Review: Robocop Citizens Arrest #4

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
July 11th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Robocop Citizens Arrest #4
Comics
0
Price:
Satisfying

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On July 11, 2018
Last modified:July 11, 2018

Summary:

A fast-paced, socially aware, narrative and some intriguing Artwork make this a fascinating read. Not the best in the run but it sets the scene for what promises to be an emotional confrontation for the central character.

Price:
Satisfying

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On July 11, 2018
Last modified:July 11, 2018

Summary:

A fast-paced, socially aware, narrative and some intriguing Artwork make this a fascinating read. Not the best in the run but it sets the scene for what promises to be an emotional confrontation for the central character.

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It’s action all the way in the latest issue of RoboCop: Citizens Arrest from Boom! Studios. Brian Wood and Jorge Coelho pit the famous cyborg police officer against corruption and seemingly unbeatable odds: it’s just another day at the office for RoboCop.

This series draws on themes raised in the original RoboCop movie which are just as relevant today as they were back in the 1980’s: massive corporations taking over public services; the poor fighting to survive on streets that are unsafe while the rich make decisions ‘for the good of all’ but only benefit themselves.

With the robot battling aside, the world that Wood and Coelho have created isn’t too far away from the world we currently live in. Which makes the emotional punches this story offers that much harder and villains that much easier to hate.

Credit: Boom Studios

Synopsis

The Ruins: the new robotic police force face unprecedented resistance as they try to clear the slums and make way for ‘the Future’. Unfortunately for those in power, the present occupants don’t want to be forced out and make a stand against O.C.P.’s demolition drive.

Story continues below

With Alex Murphy, the original RoboCop, on their side a victory looks confident for the inhabitants of the old residences, but not everybody’s future looks rosy.

A story is brewing, and, a new threat is on the horizon.

Analysis

Brian Wood’s script is a delightful social satire with the might of the Corporations coming up against the ‘common’ man and stalling in their decimation of the poor. The witty back and forth between the pragmatic Murphy and the head of the O.C.P. highlight the difference between the privileged rich and the desperate working class.

There are echoes of the original movie in this script: likeable the social commentary aspect of the narrative set in a believable future. Wood has created a villain who uses the Law in his favour whereas the hero must break the law to do what is right for others. And both of these characters are likeable in their own fashion.

The supporting cast is well rounded with some emotional scenes that have beautiful payoffs, proving that the characters have got under your skin. The events of this issue draw on the character building from the previous issues and make the reader feel the consequences of their actions, however noble.

Credit: Boom Studios

The artwork is a touch hit and misses with some of the design elements working better than others. The minimalistic approach to a large portion of the comic works when creating the atmosphere of specific scenes, such as the gun battle sequence at the beginning, but it falls flat in the more subdued moments. When the head of the O.C.P. speaks to RoboCop via the robot drone, the initial confrontation is very static and the robot’s thin design sticks out against the other characters.

The human characters, for the most part, are much more useful, especially those at the TV Station. Their interaction and the emotional acting Jorge Coelho forces upon them bring out the ridiculousness of the Media, adding additional fuel to Wood’s satirical script.

There is one page where the movement of focus on the Radio and TV presenters is a pleasure to read. It’s a nine-panel page and the slow transition from panel to panel help to highlight the two sides to the story in a beautifully illustrated way; the sequence pinpoints the differences between the two sides of the argument.

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Both the colour work by Doug Garbank and the lettering by Ed Dukeshire also establish the differences between the two social classes within the narrative. The people of The Ruins are awash in earthy colours with standard speech balloons which are then contrasted with by the garish colouring of the richer corporations. The spokespeople for the later have more aggressive speech balloons almost as if their speech is a constant challenge or threat.

Credit: Boom Studios

The narrative in this issue progresses in a relatively pedestrian manner with no real surprises and at times it feels like the main point of this issue is to set up the inevitable confrontation which is coming. However, the way that the story is told is pleasurable and entertaining, so much so that this issue skips by almost too fast. For each low point in the art there are a handful of excellent pages and at no point is the readability of the comic compromised.

RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #4 is not the best issue of the series, but it moves the story along in an entertaining fashion.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. He has a much underused Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, and his website comiccutdown.com where he writes more about

RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #4

  • 3

Satisfying

A fast-paced, socially aware, narrative and some intriguing Artwork make this a fascinating read. Not the best in the run but it sets the scene for what promises to be an emotional confrontation for the central character.

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