboCop confronts the Detroit Vigilante about his responsibility as a TV persona but to no avail. A subplot involves a man whose son is taken from him by gang violence and becomes one of the vigilantes he argued were more helpful than the police force. (This storyline is interesting for its depiction of Marvel-like Superhero's as vigilantes and seems to parody Marvel itself. Among the costumed crusaders are "The Detroit Vigilante", "General Power", "Doc Chainsaw", "Beer Gut Man", "Calico Crusader", "Mity Marv (sic)", "People's Champ", "The New Law Titans"(a group of lawyers),"Warehouse Guardsman", "Sewerman"(possibly a parody of "Superman"), "Kevlar Glove Man", "Johnny Bazooka", "Turbo Boost & Turbo Lag" and "Old Father Justice". This is also where The Old Man starts to become truly confused and conflicted by right and wrong. He adopts an "end justifies the means" philosophy toward law enforcement and is resistant to his executives who correct him.)
10 Vigilante: Part 2 (Rough Justice) Alan Grant/Lee Sullivan October 16, 1990 (cover dated December 1990)
The father become vigilante from the previous issue now seeks out the gang who murdered his son. While RoboCop deals with this particular quest for vengeance, some are taking advantage of the vigilante scene for more criminal purposes. Two particular crooks posing as heroes to commit crimes come face to face with the Detroit Vigilante himself which escalates into an all out war involving every vigilante in the city. It all comes to a head when the father’s personal vendetta with the gangs collides with the vigilante war, ending with an explosion that kills everyone but RoboCop. (This was the last issue to feature futuristic flying vehicles and characters.)
11 Unfinished Business Evan Skolnick/Herb Trimpe November 20, 1990 (cover dated January 1991)
An ex-OCP employee named Daniel O’Hara is brought back to life in an experimental robot utilizing a concept called engraming which is surviving death through the conservation of captured brain wave patterns. Through flashbacks, the reader learns that RoboCop had killed O’Hara for some reason in an untold story. Once reborn in his machine built by unsuspecting privately licensed scientists, O’Hara seeks revenge on RoboCop. Their battle is intense but falls in favor of RoboCop. He defeats O’Hara by interfacing with his machine and overloading its system with his own nightmares as a murdered cop reborn as a cyborg. (This issue features guest art by Herb Trimpe. An artist well known for his depiction of robots in the Marvel universe. Also, though all apparently set after the events of "RoboCop 2", these first 11 issues seem at odds with the circumstances of "RoboCop 2"s climax and seem much closer to the RoboCop universe seen in the first movie. From this point on, the writers try their best to reconcile the contradictions and are often successful in their efforts.)
12 Purgatory Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan December 18, 1990 (cover dated February 1991)
Men are being abducted off the streets of Old Detroit and supposedly cut up for their organs on the black market. The problem facing the Detroit Police Department is the criminals involved with the abductions are in an area of Old Detroit known as Purgatory; a section of the city that’s off limits to the cops by strict order of OCP. Defying this order, RoboCop obeys his prime directives and duty as a cop to walk the crime infested streets of Purgatory in search of the perpetrators. (This was the first issue written after the completion of RoboCop 2 and a direct reference is made to the events of that film. Though there is no indication that OCP now owns Detroit as was established in that

film. This is also when OCP executives, including "The Old Man and Johnson" are shown to change from simply morally lost to villainy. It is also the first issue to feature the revised OCP logo from "RoboCop 2" instead of the similar but different one seen in the original 1987 "RoboCop" feature.)

