Monday 20 October 2014

1990: ROBOCOP Issue 1 (Marvel Comics)

The British are coming!  A familiar roster of Brit-talent get credit for this, the first issue of Marvel New York's ongoing ROBOCOP book, launched in early 1990.

Drafting in Alan Grant, frequent scribe of JUDGE DREDD, was a no-brainer for a project based on a film that - ahem - borrowed liberally from Tharg's lore.

Marvel had already dipped its cybernetically augmented toe into the RC universe with their black & white one-shot adaptation of the movie, published on both sides of the Atlantic (and subsequently repackaged, and coloured, in the States when this started to look like it might be a franchise) but this was a regular monthly book which eventually clocked-up 23 issues.

Although Marvel's West Coast operation had already worked with Orion on the (first) animated RC incarnation, which aired as part of the MARVEL ACTION UNIVERSE in the Fall of 1988, this was based on the original screen incarnation.  

Simon Furman, another Brit with a CV already bursting with mechanical goodness, took over from issue 12 and stuck around for the rest of the run.  Grant, meanwhile, cashed the cheques for the ROBOCOP 2 movie adaptation.  

Reprints of the RC strip appeared as part of the line-up of the short-lived MARVEL UK weekly HAVOC in 1990.

The license shifted to Dark Horse Comics in 1992, who kicked things off with the ROBOCOP VERSUS TERMINATOR four-parter, also published in the UK. 

Although the license has shuffled several times since, I don't think anyone has issued a collected edition of these early comics... which makes the 50p back issue boxes, once again, your friend...

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