Robotech: Invid War #4 (of 18)
Story - Bill Spangler & Tim Eldred
Art - Tim Eldred & Fred Perry
Cover Painting - Robert Chang
Publisher - Dave Olbrich
Editor-In-Chief - Chris Ulm
Editor - Dan Danko
Published by Eternity Comics, a division of Malibu Graphics Publishing Group.
Release date - August 14, 1992
Cover date - August 1992
THE STORYIt is March of 2033. Jonathan Wolff's Orpheus Flight, a mixed team of VF-1 Veritechs and Alpha Fighters piloted by the few men Wolff knows he can trust implicitly, arrive at the burning oil fields of old Texas. Parkes, a former forager, asks how long the others think the oil fires will keep going. Gavin Murdock, formerly of the Stone Men, figures about forty or fifty years. Terry Weston, an ex-TASC pilot and former drifter, points out that the burning fields are providing the Invid with plenty of cover, but Murdock tells him the cover works both ways -- the Invid won't expect them to come in from this direction. Wolff says to cut the radio chatter so as not to draw attention to themselves, though as he thinks about it he realizes that's exactly what he did back at Vahalla ...
Speaking of which, back at Vahalla, Major Carpenter has something to show Bekka Cade -- a message from Wolff. "This is a heckuva wake-up call, I know," Wolff says on the recording, "but I think this is the best way to handle things. I've decided I can't ignore Gary Hauser's theory about where the Invid are holding Catherine and Johnny. I've put together a team to attempt a rescue. By the time you see this, we'll be on our way. Murdock, Hauser, Parkes, and Weston are going with me. I told traffic control that we were a scouting mission for the attack on Reflex Point. If you're smart, you won't contradict the story. Believe it or not, Carpenter, I am sorry. Catherine, Johhny and I will probably never be a family again, even if I can find them ... but I owe them this much." He says he'll try to rejoin the main force to attack Reflex Point as soon as he can, but if his men don't return, they'll know what happened. Bekka is outraged. "That arrogant, irresponsible ... who does he think he is??" she asks.
"He knows who he is," Carpenter tells her. "He's Jonathan Wolff."On the outskirts of Dallas, Hauser is amazed by the energy being given off by the Invid domes among the ruins of the city. As the Veritechs approach the target zone, Wolff suggests that if they come in low and fast they might surprise their foes. However, they are soon met by a squad of Invid Troopers. Parkes and Wolff nail a couple of them, but Weston is hit from behind. Realizing he's in bad shape, he decides to ditch his Alpha at one of the domes. The plane touches the ground and skids along on its tailfins before exploding at the Invid's doorstep. Horrified, Murdock takes his VF-1 down to try and rescue Weston, but as he switches to Battloid he finds himself face to face with an Invid Enforcer.
Meanwhile, the fleet from Moon Base ALuCE II descends to Earth as a convoy and is forced to confront the Invid in space. Mecha from Vahalla arrive at Reflex Point ahead of them and launch their attack. Bekka and Carpenter, flying over Reflex Point in a recon VF-1, receive a request for backup from the attacking Hovertank and Valkyrie squads below. Bekka receives word from Captain Nobutu that the moon fleet will arrive in four minutes. However, the forces from Vahalla might not last that long.
Back in Texas, Murdock quickly dispatches the Enforcer, surprisingly with minimal effort. Once-enslaved humans begin swarming out of one of the Invid domes, and Wolff takes this as a sign that he's done the right thing. Murdock and Hauser are ordered to get the humans to safety while Wolff blasts his way into the central Invid dome and destroys its power core. As it crumbles in upon itself, the survivors of Orpheus Flight worry for him, but his Alpha soon emerges and Parkes notes his satisfaction with their performance today. "Norvell thought I was crazy for agreeing to help you, but we did good today, Colonel," he radios to Wolff. "We saved a lotta lives!"
Back above Reflex Point, Bekka loses contact with Nobutu. Half of the fleet from the moon has been wiped out, and Nova Satori informs Carpenter that she's ordering her GMP forces to withdraw. Carpenter points out that they had an agreement. "I didn't agree to let my people be slaughtered," she retorts. "The Invid had us outnumbered from the beginning. Your so-called reinforcements from the moon don't have any real combat experience. We lost hundreds of soldiers today and we didn't make a dent in that blasted hive. We never had a chance against the Invid and your precious Colonel Wolff knew it. Otherwise, he'd be here! You've got to order a retreat now, while there's still people left to save." Against all those facts, Carpenter finds himself defeated and orders a retreat.
While Wolff's day has ended in victory, he is told by one of the freed slaves that his wife and son were transferred to another hive two or three days ago. The rumor was that they were sent to Reflex Point. "Oh, god ..." Wolff says upon hearing the news, "oh, god ... I'm sorry, Carpenter."
Three days pass. In Vahalla, an angry and betrayed Carpenter tells Wolff that he, Bekka, and the survivors from ALuCE II are pulling out and starting their own unit. He accuses Wolff of putting himself ahead of the mission. "Mission?" Wolff asks. "What mission? Letting the Invid use you for target practice?"
