Robotech: The Macross Saga (Comico The Comic Company)
Regular series / 1984 - February 1989
Based upon episodes 1-36 of the 1985 television series produced by Harmony Gold in association with Tatsunoko Prod. Co.
The alien invasion began almost coincidentally. A mammoth interstellar fortress ripped through the fabric of hyperspace on a collision course with the Earth. Whether by chance or some obscure twist of fate, this alien vessel was drawn toward the unsuspecting planet.
In the year 1999 AD, a 1200-meter alien space fortress plunges through hyperspace from parts unknown and crashes into the Earth's surface, coming to rest on a small island in the South Pacific called Macross. The arrival of this visitor from the stars ends nearly a decade of global war and unites the people of Earth in a way that nothing before ever had. Ten years of painstaking restoration and dedicated research at the hands of the United Earth Government's newly-formed Robotech Defense Force -- named for the ship's mysterious alien technology -- result in the launching of the rebuilt starship, known as the Super Dimensional Fortress One, in July of 2009.
By a strange twist of fate, on the day of the SDF-1's maiden flight, a genetically engineered alien force known as the Zentraedi arrive in Earthspace to lay claim to the ship and its secrets for their creators, the Robotech Masters. During an attempt to evade capture, the fortress is accidentally flung across the solar system to the near side of the orbit of Pluto. Now the SDF-1's young, inexperienced crew and its 70,000 accidental civilian passengers are forced to fight their way back to their homeworld.
BACKGROUND INFOThe Macross Saga
made up the first thirty-six episodes of the ROBOTECH TV series, and at the same time its adaptation was the first ROBOTECH comic book series, published by the very first licensee ROBOTECH as we know it ever had, Comico The Comic Company.
The comic series started in 1984 as an adaptation of Super Dimension Fortress Macross
, the 1982-83 hit Japanese animated TV series, which was being released on video in the U.S. under the title Space Fortress Macross
by Harmony Gold USA. However, during the period between the publication of issues one and two of the comic book series, Harmony Gold's plans changed. Rather than a somewhat faithful adaptation of the Macross
TV series on video (certainly more faithful than previous anime dubs of the era, such as Battle of the Planets
), now Macross
would be combined with two other anime series -- 1984's Southern Cross
and 1983's Mospeada
-- to create a new American TV series called ROBOTECH. Names and terminology changed, and Comico now had two more comic book series to produce.Robotech: The Macross Saga
, as the Macross
adaptation was now called, became the flagship title of the ROBOTECH line, and as such seemed to garner the most attention from its publisher. The first three issues were written by ROBOTECH's story editor and producer, Carl Macek. The artwork for the first issue was drawn by Macek's wife, Svea Stauch, and later issues were drawn by future Robotech Masters
and Robotech: The Graphic Novel
artist Neil Vokes, New Generation
artist Reggie Byers, and finally the man who would become the series's regular artist, Mike Leeke. On the story end, Jack Herman was the first writer to claim Macek's vacated chair, but it would be Markalan Joplin -- taking over with issue seventeen -- who would truly bring the series to greatness. Herman's scripts tended to hew closely to the source material, a plus for a series built on a fairly stringent continuity, but Joplin started bringing in additional details from the novels by Jack McKinney to flesh out the stories somewhat, and worked to adapt unclear events and dialogue from the TV series to make more sense emotionally and continuity-wise.
Markalan Joplin died at the age of 32, having been in failing health for a few years, not long after the completion of his script for issue #36 of The Macross Saga
, the final issue of the series. The script for #36 had been completed before his script for issue #35 -- most of the Comico adaptations were drawn by the artist from tapes of the animation and then dialogued and captioned by the writer afterwards, but "To The Stars" was adapted with a full script first in order to segue the story into The Sentinels
and better reflect the story as presented in the McKinney novels. Comico editor Diana Schutz eventually finished the adaptation for issue #35, "Season's Greetings," the last Comico ROBOTECH comic to be written. Ever.
A few months prior to the publication of the final issue of The Macross Saga
, Eternity Comics, a division of Malibu Graphics, started cranking out their own black and white ROBOTECH comic book story adaptations -- adaptations of the unfinished ROBOTECH sequel TV series The Sentinels
that was supposed to have launched back in 1986. The Comico era was over, and a few years later, Comico would be over, too. But that's another story ...
