NoO

It’s sort of the end of the first week of Visual Reflux. I soft-launched with the Captain Marvel post last weekend (a few days before Stop Button got it) and I’ve been pretty good about getting up a post a day. Until today. Well, until yesterday. I was a little burned out yesterday, which—as I write this post—is still today for me. I started to write this kind of a post—the nothing post—yesterday (meaning Thursday), but wanted to write that Robocop: Last Stand #1 post instead. Mostly because I wasn’t sure how I was going to write that post. I know how to write these posts; you just type until you hit the word count and then you wrap it up real quick. I thought about doing some link posts but I don’t have much to say at length about the new Avengers: Endgame trailer or poster. I hope they don’t screw up. I have no reason to think they will. Kevin Feige’s turned into a fine producer, regardless of the PGA thing or the whole cappie situation.

I also have nothing to say at length about James Gunn being back for Guardians 3, other than a tweet about hoping Marvel somehow screws WB over—Gunn is making “TheSuicide Squad for WB before he makes Guardians. Given the first Suicide Squad is one of the few recent films I detest more than Guardians 2, it’ll be interesting to see—on home video—what Gunn does with that crap pile.

I don’t think there was any other significant entertainment news. There might have been some comic stuff, but nothing worth discussing at length. Even at the link length, which I haven’t really figured out yet. I’ll probably come up with word count guidelines for every post type (spoiler: it’s mostly 350; 350 for these “Summing Up” posts, 350 for the “Focused” comic—and eventually TV—posts). I don’t actually know how long the Robocop 2 or Alien 3 comic posts went. I should probably figure that data into the mix.

And look at that red indicator… I’m done with this post.

It’s early days with Visual Reflux. Really, really early days considering it’s self-hosted and not even getting the spam hits off WordPress.com. So I’m trying to establish writing behaviors without doing anything too themed. Like, it’s not worth the time to link to all the Robocop movie posts on Stop Button or all the Robocop comic posts on Comics Fondle—which I considered—because the eyes aren’t there. Here. The eyes aren’t here.

I once wrote a story with no Os in it. I tried to write it without any Is first, but it was too hard.

That story was weird.

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Robocop: Last Stand #1 of 8

Robocop: Last Stand #1

Frank Miller's Robocop; Avatar Press; issues 1-9 (of 9); 2003-06; $3.50 to $3.99, 36 pgs ea.; collection (2007), $29.99.

Robocop: Last Stand is, conceptually, a tough sell. It’s a comic book adaptation of a movie no one liked (Robocop 3) when it came out twenty years before the first issue of Last Stand dropped. It’s ostensibly based on Frank Miller’s original screenplay, but when a different publisher did a “based on Frank Miller’s original screenplay” adaptation of Robocop 2 (just called Frank Miller’s Robocop), it turned out Miller’s Robocop 2 script included a lot of his Robocop 3 too. That much-hyped adaptation, Frank Miller’s Robocop, wasn’t just a bad comic, it was a notoriously late one. It’s also not like there had been any particularly good Robocop comics over the years. But the license kept bopping around as one publisher after another tried to hit Robo-gold.

So it’s interesting Last Stand is so… well… good.

The comic is a perfect storm of creative impulse—Steven Grant’s adaptation of the film (which he’d already adapted for Dark Horse back in 1993) is one event after another, with Korkut Öztekin’s punky cartooning tying them together. This first issue has plenty of action violence, but never gets particularly gory. Or, more accurately, Öztekin doesn’t focus on the gore. He emphasizes the action, focuses on the characters.

The issue opens with the issue’s only direct tie-in to the Frank Miller’s Robocop series, which Boom! (Last Stand publisher) reprinted when they picked up the Robo-license. It’s a TV ad showing the future dystopia, which the movies did a lot better. The TV segment also reveals some of the ground situation—Robocop has gone rogue. The newscasters, again played by Leeza Gibbons (who hadn’t returned for the actual Robocop 3) and Mario Machado don’t buy it. The evil company, OCP, has fired all the cops. They’ve also renamed their urban housing project for some nonsensical reason. Maybe something with the license?

