Review – Robocop: Hominem Ex Machina (one-shot) (BOOM! Studios)

boom_robocop_hominem_001Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Jason Copland
Release Date: 5th February 2014

With the eagerly anticipated/dreaded [delete where applicable] movie set for release this weekend, BOOM! Studios are delving a little deeper into the psyche of RoboCop with a series of one-shots designed to give us a little added insight into the man within the machine.

Trying to cram an entire story arc into one self-contained issue is a difficult proposition at the best of times – even leaving out the need to concisely illustrate a fresh take on an already-established character – but thankfully we have Michael Moreri (Hoax Hunters, Curse) at the helm to keep things running smoothly.  In spite of the limited page count, he manages to cram in an impressive amount of character development here, and I definitely ended up coming away having learned a little more about this new version of Alex Murphy.

We avoid the needless re-telling of Robocop’s origins here, jumping in midway through the story and seeing the struggle between the man and the machine playing out in a fairly pronounced way.  The supporting characters are introduced without fanfare or explanation, again giving us the impression that we’re walking in midway through a movie, and with a subject matter as well-known as this one, that’s probably a sound approach.

The artwork, courtesy of Jason Copland, has an almost grainy quality to it, which actually works well in depicting the spiraling crime wave and the growing internal struggle of RoboCop himself.  The action scenes are well-structured and easy to follow, and while some of the facial expressions (and occasionally the overall level of detail) are lacking somewhat, the intent of each panel is always clear.

So, while there seems to be a rising wave of negativity directed towards the upcoming movie (“this isn’t the RoboCop I know and love!”), this comic actually went a long way in reassuring me about the new film’s approach.  Yes, some things have been changed, and yes, this isn’t simply a shot-for-shot remake of the original, but based on Moreci and Copland’s depiction of the new (and improved?) RoboCop franchise, I think I might actually give the film the benefit of the doubt.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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