THE MACROSS SAGA
- Issue 1 -- Booby Trap
- Issue 2 -- Countdown
- Issue 3 -- Space Fold
- Issue 4 -- The Long Wait
- Issue 5 -- Transformation
- Issue 6 -- Blitzkrieg
- Issue 7 -- Bye Bye Mars
- Issue 8 -- Sweet Sixteen
- Issue 9 -- Miss Macross
- Issue 10 -- Blind Game
- Issue 11 -- First Contact
- Issue 12 -- The Big Escape
- Issue 13 -- Blue Wind
- Issue 14 -- Gloval's Report
- Issue 15 -- Homecoming
- Issue 16 -- Battlecry
- Issue 17 -- Phantasm
- Issue 18 -- Farewell Big Brother
- Issue 19 -- Bursting Point
- Issue 20 -- Paradise Lost
- Issue 21 -- A New Dawn
- Issue 22 -- Battle Hymn
- Issue 23 -- Reckless
- Issue 24 -- Showdown
- Issue 25 -- Wedding Bells
- Issue 26 -- The Messenger
- Issue 27 -- Force of Arms
- Issue 28 -- Reconstruction Blues
- Issue 29 -- The Robotech Masters
- Issue 30 -- Viva Miriya
- Issue 31 -- Khyron's Revenge
- Issue 32 -- Broken Heart
- Issue 33 -- A Rainy Night
- Issue 34 -- Private Time
- Issue 35 -- Season's Greetings
- Issue 36 -- To The Stars
Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #2 (of 5)
"Part Two: Retribution"
Story - Tommy Yune
Script - Jason & John Waltrip
Art - Omar Dogan @ Udon Studios
Letters - Travis Lanham
Asst. Editor - Kristy Quinn
Editor - Ben Abernathy
Published by WildStorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics.
Release date - October 19, 2005
Cover date - December 2005
Diamond order number - AUG05 0266
Estimated sales - 10,811 copies
As General T.R. Edwards's warship, the experimental battlecruiser Icarus
, orbits the Invid homeworld of Optera, Vince Grant's command, the retrofitted Tokugawa
, comes out of space fold and approaches the planet. Vince orders a passive scan of the planet below, so as not to let the Invid know they're coming. "Reading dense cloud cover and electrical discharges. The atmosphere is highly ionized. Spectro-analysis shows almost no oxygen, but high levels of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, and traces of silicon and heavy elements. Looks like the ecology of the whole planet's been wiped out," the ship's sensor operator offers. Another bridge officer suggests that the war between the Robotech Masters of Tirol and the Invid must have taken its toll. "Serves 'em right," he says, "they never should've started it." Sensors indicate another ship in Opteran orbit, along with several unidentifiable objects. Vince orders them up on the screen and magnified. The ship is revealed to be the Invid Regent's flagship, surrounded by a swarm of red lights. "Sound general quarters! All crews to battle stations!" Vince orders. "All decks to alert status!" Zentraedi Commander Breetai races from the bridge to prepare for battle. Karen Penn informs Vince that all crews are at battle stations, and reports that while the Regent's ship hasn't made a move, there's another ship behind it -- T.R. Edwards's Icarus
Back in orbit around Tirol, Admiral Rick Hunter and Dr. Emil Lang are ferried to the newly rebuilt SDF-3. Rick thanks Lang and his teams for getting the SDF-3 reconstructed and refitted in so little time, but Lang says he should be thanking the Sentinels. "Without Ambassador Veidt we would never have been able to reverse-engineer Edwards's research. Without L'Ron and the Karbarrans we never would have been able to retrofit the SDF-3 or any of the Expeditionary fleet ships in such a short period of time," Lang says. Most of the Haydonites' assistance came in the form of reverse-engineering Edwards's biggest advantage, his new Shadow technology. Lang explains that Edwards discovered that the Invid can detect Protoculture power emissions, and has found a way to mask the energy signatures of reflex furnaces, rendering them invisible to most forms of detection. Janice approaches and tells Lang that everything is on schedule, and they should be able to get under way in twenty-four hours -- less if her central processor could handle the Haydonite technical data more effectively. Lang assures her that he's enlisted the aid of the Haydonites to develop some upgrades for her systems.
