"RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Jorge Coelho
Colored by Doug Garbark
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 9th, 2018
OCP has returned under the guidance of an enigmatic new figurehead. New Detroit is policed by robots responding to crowdsourced reports of crimes from citizens. RoboCop has been benched and reprogrammed, forced to live out the rest of his days alone in his own home, powerless to do anything against this new force. OCP's next plans involve taking out The Ruins by kicking out the poor people that live there and building new luxury apartments in their place. If only someone could help Alex Murphy rise up once again...
There are a number of quick moments in RoboCop: Citizens Arrest that show just how horrible this future is. These little asides remind me of some of the color seen in The Dark Knight Returns. For example, a young girl is sitting alone on a fire escape when a police drone flies up next to her asking where her parents are. She explains her mother is at work at one of her two jobs, doing what she's supposed to do and the drone calls Child Protective Services. Isn't that messed up? That's just a small sampling of what's included here.
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New Detroit is under constant surveillance, not just from OCP, but from everyone else too. Everything is recorded and privacy is essentially dead. I guess the argument would be if you have nothing to hide, why is it a problem. It doesn't change how unsettling this is as the soulless cameras hover quietly through the air or the police robots patrol the streets without emotion.
Alex Murphy's life is incredibly heartbreaking until a neighbor and former cop decides to help him out. It requires some coding and some moderate espionage, but if it means giving RoboCop his will to live again, it will be worth it. He's the only one that can possibly stand up to OCP and this fascist state.
Artist Jorge Coelho captures the complete look of sorrow on Murphy's face. This is a broken man, wandering through the world lifeless and alone. This changes when he hears about a possible solution. A spark of energy can be seen in his eyes again.
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As cold as Murphy can look, the head of OCP is even more uncaring and he's a human being. Everyone and everything is a means to an end to this man. He has his goals and he aims to make a lot of money, expanding the OCP program to other cities around the world. He watches on from his post above all of his employees like some sort of king. When Murphy starts to resist, the man is filled with rage. How dare someone oppose him?
Doug Garbark's colors are the real shining star in RoboCop: Citizens Arrest. They strike just the right mood in this not-quite-dystopian world. I love the light green haze that shines out on the OCP people as they stare at their computer screens. It's like they're living in a digital fantasy world. This contrasts well with the bright, vibrant world outside, especially when the folks in The Ruins start to come together.
RoboCop: Citizens Arrest is an absolutely chilling look at our future. What makes it even more disturbing is how close to reality it is. If someone told me this was something the Trump administration was working on, I wouldn't be that surprised. This is emphasized by the TV hosts shown throughout the comic that are very reminiscent of those on Fox News, albeit taken to an extreme. Although, again, if I saw a clip of it from real life, it wouldn't be that hard to believe.