13 Past Sins Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan January 15, 1991 (cover dated March 1991)
RoboCop’s journey through Purgatory leads him to a factory secretly creating an army of new RoboCops under the direction of OCP. To his horror, he sees the men who have been abducted off the streets are lobotomized before undergoing extensive surgery to becoming cyborgs of OCP’s idea of law enforcement. Lobotomy is their answer to the problems they’ve encountered with RoboCop’s humanistic qualities that had surprisingly survived his death and caused them problems. It allows them to start fresh with a brain rather than try and reprogram it. Enraged and horrified, RoboCop attacks the factory, battling guards and ED-209s. Along the way he meets a guilt stricken scientist named Thyle who was involved with his own creation back with Bob Morton.
14 Dreams Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan February 19, 1991 (cover dated April 1991)
It’s revealed that the OCP executive behind the RoboCop factory is Johnson, the Old Man’s newest right hand man after the second movie. Hoping to speed up the Old Man’s plans for Delta City, he wanted to quickly manufacture an armada of RoboCops in the hopes to eliminate crime faster. To keep the factory a secret, he enlists the services of Colonel Flak and his strike team to take out RoboCop. Colonel Flak is an older cybernetic mercenary who uses a powerful exoskeleton to remain an active and dangerous agent for hire. He proves a worthy adversary for RoboCop after his team is defeated but succumbs after his suit is overloaded in battle. Johnson plays his final card with a remote to RoboCop’s self-destruct program. (This is the first time that Johnson is depicted as an enemy and not an ally of RoboCop. This change in behavior, change of the character's first name from "Donald" in the film to "Daniel" in the comics as well as an increasing lack of resemblance to the character in the film portrayed by actor Felton Perry, has led to speculation that this may be a different executive of OCP. Perhaps a younger brother of the original movie character.)
15 Ashes Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan March 19, 1991 (cover dated May 1991)
With RoboCop’s self-destruct activated, Thyle quickly rushes to his aid and disarms the explosive. Once RoboCop’s termination is avoided, he and Thyle both return inside the factory to destroy the nearly completed RoboCops. Out of desperation, Johnson orders the activation of the RoboCops as his last resort but with disastrous results. He learns that with the lobotomy, these new RoboCops lacked the human balance needed to keep their programming in check, causing them to lash out with instant violent justice. One particular RoboCop sets off an explosion in an attempt to kill himself and brings the factory burning down with RoboCop, Thyle, and Johnson surviving the fire. The Old Man shows up after learning about the factory and is threatened by Anne (who came to aid RoboCop in Purgatory) that the truth will be told. The Old Man points out the evidence was burnt up in the factory, but RoboCop reminds him of his own video surveillance that recorded the macabre scene. Rather than reveal it to the public, however, RoboCop uses this as leverage to free himself from OCP control which the Old Man grants. Before leaving, the Old Man takes interest in the fallen Flak from last issue.
16 TV Crimes Simon Furman/Andrew Wildman April 16, 1991 (cover dated June 1991)
People can now watch TV directly in their brain with a device called Implant TV. Problem is the owners of the device are beaming mind-altering television scenarios directly into people’s heads that make them unknowingly commit crimes. With his free will returned to him, RoboCop relies on his cop instincts to lead him to the source of the trouble and apprehend the suspects responsible.

While in his mind Murphy encounters his former self and experiences a unification of his two identities. Meanwhile, "The Old Man" is seen conspiring with an apparently revived Flak to manipulate, the now uncontrollable, RoboCop. Note: The cover of this issue has a picture of Alex Murphy's gravestone clearly marked 1981–2015 which implies the original film as taking place in the year 2015. This is one of the few places where dates are alluded to in the RoboCop universe, another being the original Arcade game which stated the original movie's setting as 1990.

