Review – Robocop #5 (BOOM! Studios)

Robocop_005_coverA - CopyPublisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carlos Magno
Release Date: 5 November 2014

We begin RoboCop #5 with Killian’s gang using RoboCop-derived tech (nice helmets assholes) and an ED-209 to rob a bank. These guys are a serious threat, and like all good threats in the RoboCop universe, the police are simply not equipped to handle such a situation. Watching RoboCop grapple one-on-one with an ED-209 is just as viscerally satisfying as watching him take down three of the same in the recent reboot. Props to artist Carlos Magno for infusing Robo with as much of how Alex Murphy would fight, in addition to his robotic strength.

The art does come in a very muted colour-palette though; suited to the grimy world of Detroit in tone, but which stylistically makes the comic feel more like a flashback to DC animation of the 30s and 40s than the slimy, neon-slick decay of the RoboCop film-universe. Luckily this is just a styling nitpick, and the actual content more than impresses, from the previously mentioned fight with an ED-209 to a very Heisenberg-style prison execution, which highlights Magno’s skill in drawing fights and violence. His freeze-frame of pure violence as difficult to look at as it is dramatic.

Spending some time with Lewis and the supporting cast of the Detroit PD reminds the reader of just how much you have to root for truly incorruptible characters in the RoboCop ‘verse. The stakes in this story suddenly feel much more personal and human when we see officers putting their lives on the line to stop Killian and save their city.

Killian finally manages to goad Murphy into a fight with a dramatically more war-capable opponent, but while the outcome of this fight may have to wait until the next issue, we are left with a far-more enticing cliffhanger in the reveal of Killian’s past affiliation with the early days of OCP. This exploration of the grimy underbelly of business is what RoboCop has always done best, and Joshua Williamson has so far treated us to a faithful addition to the RoboCop canon which knows exactly which beats to hit.

Rating: 4/5.

ASavThe Writer of this piece was: Andrew Stevens
You can follow Andrew on Twitter

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