04th Apr2019

‘Robotech #19′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

Robotech_19_Cover-A

Always happy when a new issue of Robotech drops, as it has been consistently one of the best titles out there. Furman always delivers what you would expect from the book, fun sci-fi, but also throws in some soap opera, political intrigue, and plenty of action. He also has the knack of throwing frequent curveballs. Just when you think the story is going one way, or a character is doing something that seems good or bad, it gets turned on its head. That, my friends, is exceptionally good writing. So, where were we?

Or rather, where to start. So much went on last issue, it would take a long old recap to scratch the surface so, suffice to say, things are looking bad for virtually everyone. Minmei may have been affected by the protoculture after all, Rick thinks his brother Roy is dead (though it was a clone, and real Roy is still trying to escape Dr Zand), a clone of Captain Gloval was discovered, and some Zentraedi again sneaked themselves on to the SDF-1. Oh, and Dolza destroyed Los Angeles. Oh yes. Fifteen million casualties. I think it’s fair to say the kid gloves are off.

As you would expect, panic has ensued across the Earth, and Admiral Hayes and Alaska Base are trying to work out a coordinated response. His daughter, Captain Hayes, is desperately trying to get the SDF-1 back to Earth, but without a fold generator it is a painfully slow process. Supreme Commander Dolza is of course revelling in all the suffering. While the Dolza’s and the Admiral Hayes are dealing with the big picture, others like Rick Hunter and the new Vermillion squadron are dealing with the small stuff, the repercussions. Vermillion squadron is going to launch to avenge Roy’s death, much to the amusement of the watching Dr Zand who knows Roy is alive and reasonably well. Minmei’s powers also seem to be coming in handy, as the Zentraedi spies can’t give themselves up quick enough.

Uncertainty isn’t just on the humans side of course, as Dolza ignores the unrest from his commanders, especially Azonia and Khyron, concerned that he is underestimating the humans. This he is of course, as Admiral Hayes ignores orders to try and negotiate and just lets loose the Grand Cannon. Bye bye two thirds of the Zentraedi fleet. Dolza, as all good supreme leaders do, high tails it out of there. Escape he does, but he will not discover the fomenting rebellion being instigated by Azonia and Khyron until it’s too late. Possibly. The Grand Cannon of course has its up and down sides. Up side, major destructive capacity as we have just seen. Down side? Can only use it once in a short space of time. Dolza destroys London and Brussels in the mean time.

Stakes are about as high as they can possibly get, which so much going on on all fronts, what else could possibly happen? Well, how about Breetai and Miriya making their play as they head towards the SDF-1. Or Dr Zand just about to realise his ultimate plan as his manipulation of events starts to pay off. Or how about the real alive and kicking Roy reviving the clone of Captain Gloval? Still not enough? Then you’ll love the last page reveal that Admiral Hayes has been seemingly saving his best weapon until last. Seriously.

Breathless stuff, from first page to last. Furman couldn’t be having more fun with his characters and storylines if he tried. He seems to have found the perfect play box. The tiniest of niggles could be that with so much going on we lose a little characterisation here and there, as there is no time for it, but if that is the cost of such outstanding pacing and storytelling then so be it. Art wise, we have the return of Marco Turini, seemingly giving Hendry Prasetya a breather, and Turini’s art is as superb as ever. Nicely paced, nicely detailed, and a perfect complement to a great script. Stop spoiling us Furman and Turini, really.

Each issue better than the last. Comic book heaven.

****½  4.5/5

Robotech #19 is out now from Titan Comics.

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