17 Private Lives Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan May 21, 1991 (cover dated July 1991)
A criminal known as Lot’s Wife is gunning for the demise of RoboCop, but begins by attacking him through Anne. Turns out Anne had a husband who was presumed dead for some time but is very much alive and hostage of a mysterious criminal calling himself the Wraith. Wraith had faked her husband’s death after he owed him a considerable amount of money, waiting to take advantage of her as a cop. In exchange for his life, Wraith wants classified information of future police operations. RoboCop caught sight of her en route to meeting Wraith and followed with uneasy suspicion. After showing the Wraith the authenticity of the documents he requested, Anne was upset to learn she was going to have to keep doing these exchanges to keep her husband alive. Observing from a distance, RoboCop’s programming commands him to take Anne down for treachery, but his human side is able to hold off the action in time to see Anne turn the transaction into a rescue mission. RoboCop saves Anne at the last minute, but the Wraith had already escaped with her husband.
18 Mind Bomb: Part 1 Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan June 18, 1991 (cover dated August 1991)
Lot’s Wife makes her next move against RoboCop with an attack on Metro West itself. Using a catatonic man with an unnatural gift, she sets him up to be arrested and taken into the station where he emits a wave of influential psychic vibrations. These vibrations cause everyone around him to have freak episodes or disconcern for others and their safety with aggressive behaviors.
19 Mind Bomb: Part 2 Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan July 16, 1991 (cover dated September 1991)
In a surprising prologue, Ellen Murphy arrives home at night to find Jimmy in the clutches of a whip swinging costumed villain. Meanwhile, facing the psychic backlash of the stranger in the precinct, RoboCop battles an internal conflict with his humanity at ends with the machine half of him. With the humanity half proving more dominant, RoboCop discovers the stranger behind the insanity at Metro West and kills him to save the precinct.
20 The Cutting Edge Simon Furman/Andrew Wildman August 20, 1991 (cover dated October 1991)
After the attack on the precinct, the cops are at a little less than half strength and the criminals of Detroit go on a rampage. With his humanity winning over his programming last issue, RoboCop is now in total control of himself without directives dictating his actions. His free will restored, RoboCop strives to be a regular cop again without the use of his robotic aids. He fears his program he spent so long fighting could take him back over if utilized for help and risk further loss of his humanity. In the meantime, news reaches RoboCop that his wife and son have been kidnapped which he suspects OCP is behind for his recent separation from them. A number of copycat crimes become a possible lead for RoboCop to find his family, but turns out to be unrelated; rich men competing for publicity out of boredom, reenacting murders by Detroit’s most notorious serial killers. During the case, RoboCop decides the only way to help his family is by coinciding with his programming once more despite the personal consequences.
21 Beyond the Law: Part 1 Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan September 17, 1991 (cover dated November 1991)
RoboCop shakes down the criminals in Detroit for leads to the whereabouts of his kidnapped family but with no results. Answers are finally provided when RoboCop is visited by the Old Man. Using his resources for intel, the Old Man informs RoboCop his family has been taken hostage by a rebel leader named Aza in San Arica. In 22 hours, Aza will contact RoboCop to assassinate San Arica’s president when he arrives at the airport or his wife and son will be killed. An OCP jet is offered to fly RoboCop to San Arica to save his family which RoboCop reluctantly takes. He knows OCP has some personal stake in his going to San Arica but knows he has no better choice for his wife and son’s rescue. The "Old Man" reveals an interest, though not specific, in San Arica. In his inner- dialogue he justifies his kidnapping conspiracy, saying that greater world peace will somehow come from this event. He also believes that RoboCop, though personally wounded will prevail.
22 Beyond the Law: Part 2 Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan October 15, 1991 (cover dated December 1991)
RoboCop arrives in San Arica and is discovered by a band of rebels under Aza’s command. Quickly taking them out to ensure his family’s safety, RoboCop notices their special weapons resembling one’s from OCP. Meeting up with an anti-rebel guide, RoboCop learns there’s been rumor of a powerful business funding Aza and his rebellion with specialized weapons which only furthers suspicions of OCP’s involvement. As they draw closer to Aza’s base, RoboCop is ambushed by Aza himself and captured while his wife watches from nearby.
23 Beyond the Law: Part 3 Simon Furman/Lee Sullivan November 19, 1991 (cover dated January 1992)
With RoboCop's capture, Aza’s plans for political assassination are ruined. Angered, he decides to sacrifice RoboCop and his family to the sun gods he worships. Summoning what power he has left, RoboCop breaks from his captivity and battles Aza and his men to the death. During the battle, RoboCop decides to mislead his wife into believing he truly is a machine and not Alex Murphy to keep her and their son safe from any future harm. After Aza and his men are killed, RoboCop finds himself under a surprise attack by Colonel Flak. Since his last appearance, Colonel Flak took up an offer to work as a special agent for OCP in exchange for a RoboCop body. With Murphy free of his OCP directives, Flak had been attempting to frame him by perpetrating crimes in Detroit in his new RoboCop 3 cyber-structure. With their involvement in San Arica’s civil unrest, OCP sent Flak to kill any and all witnesses during RoboCop’s rescue mission. Outfitted with more lethal weapons, Flak proves to be a difficult opponent for the already battle damaged RoboCop. For the winning blow, RoboCop brings a helicopter down on top of Flak and destroys him. RoboCop stands victoriously among the wreckage and fully accepts what he has become after death. “No longer a man” but “more than a machine.” "RoboCop" (In an amazingly complex script, all of several ongoing plot-lines are connected and resolved in this single issue. In Murphy's climactic dialogue the letterers use the trademarked RoboCop logo to emphasize his resolution.)

