07th Mar2019

‘Robotech #18′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Simon Furman | Art by Hendry Prasetya, Pasquale Qualano | Published by Titan Comics

Robotech_18_Cover-A

There’s something warm and cosy about this Robotech book at the moment. That’s a compliment, by the way. It’s reliable, it’s consistent, and it always delivers. You can count on it. Sure, there some flashier books out there, but in between the constant relaunches, fiddling with characters, and having the book’s tone veer from one extreme to another, who know what the hell’s going on. This book gives the fans what they want, and if that isn’t the brief every book should be working towards I’ll eat my hat. Full disclosure, I don’t wear hats, but I’ll eat an imaginary one with gusto. But I digress.

Even though everyone still thinks Roy Fokker is dead, in reality his clone of course, writer Simon Furman is not letting his characters mourn or grieve. No Sir. In fact, he does the opposite, by having the Zentraedi launch over 300,000 space ships into the vicinity of Earth, and making pretty every character scramble into action. Lisa Hayes prepares to have the damaged SDF-1 help, Admiral Hayes starts to dust down the Grand Cannon, and Earth’s defences do their best to fight back. Things don’t go well. Earth’s defences get shredded, Moonbase gets taken down, and multiple squadrons are destroyed. I think it’s fair to say on the Crapometer this is a firm 11. Well at least things can’t get any worse. Oh…..

That ship that’s just arrived, the size of a small planet, belongs to Supreme Commander Dolza himself. Rather like Bruce Banner, I’m guessing you really wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. Like now. Dolza sends out a communication to the entire Earth, telling them that for the sin of tampering with forces beyond their limited understanding, namely robotechnology, mankind must die. Sheesh Furman, raising the stakes much? With such huge events going on, time for a little personal interlude, so we check in with Minmei. Normally, not my favourite subplot, but Furman here throws a rather sublime curveball, something I never saw coming. Minmei’s rise to stardom as a sort of reality music show star wasn’t as straightforward as we thought. Remember Rick telling Minmei she may have been infected with that protoculture, and it may manifest in some way….let’s just say the overwhelming adulation of her fans may be a tad artificially enhanced. Well played Furman.

With the chess board laid out, we continue to check in with the individual pieces we have yet to see. Dr Lazlo Zand still scheming away, the real Roy Fokker on the run from Laszlo and finding a certain presumed dead Captain cryogenically preserved, the disaffected Zentraedi commanders Azonia and Khyron still scheming away, and Breetai and Miriya with their own little schemes too. All it really needs now is for someone to make the first move, so cue Dolza launching an attack that looks as though it’s taken out an entire city. Game on.

Well that was a ride and then some. Again, more story packed into one issue than many graphic novels I’ve read (or those multiple title crossovers beloved of Marvel and DC, where you essentially end up where you began 30 issues later). The subplots on the last four pages alone could have carried this book, but Furman clearly loves giving you your money’s worth, so they are mere footnotes to the grand space opera unfolding. A space opera with the gravest of consequences, as this issue’s lack of humour shows. Serious face on for this issue. The art is, as always, reliable, with nice, clean lines helped by great layouts and strong storytelling. A joy to read.

Although Robotech fans are hopefully reading this in their droves already, this should be getting far more buzz from the wider comic reading public. Full of interesting characters and hugely entertaining stories, this is a great book full stop. It made a believer out of me.

***** 5/5

Robotech #18 is out now from Titan Comics.

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