Rick is then informed of an incoming transmission from Space Station Liberty. Dr. Miles Cochrane lets Rick know that the installation of the new Shadow technology on the fleet is proceeding on schedule. Rick asks if the new fold drives for the SDF-3 will be ready by the time the ship is completed. Cochrane says it'll be down to the wire, but he has his best engineer, Dr. Louis Nichols, on it. As Cochrane signs off, Rick remarks that they might have to thank Edwards for this new technology if they can actually use it against the Invid, but Veidt tells him that what Edwards discovered what not new at all, but rather something very old that the Haydonites thought was lost. Rick asks Veidt how it works. "Simply put," Veidt says, "it utilizes what we call a Shadow Dimensional Field that creates a fourth-dimensional shift around Protoculture power emissions, rendering the reflex source invisible to any form of detection." Rick hopes that they're not too late to help Vince. However, Veidt remarks that this is merely the defensive application of the technology, and that he suspects that with the aid of someone not of the Invid, Edwards may have adapted it towards offensive weaponry.
Back in Optera orbit, Karen confirms the ship as Edwards's Icarus
. Vince orders shields up, forward batteries to prepare to fire, and all fighter squadrons to scramble. Jack Baker's Wolf Squadron and Breetai's Zentraedi forces race to the flight deck. Karen notices that the forward hull of the Icarus
is beginning to glow. Vince asks what the sensors show, but as before the Shadow technology is preventing them from getting any sort of readings. As a ring of energy emanates from the enemy vessel, Vince realizes what he's looking at and orders immediate evasive action. It's too late. The Icarus
's main forward synchro cannon blasts straight through the port side of the Tokugawa
, causing damage on a massive scale. The ship lists towards Optera, and Karen reports that the only systems responding are navigation and communications. "Get us some distance behind the planet!" Vince barks. "We're sitting ducks here!" Then Karen, with a look of dread, informs Vince that the Icarus
is preparing to fire again.
Jack reports from the fighter bay that the doors won't open. Karen tells him that the Tokugawa
has been seriously damaged and they've just lost auxiliary power to the launch bay. Jack shoots a hole in the bay door and leads his squadron of Alphas to battle.
From his flagship, the Invid Regent congratulates General Edwards on his strategy, then orders his elite battalion to launch. Waves of Invid fighters flood from his battle fortress.
Aboard the Icarus
Edwards is informed that the synchro cannon is ready for another firing and the Invid are intercepting the REF fighters as expected. "Stand by," Edwards says. He tells Dr. Zand to get ready.
Jack notices the energy buildup on the Icarus
's synchro cannon and tells Breetai that they're going to fire on the Tokugawa
again. However, Breetai has a plan.
As the Regent watches the Invid battle the Alpha Fighters with glee, the Zentraedi's Bioroid units breach the Invid flagship's hull and storm his chambers. The Bioroids do battle with the Regent's guards as the Regent demands that his units be recalled to defend the ship. However, they're not responding -- Dr. Lazlo Zand has transferred control of the Invid mecha from the Regent's Invid Brain to the one stolen from Tirol! Now they will only do Edwards's bidding. The Regent realizes what's happened and shouts in rage, striking down invading Bioroids with his bare fists.
Breetai enters the Invid battle fortress's main bridge and maneuvers the ship between the Icarus
and the Tokugawa
. He orders all units to evacuate the enemy ship, but is suddenly struck from behind. Breetai looks up and recognizes his foe. "So, the Regent himself has come for me? What did I do to deserve this honor?"
"And the slave warrior has returned to complete his Masters' bidding!" the Regent snaps.
"No longer a slave, but still a warrior! Your reign of terror ends now!" Breetai retorts. The two warriors grapple as the Icarus
's synchro cannon glows ever brighter.
"Ends!? It began when you tyrants decimated my planet! Now I will finish what the Robotech Masters started!" the Regent shouts.
"The Invid supercarrier is headed right at us!" Edwards is told. "Should we abort the synchro cannon and take evasive measures?"
"Negative," Edwards replies. "Fire at will."