RoboCop 2 (3-issue film adaptation mini-series) (Aug–Sep 1990)[edit]

This series was originally released as a black-and-white magazine format (just like the first film adaptation) on June 5, 1990, and then was printed in a color trade paperback format on June 12, 1990 before finally being split up and released as a three-issue mini-series (which was also in color) starting on June 26, 1990, and running through to July 24.

Issue # Title Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Kids Stuff Alan Grant/Mark Bagley June 26, 1990 (cover dated Late August 1990)
See RoboCop 2 for plot summary.
2 Nuke Out Alan Grant/Mark Bagley July 10, 1990 (cover dated Early September 1990)
See RoboCop 2 for plot summary.
3 The Mark of Cain Alan Grant/Mark Bagley July 24, 1990 (cover dated Late September 1990)
See RoboCop 2 for plot summary.

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

The comic book license for RoboCop was then acquired by Dark Horse Comics. Between May[1] and August 1992,[2] Dark Horse released a four issue mini-series RoboCop Versus The Terminator, written by Frank Miller, with artwork by Walt Simonson. This led to several new RoboCop mini-series by Dark Horse as follows:

RoboCop Versus The Terminator (4-issue mini-series) (Sep–Dec 1992)[edit]

See RoboCop Versus The Terminator for main article and issue summaries.

RoboCop: Prime Suspect (4-issue mini-series) (Oct 1992–Jan 1993)[edit]

This mini-series follows RoboCop being framed for murder and his attempts to clear his name. It takes place shortly after RoboCop 3.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 John Arcudi/John Paul Leon October 20, 1992
2 John Arcudi/John Paul Leon November 17, 1992
3 John Arcudi/John Paul Leon December 15, 1992
4 John Arcudi/John Paul Leon January 19, 1993

RoboCop 3 (3-issue film adaptation mini-series) (Jul–Nov 1993)[edit]

This mini-series adapts the film of the same name.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Steven Grant/Hoang Nguyen July 20, 1993
See RoboCop 3 for plot summary.
2 Steven Grant/Hoang Nguyen August 31, 1993
See RoboCop 3 for plot summary.
3 Steven Grant/Hoang Nguyen November 2, 1993
See RoboCop 3 for plot summary.

RoboCop: Mortal Coils (4-issue mini-series) (Sep-Dec 1993)[edit]

This mini-series has RoboCop chasing down some criminals related to a coffin from a recent OCP break-in as he follows them to a snowy Denver, Colorado.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Steven Grant/Nick Gazzo September 21, 1993
2 Steven Grant/Nick Gazzo October 19, 1993
3 Steven Grant/Nick Gazzo November 16, 1993
4 Steven Grant/Nick Gazzo December 21, 1993

RoboCop: Roulette (4-issue mini-series) (Dec 1993–Mar 1994)[edit]

Bodies keep popping up in Old Detroit which slowly keep leading back to OCP. There is also an ED-209 unit on a rampage which RoboCop must put a stop to. It takes place right after RoboCop: Prime Suspect.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 John Arcudi/Mitch Byrd January 11, 1994 (cover dated December 1993)
2 John Arcudi/Mitch Byrd February 1994 (cover dated January 1994)
3 John Arcudi/Mitch Byrd March 1994 (cover dated February 1994)
4 John Arcudi/Mitch Byrd April 1994 (cover dated March 1994)

Two mini-stories were also published in Dark Horse Presents.

  • Dark Horse Comics #1–3 provided the events that led up to the story presented in Prime Suspect.
  • Dark Horse Comics #6–9 provided the events that led up to the story presented in Mortal Coils.

A RoboCop versus Predator comic was proposed for Dark Horse. Some of the proposal pages by Joshua Boulet can be seen at the RoboCop Archive website.

Avatar Press[edit]

Frank Miller's RoboCop
Cover of first issue. Cover art by Frank Miller
Publication information
Publisher Avatar Press
Schedule Irregular
Format Limited series
Genre Crime
Science fiction
Thriller
Publication date July 2003 – January 2006
Number of issues 9
Main character(s) Alex J. Murphy/RoboCop
Creative team
Writer(s) Steven Grant
Artist(s) Juan Jose Ryp
Creator(s) Frank Miller (original screenplay, concept supervisor)
Steven Grant (writer)
Juan Jose Ryp (illustrator)

Almost a decade later, the comic rights to RoboCop were acquired by Avatar Press. Upon announcing the acquisition, the company's publisher, William Christensen, received several offers from artists and writers hoping to contribute to the project (which eventually led to the Avatar one-shot RoboCop: Killing Machine).

