Hello, my friends. 2017 has come to a close, but there’s still some time to finish up celebrating the anniversary of a beloved sci-fi series. As such, I welcome you to the second part of my special event known as…
Last time, we looked at RoboCop’s earliest comic book ventures. We started off with Marvel’s run where they adapted the first two films while also sending Alex into fantasical comic book adventures. Afterwards, we looked at Dark Horse’s tenure where they adapted the third film while also serving as its own continuation of the film series. For more information about that era, check out the first part of my retrospective. For now, let’s continue our venture!
Less than a decade after Dark Horse’s run with the property came to a close, the RoboCop comics license would get picked up by Avatar Press, based out of Rantoul, Illinois. In terms of what major project the company had in store for the franchise, it involved something that dates back to the series’ second theatrical outing.
In an essay for the preview issue given out on Free Comic Day 2003, series writer Steven Grant (who also wrote the comic adaptation of RoboCop 3) expressed much enthusiasm when he looked over Frank Miller’s original screenplay for RoboCop 2. When Avatar Press decided to adapt it into a comic book, they told Grant “We want everything in the screenplay in there, so tell us how many issues you need.”. His essay can be reached in the link, so here’s how the seeds for this series came about. Following the huge success of the hit 1988 Batman comic “The Dark Knight Returns”, Jon Davison (who produced the first two films) contacted Miller on writing the screenplay for the sequel. Even though Frank constantly showed up during production to learn about the film-writing process (even garnering a cameo as Cain’s drug chemist named “Frank”), his original script was deemed “unfilmable” by Orion Pictures’ studio executives and was ultimately rewritten into the underwhelming feature that debuted in 1990. After Avatar Press got the comics license and told Miller that they were interested in adapting his original script, he was unable to write or draw on the project due to a conflicting schedule (though he would draw the main covers).
Written by Grant and drawn by Juan Jose Ryp, this series began on August 2003 before embarking on an erratic release schedule that became far too familiar with those who know about Frank Miller’s infamous “All-Star Batman & Robin”. Issues 2-4 would see a monthly release from October to December 2003 before its fifth entry came out on February 2004. Issue #6 wouldn’t come out until July and the seventh part didn’t see the light of day until October. For issue #8, it wasn’t released until June 2005 while the ninth and final issue ended up coming out on January 2006. Even with the inconsistent release schedule (taking two years and five months to get the entire series adaptation out), let’s dive in and get an idea of what Frank Miller originally had in store for RoboCop 2.
We open on a talk show called The Luke Spindle Show where we learn that crime has become rampant throughout Old Detroit, due to the fact that the police strike that loomed over the first film is in full effect. Not only that, but a commercial break reveals a plot element that would ultimately get used in RoboCop 3 where the destitute metropolis is going to be torn down and be rebuilt as Delta City, starting with innocent-looking eviction notices to the citizens living there.
However (just like the third film), a desolate apartment building is getting torn down while a family that received a eviction notice is still inside. A young girl named Christine Stretzletski is saved by her dad, but his head gets viciously hit by the crumbling rubble and dies. She does get out in time, but ends up getting kidnapped by a deranged couple as they proceed to drive off.
Fortunately despite the constant stream of crime pouring in and his police car being in less-than-stellar shape, RoboCop spots them and gives chase. He manages to weave his way around traffic in order to intercept the felons by ramming them off the road.
Afterwards, he grabs the male thug out of the car and throws him to the wall before taking out the female thug in precisely gory fashion where he fires a shot that goes right through the barrel of her gun and even through her body. RoboCop then learns from the still-conscious male thug about the rundown Chrysler Factory over in nearby Hamtramck before tossing the felon into a nearby garbage pile and helps young Christine out of the car.
Over at said facility, an illegal human trafficking ring is underway as the felons operate a black-market adoption business with several kidnapped children being held in cages. Just then, one of the thugs sees an approaching police car as they prepare their weapons in response. Outside, RoboCop preps for battle by replacing his left robotic hand with an attachable chain gun (instead of the machine gun/flamethrower/rocket launcher attachment from the third film).
From there, he makes his way inside and guns down every last thug. All that remains is the operation’s leader who holds a handgun to the imprisoned kids. Fortunately, Issue 1 ends with RoboCop subduing the felon by making a precise shot that permanently relieves the thug of his right hand.
Issue 2 opens on a newscast where a psychiatrist named Dr. Margaret Love is at a public burning for various RoboCop memorabilia as she voices her disliking towards him since she believes that he’s a bad role model for children. She’s then on a talk show where she tells the skimpy hostess named Lilac of her intention to help bring “OCP’s commitment to the social & psychological welfare” to the forefront with better communication since she’s also aware of RoboCop’s impact on the youth.
Meanwhile, a youthful prostitute starts getting hassled by a sleazy man who chases after her with a knife. Fortunately, RoboCop arrives and shoots the perp in the knee while driving by. As he sees the young hooker, he gets quick flashbacks of his wife and son. While the images play in his head, Alex manages to get back to the police station.
By the time he reaches his fellow partner Anne Lewis (who managed to subdue and handcuff a felon), his internal systems run out of power and he collapses to the ground. As an ambulance gets summoned, we learn from a conversation between Lewis and Sgt. Warren Reed that RoboCop has been on duty for over three-straight days. Just then another concept from the third film shows up as a “Rehabilitation Concepts” squad arrives at the station.
Later at OCP, RoboCop is attached to a maintenance table as he gets some repairs while Dr. Love and a fellow businessman named “Mr. Fleck” (who would end up in the third film as Jeff Fleck) oversee the process. Later (and after a change of wardrobe, apparently), Margaret looks over RoboCop while he’s in his recharge station. After most of the team heads out for a coffee break, she has a remaining staff member strap Murphy down to his chair.
From there, Dr. Love reprimands him for one of his recent actions. It turns out that OCP bought a local brewery in order to have it demolished and RoboCop was sent in to clear the workers out. Fortunately, Alex’ human side still prevailed as he ultimately refused to comply with company orders. As punishment for delaying OCP’s demolition timetable, she has the worker shock him before freeing him from his straps.
Later, she talks with her boss as she voices her displeasure over RoboCop’s limited programming, but he states that their prized crime-fighting cyborg is all that they have in maintaining a positive connection with the citizens of Old Detroit. They then meet up with Fleck who lets them know about a project that’s in the works. Using the remains of a deceased street cop named Masterson, Issue 2 ends with a tape being run showing what the vital organs are being used for: a more advanced crime-fighting robot named RoboCop 2.
In a quick montage that’s familiar to anyone who’s seen the second film, Issue 3 begins with a few attempts at showing various versions of RoboCop 2 ending in fatalistic failure. Margaret states that these setbacks are being caused by a few reasons: A. Insufficient conditioning systems, B. None of the previously-used subjects were suitable enough and C. Unlike Murphy who’s regained his human sense of determining right from wrong, their proper subject needs to be “value-neutral”. As such, she tells her superior to give her a day since she’s found the perfect “candidate” and that things are starting to come together.
Out on the streets of Old Detroit, a group of men have broken into a gun store in order to take some firearms, due to most of the police still being on strike. However, they’re not knowledgeable on how to use them, especially since one of them accidentally injures his own hand on a handgun. Anne arrives and easily stops their misguided attempt when one of the Rehabilitators arrives by hitting her with his car, causing her some harm as a result. Afterwards, the deranged official gets out and proceeds to kill the attempted robbers with his gun & knife.
