31st Aug2017

‘Robotech #2’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Brian Wood | Art by Marco Turini | Published by Titan Comics


The term ‘reboot’ can be overused these days, used for the most minor changes or just to drum up interest in a new Number 1 issue. Not so with the Robotech reboot from Brian Wood and Marco Turini, which as the first issue showed was a true reboot. Brian Wood’s re-imagining focuses on two main things. Firstly, he took the story back to Macross Island, where it all began decades ago. Secondly, and more impressively, he decided everything that came before was canon. So all those self contained books, comics and TV episodes are now part of the RoboWoodVerse. We may need to work on that name obviously, but an impressive intention all the same.

So last issue was mainly about setting the scene for new readers and refreshing the memories of the old. Ten years ago an alien spacecraft had crashed on Macross Island, and the technology from it has been further developed into the present where this human/robo technology powers the Robotech Defence Force. Lots of broad strokes as you’d expect from a first issue, but also some more personal interplay between Roy Fokker, leader of Skull Squadron, and his brother Rick Hunter. Let’s just say they have a complicated relationship. Back to the broad strokes though, and an alien invasion and attack on Macross Island, where all hell breaks loose. The obligatory cliffhanger saw Rick Hunter, escaping from his crashed plane and teaming up with civilian Lynn Minmei, threatened by one of the invaders.

The invaders, of course, are back to reclaim their (mis) appropriated vessel, the one that crashed ten years ago. Turns out that aliens are rather huge, and it is mightily convenient that the Veritech fighters, designed with Robo technology, can convert to Transformer type humanoid form and go toe to toe with them. Obviously better than Transformers as it is the pilot who controls the machine, the machines themselves not being sentient. Rick’s brother Roy does just that, converting his Veritech and taking out the alien. Score one for Macross Island. Meanwhile up in space a game of chess is underway between Captain Gloval, in the Super-Dimension Fortress, and the leader of the alien armada, Commander Breetai.

Breetai plans to destroy as many ships as possible to force Gloval to engage, whereas Gloval knows it is the SDF they are after and plans to ‘fold’ (essentially teleport) the ship behind the Moon. Gloval initiates the ‘fold’, something incredibly dangerous in a planetary atmosphere but seemingly their only option. The good news is they survive it. The bad news is that they slightly overshot and have ended up next door to, er, Pluto. The worse news is that the Fold Generator back on Macross Island has disappeared, leaving the SDF no way back and seemingly stranded. Even worse (for them) Rick Hunter and Minmei were sucked up in the ‘fold’ and minutes from dying in deep Space, but that’s nothing a hastily arranged crash landing into the SDF can’t fix. Bit of a mess though.

As good as last issue was, this was better. Total synergy throughout the issue. Synergy of plot, action, and character development. Synergy of story and art, and synergy of pacing and story. Brian Wood’s control of his scripting here is excellent, top quality work. The art and colouring by Marco Turini and Marco Lesko was perfect for the story, layouts pacing the story perfectly. The only negative perhaps is the art is a little conventional, a little more playing around with the panel choices and panel sizes would have been nice. I want to see scale, emphasis on the massiveness of everything, but am not quite seeing that yet. It is nice to look at though, and that is its main purpose, right? Quick mention as well for the Brian Wood text interview and Robotech Letters, two nice little bonuses that I enjoyed reading.

A near perfect blend of old and new, of classic characters and concepts with a twist of fresh ideas and modern storytelling. Lovely.

**** 4/5


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