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They say he's got a brain. I wanna see it.
~ Hob during the Nuke cult's assault on RoboCop

Hob is a major villain of the 1990 science-fiction sequel film RoboCop 2. He is a young boy raised among the Nuke Cult led by Cain, serving as his foremost enforcer. After Cain is arrested, he takes over his drug-trafficking ring and sets out to get his business legalized, only to get killed by Cain, who was turned by OCP into RoboCop 2. He makes a very disturbing example of children corrupted by violence and its dire results.

He was portrayed by Gabriel Damon.

Characteristics

Hob is a boy of thirteen years old at most, rather small and cherubic, in chilling contrast with his demeanour of hardened criminal.

He has undisputed authority over Cain's gang, and is visibly respected by all criminals, who never cross him despite being much older.

He is a very skilled hand-to-hand fighter, fast and spry enough to take on a highly trained adult, and an exceptional shot. He uses either a calibre 44 Desert Eagle gun or his trademark submachine gun, folded to look like an innocuous blue lunch box, without suffering recoil.

Personality

Close-up on Hob's face.

Hob is a very unsettling character, being just as cruel, cold-blooded and ruthless as any other member of the Nuke Cult, albeit more subdued, without the excuse of being addicted and twisted by the drug like the others.

He attacks enemies with full intent to kill, exploits their weaknesses, and appears eager for violence, regarding it as some sort of sick game. He displays real and disturbing enjoyment in gaining the upper-hand on RoboCop, later in torturing and dismembering him, wanting to see if he has a brain. All this without remorse.

Hob swears like a sailor, but mostly acts harsh and indifferent, being rather formal with subordinates and officials. Moreover, he is far and away the most level-headed and pragmatic among Cain’s gang, and doubtless the only one sound of mind, never seen touching or worshipping Nuke. This is probably due to him being kept away from it until he was of age.

He has strong natural authority, effortlessly commanding thugs, being smart and good at adapting. He drops the cult and pointless violence, skilfully leading his traffic and making deals advantaging all parties, though he makes it so they cannot refuse. He even notes that legal products sold as beneficial are anything but.

Hob clearly respects and obeys Cain, but not to the point of staying with him to the end, abandoning him without a glance back when the police raids their lair instead of trying to protect him. More importantly, he is highly stoic and good at resisting pressure. He is not intimidated by the imposing RoboCop, and is the only one who retains his cool despite being clearly terrified, while everyone else is frantic and panicking, before getting killed.

There is only so much that even Hob can bear.

Deep down Hob retains shreds of humanity. He cannot stand the atrocious execution of a subordinate who failed Cain, being revulsed when forced to watch. His callousness towards RoboCop could be explained by just viewing him as a machine, but even he balks at too much gratuitous violence.

It is only as he lays dying that Hob finally acts like the child he is, and could have been in better circumstances. Scared and helpless, he seeks comfort even from RoboCop, no longer bearing him any ill will and finally regarding him as a human. He even helps him by answering his questions in earnest.

Biography

Background

Nothing is known about Hob's past and relationship to Cain, why he ended up part of his gang nor why the demented cult leader took him under his wing. He might be Cain's son with Angie, but Cain’s actor Tom Noonan believes Hob to be his surrogate son. Being likely an orphan, exposed since birth to the lawless, crime-ridden Detroit with a mad drug baron for role model, can explain why Hob went that bad. However, there is only room for speculation.

Criminal Life

Enforcing Cain's traffic.

A few years after Clarence Boddicker's death, the crime running rampant in Detroit has only degenerated. Worse, the demented drug baron Cain has implanted there his production of the potent synthetic drug called Nuke. It is spreading fast, being organized as a twisted cult worshipping it.

With Detroit being bankrupt and the overwhelmed police on strike, the Omni Consumer Products (OCP) mega corporation is attempting to replicate the RoboCop cyborg, except mightier and fully obedient, but in vain.

As RoboCop and his partner Anne Lewis are raiding a manufacture, RoboCop hesitates against Hob, who shoots him and escapes. RoboCop and Anne track him down to an arcade zone, where he is buying intel from the corrupt Officer Duffy. There, Hob ambushes and nearly kills Anne with a garrotte, fleeing after she knocks him against a wall.

Forcing Duffy to reveal Cain's lair in the Sludge Plant, RoboCop ventures there, but Hob destroys his hand with a machine gun, and he gets knocked out with a huge magnet, and dismembered by the thugs. Cain punishes Duffy by having him vivisected, forcing the revulsed boy to watch.

Hob as the new drug baron.

RoboCop is rebuilt, but Dr. Juliette Faxx implants hundreds of pointless directives rendering him useless until he shocks himself to erase them.

RoboCop rallies the police to storm the plant and capture Cain, while Hob escapes with Angie, later taking over as drug baron.

Death

Hob meets Mayor Marvin Kuzak, offering to pay the city's huge debts to OCP in exchange of legalizing his business, even lowering prices to reduce the crime rate, but is only taken seriously when showing his money. However, the Old Man wants the city to go bankrupt to take over. So he sends Cain, now RoboCop 2, kill everyone but the mayor.

Hob dies, holding the hand of his former enemy.

Hob hides and watches Angie identifying Cain and getting killed. He almost escapes and can hide in his armoured truck when a bodyguard distracts Cain, but his bullets pierce it and mortally wound him.

Robocop later investigates the crime scene and finds the dying Hob, lying in riches that did him no good. The boy begs him not to leave him and reveals that it was Cain, enabling his latter defeat. He dies clinging to RoboCop's hand, noting that "it sucks" to which his former foe agrees.

Trivia

  • Hob is one of the only characters from Frank Miller's original screenplay to make it in the final film.

Navigation

           RoboCopTitle.png Villains

RoboCop (1987)
OCP
Old Man | Richard Jones | Lieutenant Hedgecock | ED-209

Boddicker's Gang
Clarence Boddicker | Emil Antonowsky

RoboCop 2
OCP
Old Man | Juliette Faxx

Nuke Cult
Cain/RoboCop 2 | Angie | Hob

RoboCop 3
OCP
Second CEO

Urban Rehabilitators
Paul McDaggett | Ōtomo

RoboCop (2014)
OmniCorp
Raymond Sellars | Rick Mattox | Tom Pope | Liz Kline

Others
Antoine Vallon | Thomas King

RoboCop: The Animated Series
The Scrambler | Bone Machine

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