Boom! Studios today announced Robocop: Citizens Arrest for April, a new comic by Brian Wood and Jorge Coelho, set in a crowdsourced justice vision of the future, thirty years after the RoboCop movie.
A citizen's arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official. In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval England and the English common law, in which sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend law breakers.
In the decades since the RoboCop program first began, corporations have taken over public services and the government—and law enforcement is the biggest private contract of all. Traditional police forces no longer exist as all citizens are encouraged—and rewarded—to spy on their neighbors.
There is only one authority on the streets: ROBOCOP.
"RoboCop remains a favorite film of mine, and was an early influence on the type of stories I sought out to read and watch, and eventually to create on my own," said Wood. "It's an honor to write this series, to write Alex Murphy, and to show everyone how much the core themes of RoboCop – police brutality, union busting, media manipulation, privatization of law enforcement and the marginalization of poor people – are, incredibly, just as relevant now as they were in the 80's."
"Some movies transcend cinema," said Jorge Coelho. "As classics they hold that enigmatic mix of timing and ideas that, somehow, make them endure the test of time – for me, RoboCop is one of them. I can still see myself as that big eyed kid devouring everything about the concept decades before I knew what dystopia is, it made me a fan of science fiction and social commentary. Strong, unapologetic characters living in a world close enough to ours, fantastic enough to capture our imagination and keep its spell alive. Citizens Arrest will add new characters and a vision in comic form that will treat readers and lifetime fans with the love and respect this cinema classic deserves"
ROBOCOP: CITIZENS ARREST #1 features a main cover by Nimit Malavia (Fables), along with variants by David Rubin (Black Hammer) and Jim Towe (Youngblood).
"The best stories not only entertain but also force us to reflect on today's world and ask the tough questions – a hallmark of Brian Wood's powerful work," said Sierra Hahn, Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios. "Bringing Brian's unflinching writing together with the gritty artwork of Jorge Coelho, ROBOCOP: CITIZENS ARREST is perfect for anyone new to the franchise and a special treat for longtime fans."
"More than ever, societal norms are being challenged and we're asking what kind of future we're creating – and ROBOCOP: CITIZENS ARREST is about what happens when we abdicate that responsibility," explained Eric Harburn, Editor, BOOM! Studios. "This is a love letter to the socio-political prescience of the original RoboCop film, but also a story that stands on its own, inspired by modern day events and concerns."
It is, however, hard not to read this without recalling Brian Wood's own history with and public shaming and social justice. He was one of the earlier targets in the comics industry, in 2015. Artist Tess Fowler spoke out against a comic book professional's behaviour at comic book conventions and then named him, with a public response by Wood. And then he put out a newsletter, summing up his thoughts, saying "Public shaming can be treacherous. If you need to do it, do it for the right reasons. If you do it for the wrong reasons, you won't get the results you need."
Could this comic book series be as a result of the thoughts expressed in that newsletter, and since?
Will RoboCop start taking up CrossFit?