The blast thunders across the vacuum of space and annihilates the Invid warship, taking Breetai and the Invid Regent with it.
"Ah, audacity ... always audacity!" Edwards remarks. "For a moment there, gentlemen, I wasn't sure we were going to pull that off." One of his men tells him that they've suffered minor damage to the port bow weapons array, but nothing serious. Dr. Zand compliments Edwards on his ingenious use of the Shadow Dimensional Field, using it not only to mask the synchro cannon's energy signature to also cut off the Regent's control of his troops, and Edwards adds that with the Regent's living computer destroyed, all the Regent's war machines will only obey Edwards's commands.
"So ... what do we do with our new army?" Zand asks.
"Patience, Zand," Edwards says as he watches the Tokugawa
, knocked back by the shockwave of the Regent's ship's destruction, drift into the pull of Optera's gravitational field. "I want to enjoy this." Zand asks if they'll finish off the Tokugawa
, but Edwards feels there's plenty of time for that later. "All in all," Edwards says, "I'd say it's been a very satisfying day."
Meanwhile, aboard the falling Tokugawa
, Karen tells Vince that navigation is no longer responding. Vince orders her to send a distress call to the SDF-3 before they lose communications, too ...
- Modern Robotech.com
Many of the following notes are based on my earlier, more visually detailed observations made in November of 2005 around the time the following issue of Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles
was originally released. You can read those notes here
The first page of this issue features excerpts from both T.R. Edwards and Vince Grant's personal logs in the style of the epigraphs that open each chapter of the ROBOTECH novels by Jack McKinney. Edwards's is especially interesting in that it references Julius Caesar's crossing of the river Rubicon, the first step in his rise to power, which also serves as a reference to the final novel of Jack McKinney's Sentinels
series, which was entitled Rubicon
Karen Penn, Jack Baker's love interest and rival from Robotech II: The Sentinels
, seems to take the post of first officer aboard Vince Grant's Tokugawa
. Unfortunately for Sentinels
fans, she does not retain this post when he assumes command of Edwards's Icarus
in the Shadow Chronicles
animated feature. Also, she doesn't get a single chance to interact with Jack on anything more than a professional level -- they get exactly one scene where they get to exchange some dialogue, and the only indication that they know each other on a personal level is that he calls her Karen and she calls him Jack, and that's only after she's tried to maintain her professionalism by calling him "Commander Baker." Of course, that is completely
in character for her ...
Despite the fact that he was a full-sized Zentraedi the last time we saw him in Robotech II: The Sentinels
, Breetai is micronized and wearing a better-designed version of his ridiculous Sentinels
helmet. A really cool touch is that several times throughout the issue Omar Dogan gives us a nice close-up of his helmet and we can see his left eye behind the helmet glass and a blank panel where his right eye should be.
It should be noted that micronized Breetai invalidates the Sentinels Book II
subplot where the Zentraedi resizing chamber wore out after all the Zentraedi but Exedore were returned to full size to mine monopole ore on Fantoma that was necessary to repair the SDF-3, but given the differences between the McKinney Sentinels
storyline on which the Sentinels
comics were based and the new timeline as suggested throughout Prelude
, the monopole ore might not have been needed. Also, the Prelude
crew was working under a remit to keep Prelude
away from certain elements of Macross
-- hence the Zentraedi using Bioroids later in the issue instead of, say, the Z1 and Z2 Battlepods that were designed for Sentinels
When Breetai talks to Vince about the Invid, he curiously remarks that, "We have fought them alongside the Robotech Masters for many years!" The key word here is "alongside." The Regent later makes a point of calling Breetai a "slave" to the Masters, which makes Breetai's word choice here all the more interesting. Then again, might it be possible that Breetai is referring to the REF working alongside the surviving Masters forces to fight the Invid? Unlikely, but certainly possible.
The bridge officer on the Tokugawa
says that Optera has "almost no oxygen" and that it, "Looks like the ecology of the whole planet's been wiped out." Yet at the end of the next issue, Rick Hunter is able to walk out onto Optera's surface without a helmet. Whoops!
