Monday, February 20, 2012

Metal Swarm: Issue 1 and Return to Macross: Issues 16-18, 20

by Nathan Stout (of

Onward and upward. I have been following this reading list for the complete Robotech saga and we are now up to Metal Swarm and continuing Return to Macross. The year got off to a quick start but slowed in the last 2 weeks. Work has been crazy and so my free time at home has been shorter than usual so the progress on Robotech for 2012 has slowed a little. Not to fear, we are doing well, it's only February so no panicking... yet.

Metal Swarm #1 (Academy 1995)

The artist for this comic draws in a very 'deco' design. It looks more like individual artwork than a comic. I am not sure if I like or don't like.

The story in here is a one-off job. I am not sure how academy was doing things but it is a bit confusing. I am guessing that they were going to continue the series since on the last page it said: Next Time: Family Ties. I did a search though the comics I had and I don't see anything titled Family Ties so I guess the sales sucked enough for them to ditch the line.

Return to Macross #16 (Academy 1994)

We have jumped back across the universe and are picking up the story with Roy Fokker back on Macross Island (pre SDF-1 launch). We are back with the story line of Roy's old war buddy who is having flashbacks of the Global Civil war.

On page 3 the credits at the bottom of the page look like they are literally those old label makers you click and the letters are pressed though the label. I forgot all about those!

Roy's friend gets killed and Roy gets in trouble... ooooooo. I'm soooo scared for him. Not really.

Return to Macross #17 (Academy 1995)

We open with a wide shot of Macross Island... ahhhh. I love shots of Macross Island.

In this issue we see some of the future leader of the Southern Cross Army: Anatole Leonard. Apparently he is dabbling with the extremist group: 'The Faithful'.

On page 21 there is a semi-closeup of the SFD-1 while Roy is flying away from it. This is the first scene like this I have seen in any of the comics. No one has drawn the SDF-1 at that distance yet, it is interesting.

Return to Macross #18 (Academy 1995)

Is the singer at the first of this issue singing Abba or The Bangles? By the way, the cover of this issue could have been better...

The singer is Nina Lang, Dr. Lang's sister that we met back in some earlier Return To Macross issues. The Faithful are wanting her to be the voice of the anti-robotech movement. She seems cool with it.

What is Roy doing with his hand on page 26 (second frame)?! Why is he sniffing his hand 3 frames later!? lol. Just bad positioning I guess...

Return to Macross #20 (Academy 1995)

In this issue we see some of Lisa's childhood and her father (Admiral Hayes) is given a first name. I don't remember if he was ever given a name in any of the books and I know he wasn't named in the show.

On page 14 there is a shot of Lisa in the shower that looks exactly like the shot of Minmei in the shower (from the original Macross). Here is the original Minmei shot.

As Lisa is remembering Karl Rieber he seems to be wearing something VERY similar to Rick's launch day jumpsuit complete with trendy early 80's cravat.

The story as a whole is Lisa recalling her youth caught up in the middle of the Global Civil War. She is doing all this recalling because she is about to move out of her childhood friend's place and in with Claudia Grant. There is a bit of a back story here with this childhood friend and it actually made me want to see more of this storyline. I guess this issue was an attempt to see if the storyline performed well enough to warrant its own series since the story begins and ends right there. This seemed to be less 'action and adventure' storyline and more 'relationship and situation' storyline. I think the series Academy Blues takes this slant so I might fulfill that need with it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Robotech: Warriors: Issues 0-3

by Nathan Stout (of

We are up to Robotech: Warriors at this point in our year-long look into Robotech. Issue #0 is actually apart of Return to Macross #15. The other issues were a separate title from Academy. Let's begin, shall we?

Robotech: Warriors #0 (Academy 1995)

In this very short issue we are presented with the artwork of Byron Peneranda and an all new story of Zentraedi before they reach Earth (possibly much earlier, not sure at this point). Peneranda's art looks very sketchy but I like it. It looks more like art than just cartoons. He did a good job on character appearances. I am digging this artwork.

A Zentraedi warrior is dead and Breetai and Exedore are looking into the reasons. They quickly discover that their ultimate enemies; the Invid are behind it. I guess that now I think about it, Exedore was assigned to Breetai after Zor's death so I assume this series takes place during Breetai's tracking of the SDF-1... or I could have just read the paragraph at the front of the issue and cleared this up quickly... lol.

Robotech: Warriors #1 (Academy 1995)

On page 14 there is a little grammatical error that I am sure Chris already picked up on, see if you can find it too...

So somehow Breetai is captured by these little people on this planet he was investigating for Invid infestation. This is a Gulliver's Travels type situation. Soon some of the Invid's pet creatures attack the city and Breetai convince the little people to allow him to fight them. He does and gets his ass handed to him and the Invid take off with an unconscious Breetai in tow.

At the end of this book Bill Spangler has a Zentraedi dictionary that he had been working on for years. He felt the need to come up with some words he could use in the various comics that the Zentraedi would use and this list grew into quite the document. He put them out there for everyone who is interested to see.

Robotech: Warriors #2 (Academy 1995)

We start this issue with a '5th class' Invid scientist. He looks pretty cool for being a slug. He is using a Genesis Pit to experiment on the planet Breetai was captured on.

The Inorganics make an appearance wrapping The Sentinels mythos neatly into Macross and New Generation mythos. I never gave two hoots about Inorganics. I always thought it was Harmony Gold's attempt to add 'something new' to keep Robotech fresh. I don't know if I ever said so but I never cared for The Sentinels too much.

In the 2nd half of this comic is a mini story involving Miriya Parino drawn by Jonard Sirano. I'm not too sure why they felt the need to do this unless there just wasn't enough material for all the Warriors issues.

Robotech: Warriors #3 (Academy 1995)

In this final issue (but I don't this it was meant to be the final one) Breetai has joined with the inhabitants of a planet to stop the monsters the an Invid scientist released on the population.

I don't think this was meant to be the final of the Warriors issues since on page 7 there is an advertisement of the very series you are currently reading. I guess Academy was in need of something to fill the pages with.

On page 8 is and advertisement for the Robotech Role Playing game... ahhh the memories.

In the 2nd half the story of Miriya finishes up. Not sure what that was all about...

Chris mentioned to me that he felt that the Warriors title was simply an excuse to draw Robotech action, not do much in the way of a storyline. After reading it myself I tend to agree. The stories are so short that there wasn't any sort of emotional involvement by the reader. I feel that Academy should have really thought out their titles and given them more depth, etc. I guess when you are trying to survive month to month as a comic book maker you tend to make smaller pieces that might keep new readers coming in.

Next in my list of reading material is Metal Swarm and some more Return to Macross. Join me, won't you?