"That's not the point," Carpenter counters, "and you know it. The point is, you betrayed our trust. My trust."
Wolff tries to get Carpenter to accept that he's not the same guy he was on Tirol, and he's certainly not the guy the UEG and REF built up with those old propaganda films. "I'm old, I'm tired, and I let my family down when they really needed me." He tells Carpenter there will be no winners or losers in the war with the Invid, only survivors, and if he can't accept that, he should probably go. Carpenter says he'll be out in seventy-two hours.
Elsewhere, Louie Nichols finds that Wolff is currently unavailable. "Tell him it's a matter of life and death!" he urges the operator, but he's already been cut off. "Aaaah, skip it. Typical military mindset. He drags me halfway around the world to upgrade his communications system, and then he doesn't communicate. Well, I've got the message on tape. He'll hear it soon enough." The message is that the Mars Division of the REF fleet is en route to Earth. The Robotech Expeditionary Force is coming home to fight the Invid.
- Jack McKinney novels timeline.MAJOR CHARACTERS
- Jonathan Wolff (next in Invid War #9)
- John Carpenter (next in Invid War #9)
- Bekka Cade (next in Firewalkers #1)
- Norvell [referred to as "Parkes"] (final appearance)
- Gavin Murdock (final appearance)
- Gary Hauser (final appearance)
- Terry Weston (final appearance)
- Nova Satori (last in Invid War #1, next in Invid War #11)
- Louie Nichols (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #2)
According to Invid War
#2, Louie Nichols remained behind on Earth when the rest of the 15th Squadron took off, and will go on to hook up the hackers from McKinney's novel The Masters' Gambit
, who wind up becoming his colleagues in The End of the Circle
. (He may have already, given that in issue #3 Carpenter remarks offhand that Nichols is working for the Japanese these days.) It's also a major plot point of Invid War
that, going forward, nobody can actually leave Earth, so this
Louie Nichols won't go on to join Dr. Cochrane's crew at Space Station Liberty in Prelude
. However, that is
the next place you see the character.
It's been a point of contention ever since Sentinels
whether or not the Invid Regess developed the Invid Enforcer before or during its first appearance in the ROBOTECH TV series. Of course, the TV series leans towards their genesis occurring at that appearance, since the implication is that she's exploring the Invid's evolutionary development as the series progresses, but later sources, including the Sentinels
comics and the RPG assert that while the Enforcer is only in the Regess's arsenal, it did appear prior to the TV series storyline. Given the Sentinels
comics' track record, though, and the RPG's penchant for tossing things in for gameplay rather than veracity to the original source material, of course, I could definitely understand counting its appearance here as a flub ...
It was a little annoying that early on the only way to tell which member of Orpheus Flight was talking was by paying attention to the pilots' facial hair. Without haircuts and head shapes to tell them apart, the characters' appearances become awfully similar.
With the conclusion of this story, Wolff goes even further into the depths from which he'll never return except for that one brief, shining moment at the end of "Eulogy." I like how he addresses the propaganda films, though since Scott watched them I think they're actually Expeditionary Force-produced rather than specifically UEG produced, at least according to this McKinney-inspired course of events; the UEG and the REF didn't exactly cross paths in an organized state ever again after the SDF-3 took off -- again, according to McKinney. Of course, in the post-Robotech.com
world, I think they portray Space Station Liberty (the ONLY link between the REF and Earth, according to the narrator in the early episodes of the Robotech Masters
episodes) as having actually worked as a relay station on occasion, so perhaps in the TV series continuity it could
be the UEG that produced those propaganda films. In either case, I'm glad Spangler left that remark in, since it provides something of a context for one of the key images of Wolff we see in the ROBOTECH TV series -- and that propaganda actually appears later on in Invid War
Wolff then says, "There aren't going to be any winners or losers in this war -- only survivors." This line does a good job of illustrating how Wolff's thinking is getting ever closer to his portrayal in "Eulogy." Apparently the feeling that he's lost his wife and son forever really has killed him in a sense. After all, just pages earlier, he seemed rather optimistic as he fought the Invid and helped free those slaves.
The battle against Reflex Point is portrayed later in the series as well, in issue #8. In neither instance does it seem massive enough for an attack that took this much planning on Nobutu, Wolff, and Carpenter's parts. There just aren't enough fighters, not enough chatter -- just not enough stuff
to convince me that this is a major concerted effort to destroy Reflex Point. Remember what it took in the TV series, what with the hordes of Shadow Fighters with big Destabilizer cannons and the like? At first glance, you might almost wonder why Carpenter is so angry at Wolff for bailing on the attack -- did he really think that five more fighters would have made a difference?