Lewis orders him to surrender, but the brute uses an incendiary grenade to make his escape. She gets mostly covered in the flames as her uniform suffers massive damage Seeing the perp starting to drive off, she fires her gun towards him. However, the flaming residue reaches the bullets within the store as the building ultimately explodes, taking Anne’s police car as well, even though she survives the firey onslaught.
A short time later, the thug (who’s name is Kong) is finally getting chased by RoboCop as he’s ordered by his leader named Seltz (who’s under the guiding command of Dr. Love) to lure Murphy towards the demolition site. Shortly after arriving, RoboCop sees the Rehabilitators box his car in before heading inside to search for the deranged subject. With an innocent family trapped within the building, the Rehabs arrive to take care of the unfortunate folks. From there, RoboCop fires his Auto-9 at them and punches one of the agents with enough force to send him flying back to their cars and smash into one of the windshields.
Kong emerges from his vehicle and mourns over the loss of his comrade named Stillson. He’s then informed by a fellow Rehab of what’s going down before using his abnormal strength to climb the building. After taking care of the Rehabilitators, RoboCop makes his way upstairs to discover Kong mutilating an unfortunate elderly woman. They then proceed to fight each other before Kong tries to use a grenade. Fortunately, Murphy’s precise aim comes into play as he shoots it out of the air. Kong tries to use another one, but Alex fires at it as it blows up and mutilates the fiend’s hand.
Observing the scene from afar, one of the Rehabs fires a rocket launcher which hits RoboCop and destroys his right arm. With the building starting to collapse and despite his weakened state, he rushes over to save an unfortunate man. From there, Issue 3 ends on a random OCP commercial where a man takes his own life due to not using the company to help secure his business account.
Following a two-page segment from Media Break, issue 4 begins with Murphy dreaming of moments of his past life, specifically his romance with his wife Ellen. It’s then revealed that he’s been brought back to OCP, but in need of serious repairs. Just then, she actually shows up (while pregnant) as a a tearful reunion occurs between her and Alex. He learns that their son Jimmy is doing good while she’s stunned to see that he’s still alive. Afterwards, Ellen is escorted out. From there, Margaret tells Murphy that he’s only a machine while as assistant shocks him with a cattle-prod.
Afterwards, they get to work on reprogramming him to their will. After RoboCop is back on his feet and discovers that his signature handgun was taken from him, it turns out that he’s been given one too many directives (just like the second film) programmed into into him. Not only that, Margaret tells him that she’s left her own personal touch in his “discipline systems”, so that his human nervous system will harm him.
Later, RoboCop and a company representative named Mr. Fallow drive out to a group of kids that the news crews will oversee. However, he finds a some children playing next to a running fire hydrant. Just like the second film, he seals the leak with his robotic grip before scolding a cursing kid that proceeds to spray-paint him. RoboCop then enters a toy store where a guy holds a store Santa at gunpoint due to him being sold a defective doll. He easily shoves the bum over in defeat, but gets scolded by the store Santa for wreaking his store since he’s also the manager. Because he used profanity in his outburst, Murphy ends up throwing him through the window. Afterwards, Mr. Fallow calls Margaret and lets her in on what happened.
She then contacts Seltz and informs him that OCP is ready to deploy its newest model. However, RoboCop must be taken out of the picture. With some horrible act needed to blame Murphy, he calls up his sniper named Gillette who’s hiding out and prepare to kill Sgt. Warren Reed. Just then, he holds up when Officer Lewis drives up. She heads inside and finds out that he’s trying to leave town. After Warren explains about the Rehab’s brute named Kong (described as an “Amphetamine Freak”), Anne suggests that they turn to Commissioner Yindel (a nod to a character from “The Dark Knights Returns”, clever) for help. However, he disagrees since he thinks that both of them would get killed if they tried.
Suddenly, a shot fires through the window as Reed is tragically slained via headshot. After taking a shot in the shoulder, Lewis jumps towards the fire escape while firing back in the general opposing direction. After landing on the ground via a garbage pile and despite taking a shot to her heel, Issue 4 ends with her getting in her car and driving off.
Issue 5 opens with Anne trying to contact her partner RoboCop, but Central Dispatch is unable to comply. Just then, Gillette catches up and manages to shoot out one of her tires, causing her to lose control and land on her car’s side. Afterwards, Lewis climbs out of the wreckage and draws her gun (while her police shirt un-bottons itself, apparently) and engages in a shootout with the thug. However, the most damage that both sides receive is a wound to Gillette’s shoulder and a cut to Anne’s face.
They then proceed to engage each other in a knife fight, with Lewis planting the killing stab on the perp. As she takes his gun and ammo, she’s then confronted by a Rehab Helicopter. Anne manages to hop into Gilette’s car as withstand the opposing gunfire and drives off. The enemy helicopter pilot is ordered to pull back since another Rehabilitator named Swenson arrives to give chase. Following a quick and bloody commercial for a Johnny Rehab action figure, Lewis reaches the donut shop and gets inside. Thanks to the building being filled with striking cops, they subdue Swenson before Anne tells them that the Rehabilitators have killed Reed, prompting a group of cops to follow her lead to engage the opposing group.
Following a quick Media Break where RoboCop gets framed for Warren’s murder, Murphy walks past a car-jacker who’s broken into an automobile before its self-defense traps the perp before shocking him to death (reused in the second film as a Magna-Volt commercial in the opening scene). Over at a train station, a male patron who’s waiting for his timely departure is unable to find a spot to smoke a cigarette. Shortly after reaching the boarding platforms, he decides to light one up. Just then, RoboCop shows up and (just like the second film) shoots around him in order to scare him out of his action while saying the exact phrase as well.
Suddenly, a giant mechanization bursts in as Fleck follows suit to announce what this robot is: RoboCop 2. It then proceeds to gun down an elder guard before incinerating an Elvis impersonator. As Murphy observes from afar, he notices that the robotic behemoth plunges its hand into the deceased guard’s body and strokes its blood across its face. Realizing that Kong has been used for the RoboCop 2 process and with civilians still trapped in the ruckus, Issue 5 ends with RoboCop (despite being saddled with loads of needless directives) engaging the Rehabilitators and their star robot.
Issue 6 opens with Murphy taking out a few of the Rehabs in a shootout before engaging Kong-As-RoboCop 2. They proceed to fight each other as Kong uses his robotic enhancements to damage Alex’ helmet before trying to electrocute him. Murphy counters by jamming his Terminal Strip into the fiend’s face before Kong drops a bomb on him.
RoboCop then lures his foe towards a side railing, but gets cornered as Kong uses his flamethrower on him. During the skirmish, Murphy loses his Auto-9 down the chasm and gets stuck on the crumbling railing. Fortunately, he gets his leg free since RoboCop 2 was lured onto the tracks where it proceeds to get run over by a train.
After reaching the station, the passengers pour out while Fleck and company look for their cyborg. During the chaos, Fleck loses the remote control within the crowd while RoboCop 2 reemerges to continue its slaughtering. Fortunately, one of the Rehabs recovers the remote and gets Kong under control. Unbeknownst to them, a battered RoboCop manages to get up and escape.
We then cut to a broadcast of The Luke Spindle Show where he tells his audience that he doesn’t believe that RoboCop has become a cold-hearted killer, believing that OCP is truly behind it all. It’s then revealed to be a segment on Media Break since he was shot by an assassin who snuck a plastic handgun past security and into the studio. Fortunately, he survived. Following two commercials and a report on tactical nuclear weapons detonated in Greenland, we quickly cut back to RoboCop who continues his underground escape.
