Robocop Last Stand #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Alex Murphy’s body was obliterated in the line of fire but underwent total body prosthesis to become a super soldier with three prime directives. To serve the public trust, to protect the innocent and to uphold the law. Patrolling the corrupt and splintered streets of a nation where poverty reigns and political abuse is a casual occurrence, Murphy is re-purposed as the only Robocop in existence. He is a violent machine and a fugitive in this twisted militant dystopia where a new breed of policeman take brutality to new heights. In addition to the authorities attempting to track down the Robocop a woman named Marie Lacasse is fueled by her desire to pinpoint the location of the mechanical vigilante.
From Boom! Studios comes Robocop Last Stand by Steven Grant and Korkut Oztekin based on a story by the legendary Frank Miller. In this fragmented and scattered comic we get a glimpse of the dark and vicious world where class war is commonplace and the depths of humanity have dug deep into depravity. The environment feels slightly half-baked but ultimately the message of “this is a hellish new world” is conveyed. While character motivations and relevance aren’t efficiently established they feel appropriate for what they are in service of, which is the impending arrival of a robot that eviscerates those who break the law.
After a couple of rereads I got a better feel for the flow of the book and really the first read was all it took to enjoy the explosive scenes where Robocop is doing what he does best. Action sequences featuring Robocop battling mech-warriors, punching out corrupt cops and hovering ominously over police tanks were definitely cool and made the book worth a read despite relatively messy pacing and an ending that comes out of absolutely nowhere. Understanding that this is only the first of an 8-issue mini-series it obviously wasn’t going to be the complete story, however no matter what the medium, episodic fiction should have an arc of a beginning, middle and end. I wasn’t expecting a self-contained one-shot of course but I at least expected what would feel like the first chapter of a story and not simply the first half of a chapter that cuts itself off mid paragraph leaving you dangling awkwardly. The script is handled by Steven Grant based off a story by Frank Miller and the work is decent but unfortunately had some problems I couldn’t get past.
Artistically, Robocop LS is a mash of Freddie Williams II and modern John Byrne complimenting the crazy chaos that you would expect. Some pages are a little inconsistent having a more loose and rounded feel to them while others are crisp and the line work and inking is much less thick. That being said, the art on either styles is great, it just looked like different finishes occasionally and it threw me off. Korkut Oztekin is at home drawing the character and he highlights the sinister nature and constant scowl that sits on Robocop’s face. Michael Garland handles the colours and his desolate and depressed palette works excellent with Oztekin’s design for this world.
I was excited to see local Calgary favorite Ryan Ferrier (Tiger Lawyer, Ultra Nova, Brothers James) working on the lettering for the series and his work is always seamless. Subtle, uncrowded lettering is essential to the flow of a comic and Ferrier has the art down.
There were a few problems I had with this first issue. Pacing and an ending that hits like a brick wall really disrupted the flow and my enjoyment of this book. However, the art was a blast and it was worth it to see Robocop smash up some bad guys.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com