Then again, notice the way Satori mentions Wolff's absence; she nearly suggests that if Wolff didn't even bother to show up, naturally he must've thought they didn't have a chance in hell. And after all is said and done, he realizes
they didn't have a chance. But if he'd been there, perhaps the morale would have been better, or his kills might have prevented some of the casualties, and maybe the joint forces might have gotten out of there in a bit better shape. In any case, Carpenter had good reason to break away from Wolff, even if it's painfully obvious that Wolff's presence wouldn't have done too terribly much.
The next time we see Wolff, in issue #9, he's in really bad shape. Thinking about it, it's not much of a jump from saying that all anyone can do is survive to stealing Protoculture and trading lives for the stuff -- just a step, in fact, from saying to doing. But the Jonathan Wolff who saved the slaves from the Invid hive doesn't seem to be the same Jonathan Wolff who lectures Carpenter at the end of this issue, and certainly doesn't seem to be the same Wolff who, in his next appearance, sneaks into Carpenter's new base in search of Protoculture to steal. When the man fell, he fell hard, and he fell fast
As an aside, I wonder ... is the reason we never see either of Wolff's allies in Orpheus Flight due to Wolff selling them out to the Invid down the road? I wonder.
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Labels: Invid War, New Generation
Robotech (Antarctic) #4 - Rolling Thunder Part 1 (of 4)
"Rolling Thunder - Part 1"
Story & Art - Fred Perry
Coloring - ARNie & Patrick Thornton
Editor & Lettering - Doug Dlin
Publisher - Ben Dunn
Published by Antarctic Press.
Release date - October 1, 1997
Cover date - September 1997
Estimated sales - 8,900 copies
THE STORYThe Second Robotech War is at an end, but the remaining armies of the Robotech Masters fight on, attacking sites of human survivors at random. In order to deal with one such attack, Dana Sterling and her 15th Alpha Tactical Armored Corps suit up and get their Hovertanks ready for battle.
At a location designated Site 626, Bioroid forces swarm across the city, annihilating civil defense Battloids left and right. Western Command assures the soldiers there that reinforcements are on their way, but the defenders of 626 can't hold out. Their Battloids are innevitably wiped out. With the 15th Squadron en route, their command vehicle is destroyed as well. The site is a lost cause. Still, the 15th is dropped into the warzone, and Dana orders her men to spread out. As Sean and Bowie land, Dana orders them to shift to Guardian mode and lay down some artillery fire. At that moment, though, Bowie is hit by a force of Bioroids at 4 o'clock attacking from some good cover. Dana, grumbling about how she hates air drops, tells Angelo to cover Bowie and asks Sean if he's in Guardian mode yet.
"Three more Bioroids, Dana!" Angelo calls out. "10 o'clock! And they've got even better cover!"
Indeed they do, as all one can see of them is their arms poking up and firing. However, they're soon blasted by fire from above. Louie Nichols, late in dropping in, nailed 'em from the sky. Dana thanks Louie and orders him into formation. Sean and Bowie finally get into Guardian and Dana tells them to use direct fire, full power, with no missing. They nail target after target, and with some breathing room available, Dana orders her men to charge.
Just then, orders come in from Marie Crystal at Western Command to pull out. "They've gotta be kidding!" Sean comments. "We're completely engaged here!" Dana tells Marie that there has to be a heck of a good reason for this. Marie tells her that not only have they lost contact with Site 626, but their satellite has picked up one hundred and twenty-eight rogue Bioroids inside the city ready to overrun Dana's forces. Sean soon changes his tune. "That sounded like a damn good reason to me! It's bailin' time!" While Dana wants to look for survivors, Angelo disagrees. "Dana, we're good," he says, "but against one-eighty??" Command tells them they have a mercenary transport on its way, e.t.a. forty seconds. Angelo tells Dana it's her call, and she tells her men to just keep the pressure up while she thinks. Bowie informs her that their ride has arrived, along with air support. Finally, Dana caves in and orders Sean, Louie, and Bowie to get on-board. The dropship pilot tells them to hurry up, as he's starting to take fire. Sean's tank is hit. Western Command tells the 15th that twenty more Bioroids have broken through the city limits, and Angelo tells Dana they need to get a move on. However, she tells Angelo to go ahead, and she'll cover him.
Suddenly, something comes up on infrared -- a little girl has survived. Dana takes off after her, much to Angelo's irritation.
Upon observing Dana's strength in battle the commander of the Bioroids, a Master called Khane, orders the Bioroids to leave the area so that he can test her himself. "Kill the rest of them," he orders. His customized Bioroid arrives before Dana's mecha, startling her. She is informed that the Bioroids are flooding out of the city, and as she continues in pursuit of the girl, bad news about her squad floods in -- Bowie's running low on ammo and his damage is in the red, annd Sean's in equally bad shape and has no comm. She orders Angelo and the others to the dropship immediately just as her own Hovertank takes some damage. Khane finds it odd that Dana's evading him rather than fighting, and wonders why she won't focus on the fight. Bowie tells her that they're all on-board, and she should be, too.
