One is a British comic book writer and the other is a fictional sci-fi police officer, but Rob Williams and Robocop still have a lot of history together at this point.
Williams, who is currently writing Daken: Dark Wolverine and Ghost Rider for Marvel Comics, penned the six-issue 2010 Robocop series for Dynamite, and the current Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human that brought the two '80s action movie franchises together. Williams is returning to the character with Robocop: Road Trip, which picks up right where his initial Robocop comic left off.
In part of our week-long look at Dynamite's four new series starting in December, we talked with Williams via email about what to expect (and what you might not expect) from the series, what appeals to him about Robocop's world, and how he's able to do this series given his Marvel exclusive status.
Nrama: Rob, you've written a good chunk of Robocop material at this point. What makes Road Trip unique?
Rob Williams: It takes Robocop outside of Old Detroit and lets us see what's been going on elsewhere in America during the global hyper-recession and OCP's coup. Basically, the economy's tanked and society has crumbled, and different super-corporations are doing land grabs on different US cities, effectively remaking the map of America. No one's entirely sure what Robocop and what's left of the Old Detroit Police Department will find across Lake Erie in Ohio. And OCP aren't just going to let them leave. We're debuting some new OCP prototype robots here — the hunter-killer "Hounds." So new toys!
Nrama: How would you compare this series to your previous work, be it past Robocop series or beyond?
Williams: It's continuing the storyline from Robocop #1-6, which came out last year. So the characters, the continuity and the slightly satirical tone is the same. It's a different approach to the current Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human mini-series. With that I kind of inserted Robocop in the middle of T2 and went for the feel of that movie. This Robocop series is much more like the original Verhoeven approach. There's plenty of action and extreme violence, but a fair amount of irreverence and laughs too. There's not many laughs in Terminator/Robocop.
Nrama: Why is artist Unai right for the book?
Williams: I have no idea. I've not seen his work up to this point. I'm sure Dynamite wouldn't have chosen him unless he had a visceral approach though. Robocop kind of needs that energy.
Nrama: What's something about Road Trip that will surprise readers (long-time Robocop fans or not)?
Williams: You're going to see some flashes to Alex Murphy as a boy, and the regular supporting cast includes Robocop favorites like Dick Jones, Clarence Boddiker and Bob Morton. Robocop's losing his sanity, and he's seeing these dead guys who are his own little Greek chorus, offering him advice. Nasty advice, sometimes. It's a fun narrative conceit.
Nrama: You're obviously writing a ton of Marvel comics right now. What brings you back to Robocop, given how full your plate has been?
Williams: Truthful answer — this storyline was scripted last year, prior to my signing my Marvel exclusive. But I'm glad that Dynamite are releasing it. There's some fun scripts. I've enjoyed writing Robocop. There's a lot of energy to the world.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!