Frank Miller's RoboCop (9-issue ongoing series) (Jul 2003–Jan 2006)[edit]

William Christensen was interested in producing a comic adaptation of Miller's "lost" screenplay, of which he possessed a copy. Christensen soon got in contact with Miller, who was enthusiastic about the idea of his story finally being told uncensored.

The series was personally overseen by Miller, based on his own unused screenplay for the film RoboCop 2 and notes of unused ideas for RoboCop 3; however, scheduling prohibited him from personally writing the comic adaptation or illustrating it. It was written by Steven Grant, a long-time acquaintance of Miller's who had written the comic adaptation of RoboCop 3 for Dark Horse Comics. Juan Jose Ryp, best known for illustrating the Avatar comic Another Suburban Romance (written by Alan Moore), became the title’s illustrator while Miller drew covers.

The series was composed of nine issues that were published from August 2003 through February 2004 under Avatar's Pulsar Press line, which specializes in licensed comic properties from movies. Issues featured covers by Miller and alternative covers by Ryp.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp July 2003
When OCP learns that RoboCop still has emotions they deem him obsolete. Now he must battle both the crime of Old Detroit as well as his new and "improved" model.
2 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp September 2003
As RoboCop refuses to follow the morally misaligned OCP they start bringing in militarized mercenaries to enforce the law while also working on a new set of RoboCops.
3 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp September 2003
RoboCop must fight off the mercenaries who have now been turned on him.
4 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp December 2003
Now that OCP has cut down their police force they have also reprogrammed RoboCop which is causing him to go insane.
5 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp February 2004
RoboCop must face the new and superior RoboCop while Officer Lewis is hunted down by a madman and the mercenaries continue to cause havoc.
6 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp June 2004
RoboCop and his replacement carry their fight down to the subway.
7 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp October 2004
Delta City goes into further chaos as the Rehabs start taking down the cops and RoboCop goes straight to OCP.
8 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp April 2005
RoboCop continues the battle as he is worn down and RoboCop 2 is now used by an even deadlier opponent.
9 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script)/Juan Jose Ryp January 2006
The police get in their final battle with the Rehabs just as RoboCop and RoboCop 2 reach their climatic final battle as well.

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to Frank Miller's RoboCop comic has been mixed. Randy Lander of comic review site The Fourth Rail gave the first issue a score of 7 out of 10, saying that "there's not a lot of personality to the book" but added that it's "certainly interesting to read and full of potential."[3]

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the comic a "D" score, criticizing the "tired story" and lack of "interesting action." [4] A recap written for the pop culture humor website I-Mockery said, "Having spent quite a lot of time with these comics over the past several days researching and writing this article, I can honestly say that it makes me want to watch the movie version of RoboCop 2 again just so I can get the bad taste out of my mouth. Or prove to myself that the movie couldn't be worse than this."[5]

Continuity[edit]

Picking up after the events of the first film. Frank Miller's vision is quite different from the comics that came before and is at odds with established continuity, especially RoboCop 3 and the Dark Horse Comics run.

RoboCop: Killing Machine (one-shot) (Aug 2004)[edit]

Writer / Penciller Publication date
Steven Grant/Anderson Ricardo August 2004
A kid hacker starts causing power outages and other problems throughout Old Detroit and even ends up unleashing a hidden OCP machine which malfunctions and becomes a killing machine.

RoboCop: Wild Child (one-shot) (Jan 2005)[edit]

Writer / Penciller Publication date
Steven Grant/Carlos Ferreira January 2005
The cops are still on strike and there is chaos throughout Old Detroit. Officer Lewis' little sister Heaven and her gang come to town and start causing chaos, creating a difficult moral dilemma for Lewis and RoboCop.

Dynamite Entertainment[edit]

RoboCop Vol 1: Revolution[edit]

Dynamite Entertainment announced they would be producing the next RoboCop[6] with writer Rob Williams[7] and artist Fabiano Neves.[8] The first Dynamite solo adventure was "Revolution" which was later collected as a trade paperback.

Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human Vol 1[edit]

The first Dynamite RoboCop and Terminator crossover, and the second overall. Later collected as a trade paperback.

RoboCop Vol 2: Road Trip[edit]

Second Dynamite solo adventure. Will be collected as a trade paperback in August 2014.

