11th Jul2018

‘Robotech #10′ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

Robotech_10_Cover-C

Dare I say it, but this book feels a little like it’s treading water. That may be overstating it a little, but although I’m all for teasing out plotlines over several issues, I’m not so keen on big reveals being pushed so far back they start to lose relevance. Yes, I’m looking at you, Captain Gloval’s ‘death’. With all the other shenanigans going on, this centre piece plot is now ticking over in the shadows. Still, at least that made room for ‘Macross Got Talent’. Ahem. Of course, lots of other stuff did happen last issue. The Zentraedi Commander Breetai has upset his boss, Supreme Commander Dolza, one of the original discoverers of the SDF-1, Thomas Riley Edwards, has resurfaced, and Rick Hunter is now blind. Yep.

We start aboard the Zentraedi ship, where Captain Hayes, Rick and the captured team are taken away to be interrogated by Breetai and Azonia. Not great. Back aboard the SDF-1 Claudia Grant is in charge while Captain Hayes is away, and has to agonise over whether to follow Hayes’s orders and continue on their way, or stay and try and organise a rescue. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Meanwhile Roy Fokker is having a chat with former colleague Thomas Riley Edwards, the recently discovered stowaway. Not that friendly a chat as it turns out, as Edwards threatens to expose Roy about his past if he isn’t released. He also hints that the SDF-1 is way more powerful than any of them comprehend.

Meanwhile Hayes and Rick have been summoned before a giant sized hologram of Supreme Leader Snoke , er Supreme Commander Dolza. He demands answers on what they have done with the ‘protoculture matrix’. Cue scratching of heads. Seems what the Zentraedi are most concerned about is something that hasn’t even been discovered, or accessed, yet. After a quick interlude where we are both reminded that the Zentraedi spies are still incognito aboard the SDF-1, and are destined to be the ‘fish out of water’ comic relief, we return to the Zentraedi ship where Max Sterling is forced into fighting Miriya, an elite Zentraedi warrior, to the death to force Hayes to give up her secrets. Considering he gets thrown out of the ship into deep space, he may be losing this one.

Not a bad issue, though again I am as much distracted by what’s missing as I am by what’s here. The glacially slow plotting aside, all of a sudden Minmei, who anchored the human interest angle, has completely disappeared, Claudia Grant’s discovery of Gloval being murdered is not mentioned once, and the multi layered storytelling the book began with has started to degenerate into a standard ‘us vs. evil aliens’ scenario. The Zentraedi aren’t even that interesting, unfortunately, cardboard cutout villains.

Each issue seems to promise a whole lot of reveals the next issue, and then they never come. Although a clever way of making the reader keep coming back initially, eventually the ‘fool me once’ criteria comes into play. I’m not quite there yet, but I expect to see a whole lot more movement story wise over the next two issues. Marco Turini is still turning in very good art, with nice clean lines and easy to follow layouts. Still a bigger fan than me of the more panels are better mantra though. I like widescreen action on a comic book page.

I like Furman enough to think that his long term plans will be good for the book, but do think he needs to step up a little right now. Seems to be a fair amount of padding to these eyes. These are solid characters in a solid book, so let’s hope that bar can get raised and Furman, in his best Robbie Williams voice, can shout ‘Let me entertain you’.

We’re waiting.

*** 3/5

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