Over at the hospital, Margaret and her head associate learn that Murphy escaped and that they can’t track him due to the sewer’s metal pipes interfering with the signal. They then head over to the private operation room where Kong is getting an updated program while having his memories and personality reformatted. However, Issue 6 ends with them noticing RoboCop 2 twitching its hand as Margaret wonders how that’s possible and orders a technician to check it out.
Issue 7 opens with the scans coming out clean as Dr. Love gives the order to commence with the uploading sequence. Just as she’s about to insert a disc into a CD-Rom drive, the building gets rocked by a sudden attack. It turns out that RoboCop punched his way into the storage basement and took out an OCP security guard before taking his machine gun. After taking out a few guards along the way and acquiring another machine gun as well, he makes his way up to the operating room and orders everyone but Margaret out.
Despite his weariness, Murphy tells her to delete the unnecessary program inside him. After overseeing her complete the process, he passes out. Seeing her opportunity, Margaret takes one of the machine guns and tries to kill Alex. Fortunately, he was wise since he took out the bullets before entering as he gets up and demonstrates just “how human” he really is. He does so by inserting his Terminal Strip and shows off the vital organs that are still a part of him. After coming across the specs for Kong and how he was used in the RoboCop 2 process, Murphy then rips the console apart with his strip and destroys it.
After picking her disc up, Margaret berates him since he’s destroying the only copy that’s available. However, Alex smacks her into the console which explodes and badly singes her. RoboCop then proceeds to exit and uses the other machine gun to trap her inside the room before taking a dead guard’s handgun and leaves. With time running out, she hooks up RoboCop 2, inserts the disc into the still-functioning computer and works like mad. A short time later, the room explodes as Margaret’s burned and deceased corpse flies out.
Afterwards, RoboCop 2 emerges from the flaming room as it’s revealed that Margaret has successfully uploaded her consciousness into the robotic body, supplanting Kong in the process. She then uses her automated arm-mounted machine gun and shoots Murphy out of the hospital. After landing on the streets, he’s found by the Rehabs as they open fire on him. Unfortunately for them, RoboCop takes them out with his handgun before getting into one of their cars in order to drive off.
However, Margaret isn’t willing to let him escape as she uses her robotic arm to latch onto the vehicle and tries to attack. Fortunately, Alex manages to shoot the passenger door off and manages to lose her. Even when Seltz orders another group of Rehabs to stop him at the Metro North police station, Murphy manages to elude them with gunfire and drives off. As such, Issue 7 ends with Seltz and company noticing something from afar.
Issue 8 begins with Lewis arriving with a small group of cops at the Metro North Police Station’s locker room. After discovering that one of the lockers has a bloodied smear, they open it up and are horrified to discover a fellow officer named Estavez who’s been killed and stuffed in there. Not only that, but a grenade was planted on him as they manage to take cover. However, Mendelsohn didn’t notice in time as he gets mutilated in the explosion.
Afterwards, they hear someone over a loud speaker taunting them with mentions of the Battle of Thermopylae (an eventual nod to “300”) and the “Night of the Long Knives” (a Nazi purge in 1934 that allowed Hitler to assume control of Germany via political executions). During this, Lewis loses even more officers via a barrage of gunfire and a booby-trapped phone. Becoming incredibly freaked out, a young cop named Whitakker ends up running outside. The Rehabs see this and decided to toy with him as they proceed to wound him with crossbows.
Just when things look really dire, RoboCop returns and rams into the opposing cars. With him drawing the enemy fire, Anne and company are able to reach Whitakker in order to treat his serious leg wound. With their partnership reunited, Robocop and Lewis proceed to gun down several Rehabs. One of the wounded agents accidentally drives into an ED-209 and gets shot up by it.
With the remaining agent named Seltz escaping into the construction site, our remaining heroes are suddenly approached by incoming enemy gunfire. It turns out that a Rehabilitators helicopter is coming in and it’s brought RoboCop 2 as well. Alex proceeds to take aim and shoots the rear propeller as the chopper crashes into the building.
Seltz manages to avoid the wreckage and hops into a construction elevator with RoboCop managing to hitch a ride by holding onto a rear cable. While RoboCop 2 emerges from the downed copter, Seltz tries to fire back at Murphy. However, he punches through the floor and fiercely grabs his leg. As Margaret catches up, she prepares to launch a projectile from her arm. Thanks to his previous battle, RoboCop manages to dodge in time as Issue 8 ends with her unintentionally blowing up Seltz with a rocket projectile.
Issue 9 opens with RoboCop 2 using its retractable arm to save itself from falling to its death before activating its magnetized limbs to climb up after Murphy. As Margaret prepares to launch another bomb, RoboCop manages to use his precise aiming to shoot at the prepped explosive and cause her right arm to blow up. However, she still manages to climb up and attack with its flamethrower.
Fortunately, Murphy’s precise aiming system discovers a hidden fuel line and allows him to shoot at it. As the liquid squirts out, it reaches her exposed and sparking wires as it causes a huge explosion. Despite its weakened state, Margaret still manages to shock RoboCop through the metal beam he’s standing on. Although Alex managed to prevent himself from falling, she still manages to use her retractable arm to knock the handgun out of his hand.
They then proceed to tussle for a bit before Murphy shoves RoboCop 2 and himself down towards the ground. Just as they land, Anne is acquiring a rocket launcher before heading back over. Back at impact central, RoboCop is slowly rising to his feet. However, RoboCop 2 (despite being a mangled mess) manages to get up and begins to charge at him. Just then, Murphy is told to duck as he proceeds to comply. It turns out that Lewis has arrived as she delivers the killshot with her rocket launcher and sends Margaret to a fatalistic end.
Just as they meet up, RoboCop thanks Lewis by picking her up and kiss her. Afterwards, he starts to head out. When Anne asks where he’s heading towards, Murphy exclaims that’ll be his decision before taking his leave. Sometime later, Luke Spindle is back on the set of his talk show (despite still being in recovery) as he explains that the police strike has ended and that the Rehabs are in trouble. He also exclaims that he doesn’t believe that RoboCop is dead despite the reports. Over in a desolate part of Old Detroit, it turns out that Alex has his own recharge station inside of the buildings. After a receiver picks up the numerous crimes, the series ends with RoboCop getting up, hopping into his police car and driving off to fulfill his duty.
During the two-year, five-month period that Frank Miller’s original RoboCop 2 script was getting adapted into comic book form, Avatar Press managed to release a pair of one-shot stories during its scattershot releases. First up, we have “RoboCop: Killing Machine”. Released in August 2004, this tale was written by Steven Grant and drawn by Anderson Ricardo as it ended up selling 7,323 copies during it’s initial release. As such, let’s dive in and see how this stand-alone tale holds up.
We open with RoboCop lifting a car out of a busy intersection as he and Lewis are taking care of a traffic jam. Afterwards, Murphy heads over to an electric box and inserts his Terminal Strip to diagnose the cause, discovering that the traffic system was compromised by an external source. As such, he proceeds to fix it. Over at a mansion, a hacker named “Georgie” is mad that his mischief was easily terminated. As his sibling named Elizabeth watches him from afar, he decides to get back at RoboCop by remotely hacking into him.
