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January 28, 2010

Princess Powerful Attacks: Robocop versus The Terminator

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In 1984, James Cameron co-wrote and directed The Terminator; the science fiction movie starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese.

In the future, machines are directed by the artificial intelligence Skynet.  These machines, called Terminators, are cyborg assassins that can disguise themselves as humans.  A man named John Connor starts a resistance against the Terminators in order to save humanity.

As John Connor’s armies become victorious in their endeavors, the machines decide to send a terminator back in time to kill John’s mother before he can be born.  Doing this will prevent the Resistance from forming.  John Connor sends one of his soldiers, Kyle Reese, into the past to stop the machines and save his mother Sara Connor.

The machines make a second attempt at killing John Connor, now a young child, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. John also sends a reprogrammed T-800, from the first movie, to compete with the T-1000 that was sent back to kill his younger self. Sarah Connor uses the same tactics used on her to destroy Cyberdyne Systems before they invent Skynet.

The Terminator films were a box office hit; they received a solid fanbase and became a franchise.

In 1987, Paul Verhoeven directed the science fiction movie Robocop. The film was focused on the crime filled town of Detroit, Michigan in the near future. A cop named Alex Murphey is murdered and recreated as Robocop, a crime fighting cyborg. Robocop’s a success fighting criminals and is turned into a target against the super villain Clarence Boddicker. The cyborg police office regains his memories and realizes that he must capture the villain Boddicker who killed him. As it turns out, Clarence Boddicker is working for Bob Morton’s competition, Dick Jones, and Robocop must stop Boddicker and Dick Jones from controlling the city. The movie starred Peter Weller, Dan O’Herlihy, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer, and Ronny Cox.

Like the film The Terminator, Robocop became a box office hit and created a franchise.

In 1992, Dark Horse Comics published the crossover comic book, Robocop versus the Terminator.

Title: Robocop versus the Terminator
Writer: Frank Miller
Art: Walter Simonson
Color: Rachelle Menasche
Letters: John E. Workman Jr.
Issue: 1234
Cover: Walter Simonson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Pages: 36
Price: $2.50
Release Date: September-December 1992

Side Notes: In Robocop versus the Terminator, a solider is sent back in time to Detroit to kill Robocop because he’s technically responsible for the future development of Skynet. The Terminators also send back their allies to stop the solider from succeeding.

Frank Miller wrote details in the comic that were cut out of both of the Robocop 2 and 3 film scripts.  For instance, each movie’s universe elements were altered in order to be used together.  Also, details on Robocop’s brain that were changed in the scripts were used.

A Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game was based off of Robocop versus the Terminator under the same name as the comic book.

Although there is no trade paper back of Robocop verses the Terminator, all 4 issues and its cardboard cutout inserts were bound together with a new cover in an exclusive collection that is out of print.  However, the comic book can be found on auction sites and through a search online.

Puppy!! 🙁

The comic had its moments of hilarity and showcase Robocop’s fantastic quality as an officer pretty well.  For instance, he was the only man in his precinct that could control the robots issued to the department! I actually liked the robots’ character designs in the comic book as they reminded me of Masamune Shirow and my friend Alex Iglesias’s artwork with some minor differences.  The robot’s didn’t give off a sense of consciousness like in Shirow’s work, nor a personality like the ones presented in Iglesias’s paintings.  I have become entertained over the years looking at pictures of robots that had cute mannerisms, like showing agitation while saying a general’s name, or exaggerated body designs.

I was impressed with some of the scenic panels in Robocop versus the Terminator.  Also, I loved the amount of detail that went into each picture.  My favorite panel was the scene where Robocop was contemplating his present new life and his future. Although some panels had inconsistent colors, it made up for it in its ink technique.

The writing wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either.  Words felt exaggerated and sentences were very short and quick.  The plot was filled with unending twists and time traveling.  However, I was delighted to see the Terminators as children and dogs; the thought of tiny Terminators running around entertains me.

Robocop versus the Terminator was an entertaining story.  Although the writing wasn’t at its best, many panels were impressive and highly detailed.  In March 2010, there will be a new comic book called The Terminator. It’s written by Zack Whedon, who co-created Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. And yesterday a new Robocop series debuted from Dynamite Entertainment! Any of these comic books would be great gifts for any friends who collect memorabilia of the Robocop or The Terminator franchises.

Actor Brian Thompson

 

Princess Powerful
princesspowerful@comicattack.net

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10 Comments


  1. Eli

    I agree about the art. That Simonson sure knows what he’s doing. I haven’t read any of these, but from the covers of issues 2,3, & 4 it looks like Robocop has a clear edge over the Terminator. Or, at least that’s the impression they’re giving you.



  2. I remember arguing with some friends of mine about this match up lol Great series though



  3. Did anyone check out the new Robocop series that came out yesterday?



  4. It should be in my box but I havn’t picked my books up yet.



  5. One correction – the new Robocop series is from Dynamite, not Dark Horse. Dark Horse is releasing the new Terminator series written by Zack Whedon.



  6. @Aaron Blame that one on the Editor!!

    *whistles away*



  7. I have these issues! I remember buying them back in ’92. I read the series exactly once. Maybe it’s time I dust them off for a re-read…


  8. billy

    Terminator would own Robocop.



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  10. […] And remember when the Terminator took on Robocop? […]



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