Khane then notices the child. "Is this what you are after?" he asks. "What you want to protect? Intolerable!" He has much disdain for the notion of sacrificing strength in the name of protecting the weak, and thus blasts the child into oblivion. This boils Dana's blood, and she begins to fight him with all the strength and skill she can muster. Sean radios Dana, demanding to know where she is and telling her they have to take off immediately. She asks for a few more minutes, but the dropship pilot decides to cut his losses -- he's got heavy damage and no weapons on-line -- and take off. "Negative, command!! Negative! Major Sterling is still out there ... !" Sean shouts, but the pilot says she's just flat out of time. Sean starts to threaten the guy, but he just doesn't care.
"You fight well, Micronian," Khane admits as his Bioroid begins to take some damage. "It is with great regret that I must turn you away ... but your fighting spirit and skill stem from the desire to protect that which is weak ... unacceptable." He tells his men he is through with her; she is to be eliminated. The Bioroids regroup and swarm over Dana, blasting her from every angle.
Aboard the dropship, Louie taps into the EDF satellite feed and tells Bowie to take a look. "Can you see Dana ... ?" he asks. Indeed he can. "Dana's getting dissected out there! " Louie says. "She's got forty or fifty Bioroids on her! They're cutting her to ribbons!!" Bowie insists they have to do something, but Angelo insists they're staying. "Think about it! What good are we gonna do out there?? Against over one hundred Bioroids? Two of our mecha are down hard already!! We'd all be killed! We have no choice! We have to run for it and leave the Major behind! But I swear ... we're gonna find those creeps again ... and we're gonna make them pay for this!"
- Since this story has no overt references to any dates or concepts native to the McKinney novels (i.e. Thinking Caps), it is compatible with any ROBOTECH timeline.MAJOR CHARACTERS
- Dana Sterling (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Bowie Grant (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Angelo Dante (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Sean Phillips (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Louie Nichols (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Marie Crystal (last in Robotech Masters #23)
- Bill Tuscon (first appearance)
- Dalmeric Khane (first appearance)
An eye-popping actioner featuring Dana and the 15th Squadron? And it's actually pretty good
? Saints be praised!
Fred Perry takes the characters and mecha of Southern Cross
and makes them his own without violating any of the rules in the process. All the uniforms and mecha designs among the Army of the Southern Cross forces are spot-on to the series, but colored in drab earthy greens and grays that make a lot more tactical sense than the garish, heroic schemes of the TV series. The 15th dispense with their bulky, fancy armor in favor of down-to-earth leather jackets over their drab recolored uniforms. The characters themselves have been given an angular, expressive and cartoony overhaul that feels right for the carefree 15th.
New villain Dalmeric Khane is given a cold, imposing look -- squinty-eyed and pointy all around, including big evil eyebrows -- that matches the cold, imposing words he expresses. And Fred Perry concocts a nifty new Bioroid command model, a self-propelled monstrosity (which predates the slightly similar Bioroid Interceptor from Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles
by about nine years) with pointy toes and overblown tubing that arrives in a glorious, fiery moment that makes it look like it had just arrived from the mouth of hell. As big bad Antarctic Press boss mecha go, it's pretty slick.
I do have a quibble with the recolored Bioroids and Skysleds. They're pretty blah looking, and giving the Bioroids and their sleds the same fugly aqua color scheme makes it hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
An argument I recall from when this story was first published was that the 15th charges in with only five members, while in the TV series they always had a few extra. However, as the next issue makes clear, the Southern Cross is running low on both men and machines. Marie probably let the 15th stay together as a unit due to their ability to get results and also as a favor to Dana, but with Dana out of action next issue the 15th is split apart to bolster other squadrons.
Also, some of the hand-drawn lettering when characters start screaming is a shade melodramatic and over the top, and doesn't really match well with the obviously typeset and sometimes lazily laid-out lettering throughout the rest of the story.
One thing I adore about this story is that it makes the logical leap that despite the lull in the fighting at the very end of "Catastrophe," that moment when everything comes to a peaceful if foreboding end, the fighting didn't just stop then. Skirmishes would certainly continue for a while, as Bioroid teams led by high-level clones regroup and find a way to keep on fighting. And who's to say that there weren't more Masters, like Khane, among the Tirolians who made the trek to Earth? Who's to say that someone couldn't take charge of the Bioroid survivors and keep the war machine running?
Though, of course, Khane himself does open up a lot of questions. Don't get me wrong, he's probably my favorite of the Antarctic Press ROBOTECH rogues' gallery, mostly because the guy's about as cold as they come. For a moment you almost think Dana's going to rescue the kid, but when he kills her merely to refocus Dana's attention, you just know this chapter can't end well. His sick yet perfectly reasoned philosophy hearkens back to the Masters of the TV series, but his execution is far less hypocritical; the Masters in the series would speak of power, but did they ever step into battle to prove their superiority? No, they would stand around on their ship and talk about how they would become the supreme power in the universe and yet let others do their fighting for them: first the Zentraedi in the pre-TV series days, then their Bioroid clones during their campaign to capture the Protoculture Factory. But as for Khane, he will seek the strongest among his foes and prove that his is the most superior power and the most superior skill.
