12th Aug2019

‘Robotech #23′ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

Robotech-23-A

Last issue maintained the incredibly high standard that somehow this book has managed to continue over the last 2 years. With licensed properties it is so easy to just coast along on character and brand recognition, phone in some generic scripts and know the book will sell to diehard fans whatever. None of that with Robotech. From the start there has been a conscious attempt to build on previous stories, to really give the characters distinct voices, to provide a newer, different set of scenarios while maintaining the essence of Robotech itself. It’s worked well, and nothing emphasises this ‘bigger and better’ philosophy better than the current Event Horizon special event. It took an already excellent storyline and managed to supercharge it more.

So how do you build on a great story featuring alien invasions, clones, superpowers, spacecraft that can alter shape, and political intrigue? Introduce the daddy of science fiction writing, time travel. Yep, after the dust has settled on the Earth/Zentraedi war, with Earth victorious, we meet Dana Sterling, a woman from the future. Not sure what’s more interesting, the fact she has been sent from the future to warn about a terrible threat to humanity (although she hasn’t asked for any boots or motorcycles so far), or the fact she is the future grown up daughter of Max Sterling and Miriya. Clearly they hate each other so much they have to get a room in the future….The threat Dana is back to warn about is the Invid, who’s Regess is travelling through, and destroying multiple realities in her quest to amass Protoculture, which will allow her to take over everything using the Flower of Life.

The SDF-1 is being overrun by the Invid, who can bypass the shields by using portals. A valiant rearguard action is being fought, but Captain Hayes knows that without something big, sheer numbers will tell. Dr Lang. proposes a solution, dangerous but big enough to turn the tide if it works. It works, and the portals are sealed, leaving just the Invid already aboard. Karl Riber and Miriya, plus the Zentraedi who defected and of course the SDF-1 crew all unite to push back. A win. For now. Interestingly enough, the energy Dr Lang. used to seal the portals has given them a surprising upside. The Fold Generators, long destroyed, have reappeared, seemingly in working condition. Result.

All of this of course is to do with finding and taking Protoculture. Minmei and Rick have both been exposed to it, and granted certain abilities because of it. They have discovered if they link together they can see through dimensional doorways, and have seen what the Regess is doing. Their role looks to be vital in the future. Anyhow, the SpaceFold Generators do indeed work, and Captain Hayes realises the best defence is a good offence. Take the fight to the enemy. The SDF-1 arrives in Invid territory, and prepares to launch all the Veritechs in an all out assault on the Regess and her Invid forces. This is going to be BIG.

Not quite as barnstorming as last issue, but still packed with plenty to get your teeth into. The book has usually got by on the myriad subplots that Furman likes to sprinkle about, but this issue was, quite rightly, firmly focused on the Invid and their assault. Although the big picture took centre stage, big fights, big ships, big events, Furman still managed to get in a little character development, which provided nice balance. Quality writing as always. The art, by Prasetya and Qualano, was as good as always, always perfectly in synch with the script. They manage to pack plenty of story onto each page, but not make the page, or panels, feel rushed or crowded. Not easy. They do tend to shine the most when drawing the big battles though, which for this book is a big plus.

Another strong issue, and one that promises to actually live up to the hype for next issue. Big changes really are coming. Can’t wait.

**** 4/5

Robotech #23 is released on August 14th, courtesy of Titan Comics.

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