When I was given the opportunity to review the newly restored edition of Dark Horse Comics “Robocop vs. Terminator” written by Frank Miller and artist Walter Simonson, I was rather excited. Frank Miller wrote the screenplays of “Robocop 2” and “Robocop 3,” as well as the graphic novels “300” and “300: Rise of an Empire.”
I was excited to read about the kick ass cyborgs I grew up watching on the big screen and televised – locked in combat with the fate of mankind’s future the prize. Before reading the comic, I also found others have compared our ultimate machines and measured how they would really compare in one on one death match. They used the comics, movies, and other resources to figure out who would actually win using those statistics.
I have never read the series before and I had no idea what was to come; if you haven’t read it before you now have a second chance!
Review of “Robocop vs. Terminator”
The only constant in this series is the human warrior that travels in time to kill Alex Murphy. The human resistance travels back in time to destroy Robocop, whose technology will lead to the creation of the Skynet system.
The series begins with what was supposed to be the last battle with humanity. We follow the point of view of Skynet as it realizes the human Flo has accessed its memory banks. Skynet finds that John Connor’s hunch was correct: A human mind merged with the software created and then brought life to the AI.
I found this idea to be very interesting and exploring the story was great fun. However, I could have done without the multiple time stream hops that seemed to muddy the story. I won’t say it completely ruined the experience for me; I just didn’t feel it was necessary.
In spite of the loopholes created in the continuity through the multiple changes in the time matrix, I still enjoyed the comic. I expected to see the top cyborgs in sci-fi history duking it out and blowing things up – and that is what I received.
I was pleasantly surprised to find some character development splashed in there. We see Robocop (Alex Murphy) experience the possibilities of his future and how he can change mankind. I was actually more tuned into the human warrior from the future (Flo) and how she perceived or will perceive the world. Flo is a nameless figure in the beginning that seems as cold and merciless as the robots she struggles against. She develops into someone who realizes that not everything is what you would expect it to be. Flo even comes to see that even something with a cold exterior and violent history can be more human than just flesh and bone.
Major Strengths and Recommendation
The art work of the series is pretty standard for the time, originally printed in 1992 as a series of four comics. This version holds true to the themes of the period with no pollution from modern day expectations. Nothing of any reboots or sequels appears in the story and it stands on its own. I recommend “Robocop vs. Terminator” to any fans of both series.
“Robocop vs. Terminator” is now available from Dark Horse Comics. Download a free preview here.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of “Robocop vs. Terminator” for review purposes.