In 1987, Orion Pictures had a hit in RoboCop (1987) and naturally, they wanted a sequel. Unsatisfied with original writers Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner's ideas for a sequel, called "Corporate Wars" (that'd later become the loose basis for the pilot of RoboCop: The Series), and due to the duo getting involved in the 1988 WGA strike, Orion turned to Frank Miller, fresh of his success on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, to write the sequel. However, even then, they considered the script to be "unfilmable" and it was rewritten to what'd actually become RoboCop 2.
However, the script became the stuff of legends and thus was born Frank Miller's RoboCop, a comic miniseries by Avatar Press from 2003 to 2006, written by Steven Grant and drawn by Juan Jose Ryp. Reception to the comic has been mixed, with some thinking that the original script was better than what was actually released for 2 and others thinking it was a good thing Orion intervened.
Boom Studios later obtained the license for RoboCop and chose to adapt Miller's original screenplay for RoboCop 3. Steven Grant returned to adapt the screenplay into a 7-part miniseries with art by Kurt Otzkein.
Tropes present in Frank Miller's RoboCop:
- Adaptational Diversity: Inverted. Two of the officers to help Lewis, Whittaker and Estevez, are depicted as white men. In RoboCop 2, they were respectively played by Roger Aaron Brown (an African-American) and Wanda De Jesus (a Latina).
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: One of the things that'd get recycled in RoboCop 3 was the Christmas time setting, including the reprogrammed Murphy getting yelled at by a store Santa.
- Attempted Rape: A man tries to hire a hooker and when she rejects him, he threatens to rape her. He doesn't do more than threaten her, as Murphy drives by and kneecaps the punk.
- Author Appeal: Frank Miller wrote the original script; of course prostitutes and other women in various states of undress are in it.
- Author Tract: As noted on the the page for 2, Miller isn't fond of political correctness or pop psychology, hence the villain being a pop psychologist who's obsessed with political correctness.
- Big Bad: Dr. Love, who'd become the basis for Juliette Faxx.
- Bittersweet Ending: Murphy's not cleared of Reed's murder or the subway massacre, is officially declared dead, and cuts off ties with Lewis, but he's now free of his directives and fighting OCP.
- Black Dude Dies First: Of the named police officers, Sgt. Reed is the first to die.
- Brain Uploading: Love uploads a program based on her mind into RoboCop 2 while she's dying from burns and injuries Murphy inflicted on her.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Love has Murphy shocked twice: once after Murphy is just repaired and trying to talk to him, and later after forcing Murphy to talk to his ex-wife and mocking him. Additionally, she later has a system installed to inflict pain on Murphy if he acts "anti-social" and has doctors operate on a still-conscious cop considered for the RoboCop 2 project under the pretext of "reality therapy".
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Of Frank Miller's original script for 2.
- Cop Killer: Much like in the third film, the Rehabs attack the Metro West officers in the climax, killing some of them. Additionally, their plan to discredit Murphy is kicked off by the assassination of Sgt. Reed.
- Covers Always Lie: Miller did covers for the story—and none of them really reflected what was inside the book. Case in point, the cover to issue 4 involves a bald woman in glasses hugging Murphy's limbless torso. No such scene happens and if the woman is supposed to be Love, Love doesn't wear glasses and has a head full of blonde hair. Then again, Ryp's cover for that issue isn't better, depicted a bloodied Lewis posed on a streetlamp post like a pole dancer when, likewise, no such scene happened.
- Depraved Homosexual: Kong kisses Stillson's corpse, a Rehab Murphy kills—and Kong is also a sadistic bastard, killing several people as both a Rehab officer and as RoboCop 2.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: An early version of the scene from RoboCop 3 appears here, only with a Rehab who was pursuing Lewis being met with guns belonging to cops who were on strike.
- Fanservice: As expected for Avatar Press, there's a lot of scantily-clad women, including (much against what was ultimately decided by Paul Verhoeven in the original movie — and this is the same man who directed Total Recall (1990), Basic Instinct, and Showgirls!) Lewis. One of the covers for issue 4 even features Lewis posed on a streetlamp akin to a pole dancer.