Seriously, if it weren’t for Öztekin, the most interesting thing about Last Stand would definitely be the behind-the-scenes editorial mandates.

There’s an action intro to Robocop, saving a streetwalker from the OCP cops, then the action cuts to a new character, Marie. She’s trying to find Robocop. Only Grant doesn’t establish her name so her identity is unclear; she could even be Nancy Allen. Only she’s not because there’s a flashback to Nancy Allen dying and making Robocop promise to avenge her, which he’s apparently doing now as he takes on the OCP cops.

Meanwhile, OCP is trying to kick people out of their homes in Old Detroit and they’ve only got five days to do it, then OCP and their Japanese financing partners will default. There’s a big expository altercation involving a company suit, Bertha (who everyone always assumed was a Frank Miller nod to Martha Washington, but who knows), and then Robocop. Öztekin gets to do a big action scene involving an ED-209 robot, then the issue ends awkwardly with Marie—introducing herself finally—tracking down Robocop.

The awkward finish, which leaves the scene hanging mid-conversation, is just the sort of awkward Last Stand needs. Grant and Öztekin can only do so much, with a Robocop 3 adaptation, with a Robocop comic, and the truncated finish seems to acknowledge it. Grant’s not willing to make Robocop a more traditional protagonist, but he’s also shifting the spotlight. Not in this first issue, anyway.

The comic functions as a peculiar hook, distinguishing itself—in no small part thanks to Öztekin—from all those conceptual limitations and obligations.

Maybe it’s all thanks to editors Alex Galer and Eric Harburn. But whoever’s responsible… it’s a Robocop comic where you want to read the next one, which is quite a feat.

Mirrors Mirrored

Today I decided to also fold Summing Up into Visual Reflux. Until today, it hadn’t really occurred to me. One about the seven to ten blogs I’ve started after starting The Stop Button in 2004? I didn’t name the most successful one. Comics Fondle . I didn’t name it. I didn’t name Visual Reflux. I collaborated on the Visual Reflux name but the idea wasn’t mine. Only Stop Button, Summing Up, and Televisual Feast were my names. And that carried over, initially, to how possessive I was going to be of Visual Reflux. However, after going back and forth on where to host the site, on how to host the site, on how to get SSL to work, and now how to get the RSS feed secure enough, I’ve gotten possessive of Visual Reflux.

And so into the fold goes Summing Up. Leaving The Stop Button and my Micro.blog. The Stop Button will not be a direct mirror on Visual Reflux. I’m not sure today what kind of mirror it will be. It might be the best movies I watch, might be the contemporary movies, might be recently released on home video movies, might just be a post I enjoyed writing, probably be some kind of combination of those categories. Though it was hard to talk about Captain Marvel, which I posted on Reflux early. It’s gotten hard to talk about the Marvel movies if only because the concept of soulless franchise movies succeeding is very strange. Thanks, Disney, I guess.

Depending on how the cross-posting works, I may litter the Internet over on Televisual Feast. Comics Fondle will have cross-posting for the foreseeable future. It makes the most sense for what I’m doing right now… Conglomerating. Now I just need to figure out what my word count targets for Reflux.

I think, as far as movie posts go, I’ll be only doing positive cross-posts. I’ve been thinking about maybe doing “flashback” posts to old movie posts, but moving all the sites’ histories over opens a can of worms best left closed. Every time I’ve done an archive or a post collection, I’ve gone through those first year or so posts of Stop Button when it was on jablog and it just doesn’t fit with what comes afterwards. While Visual Reflux isn’t going to be so worried about “fitting,” it is going to be my 2019 writing project. Principally.

Now I have the RSS feed working, anyway.

Mirrors Mirrored was originally published on Visual Reflux