But the problem with the guy is that it's not explained where he came from, or what his function was in the Masters' fleet. He stands alone, not with a triumvirate. Was he running one of the other ships? Was he locked away for his denial of the Triumvirate? Is he some sort of rogue Clonemaster? I have my own ideas, but the text of the storyline never really offers any explanation.Next issue
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- Prototype 001 'Tigercat' Part Four
Labels: Masters, Rolling Thunder
Robotech: The Macross Saga #36
"To The Stars"
Adaptation - Markalan Joplin
Artwork - Mike Leeke & Mike Chen
Lettering - Bob Pinaha
Colors - Trishie Schutz
Editor - Diana Schutz
Published by Comico The Comic Company.
Release date - February 21, 1989
Cover date - February 1989
It has been two weeks since the Zentraedi warlord Khyron's attack of Christmas Day, two weeks since Lynn Minmei declared her love for Rick Hunter and the two began living together. However, as Rick gazes wistfully out his apartment window, he realizes that something isn't working, something just isn't right. Minmei watches him and hopes that he isn't sick of her. "I've already lost my parents and my career and Kyle," she frets. "I can't lose him, too!
" I just can't!
Minmei speaks up and tells Rick how much she appreciates him taking leave time so they could be together for the holidays. "Don't you wish it could go on forever?" she asks. "What if I could give up my career and you could quit the military, annd we could be together like this for always?
Rick finds the notion ridiculous. "You must be joking
! With Khyron
on the loose and millions
of people depending on the RDF for protection ... I'm supposed to just chuck away my responsibilities
, so we can run away
together? No -- I'm sorry, Minmei. My personal life has
to come second. I can't -- I won't
-- ignore my duty. And you!
How could you possibly
consider giving up your career? Don't you know what you mean
to those people? When the SDF-1 was exiled from Earth, whose
Thursday night concerts gave those hundreds of thousands of frightened people the hope
they needed to face the unknown
? Your voice brought Zentraedi and humans together!
Your voice helped save the world from Dolza's armada!
My god -- don't you realize what a gift
you have?!" However, Minmei isn't joking. She tells Rick that the war could go on forever, and that they may grow old never knowing what else life has to offer. She asks Rick to marry her.
Meanwhile, on a balcony overlooking the lake surrounding the SDF-1, Lisa Hayes fears that she's lost Rick forever, and she realizes that the only person she has to blame is herself. "I should have come right out and told
him, that night he came looking for me! But I just couldn't
! Because ..." Lisa just can't think why. "... and anyway," she thinks, "because of my stupid hesitancy, Minmei
got up the nerve to tell him first -- and who wouldn't
take her up on an offer like that?" Lisa believes she can't deal with working alongside Rick every day and watching him go home to Minmei, and when Claudia comes looking for her, Lisa tells her that she's decided to resign from the service.
"Oh, grow up
, Lisa," Claudia tells her. "Look
at you! A military
woman, born, bred, and trained, carrying on like some simpering schoolgirl
!" Claudia tells her that while it's her decision to make, if she's going to throw her life and career away to run and hide, she's not the woman Claudia thought she was. As she walks away, Claudia tells Lisa that Admiral Gloval wants to see her on the bridge for a new assignment.
On the bridge, Lisa tells Gloval that in her current state she just can't take something new on, that she needs to get away. "All the more
reason to accept the assignment," Gloval tells her, "since it will involve a certain amount of travel
." Lisa tells him she's going to resign, but Gloval tells her that's just nonsense.
of us have known heartbreak in the last four years, but we can't simply abandon
our duties for it -- and certainly
not for some silly unrequited romance!" Gloval tells her. Lisa asks if he's known about her and Rick all along. "I have eyes
, don't I? In fact, I'd say that the last
person to know about it ... was you
." Lisa apologizes for her foolishness. "Well," Gloval says, "let's not have any more of that
, then! After all, foolishness would be an unbecoming thing for the commander of the SDF-2
." Lisa is shocked, but Gloval asks who would be better equipped for the job. However, he tells her that this is a long-term commitment. She quickly accepts, and Gloval gives her the details of her mission: "Our Earth is starting to recover her former beauty -- but she couldn't possibly survive another
holocaust like the last one. Too, the time has come for us to leave our cradle behind -- to go forth and claim our place in the universe
. That is the purpose of the SDF-2
... and the reason for your new assignment. You will be taking the new battle-fortress into space. Your mission: to find the home world
of the Robotech Masters
will accompany you -- although it might
be easier to simply follow Khyron's
Lisa is momentarily confused by Gloval's remark, but he explains that they let Khyron seize that tank of Protoculture during his Christmas raid to allow him to rejoin the Robotech Masters. "... and through him, we
can contact the Masters ourselves. We must try to make peace
with them -- for the sake of both
our races. And if peace isn't
possible -- then I intend to make certain that the next
battlefield will be on their
home planet." He tells her that the reflex engines from the SDF-1 will be transferred to the new ship tomorrow, and asks if she can be ready by then. Lisa salutes and tells him she simply needs to say a few good-byes.
