Recently I came across a deleted scene from Robocop 2 where Robocop/Murphy ogles a woman showering (see the video above). Naturally the first thing that comes to mind is the protagonist lamenting for his wife who has moved on after her husband was brutally murdered by Botticker and company in the first Robocop. Probably intended as a touching scene showing the character’s humanity it instead comes across as a little creepy; after all, it is a half man/half mechanical abomination eye humping a naked woman. While it is no secret that Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, The Dark Knight Returns) penned Robocop 2 I am uncertain whether people are thinking about a trend in his work which has Freudian connotations: castration.
Frank Miller must have some serious sexual hang-ups. His work is a big bag of dicks, a cavalcade of phallic and homoerotic imagery held together by a story. Luckily, the stories are entertaining and sometimes insightful (at least to men because Miller’s work is also generally sexist). However, this does not change the overarching penis obsession in Miller’s art; one look at the Sin City story That Yellow Bastard is proof of Miller’s obsession with keeping his penis – the antagonist is castrated twice.
However, it goes further than that. The Dark Knight Returns attacks both Castration Anxiety and Miller’s obsession with glistening cock. Look at the nipples on the mutant gang leader: they’re little erect penises shooting out from his disproportionately bulging chest. Even Batman’s retirement is a form of castration, with the formerly active superhero losing his means of sexual release via clobbering villains and petty criminals. Miller is a prime candidate for Freudian psychoanalysis.
But nobody is trying to separate Miller from his favorite appendage, except maybe the Occupy Wall Street movement, which he criticized last year by saying “Occupy is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves and rapists…an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness.” Miller’s vehemence towards OWS is actually funny since so much of his work is stringently anti-authority and critical of institutional power (crooked cops in Sin City, a broken, depraved system in Hard Boiled, Batman: Year One and others). Maybe he fears an economic and political paradigm change will hurt him, taking away the marketplace where his pud obsessed work thrives. Then again, Miller is loaded (Celebrity Net Worth claims Miller’s worth around $40 million; not bad for a comic book creator) so his anti antiestablishment rhetoric is probably not financially motivated. I am sure Miller could give away drawings of semi erect penises and stories about muscle laden jocks in need of Viagra or a good Lorena Bobbitt reversal but would he? Is he the type of comic book creator who cares about money first and the art second? After all, if he is obsessed with prostitutes as Sin City leads me to believe he might need that cash – at least for the countless pharmaceuticals he will need.
It should come as no surprise that Miller inserted a castration moment into Robocop 2. After all, it appears in just about everything else he has every done. I am actually amazed there is less phallic imagery in the second Robocop. At least Miller had the wherewithal to imply through this deleted scene that Robocop is nothing more than a voyeur at this point, fully castrated and forced to watch a world of sexualized imagery float by without being able to whip his weasel.
In short: Frank Miller is obsessed with the flesh flute and wants the world to know it.