Best Superhero Ever

Robocop
Robocop

Even before he underwent his pivotal transformation, Officer Murphy was a superhero. His only super powers were his courage and his strength of will. He was a man who fearlessly confronted evil without regard to his own safety. To make a difference in the fight against the violent criminals that dominated his town, his life was not too great a price to pay. And indeed, before he became Robocop, he paid that price.

The Story

Set in a fictional South Detroit not so far in the future, as the story begins the city is controlled by a corrupt corporation, Omni Consumer Products (OCP), with ties to the criminals from whom they are bound by contract to protect the citizens. Officer Murphy is imported from the suburbs as part of a sinister plan by part of the corporation to harvest dead cops for use as police cyborgs.

The plan works quickly. Due to severe staffing problems, no backup is available as they chase a step van full of well armed criminals into an abandoned mill. Rather than let the criminals get away, Murphy and his partner pursue them into the mill alone. They get separated and Murphy is brutally tortured and slain. He is survived by a wife and child.

Weeks later, Murphy awakes when his machine-enhanced brain is switched on, and finds himself in an armored, mostly mechanical body. He has been surgically transformed into Robocop. He is soon deployed into South Detroit and proves to be swift and precise in the performance of his duty as a police officer.

His memories of anything but his past work as a police officer were supposed to have been erased, but when he meets one of the criminals who killed him, memories of his old life begin to stir. He accesses the police mainframe computer, identifies his killers and procedes to hunt them down. When he catches the ring leader, clues lead to the ring leader's ties within OCP, a powerful and corrupt vice president.

When Robocop confronts the vice president. he discovers he has been preprogrammed for system failure should he try to arrest any OCP personnel. The vice president calls in a prototype military robot and a swat team and Robocop is damaged and peppered with bullets as he tries to escape. Luckily his partner rescues him and brings him to the only safe place she can think of - the very same mill in which he died.

There the people who killed him try to kill him again, but with the help of his partner, Robocop kills them instead. Having learned from his former confrontation with the evil VP at OCP, this time he makes no accusations and attempts no arrest, but crashes an OCP board meeting and lays the evidence before all present. The story ends rather gratuitously as the VP attempts to take the Chairman hostage. The Chairman promptly fires the VP, freeing Robocop to fill the VP full of holes.

The story ends when the Chairman asks, "What's your name, officer?"

"Murphy," Robocop replies.

Why is Robocop the Greatest?

To me, Officer Murphy represents the most courageous people of the American working class: the police, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians. These are people whose job it is to save our lives, and many of them risk their lives again and again in the performance of their duty. These people are often real life heroes.

Officer Murphy exceeds expectations because not only does he give his life willingly in the performance of his duty, he is more than ready, actually he is eager to do it again. He has superhuman powers because bullets bounce off his titanium body, he has the targeting precision of a computer and his cyborg limbs are stronger than any human's.

However, the characteristic that truly makes him the best superhero ever is the fact that despite everything that happened to him, despite the fact that he sacrificed not only his life, but his family and his humanity, he remained fundamentally the same person inside, and wanted only to do what is right.

To continue to love justice when so much injustice has been done you is truly a superhuman feat. May we all aspire.

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Comments 13 comments

Jim Batuyong profile image

Jim Batuyong 7 years ago from Anaheim, CA

I never thought of him as a superhero but you may have swayed me. Nice Hub. It's fun to look back at old movies. Thanks Tom.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

He is not the traditional superhero, imbued naturally with superhuman powers. Do you think I will be disqualified? Gasp!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Tom, I'd forgotten about Robocop. I'll have to look it out, and show it to the kids. They'll probably love it! That whole man-machine meld thing was a bit of a theme at the time. I remember loving the Bionic Woman, and the Six Million Dollar Man. We can re-build him! LOL!


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

I loved the movie. I would say Robocop makes a great hero.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Being a young tad from the 80's, I thought Robocop was a bad ass and I always wondered if he could kill the Terminator.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Hi Amanda and Jim,

It is a violent movie, with a uniquely cynical view of the future. Like Gotham or Metropolis, Robocop's South Detroit is a good environment for a superhero. I recently got a copy at my local used disc store because I like to see Robo once in a while.

Mr. Golden,

It would be a most interesting match-up - late twenty-first century technology against twenty-fourth, the part machine man against the machine disguised with organic matter so as to appear to be a man. The Terminator seems much more powerful, but Robocop is resourceful and determined. Yes, a most interesting match-up.


Bruce Elkin profile image

Bruce Elkin 7 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

Jeez, where have I been. Never saw the movie, never saw Terminator. Must have been those years I was hiding out in the woods, living in a teepee, doing Environmental Education. MIssed out on another important part of my education. Thanks for showing me what I missed, Tom. Cheers!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Fantasy is the playground of the mind. Thank you, Bruce!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I agree with you about admiring "the police, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians" besides them even those people serving in the armed forces also put there life on the line. My Dad served in the Navy and so many people never understand why the governments spends so much money on Defense. As my father once said that the cost of peace is to be prepared for war.


rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Nice Hub.....

By the way, Tom, "You have 10 seconds to comply"


Greatlife profile image

Greatlife 7 years ago

Wow i simply love the way you write and your insight to things are always out of the box..I personally wanted someone to write that we have heroic qualities in ourselves it is only upto us to realize thier worth and make the most of it. every person on this earth is gifted and has it in his power to do best for others. We always never realize the superheros who are striving for us be it int he form of armed forces, firefigthers. One again gr8 hub


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Hi Rockin' Joe, I think I'll just move my car, sir.

Greatlife, thanks for your high praise. I like your goal for this request. But it makes me think of "The Incredibles." Elastigirl tells her super-powered son, "Everyone's special, Dash." To which Dash replies, "Which is another way of saying, no one is."

Do I have a sickness?


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I agree, we all need heroes and heroines. A great philosophy, a great life lesson. I know a few of my kids school teachers I consider to be heroes and heroines. Thanks for yet another great read Tom.

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