Elsewhere, Khyron's battlecruiser lifts off. Grel asks Khyron if they should set course for Tirol, but Khyron considers the mission incomplete. "Before we leave ... we are going to destroy the SDF-1!
" he assures his crew. Azonia asks if he's serious. "And what are we to do, then -- let the micronians have
Zor's Protoculture Factory? Let them have
the power they need to the Robotech Masters? No -- if we
can't have the SDF-1, then nobody
will!" At Khyron's command, Grel lays in a course for New Macross City.
Back at Rick's apartment, he plays with a model of the prototype next generation Veritech Fighter and mulls over his future. He can't see giving up flying and all his responsibilities for Minmei, even if she would make such a wonderful wife. He realizes that he just can't think of settling down now, with so many people relying on the RDF for protection from the Zentraedi renegades, and the one person he knows would understand is Lisa. Just then, his doorbell rings. Minmei, busy cleaning the dishes, tells Rick to get the door. Who else could it be but Lisa, come to say her farewells?
"New orders have been handed down -- I'll be going back into deep space soon." Rick is shocked and begins to stammer a response. "It's true -- I can scarcely believe it myself," Lisa says, "but Admiral Gloval has given me command
of the SDF-2! Isn't that wonderful?
Aren't you happy
for me, Rick?" Rick simply asks when she's leaving. "As soon as the reflex engines
have been transferred from the SDF-1 ... probably in a day or so." She explains the mission to Rick, and he remarks that it could easily take years. That very fact begins to hit Lisa as she begins to cry and struggles to get the words she so wanted to say out: "Rick Hunter -- I love
you! I always have
-- and I always will
!" She turns to Minmei, now standing at Rick's side. "Oh, please forgive me, Minmei. I know
it's too late
for me -- I know I waited too long
... but I may never see him againn -- and I had
him!" Lisa turns and runs away, telling them that her crew is waiting, but Rick finds himself running after her, telling her that it's not too late. Minmei follows behind, screaming, "Come back
, Rick! What about me?!
Just then, an explosion hits the city, knocking all three down. That explosion is the result of fire rained down by Khyron's ship. Aboard that vessel, Khyron gleefully notes how unprepared the micronians are. "The SDF-1 will be a smoking ruin before they even know what hit
them! Fire another volley!
" Azonia tells him that the SDF-1 will be in firing range in a few minutes.
Rick finds Lisa laying on the ground, motionless. He rushes to her side, picks her up, and prays she isn't dead. "I d-didn't know -- I didn't know until now .. but I swear
I'll make it up to you! I'll make you happy -- I'll take care of you ... I love you ... please, Lisa ... I love you ..." Rick tells her. At that moment, she begins to regain consciousness, and as she sees his face, she asks if she's dreaming. She tells Rick that she just got the wind knocked out of her and asks what happened. "It's a Zentraedi battle cruiser -- probably Khyron's!
" Rick says.
"The usual perfect timing," Lisa says. "Seems our relationship has always
been interrupted by Zentraedi attacks. Either that
," she says, seeing a figure approaching in the distance, "or Minmei would show up ..." Minmei urges Rick to join her in the shelter, but Lisa tells her that she and Rick are soldiers, and they have their duty to perform.
to me, Minmei!" Rick says. "If you love
me, let me do what I have
to do! I'm a pilot
-- a soldier!
This is my life!
" Minmei is shocked that he'd even call this a life, this constant string of battles until everything is destroyed. As another explosion rocks the city in the distance, Lisa tells Rick that she has to get to the SDF-2, and he tells her that he'll be there, too. Minmei is still trying to prevent him from going, asking him if he still loves her, but Rick tells her that he can't just think of himself, not when the stakes are so high. "If you still can't understand that, after all that's been said," he says, pulling away from her, "then there's no chance that you ever will!
" As Rick leaves her behind, Minmei swears
that she'll never understand.
Lisa arrives on the bridge of the SDF-2 just as Khyron's ship comes into range. Vanessa tells Lisa that the enemy ship is twenty-seven miles out and closing fast. The booms of the Zentraedi vessel open like a great maw as Veritech Fighters close in on it. Kim reports high-level radiation readings, and as Sammie tells Lisa that the enemy ship is firing, the blast strikes the SDF-2 dead-center.
Rick's Veritech Fighter flies by the listing SDF-2 as he tries to radio the ship. There is no response. He swears vengeance and tears into the oncoming waves of Battlepods with his fighter's autocannon.
However, all hands are still alive on the bridge of the SDF-2. Despite this, when Lisa asks if anything's still functional, Kim and Vanessa report that the computer's down and power is out. Lisa asks herself what Admiral Gloval would do, and suddenly realizes exactly where they need to be. Lisa tells the trio to follow her, and leads them down a service corridor that takes them directly to the bridge of the SDF-1.
