Robocop 23 (January 1992)

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Yeah, it’s awful.

Lewis doesn’t appear in the issue. Robocop doesn’t go to Detroit. The entire issue, for him, is set on an Aztec pyramid; something along those lines.

Robocop spends most of the issue talking about what it means to be Robocop.

What I find most amusing about the comic is how everything Furman worked on–this intricate frame job, Lewis’s romantic interest in Robocop, even the development of a more recognizable police force–gets flushed here for a really lame comic book.

Worse, Robocop’s out of helmet for most of the comic so Sullivan’s art on him is weak.

I realize Marvel could have cared less–they didn’t renew the license, I’m guessing–but… wow. It’s an awful comic book. Anyone involved with the writing and editing with any shame should have used a pseudonym.

Even after all these issues, this one’s utter lack of quality surprises me.

CREDITS

Beyond the Law, Part 3; writer, Simon Furman; artist, Lee Sullivan; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 22 (December 1991)

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Furman can’t wrap up the comic in an issue, which is what Marvel’s Robocop has left so he’s undoubtedly going to leave some things hanging. Or he’s going to force it all into one issue, which is going to be a disaster.

The series is wrapping up to be incredibly silly. When Marvel got rid of Grant, who brought the series into a more realized future, and brought in Furman to eighty-six those futuristic elements… well, I don’t know what artistic possibilities Robocop had, but it at least read well.

Furman more fully utilizes the licensed property elements (more characters from the movies), but not to any successful end. He’s running the series off a cliff out of sheer incompetence (though I think some of these decisions must be editorial, they’re too stupid not to be).

Again, some lovely Sullivan art and some fine human potential. Furman wastes both.

CREDITS

Beyond the Law, Part 2; writer, Simon Furman; artist, Lee Sullivan; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 21 (November 1991)

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So when the series started Robocop 2 hadn’t been released and the Old Man was still a good guy. Now he’s a bad guy. But still not as bad as he was in Robocop 2. This issue ends with him manipulating Robocop into assassinating a foreign dictator.

Meanwhile, Robocop’s cracking heads (but not enough to really find his wife and kid) and the cops are under assault and Robocop’s abandoned them in general and Lewis in particular. I don’t see Lewis’s crush working out for her here.

Sullivan’s back, inking himself and Robocop looks great. Sullivan spends a lot of time on him, making him look good. He doesn’t spend anywhere near as much time on the regular people, which is a problem.

Furman packs the issue with newscasts and details about the foreign dictator and it’s a bunch of fluff. He’s pretending to have layered this story but didn’t.

CREDITS

Beyond the Law, Part 1; writer, Simon Furman; artist, Lee Sullivan; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 19 (September 1991)

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So we finally get Lewis and Robocop about the suck face and it turns out it’s a stupid brainwashing thing? Or, worse, we don’t even find out if it’s a stupid brainwashing thing. It’s never followed up on, instead Furman has Robocop’s human mind battle his computer mind in a scene straight out of Superman III (with some Empire Strikes Back visuals–Luke in Vader’s helmet–thrown in).

It’s Sullivan inking himself again, which runs hot and cold. The art’s nowhere near as strong as when Kim DeMulder inked him on the first ten or twelve issues. It’s okay, but it’s not great like it was. It doesn’t matter much, since Furman’s a boring writer. He’s mildly competent–he knows to have the police sergeant reflect once the brainwashing is over–but there’s nothing particularly striking about it.

Oh, wait. No, he sucks… I forgot all about the super-villainess.

CREDITS

Mind Bomb, Part 2; writer, Simon Furman; artist, Lee Sullivan; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 18 (August 1991)

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Furman goes episodic here. I mean, TV episodic, maybe the five minutes before the opening titles role. It’s all about cops going crazy and whatever it is driving them crazy also effects Robocop so there’s a cliffhanger with him about to shoot a bunch of people.

Sullivan inks himself here, which is an improvement over the latest issues, but is a mixed bag. Some of his faces don’t look very good (a definite improvement, just not as strong as when the series started), but there’s a lot of great detail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Robocop look so good, for example.

