23rd Mar2018

‘Robotech #8′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

Robotech-8-Cover-A

Although Brian Wood and Simon Furman are still listed as co-plotters, each issue that comes seems to have Furman’s fingerprints on it more and more. For me, Brian Wood writes a purer story, focusing on the bigger picture, whereas Simon Furman has more of a traditional approach, with a mix of big plots and some soap opera. The first four issues, all Brian Wood, have certainly had a different feel than the following four issues. Not necessarily better or worse, but noticeably different. Although having said that, ‘Macross Has Talent’? Not.a.fan.

Last issue had a whole lot going on, but the main brushstrokes were focused on the Zentraedi assault, and the development of the relationship between Rick and Minmei. The Zentraedi assault saw Khyron, the erratic but powerful Commander launch an assault on the SDF-1, which nearly succeeded, only to have top dog Breetai intervene with a more subtle infiltration plan. He wants the SDF-1 intact. Rick had decided his feelings for Minmei were romantic, and puckered up for a kiss to tell her how he felt. As she fell into his arms….er, actually no. As this issue shows, Minmei’s not having any of that. Yet, at least. Of course she tells Rick that looking absolutely fabulous. Jeez, let a guy down easy why don’t you.

Life must go on, even aboard a near scuttled alien spaceship, and Captain Hayes oversees repairs. Claudia, meanwhile, has been processing film of Gloval’s death, or murder as it now seems to be. She sees enough to have a suspect. Breetai, meanwhile, has prepared his three agents to masquerade as humans aboard the SDF-1, though clearly he still has some differences of opinion about approach with his underling Khyron, who just likes blowing everything up. As Khyron is himself tied up and in the bad books, he should probably keep his head down for awhile.

For the soap opera part of our issue, we have the star crossed lovers Rick and Minmei. Minmei belting out pop tunes on ‘Macross Has Talent’, Rick deliberately avoiding it, and her, by taking an extra space patrol. C’mon kids, just make up. It’s actually a good thing that Rick and his squadron took an extra tour, as they run into some Zentraedi ships, which they engage. Yet again, they lose. Unknown to them, however, this encounter was a planned one, one designed to allow the three sleeper agents to sneak aboard, which they do. Breetai also gets in a little gloating too, always a good thing with a weakened opponent. Claudia has also found out that Gloval’s murderer was…someone we all know well. A senior someone we all know well. Things are definitely not going well.

Well, Minmei won ‘Macross Has Talent’. So there’s that. Ahem.

Rather like last issue, a solid enough installment but the Minmei subplot just isn’t working for me. Granted, she needs something, some storyline, but this just seems all so lightweight, so superfluous. Probably just me being cranky. The rest of the book was nice enough, though events are moving along a tad slowly. How long since Gloval’s death? (you know he’s not dead, right? I’m still calling it as a ploy). Hopefully we’ll see pace gathering from next issue, as we certainly ended on a nice cliffhanger. Turini’s art was solid and dependable as always, loved the more flexible approach to panel placement and layout too. Gave the issue a little boost of energy in the action sequences.

Still very much enjoying the broader strokes of the story and plot, the ‘big’ storylines, but struggling with the soap opera. To be fair, not my taste, but Japanese anime and manga does like a fair bit of humour and angst, usually ramped up a bit more than us Western minds tend to like, so I guess Furman is being authentic to the source material. Yep, let’s go with that.

***½  3.5/5

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