"Welcome aboard, ladies," Claudia greets them. "What took you so long?"
The four women return to their familiar stations. Lisa asks if it'll fly. "Well, now," Gloval says, "there's only one way to find out, eh?" Vanessa reports power levels at maximum, and Claudia reports that the drive is operational and ready for liftoff. "All right, then ... take her up!
" The SDF-1 lifts off from the lake, leaving its crippled newborn sister ship behind. The citizens of Macross leave their shelters, aghast at the sight of their city, their world's
defender, risen again.
In the air, Max radios Rick to ask if he's seeing things. Rick radios the bridge and asks the SDF-1 what they're doing. "Well," Lisa replies, "we're preparing to fire the main gun
... so I strongly suggest you get your afterburners out
of there!" Rick is happy to hear her voice, and calls the Skull Squadron away from Khyron's battlecruiser.
Back on the bridge, Claudia reports the main gun locked on target and Lisa reports only enough power for one shot. Gloval gives the order to fire. The blast from the SDF-1's booms cripples Khyron's ship, but doesn't kill it.
Aboard the dying vessel, Khyron is surprised to still be alive. Azonia tells him that all systems are dead except for navigation. However, the SDF-1 is dead as well. "They're powerless
!" Khyron is pleased by the news -- with no power, they can't raise a barrier. "Yes!
They're helpless!" Azonia says. "Let's get
"We both will, my love -- but it will require a sacrifice
. Will you face it with me?" Khyron asks.
"Yes, Khyron -- yes. It will be glorious."
As Khyron's ship bears down on the helpless SDF-1, Sammie reports not enough power to fire the main gun. Vanessa reports no helm control. Claudia tells them there's no reserve power. Gloval orders the ejection modules readied, but Sammie grimly reports that only one still works. "Only one of us can escape," she says.
"Only one of us," Claudia says, "the one who has the most
to live for." She approaches Lisa. Lisa tells her she can't be serious, but Gloval approaches her as well ...
"What is he doing?!
" Rick screams from his Veritech as he watches the enemy ship closing in on the SDF-1. "Stop him! Somebody stop him!
" Khyron's ship falls dead center between the SDF-1's crippled booms as Rick screams his beloved's name. As the remaining members of the SDF-1's bridge crew huddle together, a family 'til the end ... and as Khyron and Azonia hold each other tight in a passionate embrace, the Zentraedi cruiser crashes through the head of the SDF-1, taking off the bridge and main gun, and comes to a violent rest as a javelin through the heart of the SDF-2. The explosion wipes out the surrounding cityscape.
Max begins the rescue operation for the survivors of thrice built Macross, allowing Rick some time to say good-bye. His Guardian-mode Veritech sits on the edge of the irradiated lake as he thinks the words he would say to Lisa were she still there.
Only, she is
right there. "Say, soldier-boy ... give a girl a lift?" she says. Rick leaps down from his cockpit and runs into her arms.
"I--I thought I had lost
you ..." he says, grinning. Lisa tells him that Admiral Gloval and Claudia shoved her into the only remaining ejection module.
"They wanted me to live -- now that I have something to live for
," she tells him.
"You do, Lisa -- we both
do now. And I swear, nothing's
ever gonna keep us apart again."
Right on cue, however, a voice calls out from afar. "Rick!
Thank heaven you're all right!
" Minmei calls out. Rick tells Lisa that he'll handle this, and as he begins to tell her, Minmei interrupts. She knows that he's really in love with Lisa, and he asks her to forgive him. "If you can forgive me
for trying to force you into being something you're not," Minmei says. "I ... guess I do understand
, after all. My music means as much to me as flying does to you. Kyle's
gone. My career is probably in ruins
-- but I can't give up my music.
" Lisa invites Minmei to come with them, to use her talent to help them bring peace between the humans and the Robotech Masters, but Minmei tells her she'll have to think about it. "Right now, though, I want to try and find Aunt Lena and Uncle Max -- and see if there's anything
of my past left." She says good-bye to Rick and asks him to say he'll never forget her.
"I could never forget you, Minmei."
Some time later, the Robotech Defense Force regroups and Lisa addresses the remaining personnel. She tells them the mission laid before them by Admiral Gloval -- peace between Earth and the Robotech Masters. "We've lost the SDF-1
-- but we still have the Robotech Factory Satellite and the remaining ships in Breetai's fleet. With them, we can build the SDF-3
, and make good on the admiral's assignment. There's no guarantee whenn -- or if
-- we'll return to Earth, so anyone who undertakes this mission must do so voluntarily
. Although there are a few people we'd specifically like to request come along." She turns to Max and Miriya. Max agrees, but tells Lisa that Dana won't be coming with them.
