Friday, January 6, 2012

The Legend of Zor: Issues 1-6

Today I will cover thoughts about reading through Legend of Zor mini series. This is the first entry into the complete "Robotech Experience" (I should copyright that). Who knows, if I'm really lucky Harmony Gold will come in with the SOPA and shut my site down! Anyway... this is Eternity's comic and was released around the time of their Sentinel's series.

Legend of Zor: Issue 1 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

Right off you can tell that Jason and John Waltrip (probably the most famous Robotech comic artist team) worked hard on this comic. Aside from the dopey look on Zor's face the first few pages sets the scene on Tirol. Some of the wide shots would make George Lucas happy. The 'Neo-Roman' look of Tirol society is painstakingly drawn and seriously looks like something out of a Star Wars comic set on Coursant.

The first few pages neatly sets up the energy shortage and the need for a new power source to fuel this techo-society. It also quickly establishes the need to create the Zentraedi race (to overcome the massive gravity of close-by planet full of valuable ore.

In the middle of the first issue there is an interesting section that shows the original pitch and art work that the Waltrip brothers sent in to Harmony Gold trying to get The Legend of Zor approved. It was a neat look into the industry.

Legend of Zor: Issue 2 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

The story continues with Zor traveling as just another scientist in a ship that looks suspiciously like the R.E.F. design for the Ikazuchi Class Heavy Cruiser. I guess you could suggest that whatever was left inside the SDF-1 when it crashed on Earth was used (such as ship designs) by Lang and his engineers...

On page 4 the colorist mis-colored Zor's purple sideburns the same color as his skin... it's a giant skin tag!

On page 19 there is a character that is there simply to ask where Zor is. Since he is there for that reason alone, he literally doesn't have a face. I found that interesting...

This comic somewhat undermines the whole point of the mini-series. It is designed to explain the origins of all this mess and the Regis mistakes Zor for the person who originally gave the flower of life to the Invid (thus starting the evolution of their race). This makes this story not the 'true' origin of Protoculture... sheesh. So who is the person who gave the Invid the first flowers of life? Who?! Who damn it!!!?

I know this was year before Star Wars Episode 3 but the WHOLE changing of the Tirolian Republic to a Galactic Empire is a bit of a red flag. I think the Waltrip brothers need to sue George Lucas. It's obvious he read these comics and then wrote his Star Wars prequels... no really...

Is it just me or does Zor look like Minmie with purple hair?

Legend of Zor: Issue 3 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

This issue is the return of the exploration team to Tirol and Zor's ridicule by the new ruling class. Not much to say here. Zor works with the samples he brought back from Optera and can't find how to unlock their power (at least not until the very end of the comic).

Legend of Zor: Issue 4 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

Zor unlocks the flower of life's energy and the Tirolian society has transformed. Quickly the ruthless Elders devise a plan to develop a slave race of clones as well as a race of gigantic soldiers with their new found power. The Elders (now called the Masters) unleash their Zentraedi from their mining work on Phantoma to quash a rebellion rising aganist the government. We see a fully-eyed Breetai and Exedore on the last page.

Zor says something strange on that last page too. He says 'the Zentraedi have returned', which doesn't make sense because they haven't played any part in the story so far. Perhaps he means they have returned to the place where they were created.

Legend of Zor: Issue 5 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

Right away on page 2 there is an homage to The Empire Strikes Back when Zor kneels before the Masters and utter's Darth Vader's line: 'What is thy bidding my masters'.

When Zor returns to Optera we find the Invid transformed into more that just slugs. For the next several pages (when Zor's forces harvest the flowers) it looks like something out of a Hannah-Barberra cartoon. The Invid look very cartoon-like. It doesn't help with the Zentraedi walking around, unknowingly stomping around on the whole Invid society.

At the end of this comic the Invid have evolved and it shows the Invid in their eggs? Their sights set on revenge for the rape of their planet by Zor and the Masters. The last frame shows an egg cracking and what do we see... an Invid scout eye. Not an Invid, but the mecha they fly around in... what the heck? I assumed that the Invid were inside the craft, not born in the craft... this is getting strange.

Legend of Zor: Issue 6 (Eternity/Malibu) 1992

In this final issue of the origins of Protoculture and Zor's role in the whole debacle we see several things come together. The Masters built the SDF-1 which they call the Super Dimensional Fortress-One. The name and the reason for its creation is a mystery (another mini-series!) but they shunt Zor off in it to basically get rid of him while keeping him around when they need him.

Breetai is here again, undamaged until the Invid attack on the base where Zor gets fatally wounded.

This final part seems a bit rushed. It all seems a bit rushed actually. There is enough material here to have a full run of comics but if you can only get 6 issues in which to do it you have to cut corners. The basics of what it laid out in the books and show (about Zors involvment) is expounded on just enough to get by with. It would have been nice to see Cabell working with Zor more and how the technology Tirol evolved into the weapons we see during the Robotech Masters part of Robotech. It would have also been nice to see the Masters make the Zor clone that Cabell works with in the Sentinels.

Overall this mini-series gives you a little glimpse into how everything started and how the SDF-1 came to be on Earth and why the aliens came back to recapture it.

Next on my reading list is the Graphic Novel. I have a physical copy of this book and I have sort of already begun to read it. I will review and comment on it as well as the first several issues of Return To Macross in the next week or so.

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