Fortunately, Murphy’s personal firewall stops the punk’s attempt before banning him with ease. No matter how hard he tries, Georgie’s attempts to compromise our hero is constantly shot down. Just then, he comes across a suspended machine listed under “Project: Urban Pacifier” and decides to hack that. It turns out that Georgie has taken control of a spider-like armament called a City-Buster. As such, he commands it to rise up out of the city depths to begin his hunt.
Just as RoboCop and Anne are about to call it a well-fought day, they’re suddenly attacked by the City-Buster. Murphy and Georgie proceed to tussle for a while before Alex starts to climb up a building. Our antagonistic hacker sends the City-Buster after him before locking a powerful projectile at our hero. Fortunately, RoboCop survives the blast as he dives down towards the opposing machine by and plunges his Terminal Strip through the opposing machine, thus destroying it in the process.
Back at the mansion, Elizabeth lets her sibling know that she’s leaving with Shelly to go shop for food. However, Georgie doesn’t respond as his body limply falls over. As such, the tale ends with the revelation that his consciousness is trapped in a microchip that a homeless woman now uses as an earring and he has no way to log off.
Closing out Avatar’s run with the comic license, we have another one-shot that writer Steven Grant also worked on: “RoboCop: Wild Child”. Published in February 2005, this tale was drawn by Carlos Ferreira and ended up selling 5,667 copies upon its release. As such, let’s head inside and see how this era comes to an end.
We open on a Tuesday with a group of youthful joyriders storming into Old Detroit. RoboCop is chasing after them, but is forced into evasive maneuvers when one of the young ladies named Heaven starts throwing grenades (which she stole from a munitions dump) at him. As they cross the bridge, the woman (who hints at Old Detroit being “her” town) manages to blow up a key piece of the structure, causing Murphy to escape from his vehicle in order to avoid plunging into the water. Long after the mischief makers have escaped, Lewis arrives as they head back to base. Later, Alex connects a device to himself so that Anne can look at what her partner saw. After seeing what the young group looks like, she then groans since she recognizes one of them.
Meanwhile, the young gang breaks into a construction yard in order to hide out. From there, we learn a bit about their lady leader. Heaven tells her gangmates that she used to play in dangerous places around here with her sister and she wasn’t seen too highly by her mom. After she and her fellow members shoot at the approaching guard dogs, they begin to plan on taking care of RoboCop. We then cut to two days later as Heaven and company take over a restaurant called Breakfast Fiesta. She then orders the waitress to get some pancakes for her and her cohorts while allowing the hostages to call the police. Later, RoboCop arrives as the captives are getting released. He then confronts the gang, but they unleash their surprise: a modified construction bulldozer with speed enhancements. Fortunately, Murphy’s cyborg strength allows him to stop the rampaging machine and shake the driver out. However, Heaven holds a remaining hostage at gunpoint as she tells Alex to surrender or else. As such, it allows her gang members to come in with a cement truck and trap him in cement. Anne then arrives to stop her as it’s revealed that not only are they sisters, but that Heaven’s actual first name is Lucy.
Lewis proceeds to take out the cement truck operator with a well-placed shot before beating the snot out of her delinquent sister, disarming her in the process. After RoboCop frees his feet from the cement, Anne tells Lucy to take her friends and leave Old Detroit forever. Afterwards, the issue ends with RoboCop and Lewis discussing her family issues as they take care of a remaining gang member who tried to attack them with a grenade.
During this time, there were also plans for other series from the publisher: “Simple Machines” and “War Party”. I couldn’t find any information on the former, other than it was planned for 2004 but never came to be. As far as the latter goes, all I could find was a description on Avatar’s website. According to its 2005 solicitation pages, it would have been a three-issue tale set in the same continuity as Frank Miller’s original vision of RoboCop 2. Murphy would have fought a band of violent revolutionaries who’re looking to turn Old Detroit into an independent nation. Alex would have also dealt with a munitions maker that would have introduced new weapons in the conflict. Also, the Bastion Corporation would have been at the antagonistic center of the chaos. For whatever reason, this series also never came to be.
As far as my thoughts on how Avatar Press handled its RoboCop comics license, I’ll naturally start with their biggest project that encompassed the entirety of their run: Frank Miller’s RoboCop. I found the tale to be slow out of the gate, especially since the first issue has Murphy taking out a pair of separate crimes against children moments that don’t really play into anything within the grand scheme of the story. Yes, Luke Spindle is established in there as well, but he doesn’t effect the tale too much. With Dr. Margaret Love, she essentially becomes Dr. Juliette Faxx as the ruthless high-end female associate of OCP for the film and seeing how her character ends up as RoboCop 2, this is also where the drug dealer Cain gets spawned from. It’s also amazing that the Rehabs originally had a bigger role here before being relegated for RoboCop 3 and that it was one of their men that originally became RoboCop 2. In fact, the original design does make whoever’s programmed into it feel like a monstrous and muscular titan of destruction with additional weapons to boot. It even lets others clearly know who’s piloting it with its distinct multi-screen facial display unlike the film version where it was a primitive CGI face on a retractable screen and only has a slab to represent its face. There’s also some differences when it comes to weaponry. The original version came with a retractable arm (the right one, at least), retractable claws, gattling gun, a shocking touch and a flamethrower while the movie version had floodlights, a plasma torch, a chain gun, a tractable left arm that serves as a battering ram and a shoulder assault cannon. Finally, there’s a mention near the end of the tale of a certain Japanese corporation seeking a bid on the Detroit Police Department. Like the Rehabs, that would only come to pass in the third movie since the Kanemitsu Corporation would acquire OCP in that flick. Other than that, the present story kicks into gear as it progresses and actually becomes a fun romp as it picks up steam. However, what somewhat hampers it is the artwork. When Juan Jose Ryp’s unique style works, it presents the story in a coherent light. However, his overly-detailed touch can result in imagery that can range from messy to cluttered. The latter definitely kicks in when Murphy fights RoboCop 2 during the final battle at the construction sight. Combining the darkness with the battle damage, I couldn’t make it out when it was still. In the end, the nine-issue tale was nice it terms of seeing what Frank Miller originally wanted to do with the first sequel. In the end, the story is OK while the action is decently handled and the main characters are still worth following. As far as the two one-shots go, they can serve as mini-adventures that takes place at any point before or after RoboCop 2. Killing Machine serves as a constant reminder that for all of OCP’s intimidating control over Old Detroit, RoboCop seems to be their only successful machine. Even then, he’s always been a human being kept alive by his robotic enhancements. Whether its ED-209 (as Nikko proved in RoboCop 3) or a seemingly defunct City-Buster, the company is more interested in making money and running the city themselves than spending some of their cash on some high-end software protection for their products. There’s hardly any development for Georgie other than the fact that he’s a hacker who inherited a nice mansion. His ultimate punishment does come off as a bit harsh, mainly because we don’t know why he’s an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed youth who only sees hacking various things as his only reason for living. Despite that, Anderson Ricardo’s artwork is a breath of fresh air after the overly-detailed and chaotic style of Juan Jose Ryp. His style is much more pleasant on the eyes, allowing the colors to shine and letting the action flow much better. With Wild Child, it’s another bit of fresh air for a different reason. For the first time since Issue #17 of Marvel Comics’ run, another piece of Anne’s side of the universe gets revealed. While it isn’t further development for her own characterization, it is towards her own family. While she grew up and became a cop with her strong moral values and kind-heartedness, her younger sister Lucy personally chose to stop developing as a mature woman and formed her own street gang in order to have their own reckless fun at the cost of good will. While not having too much in terms of character development, Heaven gets more backstory than Georgie ever did in the previous issue. Like the failed hacker, she does try to get revenge on RoboCop for interfering with her brand of dangerous entertainment. By the end, I love how it mixes things up and Anne is allowed to step in and save the day, kicking the utter crap out of her delinquent sibling in crowd-cheering fashion. Out of the two one-shots, I prefer Wild Child over Killing Machine, but I definitely recommend you read both after the nine-issue yarn, of course.