"I know how important having a human-Zentraedi child would be to your mission ... but we might not ever come back -- and I want Dana to grow to adulthood and live a long, happy life. If we fail -- if we're killed by the Robotech Masters or even those Invid
that Exedore talked about ... I want to die knowing that my daughter lives on." Rico tells Max that he, Konda, and Bron will gladly take care of Dana. Miriya tells him to accept -- that while she'll be raised human, she'll know her Zentraedi heritage as well. Max tells Lisa that they're in. From the crowd behind them, others agree to come along.
"Then, together, we'll realize Admiral Gloval's dream!" Lisa says. "Together we'll go ... to the stars
- Jack McKinney novels timeline.MAJOR CHARACTERS
- Rick Hunter (next in Robotech (WildStorm) #0)
- Lisa Hayes (next in Robotech (WildStorm) #6)
- Lynn Minmei (next in Robotech II: The Sentinels #3)
- Henry J. Gloval (final appearance)
- Claudia Grant (final appearance)
- Vanessa Leeds (final appearance)
- Kim Young (final appearance)
- Sammie Porter (final appearance)
- Max Sterling (next in Robotech II: The Sentinels - The Malcontent Uprisings #1)
- Miriya Parina (next in Robotech II: The Sentinels - The Malcontent Uprisings #1)
- Khyron (final appearance)
- Azonia (final appearance)
- Grel (final appearance)
- Rico, Konda, and Bron (final appearance)
This is one of the few issues of the Comico adaptations of the original TV series episodes to be written in full script format ahead of the artist going to work. Most of the adaptations were done with the artist setting the pacing, laying out each page while reviewing a videotape of the TV episode, and the writer coming in later and adding the captions and dialogue. No, in order to properly capture the apocalyptic finale of The Macross Saga
, Markalan Joplin took the story as presented in the TV series -- and more importantly, in Jack McKinney's novel Doomsday
-- and laid everything out for Leeke and Chen. The resulting issue feels a lot more open
than the typical Comico adaptation, and hits all the highs and lows far more sensibly and spectacularly than, say, the somewhat off-kilter adaptation of episode #27, "Force of Arms."
In the first shot in the issue, there's clearly a bottle of Petite Cola on Rick's desk. I didn't even know
in bottles ...
And of course, that model Rick's playing with is a YF-4. He later test pilots a real one in Robotech
(WildStorm) #0; his Japanese series counterpart Hikaru Ichijyo goes on to lead a squadron piloting the production model, the VF-4, aboard the SDF-2 Megaroad
The angle that Gloval really just let Khyron get the Protoculture during the Christmas raid so that he could lead the way to Tirol comes straight from the novels.
Speaking of the novels, they also provide the idea that the SDF-2 requires the reflex furnaces from the SDF-1 before it can lift off "to the stars." Throughout this issue the two ships actually appear back-to-back, as described in the novels and producer Carl Macek's own remarks when asked where the SDF-2 is in the final battle.
Khyron's remark about letting the humans have Zor's Protoculture Factory is more than a little odd -- how would Khyron know about the Protoculture Matrix being aboard the ship? He was a mere battalion commander during his service with the Zentraedi. Wouldn't that be privileged information?
A lot of the dialogue throughout the issue is very strangely different from the TV series and even the novelization. For instance, it's Rick who tells Minmei that he's a pilot, and this is his life, when in the TV series and novels it's Lisa who delivers the line. There are also a lot of additional lines added throughout, clarifying actions and feelings where there might have been some ambiguity in the TV series or where something might have been covered in the narrative of the novelization.
On the rare occasion when all the details of the SDF-2 can be seen, it can be seen to have two ARMD carriers for arms and actually has details inspired by the unused SDF-2 Megaroad
design originally drawn up by Kazutaka Miyatake for the Macross
TV series. However, to my knowledge there is no art of the Megaroad
in a humanoid configuration.
Unlike the scene in the TV animation, the SDF-1's booms don't disintegrate after firing their last shot. However, it does clearly lose its head (and those booms with it) to Khyron's ship instead of its arm, explaining how the crew of the SDF-1 is killed.
It's not just me -- the dialogue during the scene after the SDF-1's destruction is awfully glib considering these people just lost friends as close as family, right?
Rick and Lisa appear in the final scene in command uniforms -- Rick in the same high-collared coat that Gloval once wore, and Lisa in the captain's uniform that was designed by the staff of the original Macross
animation for when she was to take command of the SDF-2. So Rick has already gotten his promotion by this point? The two wear the same uniforms in issue #6 of Robotech
(WildStorm) and in the framing sequence of "Mars Base One," the backup strip in the Invasion
mini-series, so I guess Harmony Gold has decided that this is the correct depiction of post-Macross Saga
Rick & Lisa.
In The Malcontent Uprisings
and the novel derived from that work, The Zentraedi Rebellion
, Max and Miriya only decide to join the SDF-3 mission after a number of trials and tribulations in South America fighting against Zentraedi terrorist cells. But that would really put a damper on this optimistic epilogue here, wouldn't it?Previous issue