11th May2018

‘Robotech #9′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

Robotech_9_Cover-A

With Robotech #9, Simon Furman finally flies solo. Brian Wood’s four issue handover, where they shared billing as co-plotters, has finished and the book will stand or fall on Furman alone. So far, admittedly it may be a little too early to tell for sure, the future only looks OK. The Brain Wood issues were very strong, and the following four issue by Furman and Wood had some irritating subplots that I suspect came more from the pen of Furman. Time will tell. Although I’m still not forgiving anyone for ‘Macross Has Talent’. Ever.

Last issue had a whole lot going on, mainly on the bad end of the spectrum from our heroes point of view. We saw Rick, with Max and Ben, taking the fight to alien commander Breetai on his command vessel. Brave but foolhardy. We saw three Zentraedi spies made to look human and smuggled aboard the SDF-1, to take the fight to Captain Hayes and her crew. Of most importance, Claudia has seemingly discovered who killed Captain Gloval….seemingly none other than their top commander, Roy Fokker. Say it ain’t so, Roy.

We start this issue with a rare setback for Breetai, as Supreme Commander Dolza has sent his representative, Azonia, to punish him for letting Rick and company escape. Breetai realises he needs results, fast, or this will be his last assignment for quite some time. Heh. Back aboard the SDF-1, the reappearance of a certain Thomas Riley Edwards is causing waves. A former colleague of Roy Fokker’s, he was one of the first people to enter the SDF-1 when it originally crashed on Earth ten years ago. How did he get here now? Why is he here now? Something here is very wrong, clearly, judging by Roy’s attitude towards him. Who’s the villain though, Edwards or Roy? Both?

With so much going on, and something sure to change all we know soon, things have to take a back seat as a distress call from Mars is received. Although probably a trap, Captain Hayes wants to be certain. Rick Hunter and Vermillion Squadron are despatched to check it out. It goes about as well as you would expect, with Breetai ambushing them. Breetai puts a brutal smackdown down on our team, especially Rick. The team are captured and taken aboard the alien flagship, and Breetai has saved his own hide. Just. Rick survived his beating, but seemingly at a high cost. He’s blind. Damn.

A solid issue, and one that benefits by concentrating on the central plot, the conflict between ‘us’ and ‘them’, and leaving all the fluffy soap opera stuff to one side. Those game-changing subplots, Gloval’s murder and Edwards sudden appearance, are left to simmer nicely while Breetai takes centre stage for the first time. Furman does a nice job giving him some personality too, and I like the political machinations. Roy’s position aboard SDF-1 is also looking more precarious by the issue. Marco Turini delivers more of the same, art wise, decent layouts and pacing though most pages still feel a little too dense at times. I would still like to see some larger panels at times too.

For me, this was a much stronger issue than the two preceding it, and the story seemed to have much more focus. I was pleased to see Minmei play no part, apart from giving the story an emotional/ soap opera quality she contributes little of value. This issue had a real feel as well of a dam about to burst, as secrets are about to be revealed, and, cliché intended, things will never be the same again.

Looks like Robotech is more than safe in Furman’s hands after all. Which is nice.

**** 4/5

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