As Eyzmaster brings up in his review of the adaptation of Frank Miller’s original RoboCop 2 script, it shares a common trait with several of Avatar Press’ comics. Mainly, it can be a tad exploitative. Lewis suffers the most here when she’s in battle against the Rehabs, since her uniform gets blown to shreds fairly easily and we’re forced to see her undergarments (a sports bra and a thong) beneath her tattered outfit. A huge example of this (to me, at least) is when Sgt. Reed just got assassinated and she gets chased by the assassin named Gillette. After he makes her crash her police car, the top part of her uniform seems to unbutton itself as she’s getting out to defend herself. From there, the reader is forced to see her sports bra for the rest of the series. During Issue #8, her pants gets shredded by enemy gunfire almost to the point where she’s only a few feet away from being forced to fight in her underwear. Even in Wild Child, Heaven goes around for the entirety of the issue with her pants riding low so that the thong she’s wearing is almost entirely shown to the world. While neither Lewis sister is ever overly-sexualized for the sake of it (thankfully), this is a problem that permeates throughout the company’s library of comics. Either way, Avatar’s run is still worth reading despite the minor issues.
Afterwards, the comic license would go into temporary hibernation until 2009 when it was announced that the Mt. Laurel, New Jersey-based company known as Dynamite Entertainment (known for working on various licensed properties like Zorro, Army of Darkness, The Shadow and Red Sonja) had acquired it. For this take on the famed sci-fi series, they decided to take a different route in their execution.
Originally published from January-March 2010 for the first three issues, followed by May for #4 and then July & August for the last two issues, this series was written by Rob Williams. Fabiano Neves serves as our main artist for the four issues while Unai De Zarate carries that torch for the last two issues. Diogo Nascimonto would serve as series colorist for the first two issues, Giovanna Guimarães takes over those duties for issues 3 & 4, while Oscar Manuel Martin carries that torch for 5 & 6. As mentioned in each issue, this series takes place after the first film and essentially ignores the theatrical sequels. So how does our cyborg hero fare down this alternate timeline? Let’s find out with a storm that brews up a “Revolution”.
We open on Media Break where newscasters Casey Wong and Jess Perkins cover various stories on the world before coming a across a story on OCP’s successful multi-dollar military contract. We also learn that the company has a new Chief Executive in Edwina Odenkirk who says that this deal will greatly help the organization. Sometime afterwards, she gives a glass of water to an elderly man who’s connected to various medical tubes and believes that he’s talking to someone named Dick.
Out on the streets of Old Detroit, RoboCop and Anne are chasing after a group of Neo-Nazis who’ve stolen an armored car from the police and even have a few officers as their hostages. Murphy manages to take one of the thugs out with a headshot before he tells Lewis to get him close enough for him to leap onto the fleeing vehicle. He manages to leap over in time for both parties to swerve around a mother and her two sons who were crossing the street. After taking out another thug, RoboCop tells Anne to cut them off when they’re suddenly approached by a group of new ED-209s who open fire on the vehicle and slaughters everyone inside.
Later at the Metro West precinct, Lewis informs Sgt. Warren Reed about the incident. Suddenly, both of them and RoboCop are approached by Edwina and her squad as they scold the officers for doing a poor job (at least in her eyes) of keeping the streets safe. Because she’s the new Chief Executive (and because OCP has privatized the police department), she tells everyone expect RoboCop that they’ve been fired. Not only that, but they’ve been replaced with the redesigned and “glitch-free: ED-209b’s.
Later, Media Break covers this event as Edwina informs the public that this meant to snuff out crime and make the streets safe. The newscast then mentions about a former wrestler and Detroit Councilman named Mason “Manslaughter” Vogler who voices his disapproval towards the city’s leaders handling on how they ran the local economy and says that if basic services aren’t allowed to be offered to the public, then he’ll threaten “to take them by force”. Back at the police station, Edwina tells RoboCop that he’s not allowed to walk-out with the rest of his officers since he’s mostly OCP property. As such, he’s forced to work alongside the ED-209b’s or else he’ll become nothing but scrap. Afterwards, a technician named Wagner offers to help Murphy access his old memories. RoboCop complies as he takes his place in his recharge station before a wave of past memories flood his mind.
Meanwhile, Mason unleashes his wrath as he fires a bazooka towards a supermarket in order for his people to get some nourishment. From there, Issue 1 ends back at OCP as the elderly man sees smoke rising up from the faraway incident as he claims to recall a certain memory.
Issue 2 opens on Media Break reporting on the new ED-209b becoming a hit with the school kids before another one saves a man from a burning building. Back in reality, several armed delivery convoys are transporting food when they’re taken aback by a hidden trap hole on the road.
It turns out that it was hidden ambush by Mason and his rebels has they look to rob the transport for the valuable nourishment. However, they’re caught off-guard when they discover an ED-209b aboard as it proceeds to gun them down. It then targets a female rebeller before RoboCop had to step in and order it to stop since she surrendered. As such, it complies while Mason manages to escape while the news broadcast believes that he was killed. During a press conference with OCP, Edwina states that they’re searching the bloodied corpse to be sure as she reinforces that this act displays her company’s “zero tolerance” towards Old Detroit’s lawlessness.
Over at a bar, Reed, Lewis and several of the laid-off cops watch the broadcast with disdain. Just then, RoboCop arrives and gets berated by his former colleagues for siding with OCP (albeit against his own will). Fortunately, Warren praises Murphy for helping the streets remain safe. RoboCop tries to talk to Anne, but she’s unwilling to as he takes his leave. As he gets in his car, he’s approached by a guy named Jerome H. Moss. He tells Alex that he’s a reporter for The Old Detroit Beacon, the only newspaper service in town that’s not owned by OCP. Moss then tries to explain the convenience of OCP creating an army of ED-209s under they’re control, yet Murphy is the only RoboCop the company made and yet they keep him around while the rest of the police department was laid off. Unfortunately, Alex ends up driving away.
During a Media Break broadcast, someone has broken in and proceeds to execute both Wong & Perkins. It’s then revealed to be Mason as he announces his intention to reveal “the truth in the place of lies”. Following a quick scene where RoboCop is being called to action by Edwina while inter-cutting with the elderly man from before, we then have the company-own police on the scene with their army of ED-209b’s as they look to relieve Mason and his reels of their control over the Media Break building.
RoboCop arrives via helicopter as he gets briefed on the situation and is going to be inserted into the building while given cover-fire. Unfortunately, the rebellion came prepared as they close out Issue 2 by firing a stinger missile, which strikes the chopper’s tail and causes RoboCop to fall out towards the facility.
Following a quick newscast showing a mutilated reporter in a war zone, Issue 3 opens with Murphy falling into the building and viciously lands on a thug as he crashes through several floors. Afterwards, the crippled helicopter crashes into the building and explodes, taking out another minion.
