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Interview: Frank J. Barbiere Talks ROBOCOP: MEMENTO MORI

Find out how this one-shot takes a closer look at the procedure that turned Alex Murphy into RoboCop.

There's another RoboCop one-shot headed your way this week. Boom! Studios is releasing a series of one-shots by different creators, focusing on a different aspect and situation for RoboCop. Last week we talked to Joe Harris about his issue and the week before, we talked to Michael Moreci about his.

With Frank J. Barbiere's one-shot, we're going to get to take a stroll through Alex Murphy's mind as the procedure is underway to turn him into RoboCop. We had the chance to talk to Frank to find out what he was able to do and what we can expect.

COMIC VINE: Sounds like your one-shot is taking a slightly different approach. What made you decide to delve into the surgical process of Alex becoming RoboCop?

FRANK J. BARBIERE: My short actually expands on a scene in the film where we are introduced to the idea that the process of transforming Murphy into RoboCop is messing with his head a bit—quite literally! For me, it opened up a really fun story that played with crazy visuals and the idea of memories “disappearing”—which I thought was a really cool story, regardless of its tie-in to RoboCop.

CV: How prepared or how much research would have been done before Alex went under the knife?

FJB: The surgeons are aware of the risks, as seen on the opening pages, and they are more concerned with keeping Murphy stable during the whole procedure. It’s fun because they know they are definitely knocking around his memories and trying to micromanage it from the “outside,” while readers will see exactly what’s happening to Murphy in his own dreamscape.

CV: Were you able to cut loose in setting up the imagery for Alex's memories?

FJB: Absolutely. I think we got some really cool, fun stuff in there and [artist] João [Vieira] did a marvelous job of rendering the dream imagery in a cool, unique way! Colorist Ruth Redmond also did a fantastic job of working with a very ethereal, evocative color palette that just really helped sell the trippy, surreal angle of the whole issue.

CV: In setting up different moments or memories, were you given any suggestions on what you could use and describe?

FJB: I just dove right in based on what I learned about the character of Murphy from the script. I didn’t want to get too heady, and clearly the character wasn’t going to go through a big change in this short span of time, so it really became a story about the environment and the setting—the real action is what’s happening around Murphy as the reader is aware. There is a fun twist at the end, and clearly the tension of building towards Murphy realizing what’s happening!

CV: Antoine Vallon "appears" in this story. What can you tell us about him?

FJB: Vallon is very much Murphy’s nemesis. He’s been working to bust Vallon for a while, having to deal with the political and criminal fallout involved, and when Murphy sees Vallon in his head… it’s not a pleasant sight.

CV: How long until you think this type of brain surgery would actually be possible?

FJB: Science is rapidly outrunning science fiction. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see some kind of brain modification surgeries rolling out in the next 10 years… what a world!

ROBOCOP: MEMENTO MORI is on sale this week from Boom! Studios. You can probably still find ROBOCOP: TO LIVE AND DIE IN DETROIT by Joe Harris and ROBOCOP: HOMINEM EX MACHINA by Michael Moreci.

Here's the rest of the preview for ROBOCOP: MEMENTO MORI:

9 Comments
Posted by Pokergeist

The artwork is terrible :/

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

No thanks.

Posted by AllStarHit-Girl

Interesting

Posted by jwalser3

Don't really care after seeing the mediocre movie.

Posted by Onemoreposter

I really like the art. Like how Robo's design is closer to the original.

Edited by jjayduarte

Don't really care for the new Robocop, but Frank J. Barbiere is great.