Comic Review: RoboCop: Road Trip #3

RoboCop: Road Trip #3
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Unai De Zarate
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Cover by Fabiano Neves
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 29, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

The operative word here is ‘Trip.’ Y’see, RoboCop is going insane. He’s having flashbacks to his childhood that quickly turn into nightmares, and he’s seeing old enemies in hallucinations and talking to them.

Unfortunately, he’s dealing with a few other problems while he’s losing his mind. America has fallen, OCP has taken over Old Detroit, he and a handful of fellow officers are on the lamb, trying to cross the Michigan border to get U.S. military aid, and, as RoboCop: Road Trip #3 opens, he’s sinking to the bottom of Lake Erie, about to be mauled by a large, robotic mountain lion.

So, a lot’s been happening in Dynamite’s RoboCop books. This is the first one I picked up and with a helpful ‘previously in’ page and three minutes of googling I was pretty much all caught up. Cla$$war writer, Rob Williams has been putting his own spin on the franchise since 2010. Jumping off at the end of the first film, he’s bravely created his own continuity. While I have a very special place in my heart for all three of the original films, RoboCop 3 was a game changer of an ending for the part man/part machine/all cop. Williams’ RoboCop universe is trying to be relevant to a 2012 audience, which, when you think about how the franchise is as much about broad populist politics and dark satire as about a cyborg cop kicking ass, it’s actually a pretty comfy match.

This was a fast paced, whirlwind of an issue. Illustrator Unai De Zarate captures the raw excitement well, although there are maybe a few too many splash pages for my taste. There’s a subplot involving OCP intrigue, ED-309s, and a character named Underling which seemed interesting to me, a triumph of any good RoboCop story is keeping the non-Robo stuff interesting. On that note, while I didn’t get to see much of RoboCop when he wasn’t in a life or death scenario, his characterization did feel off to me, just a little to human.

That said, when I started this book I was skeptical that there would ever be a good story about RoboCop’s mental health and by the end I was at least interested enough to see where this is going. Might just be something there, after all.

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