As the building’s sprinkler system comes on, Mason riles up his rebels for their crusade. Just then, RoboCop shows up with one of the perps under his captured eye as he orders them to surrender. However, a shoot-out erupts with the captured thug getting riddled with bullets. After the rogue rebels are gunned down, Mason attacks with a rocket launcher. Murphy manages to dodge the blast before withstanding Vogler’s gunfire. After disarming the felon, RoboCop subdues him in a bout of fisticuffs.
As Mason is being escorted into custody, Jerome tries to ask Edwina about allegations that OCP cuts off communication between Old Detroit and the rest of the country as part of a coup involving their war robots. She tells RoboCop that she’ll take care of Mason and orders him to head back to base before telling her officials to escort Moss away. As Jerome rants, Alex confronts him and tells him to leave before subtly telling him that an unlocked OCP security car for him to use in order to follow the police van.
Later, Moss tails them as he discovers that Edwina has let Mason out and even lets him go. Not only that, but she gives him an access card that’s filled with confiscated weaponry. He then kisses her before heading out as Mason takes pictures of the incident. An ED-209 notices him, but Edwina sees him in official uniform and assumes that he’s a official before heading out.
We then intercut between RoboCop in his recharge station with the elderly man while Mason and company breaks into the warehouse to steal the illegal weapons before Issue 3 ends with the thugs getting confronted by a more advanced version of ED-209.
Issue 4 opens with Murphy being surprisingly greeted by Dick Jones, the felon whom Alex took out during the first film’s climax. Just then, he’s suddenly approached by a familiar face: “Old Man”. During the reveal of Dick as a past image, he tells Murphy that he was disappointed in Jones’ “greed and ambition” before transitioning the surrounding area in a field. He then shifts Alex into his original body before ending the scene with a proposition that both sides want: “To Be Human”.
We then shift to the streets of Old Detroit where a group of highly-advanced ED-309’s wages war on Mason and his resistance. A Media Break helicopter is covering the carnage while Edwina informs the public about OCP’s newest war machines that were “successfully battle-tested alongside out heroic troops”. However, things start to get out of hand when an ED-309 accidentally blasts the news copter out of the sky. As an overseeing technician informs her that the ED-309 didn’t like the helicopter according to their data, Edwina then tells her team to get more Media Break choppers out to cover the local war zone before declining a phone call from the U.S. President.
Meanwhile, Moss arrives back at the Old Detroit Beacon only to discover that OCP has arrived and shut it down. Armed with incriminating evidence, he heads over to the bar in order to inform the ex-cops. Back in the digital world, Old Man explains to Murphy that the RoboCop process allowed Alex to retain his human memories and that could possibly help him out. Because he’s a decrepit figure attached to a life-support system, Old Man announces his intention to swap his mind into RoboCop’s body. In return, Murphy’s mind would get placed in Old Man’s withered figure. He explains to Alex that this would allow our hero to feel the humanly traits that he no longer has as RoboCop. Old Man also says that he has a team of scientists trying to work on a reverse-aging process for his elderly form and that he’ll reclaim his original body once a method is found.
Back on the streets, Mason goes in with a pair of Cobra Assault Cannons and starts to take out the ED-309’s. Though the event is initially embarrassing to her and the company (since every news station in America is watching), Edwina gets an ED-309 to finally gun down Vogler before ordering her technician to continue showing OCP’s authoritative grasp on Old Detroit.
Back with RoboCop, he initially agrees to go through with the procedure. Before the technicians can commence with the Memory Transference, Anne arrives with a shotgun and gets them to stop. Unfortunately, she’s fatally shot by a corrupt cop as she uses her dying breath to tell Alex to remember who he is. While Warren and the ex-cops arrive with Moss to bring rightful justice to the streets, Lewis tells Murphy that he’s not just human, but a cop as well.
Back on the streets, the ED-309s begin to open fire on Reed and company when they suddenly shut down as Edwina demands to know how that’s even possible. Back in the digital world, Alex tells Old Man that he’s been plugged into OCP directly, thus he’s been able to deactivate every single ED on the streets. He also declines the mind-transferring offer as Issue 4 (as well as the four-part “Revolution” arc) ends with RoboCop back on his feet and carrying Lewis’ body.
Issue 5 (“Ballistic Trauma”) picks up after the previous issue with Murphy withstanding a shootout as he reaches his police car in order to get Anne some much-needed medical attention for her gunshot wound (which somehow moved from her right side to her left). He makes it to a rundown hospital where he proceeds to gun down the present punks before reaching a central room in order to find a doctor. However, he’s then confronted by Dick Jones as he narrates that this is a side-effect from being in OCP’s mainframe. Jones is then replaced by Clarence as RoboCop convinces himself that it’s only an hallucination.
After discovering a bloodied and battered punk, he threatens the perp with his Terminal Strip as he demands to know where the doctors are. The delinquent explains that they’ve left a long time ago, but one female doctor stayed behind to help the patients. However, she got kidnapped. RoboCop proceeds to stab the felon in the shoulder before telling him that he’ll be brought along to find the missing medicine woman.
Later, they drive through the rundown streets as Alex learns about a warehouse down at the docks when Murphy’s illusions kick in again with him imaging that he’s running over a toxified Emil. This causes him to bump into an ED-209 as they drive by. Suddenly, the towering machine swiftly chases after them as Lewis tells Murphy to drive into a narrow alley in order to evade it. However, the ED-209 fires a missile which strikes the police car and kills the punk.
Fortunately, RoboCop managed to get Anne out in time as they find a summoned group of ED-209’s blocking the other end of the alley. Fortunately, Murphy helps her escape as he punches through a nearby wall in order to make their way towards the docks. As he passes by a group of homeless people, RoboCop imagines two of them as his deceased creator Bob Morton and the villainous Boddicker before reaching the target warehouse. After using his Thermograph to detect 17 armed felons inside, he places Lewis down and promises to return.
After sharing a quick kiss, Morton pops up one last time to tell his creation to gun them down. RoboCop proceeds to shoot the perps before reaching the doctor and asking for her help. Unfortunately, Issue 5 ends with her telling Alex that Anne died from her gunshot wounds hours ago.
As Issue 6 (“Profit Warrior”) opens on an ED-309 gunning down a kid on the streets of Old Detroit, we then shift to Edwina during her exercise session. When she’s approached by an assistant about the need to prep for a briefing on an upcoming press conference, she declines since she says that no matter what the effect the U.S. President’s statement has, it’s about showing “who’s in charge”. Just then, another assistant comes in and gravely informs her that an ED-309 has gone missing. When Edwina asks how it’s even possible, he states that it may be the result of it being damaged from the fight against Vogler. Not only that, but it’ll cost OCP at least a hundred-million dollars and it’s an advanced killing machine that’s now wandering through the streets unhinged. As such, she orders another assistant to track it down and bring it back to headquarters.
However, the rogue ED-309 strikes again as it attacks a third-person-speaking fisherman named Mitchell and blows him to bits. As the dust settles, it looks across the water before heading on its way. Back at OCP, the young assistant suddenly realizes where it could possibly be heading. Because it’s a war robot and is used by the U.S. military, it thinks it’s at war with a foreign country. Unfortunately, it’s heading for the closest country to them, which is Canada.
As such, OCP hires Reed and a few other officers to stop the mammoth monstrosity from reaching the border. Warren tells them to aim for its knees as they proceed to engage it. He orders for a second pass at it, but still no damage. As such, the ED-309 fires a pair of missiles which strikes the truck.
A dazed Reed sees his fellow comrades pinned within the wreckage as it proceeds to head over to try and stomp the defenseless officers. Fortunately, RoboCop arrives in time and silently provides protection. For some reason, the ED-309 doesn’t open fire on him.
