Monday, January 9, 2012

Robotech: The Graphic Novel

by Nathan Stout (of

Today's post is about Comico's 1986 Robotech: The Graphic Novel. This book was basically designed to fill in the back story that the other Comico comics (and the show) didn't cover. There is a short forward to this effect at the front of the book.

The Malibu/Eternity comics stuck surprisingly well to some of the stuff in this (the much earlier work). Zor is in the same clothes as well as the fact that he is on the base when the Invid attack the planet they are seeding. I might add that Zor's hair looks a little more normal here than the more girly look in the Eternity comic.

On page 8 there is a reference to Gilligan's Island when the SDF-1 is heading into Earth's atmosphere.

After the action that leads the SDF-1 to Earth we pickup with Roy Fokker and how he is involved in the whole matter. We are also filled in on T.R. Edwards and his rivalry with Roy.

Everything comes to a screeching halt (war-wise) when the alien ship shatters mankind's thought that he is alone in the universe.

Something that caught my eye right away was the fact that when the former enemies that battled for supremacy join up in peace to figure out what to do next, they adopt the uniforms of the Western Alliance. That is to say that the Western Alliance is wearing what we all come to know as the uniform of the RDF. I just find it interesting that something like that would happen. Military junk is all about gaining and saving face and for the NE Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere to just melt into the Western Alliance wouldn't happen, it would be too much like giving up and giving in. OK, I am reading way too much into this but hey, that what this blog is all about, right?

Back on the other side of the galaxy the Master are very impatient to get Zor's body back to Fantoma for testing and such. In the Eternity comics the Masters were on Tirol since Fantoma was supposed to have too high gravity for their small size. Here the Master are based on Fantoma. I found it a bit gruesome that they showed the decapitated head of Zor... this rocks! Later there is a dissected marine inside the SDF-1 too.

At the SDF-1 crash site the exploration team shows up and they have a very 'Robotech-like' robot, a walking searchlight to assist. The technology just seems a bit to post-arrival. It looks like something that would be built during the next 10 years of the story... just sayin'.

Inside the SDF-1 the team is attacked by Bioroid troops (Tirolian clones) and not Zentraedi. I found this strange since Tirolian clone troops (oops there's Star Wars again) were for Tirol and it seemed like Zentraedi troops were for Fantoma and outer space stuff. Maybe it was Comico's attempt to tie the Southern Cross story into the Macross story more. If you didn't understand that last bit then read this old blog post where I explain what Robotech is made of (at least the 2nd paragraph).

On page 41 the team activates a screen in Zor's quarters and they get their first glimpse of a humanoid alien life form. This is actually a cool moment. Imagine coming upon something like that. To know that there are aliens out there and they look just like we do. This is a cool concept and moment. An Invid is also shown in the message, once again probably to tie in the New Generation part of Robotech.

The last 3 pages of the Graphic novel quickly sum up the 10 intervening years between the first exploration of the ship to launch day; July 1st, 2009. I am guessing that Malibu felt that those 3 pages would make for some good comic books when they wrote Return To Macross years later.

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