Also worth noting, in the only visual representation of the defoliation of Optera, the Waltrips' Legend of Zor
, the defoliation was perpetrated with giant harvesting machines that manually removed all the Flowers of Life. However, the description of Optera here suggests to me that it's possible that the Robotech Masters used chemical weapons to defoliate the planet once they retrieved all the Flowers they needed. However, I suppose it's also possible that the removal of the Flower of Life from Optera's ecosystem caused these changes to the planet's ecology. Of course, the officer's remark ignores the possibility that this is simply the kind of environment that the Invid in their current form thrive on -- remember, aside from the human-type Invid and the Regent and Regess, we've never seen an Invid wandering around outside his or her mecha in the current canon.
The remark from a rank-and-file REF bridge officer that the Invid never should have started their war with the Robotech Masters gives the strong impression that the Expeditionary Force has been getting all their information about the war between the Masters and the Invid from the Tirolians, an obviously biased source. Breetai, as we see later in his battle with the Regent, knows better, but on the bridge of the Tokugawa
he remains silent. Remember, doddering old Cabell spent the end of Sentinels Book I
#16 assuring Dr. Lang that the Invid must wiped out -- "survival of the fittest," he says, and also, "The greatest threat to your planet is the Invid. Have no sympathy
for them, Doctor. They are no longer
the race they once were. They are driven
. They will stop at nothing
to regain their precious Flower of Life." The Sentinels have surely expressed similar sentiments to the humans, especially the Haydonites (for reasons that are made clear in The Shadow Chronicles
), and in the Shadow Chronicles
animation, young Marcus Rush gleefully relishes every opportunity he has to destroy the Invid. This strong loathing for the Invid and total misunderstanding of their motives has permeated the entire Robotech Expeditionary Force, and is consistent with what is seen in the New Generation
episodes of the TV series -- Scott Bernard's attitude throughout the series and the use of the Neutron S missiles at the end alike.
The dialogue mentions some craft surrounding the Regent's flagship and supercarrier that "don't look Invid," but the art shows only twinkling red lights surrounding the Invid war machines. These are not brought up again. Perhaps they are the Neutron S warheads that Edwards mentions in issue #4, but if so it's a very poor foreshadowing, especially from a visual standpoint.
The giant Invid supercarrier that the Regent's flagship (which, again, was destroyed back in Sentinels Book IV
#8, but that's not canon in this timeline) has docked with exhibits a distinct "lots of eyes and claws" aesthetic consistent with the Invid war machines the Waltrips designed during the Academy Comics publishing era.Important point
: While in the Shadow Chronicles
animation the Haydonites are given all of the credit for Shadow technology, in this issue of Prelude
Dr. Lang gives all the credit to Edwards. The Haydonites merely get credit for aiding the REF in their understanding and application of the technology. Clearly there is some retconning going on here. On the other hand, Veidt's dialogue swings things back around by telling Rick that what Edwards discovered was something the Haydonites were aware of all along.
When Rick and Dr. Lang arrive on the SDF-3, Janice and Veidt are seen supervising a team of Karbarran workers in REF uniforms putting some finishing touches on some part of the ship's construction. This is the last time the Sentinels aliens are seen, with the exception of Veidt, until the last issue of the series, and then that's just L'Ron.
Proof of this book being rushed out the door: on page 5, a large block of Dr. Lang's dialogue is put in Janice's mouth. Oh, and they're still doing the phonetic German accent thing on Dr. Lang's dialogue -- the key reason you can tell at first glance that the dialogue is coming out of the wrong mouth -- but in quoting it in the text above I've dropped that for clarity.
Wasn't Dr. Miles Cochrane a medical doctor back in the Robotech Masters
episodes of the ROBOTECH TV series? I clearly recall that his lab was where Zor Prime was being studied; he didn't have anything to do with ships and mecha and the like, and now suddenly he's in charge of refitting Robotech vessels with the latest defensive technology. Either he's merely in management at Liberty, or he's gone through the same program the Robotech Master Zor did to be able to both understand and tap into the bio-energy of Protoculture within the Flower of Life (biology) AND design and oversee the construction of the SDF-1 (mechanical engineering).
