The powder keg that is Detroit gets even bigger when Murphy and Lewis discover Mister Hutch and his split-open head. Both decide to take matters into their own hands, forgoing the chain of command and beginning their own detective work. Where will their investigations lead? Is it good?
Robocop #3 (BOOM! Studios)
Writer Joshua Williamson and artist Carlos Magno begin the book with a look into the past twenty-five years prior. Killian has landed a huge haul of guns and is working with Nash to smuggle them out of the country; unfortunately, the police have been tipped off and swiftly arrest the two. The flashback allows Williamson and Magno to give Nash and Killian a history together. Other than that, the reader already knows both of these guys are bad and the sequence falls flat not adding any depth to Killian’s or Nash’s character nor enhancing the story, although Williamson does hint at a mystery benefactor which may play an important role later on in the series.
However, Williamson enhances the story and adds depth to Killian’s character when he discusses his latest shipment of firearms and the source from whom he is acquiring them. Killian and Nash are not working alone; they have a connection funneling them the firearms. Killian also reveals he is more of a psychopath than the reader believed, refusing to accept parole instead remaining in the slammer to serve his entire sentence. Not only is he a psychopath, but he is a brilliant political and tactical strategist.
Killian continues to use Detroit’s gun confiscation law to rally public support against the police force, amassing a large crowd outside of Hutch’s liquor store. The ensuing conflict leads to war on the streets and the city begins to go up in flames. He creates mayhem and chaos while monopolizing the self-protection via firearm market. It is a brilliant move that raises the level of villain Robocop is dealing with. Killian is a worthy foe.
Carlos Magno’s art is gritty and has a 1980’s feel although the book is supposed to be taking place in the present. The minor details with the newswoman wearing a mock neck shirt to Killian’s white sports coat and black shirt are a few that highlight the late 70’s and 80’s vibe. Magno struggles with the shadowing from Nash’s baseball cap. It looks more like a black mask than a shadow. There is also one instance where Magno does a close-up of Killian’s face as he eggs on the crowd. Unfortunately he does not look at all inspiring, rather someone who is having a heart attack with his tongue lolling out of his mouth. However, he does excel at drawing the landscape of the city, building architecture and Nash’s monster trucks.
The monster trucks play an important role in Killian’s tactical strategy in neutralizing Robocop and Lewis. However, the reader is awakened from their suspension of disbelief since they have already seen Robocop face far worse damage; the scene intends to bring the hero into harm’s way, but only has the reader saying “Really?!?”
Is It Good?
Robocop #3 is mediocre at best. Williamson does a good job of creating a worthy foe, but he fails to maintain the suspension of disbelief. Carlos Magno’s artwork excels with inanimate objects but struggles when dealing with human emotion and their facial features.