Invid War: Aftermath (Eternity/Malibu Graphics, Academy Comics)
Created by Bruce Lewis
And at that moment, I knew where my true loyalty lay. Not with the service, or with Belmont, or even with Scott; then and there I pledged allegiance to the fact that her love was all that mattered. Farewell, lonely soldier boy.
THE LOWDOWNTen years have passed since the final battle at Reflex Point. The former freedom fighters who have been left behind on Earth have made their home at an abandoned resort town called Belmont. Over the years, Belmont has become a sort of utopian democracy, filled with people of every race and creed. It would have remained that way but for the return of prodigal son Scott Bernard, last seen taking off to find Admiral Rick Hunter and the SDF-3 a decade ago.
Bernard is among friends again, but he certainly doesn't act like it. By his side stands a mysterious black-haired woman who has become his most trusted confindant; his old friends are treated as little more than pawns. He soon reorganizes the Robotech Defense Force within Belmont's walls, and before long the liberal democracy becomes a military dictatorship with Bernard as its figurehead, former GMP head Nova Satori as its true ruler, and mysteriously scarred Rook Bartley as its chief enforcer.
Before long, a group of Zentraedi refugees led by Ganz Hohsq finds its way to Belmont's now-closed borders. Turned away by Bartley's troops, the Iron Butterflies, the Zentraedi kidnap the Invid princess Sera and take up camp in an abandoned -- and radioactive -- RDF base called Castle Fate, preparing to take control of Belmont's fertile North Fields by force if necessary.
In the middle of all this stand Lancer, Rand, Annie, and Lunk, opponents of the new military state and enemies of the Zentraedi aggressors, willing to risk their lives one more time for their friends and for the future of humanity.
BACKGROUND INFOWhen Bill Spangler and Tim Eldred decided to finally put Invid War to rest after eighteen issues, Malibu Graphics graphic designer Bruce Lewis was handed the surviving cast of the series and told to pick up where the Invid War series -- and by extension, the original ROBOTECH TV series -- left off. Originally, Lewis and Dave Lanphear came up with a "fourth generation" idea they called MegaRoad (after the name given to the SDF-2 in Japanese Macross canon), but Eternity editorial told the two they'd rather stay with the established ROBOTECH cast, so Bruce and Dave decided to work within the timeframe prior to their story -- the Aftermath of the ROBOTECH wars. Yet, Lewis didn't want to simply adapt Jack McKinney's final Robotech novel, The End of the Circle, or even use the Earth that McKinney's generally space-based novel left behind. Part of the reasoning behind this move was that so much had been done in the Invid War comic series that simply was not in the novels, and Lewis did not wish to ignore all that; additionally, Ballantine Books owned the full rights to EotC and, as Lewis explained in the letters page for the third issue of Aftermath, Eternity had no legal right to adapt it.
The significance of this is that the storyline he developed showed that there was room for official ROBOTECH stories that weren't in step with the novels, which appear to have been accepted as series gospel by the most vocal segment of ROBOTECH fandom during much of the 1990's. Of course, where there is change there is controversy, and Invid War: Aftermath quickly became the most controversial ROBOTECH title in Eternity's lineup. It was not only because of the shake-up in the continuity, however; some objected to Lewis's use of the ROBOTECH cast and storyline as a soapbox for his then-liberal personal ideology. Despite this, he said in various forums that mail about the book was 5:1 positive, so controversy aside, the most vocal segment of Aftermath's readership was enjoying it, at least.
Lewis always stated that the goal with Aftermath was to do a story about characters rather than giant robots. Of course, this being ROBOTECH, the giant robots were sure to appear eventually, but in taking the series away from a full-scale war, he did find room to flesh out the cast, test their bonds of friendship, and create a dramatic new chapter in the ongoing saga of ROBOTECH.
Aftermath ran for six issues at Eternity, pretty much tying up the conflict at Belmont with a neat bow, but leaving plenty of room for more adventures concerning the survivors of the third generation of ROBOTECH. When the license moved to Academy Comics, writer Rikki Simons and artist Tavisha Wolfgarth took over Aftermath for three issues, while Bruce Lewis only found time at Academy's start to contribute a one-shot shading in the life story of Aftermath's chief "villain" Hohsq Ma'alduk. The three Aftermath issues contributed by Rikki and Wolfgarth serve as a prelude to their Clone series, chronicling Lancer and Annie's adventures on the Isle of the IHE (Immuno Heredity Enigma) prior to the lift-off of the Super Dimensional Fortress Mordecai. At once more and less conventional than earlier Aftermath adventures, it lacked the lengthy exposition and footnotes of Lewis' work, but featured a cast of arrogant, haughty new characters who treated the established cast, little more than bit players in these three issues, with a sense of disdain. Furthermore, while the events going on felt somewhat more in step with the feel of the ROBOTECH TV series, the backstory behind the Isle of the IHE and the SDF-M felt phony and fanfiction-like in a way that Lewis's work -- most notably the Hohsq one-shot that was released simultaneously with Tavicat's work -- never did.
With Rikki and Wolfgarth continuing the chronciles of the SDF-M and the IHE in the Clone regular series, Lewis picked up where they left off with what would be the final four issues of his contribution to the ROBOTECH saga. He decided that henceforth Aftermath would be split into two distinct "sagas" -- one following Scott Bernard and his MEGARoad convoy across the country as it spread technology to the masses; and one staying put in Belmont, following the day-to-day lives of Sera, Lancer, Lunk, Rand, and Annie as well as the rest of Belmont's fluctuating population. Only two installments of each were actually produced, and the final issue contained a truncated, broken twelve page story and an eleven page retrospective article. It is obvious in the last few issues of Aftermath that Bruce Lewis had something major planned -- something about Zentraedi magical girls from the moon and a spy within the MEGARoad organization -- but due to an increased workload in his own comic studio, he ended it then and there. The article, by the psuedonymous "Matt A. Kudasai", hinted that Lewis did want to eventually return to ROBOTECH, but as the years pass by it looks increasingly unlikely that we'll ever get another look at the world of the Aftermath.
- Issue 1 -- Belmont
- Issue 2 -- Exile
- Issue 3 -- Iron Butterfly
- Issue 4 -- Fate
- Issue 5 -- Lancer
- Issue 6 -- Yellow Belmont
- Hohsq's Story: A Robotech Romance
- Issue 7 -- The Threadbare Heart: Part 1
- Issue 8 -- The Threadbare Heart: Part 2
- Issue 9 -- The Threadbare Heart: Part 3
- Issue 10 -- Four Eyes
- Issue 11 -- Burt Finds A Job
- Issue 12 -- Ghost Machine
- Issue 13 -- The Girl in the Moon
COLLECTIONSRobotech: The Threadbare Heart Collection
Published by Academy Comics, this collects the story pages from Invid War: Aftermath #7 - 9 in their entirety. It features an introduction by writer Rosearik Rikki Simons; three pages of supplementary data on the science and technology of the IHE, including the Super Dimensional Fortress Mordecai, the Xalon Process, and Spleen Clones; and an original painting of Dr. Gilles Vaudell by Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons.
Note that this is the only trade paperback collection of Aftermath ever published and it collects the only three issues of the series not written and drawn by series creator Bruce Lewis.
- BruceLewis.com -- Bruce Lewis's blog @ Blogger, with links to his LiveJournal and art portfolio at Flickr.
- For TaviCat-related links, visit the Clone/Mordecai page.
SEE ALSOOther works by Bruce Lewis:
- Draw Manga: How To Draw Manga In Your Own Unique Style
- Juku: A Comics Album (contributing writer/artist)