Apparently the bow of the Icarus
was designed for a single surprise blast of the synchro cannon; the blast tears it apart so that henceforth the ship appears as it does in the Shadow Chronicles
feature, with two prongs sticking out flanking the giant maw of the ship's synchro cannon.Question
: What was
the Invid Regent getting out of his alliance with T.R. Edwards in this version of the ROBOTECH timeline? In Sentinels
, Edwards fed the Regent the whereabouts of the Sentinels' flagship, the Farrago
, and led the charge on setting up the peace accords that ended in the death of the false Regent at the hands of the Invid scientist Tesla. However, it's clear from the events of the first issue of Prelude
that the whole "peace with the Invid" arc didn't happen in the new timeline, and the REF's involvement in the liberation of the Sentinels' worlds has been downplayed. So I ask again, what exactly
did the Regent get out of all this -- besides being annihilated at the end of this issue?
The Regent's "elite battalion" appears to be a space variant on the Invid Shock Trooper design, with the thrusters of the booster-equipped Scout and an additional claw on each hand. Given the black coloration and red accents, these seem to correlate to the Black Death Destroyers that the Regent had developed in Sentinels Book IV
#8, a caste of bizarrely redesigned Invid soldiers evolved from the Regess's "special children" in the wake of his major defeat on Haydon IV -- the same defeat where he lost that flagship he's commanding here. Of course, the Black Death Destroyer designs and name are a bit too over-the-top for Prelude
(at least at this early point), but obviously that's the basic concept at work here, based on the visual presented and the Regent's word choice.
Dr. Lazlo Zand is revealed to be alive and well and working for T.R. Edwards. Given his place in the Leonard-Edwards cabal was supposed to be back on Earth running Robotech Research Tokyo in Dr. Lang's stead, and for that matter, he was supposed to have been transformed at the end of chapter 25 of McKinney's novel The Final Nightmare
into a giant Flower of Life
, I'm curious how he wound up here working on T.R. Edwards's top-secret projects. My guess: he stowed aboard on one of the ships that left Earth in the framing sequence that ended issue #6 of Love & War
. Of course, given Lang's dialogue regarding their discussions about fourth-dimensional reconfiguration, I'm curious how long Zand was supposed to be dead, and if he was supposed to have died the same way, and if he and Lang were somehow in contact during the early stages of the Pioneer Mission. Too many questions, not enough answers!
Zand is wearing a science uniform strongly similar to Louie Nichols's in the Shadow Chronicles
animation, complete with cape. His cyborg eyes/glasses are reminiscent of Bateau from Ghost in the Shell
, and his tan skin brings to mind his appearance as described in McKinney's The Zentraedi Rebellion
, when following his self-induced Protoculture mindboost Dr. Lang confronts him about his newly tanned appearance -- a side-effect of the Protoculturally-charged drug cocktail he injected himself with, like his all-black eyes. It should be noted that the character was originally based on a Dr. Lang look-alike who appears in The Macross Saga
, episode #29, "The Robotech Masters," and his description in the novels was never anything akin to the Exedore-like figure that John Waltrip drew in Robotech II: The Sentinels Wedding Special
#2. Still, the version of the character that appears here bears little resemblance to any previous description or visual interpretation of the character. I like the design, though. I hope we see him stirring up trouble in the next ROBOTECH animation.
The Zentraedi are all pictured using a newly designed variant on the Bioroid Invid Fighter design from the end of Robotech Masters
, the Bioroid Interceptor. Model sheets of the design can be seen in the back of issue #3 of Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles
. Note the rank insignia on the shoulder, a holdover design element from Sentinels
as seen in the old Eternity/Malibu Graphics Sentinels Illustrated Handbook
. Mind you, when you see Breetai's rank insignia, you'll notice that it has more stripes on it than the rank insignia the Illustrated Handbook
gives for a Commodore -- the highest rank in the Illustrated Handbook
's chart -- so I don't know what's
up with that.
When the Regent confronts Breetai, the mecha he's using is what I suppose could be a non-transformable variant or prototype of the Invid Overlord mecha, the transformable Invid craft designed to be the "final boss" of the Robotech: Invasion
video game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. I say that his particular craft is probably not transformable because I doubt that the Regent's tremendous bulk
would fit into a mecha of that scale that was also transformable.
The word balloon for the Regent and Breetai's war cries as they are killed is poorly placed, another symptom of just how quickly this book was rushed out the door.
