Boom! Studios has been releasing a different RoboCop one-shot each week with month. Prior to each release, we've spoken to each writer. You can check out our interviews with Frank J. Barbiere, Joe Harris, and Michael Moreci.
This week marks the release of the final one-shot, ROBOCOP: BETA by Ed Brisson (SHELTERED #7 by Brisson is also on sale this week). Brisson's story is a little different from the others. Find out how by reading below.
COMIC VINE: When in RoboCop's timeline does your story take place?
ED BRISSON: BETA takes places roughly a year before the film. It's really about the genesis of the RoboCop project and their first field tests—or more specifically, the FIRST field test.
CV: It makes perfect sense there would be other test subjects before Alex. What gave you the idea to explore this?
EB: It's actually an idea that the producers had suggested. If I remember correctly, they had an idea that involved telling a story through the eyes of several failed "betas." I decided instead to focus on one and set it in the Iranian war that is referred to often in the film script. (I haven't seen the film itself yet, so am not sure if that made it through to the final product).
I thought that it would be an interesting take—to see the failures and how the program didn't take the way that OmniCorp might have hoped.
CV: Do we know how any test subjects were "recruited"? Did they sign anything before hand?
EB: We don't really explore the recruitment process too deeply in this issue. We come in essentially at the point that the RoboCop/RoboSoldier first comes online. Unfortunately, there was only 22 pages, so there wasn't time to get into every aspect of what came before the soldier came online.
CV: Did you enjoy the self-contained one-shot format or did your story leave you itching for more?
EB: One-shots have their pros and cons, for sure. I do like that it's something that any random reader could pick up and get a full story without having to worry about knowing too much about the universe or what came before. That's something that I had as a kid reading comics that I don't think a lot of readers today get. On the other hand, this was such fertile territory that I could have easily written five or six issues about this period in the RoboCop mythos.
CV: What do you think about the possibility that another corporation or group of scientist were also working on a RoboCop but at an earlier stage?
EB: Hmmm... That's not something that ever really occurred to me, to be honest. I mean... I guess it's possible and could make for some interesting sabotage or rivalry between OmniCorp and that group. I'd be interested to see what their RoboCop looked like and what features it had.
CV: Do you think the average police officer or solider in this time period would be accepting or skeptical about fighting along side a RoboCop?
EB: Well, the soldiers are pretty excited about it. I mean, anything that makes their job easier and keeps them out of the line of fire, right? It's another tool to fight the war. I think that the general public could be for it, since it would mean less lives lost in war—but that also comes with some danger. If there's not as much risk and sacrifice involved with America going to war, would they weigh their own actions as heavily?
Cops, on the other hand, I don't think they'd be too stoked on it. My dad was a cop and I can just imagine him shaking his head at a RoboCop, knowing that it would only screw up some point and talking about how you need to have the human element in Police work—not everything is black and white. Can a robot make those calls? I don't think that cops of any time period would be very welcoming to a RoboCop.
Check out ROBOCOP: BETA, on sale this week from Boom! Studios. Pick up the other one-shots as well. Perhaps one day well see the adventures of RoboChef. Here's the rest of the preview for BETA.