Back at OCP, Edwina and company detect that it’s swiftly heading for Canada. One of the assistants offers to send four functioning ED-309’s after it, but Edwina isn’t entirely on board with the idea since she still wants the company to earn some sort of profit from this. Realizing that one of them alone would practically conquer Canada by itself, she orders an assistant to contact the Canadian Prime Minister for her. Meanwhile, RoboCop, Reed and another officer drive as fast as they can to catch up with Murphy only mentioning that Anne is “fine”. When they reach the Air National Guard Base, they find the facility in complete disarray before being forced to move on.
Meanwhile, the rogue ED-309 begins to cross the bridge over at Port Huron towards Canada. By the time our heroes arrive, Edwina’s surprise gets sprung. It turns out that she managed to sell OCP’s still-functioning ED-309’s to the Canadian government and were air-lifted to the border. As RoboCop, Warren and the officer watch from afar, the series (but not the overall story) ends with the rogue ED-309 gunned down while Edwina talks with her assistants on how this incident has netted a billion dollars for OCP.
Before we continue with this narrative, let us take a momentary break in order to discuss another series that the company put out. Published in 2011 (specifically once in July, twice in September and then once in November), “Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human” once again sees our two familiar mechanized combatants duel it out over the course of four issues. Rob Williams stays on as the series’ writer, while P.J. Holden handles both penciling and inking duties. As such, let’s see how Round 2 gets handled.
We open in the post-apocalyptic future as a Terminator kills a human named Taylor. Overseeing this incident from afar, a pair of resistance fighters named Lauren Amendola and DeSean are forced to flee. They eventually reach a storage facility as Lauren attempts to hack open the secure door while DeSean keeps watch with his handgun. By the time she disables the lock, the Terminators have caught up and killed him as she tearfully gets inside.
She finds out that the building has stored several objects (mainly machines) over the years. After discovering an inactive ED-209, she soon discovers the Auto-9 pistol on display next to its wielder: RoboCop. Lauren manages to unlock both display cases, but gets caught by a Terminator as it grabs her by the throat. Fortunately, RoboCop comes to life, wields his signature handgun and guns down the opposing robot.
Suddenly, they’re approached by more Terminators as Murphy protects her from opposing gunfire. As Lauren leads him deeper into the facility, Alex is confused as to how long he’s been idle for such a long time. After coming across a dead end, she accesses a nearby console in order to find a way out. As RoboCop learns that there’s no more human beings left, he accesses the console with his Terminal Strip.
Just as the Terminators arrive, they get gunned down by an ED-209 that he manages to access via the museum’s computer system. He also explains that she’s the last human on the whole planet according to Skynet, but Lauren doesn’t buy it as she preps to go find any remaining survivor. As RoboCop continues to access the console, he comes across his schematics before he starts begging with something. Even worse, Issue 1 ends with him controlled into killing Lauren with a headshot before he’s confronted by an army of Terminators and the ED-209.
Issue 2 opens in “The Past” where an associate of Mr. Dowling is beating up a man named Newton for managing to acquiring $30,000 from said authority figure. Just as the thug takes out his gun to kill him, a time-displacement bubble appears within him and violently rips him to shreds. RoboCop emerges from it (somehow with his cyborg body in tact, since only living tissue could time-travel safely in the Terminator-verse) with a trigger in his hand as he sets out “to stop something terrible”.
Later, police officers arrive outside of CyberDyne Systems with Murphy showing up shortly afterwards. It’s then revealed that Alex had traveled back to 1995 Los Angeles during the events of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” as the reprogrammed Terminator emerges to use the M-134 Minigun and the M-79 Grenade Launcher to blow up the police cars without killing any of the police officers. As the cops recover, RoboCop narrates how similar this scene is with the time period he came from, unaware that the T-1000 has arrived on the scene.
We then cut to a flashback when Murphy was still in the war-torn future. He accesses the Skynet Mainframe and tells it to search for any surviving human. However, it tells him that there’s none left on the whole planet. When he says that there’s still one left in himself, Skynet presents itself to him as a digital woman and simply exclaims: “Negative”. From there, Alex tells her to download Earth’s history into himself, starting with the late 20th Century. What he sees are various pieces of imagery from the first two Terminator films.
With a group of Terminators threatening to break in, he tells Skynet to show him how their time-travel method works so that he can escape. As the time-displacement machine gets activated, Murphy asks why he’s getting help from the same robotic enemy. Skynet explains that he’s not a threat since he’s a computerized system.
Back in ’95 L.A., the reprogrammed Terminator wounds opposing officers in order to reach the S.W.A.T. van and help the Connors escape. However, RoboCop confronts him as they proceed to tussle. During the scuffle, the heroic T-800 disarms Murphy of his trigger. By the time Alex recovers it, he gets blasted by the opposing grenade launcher.
He manages to withstand the blast before firing a dart that strikes the reprogrammed Terminator and deactivates him. Just then, Sarah and John Connor approach him and demand to know what he did. As such, Issue 2 ends with RoboCop explaining that he used a Skynet-built computer virus to shut the heroic T-800 down and wipe his CPU. After introducing himself, he explains that he’s trying to eradicate all traces of Skynet and show them a different future.
Following a brief dream scene where a boating venture turns perilous, Issue 3 opens on a familiar scene from T2 where Sarah and John Connor escape via a commandeered S.W.A.T. van while the T-1000 rides his police motorcycle through the building and smashes through a window as he steals a police helicopter in order to chase after them. In the van however, RoboCop is behind the wheel, Sarah is holding a handgun at him while demanding that he pulls over and John is distraught that his robotic father figure was permanently deactivated. Murphy explains that he saw how the events of T2 originally played out, but it didn’t eradicate Skynet for good, which is why he’s here to help them.
With the T-1000 bearing down on them in the helicopter, RoboCop decides not to head to the steel mill (like the movie did) and instead drives across several lanes of traffic towards a fenced-in area. He then says that it’s important for them to hang onto the original Terminator’s arm and microchip, but John’s safety isn’t a priority. A rightfully-angry Sarah responds by firing a single shot at Murphy’s helmet before kicking him out of the van. The T-1000 then catches up and shoots one of the tires, causing the vehicle to fall over.
With certain doom looming over the Connors, the T-1000 is suddenly approached by an overwhelming armada of ED-209’s, who proceed to gun down the helicopter. As Sarah and John try to process what just happened, they’re suddenly approached by a young man named Dick Jones. RoboCop comes in and explains that because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to defeat the T-1000 by himself, he actually traveled back to 1990 and got in contact with Jones at their current location. Dick explains that he was an up-and-coming business grad who was approached by Murphy and had the ED-209 schematics downloaded into his computer, which helped Jones become a billionaire in three years. In return, he was told to bring a massive ED-209 armada to this exact location on a specified date and time. Our heroes then notice the T-1000 struggling to survive with the flaming wreckage. Dick tells Sarah and John that it can only be destroyed if it’s weakened in a contained area. After informing the Connors that this was planned over the past several years, he tells them to come with him.
After RoboCop gives them his sign of confidence, the Connors agree to go with Jones. As the T-1000 continues to roast in the flames, Issue 3 ends with our heroes gathered on an OCP carrier in the middle of the ocean.
