Robotech: Invasion #5 (of 5)
"Invasion Part 5"
Story - Tommy Yune
Script - Jay Faerber
Art - Takeshi Miyazawa, Omar Dogan, and Alan Tam
Letters - Bob Leigh
Colors - Long Vo, Charles Park, and Saka of Udon
Asst. Editor - Kristy Quinn
Editor - Alex Sinclair
Cover by Tommy Yune.
Published by WildStorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics.
Release date - May 5, 2004
Cover date - July 2004
Diamond order number - MAR04 0350
Estimated sales - 11,300 copies
THE STORYOlivia kicks Lancer back into one of the Invid's experimentation tubes, shattering the glass. Despite Lancer's cries for her to stop, she loads her rifle and begins firing at him. He just barely dodges her shots and gets in close, deploys his Cyclone's vibro-blade (still armed, despite the disposal of his Cyclone mecha last issue) and cuts her down. She stammers out a final "L-Lance?" as she falls, and Lancer thinks back to when he promised her, long ago, that if the Invid ever got to her, he would put her out of her misery. One more person was a party to this pact, one whom Lancer is shocked to see standing before him--his wingman Dimitry, whose body is now covered in stitches and sensors, his brain half exposed and an eye lost to the Invid's tampering. "Don't blame yourself, Lieutenant," he assures his former squadron leader. "You did the right thing." Lancer is horrified by Dimitry's condition, but is still happy to see him. He asks what the Invid did to him. "The Invid ... they were fascinated with us. They wanted to know everything about us ... our minds ... our bodies. They took us apart and then tried to implant everything from machines to alien organs ... They found Olivia's body after the crash, and managed to revive her ... but it wasn't really her."
"I know," Lancer replies.
As he carries Dimitry along in search of an escape route, Lancer spots something out of the corner of his eye--a Garfish-class cruiser, its nose smashed through the hive outer wall. "It looks like we've found our ticket out of here," he remarks.
Escape proves to be far easier said than done. Once inside, Lancer discovers that the anti-gravity drives on the ship are inoperable and the protoculture reserves are too low to execute a space fold. Dimitry tells him that they can still finish what Olivia started by setting the reflex furnace to blow the hive, but Lancer says they'll never make it out in time. "Leave me here to take care of it," Dimitry says. Lancer insists that he's not leaving him to die, but Dimitry tells Lancer that he doesn't want to go on like this. "You know our deal," he says. "I'd do it for you."
Outside, energy crackles around the wounded Garfish. Watching from afar, Carla asks Dr. Osmund what's happening. "A runaway reflex furnace," Osmund says, watching through his binoculars. The hive begins to explode, and Carla puts her hand to her mouth in shock. "That's it!" Osmund exclaims. "There must be a frequency that can disrupt Protoculture-dependent life forms!" The entire hive erupts in fire and, tears streaming down her eyes, Carla screams, "LANCER!"
Some time later, Carla sits at a table in a bar, clutching her drink despondently as a lavender-haired woman sits at the piano singing "Lonely Soldier Boy." As the song hits the chorus, Carla's ears perk up. She asks a man sitting nearby who that is singing; he tells her it's Yellow Dancer. When the singer gets up and comes a little closer, it clicks in Carla's head--it's Lancer!
A while later, the reunited Lancer and Carla prepare to get on a train headed towards the Andes. Lancer tells Carla that a stronghold has been established near the old Maxwell Avionics plant. Since the stronghold isn't affiliated with the resistance, it should be safer there. Carla tells him how happy she is, how they'll be able to be together, possibly start a family without military or Invid interference. Unfortunately for her, it is not to be. Lancer apologizes, then runs away as the train door closes behind Carla, cutting her off from her love.
"I'm sorry, Carla," Lancer thinks to himself. "You meant too much to me to let you get mixed up in this. What I had to do was far too dangerous for you. I knew I had to fight the Invid to the end. Unfortunately that end did not arrive quickly--even when the Robotech Expedition sent another invasion force over two years later. Even with more advanced Veritech mecha, it was still too little, too late. We were engaged in a race for survival against a species that could finally outpace our own. I wonder when the stakes to regain the Earth will become so high that we will be forced to sacrifice everything? Even the loved ones that we are sworn to protect."