BOOM! Studios[edit]

In 2013, Boom! Studios obtained the rights to produce a new Robocop series as well as republishing Frank Miller's Robocop.

Vol 1[edit]

A republishing of the Avatar series Frank Miller's Robocop. BOOM! Studios released their own trade paperback of the series under the name RoboCop Volume One, which was larger in size and featured some black and white sketches as additional material.

Vol 2: Last Stand Part One[edit]

Last Stand is an eight issue mini-series written by Steven Grant, adapting Frank Miller's original screenplay to RoboCop 3. The first four issues have been collected in trade paperback, with the last four issues due to be collected in early 2015.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) August 2013
Long after the events of the first film, the police form was shut down by OCP. RoboCop is now a renegade, protecting the people of Detroit form the OCP trying to take over their homes in order to finally build the long dreamed Delta City.
2 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) September 2013
Helped by his new ally, Marie, RoboCop continues to help the citizens of old Detroit by completing a rescue raid on a clinic. A Japanese corporation sends a mysterious representative to OCP's offices.
3 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) October 2013
4 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) November 2013

Vol 3: Last Stand Part Two[edit]

The last four issues will be published in trade paperback in early 2015.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
5 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) December 2013
6 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) January 2014
7 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) February 2014
8 Steven Grant (from Frank Miller's script) March 2014

Vol 4: The Human Element[edit]

Boom published four one-shot comics set in the 2014 film reboot universe. These were collected in a trade paperback under the banner title "RoboCop: The Human Element" in which the stories are presented in the reverse order to which they were published. A fifth comic was made available exclusively for digital download with Target Corporation's exclusive edition of the Blu-Ray film release and did not feature in the collected trade paperback.

Beta is the first RoboCop story not to feature the character of RoboCop himself, as it follows a soldier who becomes a RoboSoldier.

Issue # Writer / Penciller Publication date
1 Michael Moreci / Art by Jason Copland 10 Feb 2014
Hominem Ex Machina
2 Joe Harris / Art by Piotr Kowalski 17 Feb 2014
To Live And Die In Detroit
3 Joe Harris/Art by Piotr Kowalski 24 Feb 2014
Memento Mori
4 Frank J. Barbiere/Art by João "Azeitona" Vieira 3 Mar 2014
Beta
5 TBC 3 Jun 2014 (digital download with Target Blu-Ray)
Gauntlet

Vol 5 (2014)[edit]

Following the movie reboot tie-ins, BOOM! announced a new ongoing series set in the continuity of the original trilogy, following events in the first movie. Written by Joshua Williamson with art by Carlos Magno.

Collected editions[edit]

  • RoboCop (Marvel movie adaptation)
  • RoboCop 2 (Marvel movie adaptation)
  • RoboCop: Prime Suspect (Dark Horse)
  • RoboCop Versus The Terminator (original Dark Horse TPB)
  • Frank Miller’s RoboCop (Avatar)
  • Robocop Vol 1: Revolution (Dynamite)
  • Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human (Dynamite)
  • RoboCop Vol 1 (BOOM! Studios reprint of Frank Miller’s RoboCop)
  • RoboCop Vol 2: Last Stand Part One (BOOM! Studios)
  • Robocop Vol 4: The Human Element (BOOM! Studios)
  • RoboCop Versus The Terminator (BOOM! Studios 2014 remastered edition, hardcover)
  • RoboCop Versus The Terminator (BOOM! Studios 2014 Gallery edition, July 2014)

The following are listed on Amazon for future release:

  • RoboCop Omnibus (Dark Horse)
  • RoboCop Vol 2: Road Trip (Dynamite)
  • RoboCop Vol 3: Last Stand Part Two (BOOM! Studios, Jan 2015)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/92-071/RoboCop-vs-Terminator-1-of-4
  2. ^ http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/92-135/RoboCop-vs-Terminator-4-of-4
  3. ^ Review by Randy Lander, The Fourth Rail
  4. ^ Review by Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, September 5, 2003
  5. ^ "Frank Miller's Roboflop", I-Mockery, March 31, 2008
  6. ^ Brady, Matt (June 10, 2009). "RoboCop Returns to Comics with Dynamite". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  7. ^ Brady, Matt (June 16, 2009). "Man and Machine - Rob Williams on Dynamite's RoboCop". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  8. ^ Brady, Matt (June 11, 2009). "Nick Barrucci on RoboCop & Writer Rob Williams". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 

External links[edit]