Review – Robocop: To Live and Die in Detroit (one-shot) (BOOM! Studios)

DEC130974Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Release Date: 12th February 2014

Normally I’d be against having different writers and artists team up to tell a story in a single continuity, but this series so far has done a great job providing different perspectives on the same character and adding to the world he lives in.

And like Robocop: Hominem Ex Machina, Robocop: Live and Die in Detroit puts the reader right in the middle of the action. The story is fairly basic, but Harris uses background information that helps to flesh out the world of Robocop. It a bit expositional, but that doesn’t detract from the rest of the story. The subject matter isn’t anything new: corruption, human trafficking and organized crime, but it represents Robocop as an unstoppable force as he conducts the investigation.

Unfortunately there aren’t any memories or flashbacks this time around, and Murphy’s emotions are explained through dialogue as OCP (Omni Consumer Products) monitors Murphy out in the field. The story benefits from a lack of character development, since the focus is on Robocop being more machine than man. Like Dredd, Robocop is the hand of the faceless justice system, and if he has too much of his humanity too soon it leaves the story with nowhere to go. Plus it waters down the character right away.

Ex Machina used dark colors and cloudy tones to convey the state the city of Detroit was in, whereas this time Vladimir Popov’s color choices are loud and vibrant giving the city a pulse and a life of its own. Organized crime gets a polished look thanks to Kowalski’s clean lines but combined with the lively color scheme it works as a contrasts to the seedy activity.

With any luck the movie will do what this issue does well, which is tell a simple story with a fast pace and use its action sequences to engage the audience.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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The writer of this piece is:
Laurence Almalvez
Laurence has previously written over at
Laurence tweets from @IL1511

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