Issue 4 opens in the Pacific Ocean with RoboCop narrating about the OCP’s UAVs that keeps a constant fly-by patrol. He explains that Skynet took temporary control over him in the future in order to kill Lauren, who was the last human on Earth. As such, Murphy created OCP in order to properly fight Skynet. As he approaches a specified room, Dick explains that the door is thick enough to prevent anything from escaping and that it can only be opened from the outside. RoboCop narrates that unlike the ruthless version from the original film, this version of Jones has become a trusting ally with a bright future ahead. They head inside as the deactivated T-800 hangs from the ceiling. Dick explains that the adjacent tank is filled with a substance called Agua Regia Acid, which will destroy any and all metal.
As the original arm and microchip gets destroyed by the substance, John chastises Murphy for wanting to eradicate a reprogrammed Terminator that was only protecting him. Because the young lad tries to stop him, RoboCop slaps him away with Sarah drawing her gun in response while the OCP officials are forced to draw their own weapons. Just then, the situation is tempered when as assistant informs them that they’ve lost contact with the Nevada Mountains Containment Site. With Dick fearing that it would happen, RoboCop tells Sarah and John that the T-1000 escaped and is trying to find the young lad. Later, Alex talks with Sarah up on the deck and explains that he came up with this convoy since “robots don’t really like water”. Plus, having miles of ocean water gives them breathing room. After appreciating his mission to bring down Skynet, Sarah thanks him for protecting John. Just as Murphy states that he doesn’t deserve her gratitude, a nearby carrier fires at an approaching airliner. It turns out that it was flown by the T-1000 as he jumps out before the plane crashes into the massive craft.
The resulting impact creates a powerful wave that overturns the main ship. Because Sarah’s son is several layers below and it would take too long for her to safely climb down, RoboCop plunges into the ship. Meanwhile, the T-1000 starts to slice and stab the OCP officials before confronting Dick. Fortunately, RoboCop arrives in a mech suit and intervenes. However, the T-1000 works his way into the cockpit and knocks him out of the driver’s seat.
Before he starts to take control, he’s suddenly hit by a pair of shotgun blasts. It turns out that the heroic T-800 has returned, thanks to Dick’s help. Unfortunately, Jones notices that the Aqua Regina Acid has starting pouring into the filling water. While the two Terminators fight it out against each other, Sarah finally arrives and tells Murphy to save her son. Instead, he locks both Terminators, John and Dick in the room. As such, the T-1000 manages to decapitate John.
While Jones begs to be let out, Sarah berates Alex for his decision and thinks that he’s lost his humanity. Afterwards, Dick gets killed by the T-1000 before leaving Murphy with an ominous stare prior to its demise. From there, the series ends with RoboCop narrating that Sarah has most likely climbed out of the sinking ship in time as Murphy completes his heroic sacrifice and goes down with the fallen carrier.
Now, it’s time to get back to our original story as the company closes out its run with the property with a four-part tale known as “RoboCop: Road Trip”. Published from December 2011 to March 2012, this was also written by Rob Williams while Unai De Zarate resumes his artistic duties from the prior two issues. How will Murphy and company ultimately tear down Ms. Odenkirk’s iron grasp on the Motor City? Let’s dive in and find out.
Following a quick flashback where a young Alex is on a fishing trip and learns about “enjoying the time”, we begin with RoboCop engaging a small gang of thugs just outside of a radio station. However, he has personal company as the mental images of Clarence Boddicker and a mutated Emil accompany him. Suddenly, his crime-fighting venture gets interrupted as a golden version of himself approaches and begins to fight him, allowing the thugs to escape. As Murphy is forced to take cover from opposing gunfire, Lewis mentally arrives and lets him know that the opposing RoboCop is actually someone he’s recently talked to.
Over at OCP, there’s a station where Old Man is remotely controlling his golden enforcer while Edwina comments to an assistance about him operating his own experimental RoboCop body as a trial. Back with our hero, the enemy gunfire causes a car that he was using for cover to blow up. Fortunately, he withstands the explosion and punches his in the face with enough force to damage it. The golden adversary tries to pin him down, but Murphy manages to insert his Terminal Strip into the radio equipment and shut it down by overflowing it with musical frequencies.
Later, he meets up with Sgt. Reed and their fellow cops at a church and informs him that he tried to use the radio equipment to broadcast OCP’s totalitarian rule over Old Detroit by shutting down phones, TV and the internet. However, all frequencies have been jammed. Following a quick mention from Media Break where an ED-208 has officially joined the NFL’s Detroit Lions (which OCP also owns), we head back to our heroes as Warren comments on Murphy casually mentioning Lewis. After she appears to Alex and convinces him to let Reed know what happened to her, RoboCop takes off his helmet and lets Warren know that she lost her life trying to protect him. With no more major secrets to tell, Sgt. Reed informs Murphy that they’ll leave Old Detroit in order to get in touch with the U.S. Military and get help. From there, the scene ends with the reveal that several deceased figures have occupied themselves within Alex’ head: Anne Lewis, Clarence Boddicker, Emil Antonowsky, Bob Morton and Dick Jones.
Over at OCP, Edwina is working on a computer console. It’s then revealed as to why she’s only wearing a bra and panties, since she recently slept with an assistant. She tells him that during a past check-up, Wagner placed a tracking device on him, which is how Old Man’s remote-controlled cyborg was able to find Murphy. When asked why she doesn’t send every single ED after him, she explains that she doesn’t want Old Man to acquire RoboCop’s body in order to extend his life span and continue running the company. She also doesn’t want Alex caught yet, so that OCP’s sails window can stay open. Eventually, she’ll fulfill Old Man’s request before Issue 1 ends with her revealing what “cool OCP toys” she’s about to unleash.
Following a quick flashback where a youthful Alex is lost in the forest before his dad rescues him just as a RoboBear pops out, Issue 2 begins on Media Break where Prof. Donald R. Wimpey discusses his expertise on “Evil People” and proceeds to shine a bad light on RoboCop, essentially telling the citizens of Old Detroit to be weary of him. Meanwhile, our heroes drive through the city’s outer reaches as they discover several corpses hanging from the street lights. With the truck consisting of RoboCop, Warren, Jerome and a small group of officers, they stay away from the highways due to OCP’s robotic armada standing guard on those routes.
Just then, a trio of elderly ladies (all of whom are freshly informed by the newscast) drive up and attempt to shoot our hero. After one of the cops gets hit by enemy gunfire, Murphy shoots one of the ladies’ tires, thus allowing him and his allies to escape.
Meanwhile at OCP, Edwina is overseeing the robotic hounds’ operations. Wagner then comes in and scolds them since their safety protocols hasn’t been installed. However, she sends him away and doesn’t care if Old Man knows since she opposes him. Just then, she’s informed that RoboCop’s tracking beacon has been picked up “on the freeway”. As such, the robotic hounds are unleashed as they slay the elderly ladies along the way.
Back with our heroes, Murphy is approached by an imaginary Bob Morton who assures him that he shouldn’t worry too much since he’s a nearly-indestructible figure. After Morton admits that RoboCop’s existence came about due to his need for a better office position, Alex berates him since he’s still a human being who’s “lost so much”. Warren comes in and wonders who he’s talking to, but Murphy assures him that it’s nothing as they take their leave.
Our heroes eventually arrive at a base in order to take an airplane to Cleveland, in which Jerome will operate. Just then, Murphy notices a certain robotic bear in the distance. As such, he tells his fellow colleagues to take off immediately. As they start down the runway, the robotic hounds pop up and chase after them. RoboCop manages to shoot one of the mechanized beasts, but another one manages to leap onto the aircraft.