Guest Writer: Jeffrey Webb
Writer-Brian Wood, Simon Furman
Cover: Jen Bartel
This article made possible by the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s
As a fan of Robotech since 1985, I had thought the new series from Titan comics might be much as the Comico adaptation was back in the 80s- a direct translation of the original episodes in comic
format. Imagine my surprise, jumping in to review Issue #5 without having seen 1-4, when some fairly significant departures from canon occur right out of the gate. I was immediately drawn into the narrative, watching the pages unfold with some familiarity- Breetai summoning Khyron to deal with SDF-1- and some confusion at the changes. It became apparent Simon Furman and his co-authors Brian Wood and Marco Turini are looking to update Robotech in the same way Battlestar Galactica was updated in 2003 from the original 1978 series. This Robotech has a sinister undercurrent, as if something is going on just off the page that the main characters are only in Issue 5 becoming aware of. What could this secret be, and how will it impact the survivors of Macross City aboard SDF-1?
In media, much as with roleplaying games, I am often something of a purist. The first version of a thing is the closest to the creator’s vision of what that thing should have been all along. With Robotech #5, however, I found my interest in the changes from canon so hard to ignore I’ve gone and purchased the first four issues so I can catch up. It’s like visiting a familiar town, but finding something new to you in that comfortably recognizable setting. It makes you want to know more- and I certainly do. The only thing about Robotech #5 that I find a bit distracting is the character design- the characters are drawn with a more modern style than the original 1982 Macross animated designs, but that style can be a bit jarring when characters like Minmei look suddenly mature (is she 15 going on 16 in this continuity?) or exaggeratedly pouty lip.
Overall, I found Robotech #5 a great read, and look forward to playing catch-up with 1-4, and devouring the rest of the series. It’s a new take on an old favorite, and I’m finding the changes to be more fascinating than frustrating. Just sit back, pop open a robot-dispensed cola, and enjoy.