Robotech: Invasion (WildStorm/DC Comics)
Story by Tommy Yune
Exhausted by decades of war, the United Earth forces finally fell to the great Invid Invasion of 2031. For the seven years that followed, Earth became a much quieter place ...
Seven years ago, planet Earth fell before the might of the Invid. Now, at long last, the Robotech Expeditionary Force has launched a counterattack to free the homeworld of mankind from the grip of these alien invaders. Equipped with Conbat Space Fighters and Condor Battloids, the REF soldiers fight valiantly, but most fall before the Invid's superior numbers and deadly swarming tactics. One exception is Lt. Lance Belmont, who crash lands in South America and is rescued by a young music teacher named Carla Morales. After a month out of action, Lance tries to return to his mission, to destroy the Invid's central hive at Reflex Point. However, he quickly finds that not all the citizens of Earth are quite so friendly to anti-Invid resistance ...
The third writing collaboration between plotter and sometimes cover artist Tommy Yune and scripter Jay Faerber (Generation X, Noble Causes), and the third ROBOTECH series published by WildStorm/DC, takes the franchise away from the safe, comfortable confines of The Macross Saga and throws the reader headfirst into the conflict with the Invid for a sort of Invid War-lite featuring one of the starring players of that series' second act, Lancer. This was a calculated move, timed to provide a trade paperback collection of the story in time for Vicious Cycle's second ROBOTECH video game, also entitled Invasion, and the high-end Masterpiece Collection transformable Alpha Fighter toys. While the trade paperback collection never materialized, that was the plan.
Where From The Stars felt like a direct retread of ideas presented in Bill Spangler's Return to Macross, and Love & War was a recap of major events from the TV series, Invasion actually covers some new territory. While Yune and Faerber's tale mows down McKinney and Spangler's stories of Lancer serving with the Southern Cross (see McKinney's Robotech #21: Before The Invid Storm and Spangler & Eldred's Invid War #5-8), the events immediately following his crash landing in TV episode #71, "The Secret Route," have never before been penned by any author, and provide fertile ground for expanding on ideas presented in the TV series, such as Invid experimentation on humans and the pitfalls of human-Invid collusion, both for the resistance and for the colluders -- material similarly attended to by Gregory Lane in his Class Reunion one-shot during the end of the Antarctic Press years.
One thing that gave the series some major juice when it was first announced was the fact that it would have covers by original New Generation/Mospeada character designer Yoshitaka Amano. This marked the first time a domestic ROBOTECH product featured the involvement of a major original Japanese series creative staffer. The fact that Amano had done work for DC Comics before meant that it was an idea that had occurred to some in the fandom, but here it was, actually happening. Reaction to the covers, done in Amano's signature wispy, loose, and extremely effeminate style, was mixed. Those who knew what they were in for seemed pleased on the whole, but some less informed fans seemed put off by his very loose line, calling the end result "sloppy." In addition to the complaints, Yune has stated that Amano's two cover contributions blew the variant cover budget for the series, leaving Yune's own cover piece featuring a young, bikini-clad Lisa Hayes (a nod to "Mars Base One," a pre-Macross storyline that ran as a backup strip in each issue) the only cover for issue #3 of the New Generation-set series, a sharp contrast to the androgynous fangirl-friendly Amano art of earlier issues' covers.
The lack of variant covers has been cited as one of the reasons sales were down on this series from previous WildStorm ROBOTECH titles. However, according to Yune this Robotech series did very well with female readers, the best with that market among all WildStorm books during its release. Though he had suggested prior to the series' release that Invasion could run longer than the planned five issues, just as its over a decade-old predecessor Invid War had done due to popular demand, the dismal sales just didn't support such an endeavor. The combination of 80's nostalgia dying down in the comic book industry and the less than stellar numbers meant that just wasn't in the cards.
Interior art for Invasion was handled by Canada-based Japanese artist Takeshi Miyazawa (Sidekicks, Runaways, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane). After the Udon team's wildly inexact work on Love & War, Miyazawa brought a sharper, more grounded, and very manga-like flavor to the series. However, between Miyazawa's strong personal style and Studio XD's flatter coloring work, the book didn't have the strong animation art look that its predecessors did, and Yune stated that the feedback he's seen has been strongly in favor of the shinier Dreamwave-like look Udon brought to previous WildStorm ROBOTECH comics. Modern fans, it seems, prefer ROBOTECH comics that look more like anime TV series of today rather than ROBOTECH comics that look like manga.
As noted earlier, this series contained a pre-Macross backup strip entitled "Mars Base One," explaining the story behind the fall of Mars Base Sara, the "ghost base" seen in episode #7, "Bye Bye Mars." More on that later.
- Issue 1 -- Invasion Part 1
- Issue 2 -- Invasion Part 2
- Issue 3 -- Invasion Part 3
- Issue 4 -- Invasion Part 4
- Issue 5 -- Invasion Part 5