OCP has returned and has shut down the public law enforcement facet of the Detroit city government. They have succeeded in establishing New Detroit, and Robocop has been replaced by R/Cop, an app that allows private citizens to pay a fee to report a crime. If the crime turns out to be genuine, they get a payout. The “Ruins” of old Detroit are borough yet to be dominated by OCP, and the corporation is looking to change that.
Like the (original) Robocop, Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest busts out of the gate with vicious, on-the-nose, yet nonetheless poignant criticism of allowing unchecked leeway and power to the mega-corporations that have come to typify modern American society. From the opening scene of protagonist Leo’s wife being in the process of childbirth being ignored for lack of insurance, to the morning news show sequences, to the premise of R/Cop itself, this comic has its crosshairs set on all real-world analogues to the villainous OCP.
Robocop Alex Murphy is in this comic, but he almost feels superfluous to the narrative. Leo is the real protagonist, and the ideas with which Citizen’s Arrest is playing are mostly unrelated to Robocop himself. I’m aware he will likely make a last-act return to save the day, but he doesn’t have anything to do at this point (literally, because of plot reasons).
Citizen’s Arrest also walks that line of comedic satire and disturbing allegory of the original movie too, and that’s an impressive balance to maintain without a doubt.
Jorge Coelho’s artwork can walk the line of sleek and gritty needed to bring the world of New Detroit to life. The comic looks smooth and plasticine when it needs to, and it can look run-down and damaged when that’s called for. Color artist Doug Garback accomplishes the same with his palette, and the overall comic looks great.
Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest #1 is an impressive first showing for this Boom! Studios miniseries. It captures and updates the satirical elements of the original while maintaining the themes. The art looks downright great. Not every joke or drawn comparison lands, but it is successful far more often than not. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
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