- Frame-Up: Love and the Rehab frame Murphy for the murder of Reed and Kong's subway station massacre.
- A God Am I: Love has a god complex that gets worse when she transfers her mind into RoboCop 2.
- Gatling Good: Unlike the machine gun/rocket launcher/flamethrower combo from 3, Murphy can switch out his left hand for a minigun attachment.
- Gonk: Kong, who has a rather nasty scar running down the right side of his face.
- Great Offscreen War: As befitting being the original script for RoboCop 2 and having elements that go on to be in RoboCop 3, this mentions the Amazon War that's mentioned in those with the Rehabs, like in 3 being former mercs who were involved in the conflict and Reed having served in it (and recognizing the Rehabs as mercs).
- Heroic BSoD: Murphy seeing his widow Ellen re-married and pregnant breaks him.
- Heroic RRoD: Happens to Murphy twice.
- The first time is at the start of the story, where he's been active for 76 hours since repairs and was introduced as being dented up even before busting a child slavery ring.
- The second time is after the combination of combating Love's new directives and the first battle with RoboCop 2 damaged him.
- Hotter and Sexier: Outside of a few seconds of bare breasts in two scenes (once in the police locker room and the other in the scene where Murphy goes to a nightclub to find Leon) in the original movie, there isn't much in the way of fanservice in the original trilogy. This being put out by Avatar, there's a lot more scantily-clad women here.
- Ms. Fanservice: Dr. Love, her assistant, and Lewis are given this role, being clad in revealing outfits and the former two posing provocatively.
- Political Overcorrectness: As in 2, Murphy's programmed with a bunch of directives to make him seem more PC in order to undermine his effectiveness. Biggest difference here is Murphy's more resistant to them.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: The Rehabs, who mimic stereotypes of Native Americans when they're torturing Whittaker.
- Psycho Psychologist: Love, who has a god complex, is in cohorts with the Rehabs in their actions, and frequently engages in torture with the pretext of therapy.
- Production Foreshadowing: During the climax at the police station, the Rehabs compare the trap they putting Lewis in the remaining police officers in to Battle of Thermopylae, what'd become the basis for 300.
- Shout-Out: One of the kids in Issue #2 watching Dr. Love burn toys she claims promote violence (most notably a RoboCop figure) is wearing a Crayon Shin-chan shirt.
- Show Within a Show: In addition to MediaBreak, there's The Luke Spindle Show, featuring the eponymous Smarmy Host, and Lilac, hosted by a transgender woman whose show is used to introduce Margaret Love.
- Smarmy Host: Luke Spindle, who repeatedly insults his guests and audiences, and at one point punches a guy who's rightly pissed off at Spindle kissing his girlfriend, and calls people he disagrees with a homophobic slur. Tellingly, one of the cops he interviews and makes lewd remarks to uppercuts him and later, someone actually tried to kill him, though he survives.
- Underestimating Badassery:
- One of the Rehabs gets into a knife fight with Lewis and is killed by her.
- After deleting Murphy's programming at his behest, Love assumes he's dead, only to find out he's still alive.
- Would Hurt a Child: One of the first thing Murphy deals with is a child slavery ring.
Tropes present in RoboCop: Last Stand:
- Broad Strokes: Last Stand takes place after some form of both Miller's comic adaptation and the original RoboCop 2. Dr. Faxx is a major character, when it was implied at the end of 2 OCP planned to use her as a scapegoat for Cain's rampage and Anne is dead while Sgt. Reed is still alive. Most notably, When the reprogrammed RoboCop 2 shows up in a Big Damn Heroes moment, it's the film design, not the Miller comic design.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of RoboCop, in how miserable, and wearied by his war with OCP.
- The Dragon: Faxx becomes this for Otomo.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Old Man, mostly for Pragmatic Villainy is immediately annoyed by the bloodbath created by Otomo.
- Robosexual: Otomo and Faxx.
- Shout-Out: Much like the previous series, plenty of references to comic creators.
- The Starscream: Otomo and Faxx take over OCP.