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Robotech #1 Review!

Jewel Snake Jondee here at Macross Island,

Cosplay variant cover. Image courtesy of Titan Comics.

Robotech came at an interesting time for me. It was 1985 and I was caught after Voltron and Transformers with robots and animated shows. It was really Robotech that introduced me to long form science fiction. The show had not only a fully realized world, but character arcs and developed antagonists. There has been Robotech comic books, starting with a first issue, Macross #1 (1984) by Carl Macek and Svea Stauch. This led into Robotech: The Macross Saga with 1985 to 1989. In 1986, Robotech the Graphic Novel by Carl Macek and Mike Baron with art by Neil D. Vokes filled in the bridge of all three animated series. Robotech was made up of three different anime series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (1984), and Genesis Climber Mospeada (1983). These were all made into a single series, Robotech, from Harmony Gold. If you missed out on Robotech, episodes stream on Netflix, and of course you can pick up a Blu Ray or DVD. Sony Pictures has a deal to develop a Robotech film with Harmony Gold, but it remains to be seen if this will come to pass.

Now we have Titan Comics releasing a new comic book series by Brian Wood who has his own creations with DMZ and Rebels, and an incredible number of adaptations from Conan the Barbarian to Star Wars. The art is by Marco Turini who worked on V-Wars for IDW and Squadron Supreme for Marvel. The first issue expands on the first episode of Robotech, “Booby Trap” and part of “Countdown.”  There is a cast of characters page, Robotech, has a host of characters and this doesn’t even start with the villains! Some of the designs are a bit different from the anime, Rick Hunter has a short buzz cut (nice upgrade), but Lynn Minmei looks almost unrecognizable. It starts with the Super Dimension Fortress crashing down on Macross Island (the cartoon places it in the South Pacific). The crash site is visited by several helicopters with several recovery teams lead by a commander with Hayes on his helmet (Donald Hayes, Lisa’s father, who becomes an admiral?) and Roy Fokker (who apparently is so cool, he doesn’t need a helmet). This is a slight change from the Robotech Graphic Novel and also leaves out the Global War where Roy Fokker becomes an ace combat pilot.

Rick Hunter’s encounter with veritech fighters. Image courtesy of Titan Comics.

The cartoon opens with a celebration and the arrival of Captain Gloval. In the comic, we get Macross City built around the SDF-1. It’s command crew, Lisa Hayes, Claudia Grant, and the three others, at a Chinese restaurant served by Minmei. Claudia and Roy Fokker slip away for a kiss. Rick Hunter is flying in a fan jet disrupting maneuvers by two fighter jets. The redesign also changes Rick’s suit from circus flyer to casual pilot flight suit. Roy orders guards in armor to escort Rick away and they are impressed Roy is his big brother. The long Zentradi ships dispatch spheres which unfold into battle pod mecha. Gloval on the bridge knows what is happening and order Oceanic One to prepare for their arrival. The pods with their bristling particle cannons take on the helicopters. Gloval orders the launching of the fighter group including Skull Leader, Roy Fokker. Gloval gets a call from a senator (seen in the cartoon) to launch the SDF-1 when Claudia reports that the main gun is going to fire.

The armored guard checks on Rick’s cell and sees that he has escaped. Rick is on the flight deck when he sees his fan jet destroyed. Then, he is blinded as the main gun fires into space obliterating the Zentradi ship. The fighting leads into Macross City. Meanwhile, Lisa Hayes finds an unauthorized pilot flying a veritech fighter. Commander Fokker clears him and Lisa instructs Rick to switch the fighter into Guardian mode. The Guardian configuration turns the veritech with arms and legs with the front jet cockpit. Minmei, now in red jacket and jeans, confronts him with a bat. He blasts a battle pod with his gun pod and offers to fly Minmei away from the battlefield. The SDF-1 starts to take off and Lisa orders Roy to get Rick back. Out of the fallen battlepod, a shadowy giant emerges much to the surprise of Rick and Minmei! Brian Wood does a nice job of adapting the anime series and Marco Turini gives a polish to the anime designs while keeping the action. Four Protoculture Matrixes out of Five! “Robotech is back now!”

Check out all things Brian Wood at his website: http://www.brianwood.com and Titan Comics always have some great comics so give a look at their website: Titan Comics’ website: https://titan-comics.com.

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