It is now 2042. Rand sits at a bar, having just heard a slightly tweaked version of these events from Yellow Dancer. "That's an amazing story," he says, "but a real man like me would never leave you high and dry on a train like that." Yellow asks what he'd do instead. "Well, I was thinking you could run away with me. A town like this is no place for a classy girl like you." Yellow takes the flattery and asks if Rand is a soldier, like the uniformed man at the door. Rand insists that he isn't, that he just hangs out with that guy to lend a hand. "He's headed to Reflex Point to take out the Invid when Admiral Hunter's expedition returns." Scott Bernard shouts for Rand to come along, while Yellow finds that she may very well be running away with them ...
Meanwhile, at Reflex Point, the Invid Regess determines that their attempts to directly control the human race may no longer be of any concern, as she has found the ideal form for the next stage of Invid evolution--the human form itself.
NOTESTIMELINE - Modern Robotech.com timeline.
- Lance "Lancer" Belmont (next in The New Generation #3)
- Carla Morales (next in The New Generation #11)
- Olivia Stahl (final appearance)
- Dimitry (last seen in Invasion #1, final appearance)
- Dr. Osmund (final appearance)
- Rand Somerville (mid-appearance in The New Generation #3)
- Scott Bernard (mid-appearance in The New Generation #3)
- The Regess/Regis (last seen in Sentinels: Book 3 #20, next in Class Reunion #1)
Though he has no further appearances in the ROBOTECH comic book canon, Dr. Osmund does reappear in the Robotech: Invasion video game for the Xbox & PS2 (set during the course of the events of the TV series) with an overly bloated sense of self-worth and a maniacal streak only hinted at in his final scene in this issue.
Simon, the producer from New York who appears in episode #83 "The Big Apple," has a cameo on pages 12-13 at the bar Yellow is singing at. Kind of makes me wonder the context of his appearance--do he and Lancer already know each other at this point, or is he about to learn Yellow's big secret after the show?
There's a wanted poster for Lancer at the train station where he ditches Carla. Shouldn't he be traveling as Yellow if there's money (or perhaps Protoculture) being offered for his head?
Lancer mentions the Maxwell Avionics plant, which I suppose is Donald Maxwell's father's company and the manufacturer of the A.I.-controlled fighters that figure into the climax of "The Secret Route." The reference to Maxwell is a nice way of tying things together, explaining why exactly Carla winds up in the situation she's in when the two are reunited.
Visually, the train scene is totally faithful to its counterpart in "The Secret Route," from Lancer and Carla's clothes, the color of the train, and their poses as the two are separated with a note of finality. The first four sentences of Lancer's internal monologue are also almost word for word from the show, with the only substantial change being a shift in tense.
The lack of any good transitions between the later scenes in this issue, most notably between Yellow's gig with Carla in the audience and the train scene from "The Secret Route," make the issue feel more like a set of scenes strung together than a coherent story--a problem that's plagued the WildStorm ROBOTECH books before. The tacked on Invid Regess scene only accentuates this feeling, especially since it adds nothing more than another continuity gripe or two. What is with Faerber & Yune and all these tacked on epilogues? (See also the final issues of From the Stars and Love & War.)
A couple of visual errors towards the end of the story: Yellow's in the wrong outfit in the bar, and Rand's jumpsuit is miscolored to match Scott's REF uniform. So that's why Yellow asked him if he was a soldier ...
As of episode 69, "The Genesis Pit," the Regess had not yet come to the conclusion that the human form was the perfect one for the Invid race; that's what her use of the Genesis Pits of the episode's title was all about, after all, as she helpfully explains at the episode's outset. Yet, the scene between Rand and Yellow in this issue that occurs just prior to the Regess's speech is a sort of "lost scene" from episode 63, "Lonely Soldier Boy." Since the only indication that we're elsewhere is a geographic one ("Thousands of kilometers away," it helpfully notes), I think it's safe to log this as some sort of overall storyline gaffe, albeit a minor one.
Speaking of the "Lonely Soldier Boy" filler scene, I suppose it takes place during the brief lull between the fight with the bikers in the bar and Scott's Cyclone-assisted rescue of Lunk from the very same bikers. I was surprised that this works so well. Kinda neat.
The Regess is in her humanoid form in the final scene. Fine if you've suddenly decided to take The Sentinels and Greg Lane's Class Reunion one-shot into account, not so fine if you're working directly from the TV series as Yune claims the modern ROBOTECH canon is supposed to be doing, where for the longest while she seems to be some sort of disembodied voice, often taking the form of flickering green energy, all the way until her appearance in episode #84, "Dark Finale." I'm sure you could argue that she was in this humanoid form this whole time, just off camera, but that doesn't seem to be the original Japanese animators' intent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- Mars Base One Part 5