Rolling Thunder (Antarctic Press)
If I'm going to hell, I ain't going alone!
THE LOWDOWNWhile the curtain fell on the Second Robotech War when the spores of the Flower of Life scattered to the winds and the Robotech Masters Shaizan, Dag, and Bowkaz died on their flagship, that did not mean that the Masters had been utterly defeated. Indeed, remnants of the Masters' forces continued to be a threat to the scattered and poorly-armed Army of the Southern Cross as well as the human race at large for some time after the destruction of the Masters' flagship. When Dana Sterling's 15th Alpha Tactical Armored Corps is called in to defend a surviving human settlement, she and her allies find themselves pitted against perhaps the most merciless Master of all, a creature guided so totally by the concept of "survival of the fittest" that he finds defense of the weak to be the most intolerable of all crimes. His name: Dalmeric Khane.
BACKGROUND INFORolling Thunder was the second main storyline serialized in Antarctic Press's bimonthly full color ROBOTECH anthology series. Oddly -- or maybe not so much, given how little attention has been paid to the second generation of ROBOTECH -- it is the only story outside of McKinney's final Robotech novel, Before the Invid Storm, to chronicle the period after the defeat of the Robotech Masters but before the arrival of the Invid. It is also one of the only original Southern Cross tales featuring the TV series cast ever published with Harmony Gold's blessing -- in fact, setting aside the story in Antarctic's Robotech Annual, it's the ONLY wholly original comic book storyline featuring the 15th Squadron!
In some respects, it's not too different from Perry's earlier effort, the hopelessly flawed Megastorm. It's a very action-oriented tale pitting original ROBOTECH TV series heroes against a villain more powerful than any they faced in the course of the old show, featuring improbable new mecha and irritating pop culture references. Still, the unique character redesigns -- done in the same art style as writer/artist Fred Perry's Gold Digger -- matched up with the nifty new Bioroids and the less garish camouflage look given to the Hovertanks and other ASC mecha provide the series with some excellent eye candy. The returning characters are all handled pretty well, though there are a few noticably absent from the roster (Dennis Brown, Nova Satori, Musica).
The only thing is, the new villains, while excellently developed in the personality department, raise a number of questions about the Masters' culture which are never addressed in the story. Likewise, the ideas that make up the bulk of the storyline's conflict, theories regarding the relationship between the Robotech Masters and the Zentraedi, come out of the blue and aren't really backed up by anything in the previous ROBOTECH canon. While it's only really concerned with action and military adventure, the story raises a lot of interesting questions that it never gets around to answering. If there was ever a ROBOTECH comic book story yearning for its own sourcebook, it would be this one. But then, isn't that the Robotech Masters era in a nutshell -- so much interesting potential, so little explored or explained?
- Issue 4 -- Rolling Thunder Part 1
- Issue 5 -- Rolling Thunder Part 2
- Issue 6 -- Rolling Thunder Part 3
- Issue 7 -- Rolling Thunder Part 4
- GD Tangent On-Line -- Fred Perry's art blog, featuring art pieces from his current projects, flash movies, and more!
- PREVIEWS interview, July 1997 -- An archived interview (poorly proofread) talking a little about "Rolling Thunder" and other work on his plate at the time, including Gold Digger and Legacy.
SEE ALSOOther works (currently in print) by Fred Perry:
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 1
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 2
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 3
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 4
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 5
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 6
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 7
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 8
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 9
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 10
- Gold Digger Pocket Manga Vol. 11
- Gold Digger Max Pocket Manga Vol. 1
- Gold Digger II Pocket Manga Vol. 1
- Gold Digger II Pocket Manga Vol. 2
- Gold Digger II Pocket Manga Vol. 3
- Gold Digger II Pocket Manga Vol. 4
- Peebomanga 1.0 Pocket Manga Vol. 1