What’s striking about the issue is the lame and unrealistic characterizations. Cop going psychotic–only Robocop reacts to serve the public, other cops want to defend psycho cop.

Oh, the villain–her name’s Lot’s Wife. Furman deserves a special place in the Comic Writer’s Penitentiary for that one.

CREDITS

Mind Bomb, Part 1; writer, Simon Furman; artist, Lee Sullivan; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 17 (July 1991)

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Egads that’s bad.

I was all set to say nice things about the art, but then Candelario’s inks made that one impossible.

It’s a terribly written comic book. Besides having a really stupid plot, it’s just got the most atrocious dialogue imaginable.

As a sequel to Robocop 2, it’s somewhat interesting–and it does flesh out Lewis’s character more than the movies ever did, giving her a gambling addict ex-husband, which seems really weak for her character and not anything one would believe in anything but a licensed comic book. I think whoever oversaw Marvel’s treatment of the characters napped through this script review (at the time, I think Orion was going out of business, so maybe the liaison was busy).

It’s a painfully bad comic book, worse than any of the previous ones in fact. It might be the worst issue overall.

I really miss Alan Grant’s writing.

CREDITS

Private Lives; writer, Simon Furman; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Harry Candelario; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 15 (May 1991)

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It’s not a terrible issue. So far it’s probably Furman’s best, only because it’s an all-action issue. The inking is a little better this time too. Maybe it’s the lack of thought balloons for Robocop. Robocop thinking kind of ruins it, at least the way Furman writes his thinking.

It’s not particularly clear but it reads like evil triumphs over good here, that the corporate bad guys get away unpunished. It’s hard to say. Furman uses a news story to wrap up the issue (much like Marvel’s adaptation of the first movie does) and the whole thing–the three parter this finishes–feels like a tv pilot. It pretends to be gritty, but it’s really super positive and smiley.

Sullivan has some nice work, visible through the mediocre inks and the plotting makes it more readable than usual.

It’s a more tolerable read than usual, if still absent merit.

CREDITS

Ashes!; writer, Simon Furman; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Harry Candelario; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editors, Bobbie Chase and Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 14 (April 1991)

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Ok, so this issue of Robocop is a little more interesting than usual–a little more interesting, maybe, than any licensed property comic outside of Dark Horse’s Star Wars ones where there was a “enhanced continuity” or whatever LucasFilm called it–this issue of Robocop features one of the series’ mainstay characters, the sidekick and token black executive, Johnson, going bad.

It means next to nothing to anyone who isn’t a Robocop fan (the third film ignores the Marvel comics continuity, apparently–and unfortunately) but it’s a big deal. It’s also amusing because the opening shot of the character looks like an Obama campaign poster.

Anyway, otherwise there’s a lot of lame stuff, like Robocop’s partner still not getting to him and some evil military cyborg who’s got daddy issues.

Sullivan draws some amazing panels and the inks just fail him, over and over and over again. It’s tragic, really.

CREDITS

Dreams; writer, Simon Furman; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Harry Candelario; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Bobbie Chase; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop 13 (March 1991)

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Maybe I was too rough on Furman last issue–I ought to be saving my bile for inker Candelario, as this guy completely wrecks Sullivan’s art. Having gone over ten issues with Sullivan inked well, seeing this disaster is just … upsetting.

But Furman, well, Furman’s not terrible. He’s got a handful of decent scenes. There’s some really stupid stuff in it like the Sergeant from the movies being more interested in OCP orders than being a good cop and a mystery bad guy out to get Robocop. Not to mention Robocop’s partner being in a single, totally useless scene.

It’s an action issue from an era where action issues weren’t the norm. The result is a banal, with more bad than good, comic book.

Furman does incorporate the movies well, but it’s like he never read Alan Grant’s issues. The ones far superior to the ones he’s creating.

Blah.

Blah.

CREDITS

Past Sins; writer, Simon Furman; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Harry Candelario; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editor, Bobbie Chase; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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