04th Oct2017

‘Robotech #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Brian Wood | Art by Marco Turini | Published by Titan Comics


That time of the month again, when it’s time for a pure shot of full strength nostalgia. Every issue feels like a sugar rush, as you not only enjoy the story Brian Wood and Marco Turini are unfolding, but also all the little nods and winks to long term fans, with throwaway comments or referenced places and things. The creative team have found the perfect balance for readers both old and new, something not that easy to pull off.

Obligatory recap alert. Robotech, as you should all know by now, comes from robotechnology, a human/ alien amalgam that came from salvaging a huge crashed alien ship and tinkering with it, now rebranded for Earth as the superbly named Super-Dimension Fortress. Good, right? Yep, until those pesky aliens came back to reclaim their ship. Pilot Rick Hunter and civilian Lynn Minmei have avoided various scrapes as the aliens attack Macross Island, but got caught up in the ‘space fold’ as the SDF, commanded by Captain Gloval, teleports away from Earth and ends up hugely off course next door to Pluto. Even worse, the essential Fold Generator has disappeared, stranding everyone in deep space.

No-one’s doing really well, except the aliens of course, as we kick off issue 3 so let’s check in first on unlucky contestants number one, Rick and Minmei, alone in a very cold and very disused storage bay aboard the SDF-1. Nice to see even at their lowest people can still find the time to bicker with each other. Up top frantic efforts are underway to bring inside the vessel the parts of Macross City that accidentally got sucked up in the fold. It’s becoming apparent that it’s one thing to use robotech, but another thing entirely to completely understand it. That could prove very costly.

Plans are made to try and make it to Mars, where the SDF-1 can be resupplied and repaired. I like the way Brain Wood gives us the two sides of the current predicament. With Rick and Minmei the human side, concerned very much right now about themselves, trapped as they are, and Minmei about her family and if they are ok. Meanwhile the upstairs crew, especially Captain Gloval and Commander Fokker, are looking at the overview, at everything from a military perspective. Were they too weak? Is the tech reliable? How can they win? This issue very much belongs to the ‘odd couple’ of Rick and Minmei as initial barriers break down, and personal truths are shared. Oh, and space sushi. It’s a thing apparently. I suspect next issue will see Gloval and Fokker take the spotlight as the aliens start to make their move against the SDF-1.

Robotech #3 felt like it was treading water to me. A few little things happened, but nothing of significance beyond really humanising Rick and Minmei, showing us these are good, uncomplicated people. We kind of knew that anyway but this doesn’t hurt. Brian Wood does a nice job as always, but is obviously saving up the best of the drama for next time round. The clean art and bright colours, by Marco Turini and Marco Lesko respectively, give it that animation feel, and I liked some of the inventive layouts used. I have complained about a lack of scale previously, and although that criticism remains it was not an issue here, as most of the scenes were very small scale and on a personal level.

A fair issue, but one that addresses bits and bobs from the previous issues, and sets up relationships and scenarios for future ones, and in doing so lacks a little identity itself. A means to an end. It’ll be a cool end though.

*** 3/5


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