20th Dec2017

‘Robotech #5′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Simon Furman | Art by Marco Turini | Published by Titan Comics

Robotech_5_Cover-A

The common practice these days when a new book is launched, or a tired property is relaunched, is to attach a top creator to it, have him or her do their bit to get it off the ground, then pass the baton on. The hope is that enough groundwork has been laid, and interest generated, that readers will stay with the book even though the start creator leaves. Coincidentally you may notice Brian Wood is credited just as a plotter this issue, with Simon Furman coming on board as scripter. Wood has done a good job giving this incarnation of Robotech its own feel, and the characters their own voices, but I am a little unsure if he has done enough to just pass it off. Time will tell of course, and Simon Furman is a very safe pair of hands. We’ll see.

Last issue ended with the seemingly shocking death of one of our main cast members. Captain Gloval apparently bit the big one helping fight the alien invaders. Partly self inflicted of course, as the ship had to execute a modular transformation to survive the alien fleets attacks, something that caused massive damage to that chunk of Macross City currently stuck aboard SDF-1. No time to grieve of course, for Gloval or the people killed in the destruction, as the SDF-1 fighters, led by Roy Fokker, continue to engage the enemy. Rick Hunter, Roy’s younger brother swiftly finds he is out of his depth and retreats back to the ship, and Lisa Hayes, temporary Captain with Gloval’s apparent death, also finds herself out of her depth. Not looking good.

Let’s go check in on the winning side shall we. Commander Breetai, heading up the alien force, is a bit of a sadist it seems. He doesn’t want to land a killing blow it seems, he wants to leave them battered and bleeding first. Charming. Breetai has also summoned Warlord Khyron, another top commander it seems, who has been given a mission to Mars. Literally. Mars is the last place the SDF-1 can run to, as a base there has supplies and ammunition, and Breetai wants to prepare a warm reception. Captain Hayes won’t fall for that though, will she? Actually, yes she will, overruling the reservations of Fokker. Seems she has a little personal history with Mars colony too, I’m sure that’ll crop up before too long.

In the meantime, Khyron has arrived on Mars, but is not quite the loyal follower Breetai assumes, His orders are to capture the SDF-1 intact, something he seems quite keen not to do. As he lurks in the shadows, the SDF-1 prepares to send a team to the Mars Base to check it’s safe, something that Captain Hayes decides to lead in person. Schoolgirl error of course. Although leading from the front is to be applauded, the commander should be protected, their number two should be the one leading away teams. Or does she want to go for some other reason? Hmmm. Let’s rewind to that personal connection from earlier. Fokker meanwhile is investigating Gloval’s death, as something isn’t adding up right, and what the heck is happening to Rick’s eyes.

Brian Wood has left enough dangling plot threads that Simon Furman has managed to weave with his own, and produce an issue chock full of drama, action, and a little suspense. There was so much going on there was little time to pause for breath. If the rest of Furman’s run is like this then I’ll be a happy man. Marco Turini continues as he has from the beginning, solid layouts and pacing, and technically sharp lines. Some elements of the story can get tricky to follow, so nice clear art always helps with that. Nice work.

Very enjoyable issue, dealing nicely with the many current problems and yet finding time to subtly open up new avenues for future storylines. If Furman can put as much into Robotech as he did into Transformers, Titan are on to a winner.

**** 4/5

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