Zand states that the Brain cut off "the Regent's control of his Inorganic units," but the units that the Brain was coordinating were living Invid
, not Inorganics. What Zand forgets here (and the Waltrips, apparently) is that living Invid Scouts, Shock Troopers, and the like can also
be controlled by the Invid Brains (see, for instance, the mental control tug-of-war at the very end of the Waltrips' own Sentinels Book IV
#13). Whoops.Previous issue
Labels: Sentinels, Shadow Chronicles
Robotech II: The Sentinels Book Four #13
"Requiem for Justice"
Story & Art - John Waltrip & Jason Waltrip
Published by Academy Comics Ltd.
Release date - December 26, 1996
Cover date - December 1996
At the base of the Royal Pyramid, Invid Inorganics march and fire wildly at the patrolling Expeditionary Force officers. Within, Jonathan Wolff orders the search party, which was trying to locate T.R. Edwards and his men, to retreat. Vince Grant orders the Destroids to scramble. As the REF personnel wonder where these Inorganics came from, Wolff is informed that Dr. Lang's personnel carrier has landed. While Lang and the REF Council make their way to the carrier to return to the SDF-3, Wolff tells Vince to have all the Destroids and Hovertank units converge on the Royal Pyramid. He then asks who was in charge of disposing of all the Inorganics after the Invid were defeated on Tirol. He is told that it was General Edwards ...
Beneath the Royal Pyramid, Edwards tells his men to contact their remaining forces on the SDF-3 and the Jutland
and to prepare the Invid Brain for transport. However, he has one stop to make beforehand. He returns to his hovercar and orders it to his personal headquarters.
In the streets of Tiresia, Inorganics clash with Destroids and Hovertanks. The city burns anew.
Aboard the SDF-3, in the ship's situation room, Captain Forsythe greets Lang and the council. He informs Lang that the ship is secure, but Edwards's men have gotten away with the Jutland
. The council is shocked, but Lang tells them to remain calm. He is certain that Edwards is employing the Invid Brain they captured during the liberation of Tirol, that the Inorganics are under his control. "Send whatever forces you can to support the ground troops," Lang tells Forsythe, "but the SDF-3 must be protected at all costs. Without this ship ... we can't get home." Forsythe sends Veritech Grey Squadron down to join the battle.
Beneath REF Headquarters in Tiresia, Benson tells Edwards that the Jutland
will be sending a Veritech escort in twenty minutes. Edwards says for them to execute the extraction at the south wing of the Royal Pyramid. He proceeds to Lynn Minmei's cell. She screams at the sight of him. He quickly covers her mouth and insists that she's coming with him, that she's his, not Hunter's and not Wolff's. She continues to scream and he slaps her, drawing blood. "If you don't leave me alone, T.R. ... I'm going to kill you," Minmei says, wiping the blood away. Edwards prepares for another slap, but when he sees the defiant look in her eyes he stops.
"I'm going to make you beg me to forget what you just said," Edwards says.
"No, you're not," Minmei says, her eyes narrowing.
"No, you're not," a voice from behind tells Edwards. Edwards looks back as a hand grips his. Suddenly, a bearded pilot swings Edwards overhead by his arm, then smashes Edwards's face into the wall. The pilot reaches out his hand to Minmei. She asks who he is. The pilot removes his helmet, revealing himself to be Lynn Kyle. "Come on, Minmei," he tells her. "Let's go home." Edwards reaches for Minmei's leg and insists that she's his, but Kyle grabs Edwards by the arm and tells Rebecca Nicks, standing by, to look after Minmei. Kyle puts Edwards in an armlock and turns him over. "I've never taken a human life," Kyle tells Edwards, "but I'll kill you if you don't lie still."
"Go ahead. Take the little slut. She's a waste of time in bed anyway," Edwards says.
Kyle prepares to smash his face in, but Nicks and Minmei tell him to stop. "It's over, Kyle. Just hang on to him and we can end it all today," Nicks says.
"Please, Kyle. You're not a murderer," Minmei says.
Kyle lifts Edwards up and slams him against the wall. "War's over, General. You're going to order your troops to stand down. We'll strike a peace with the Invid. And then we're all going home, right?" Edwards responds in the affirmative. "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb. And the leopard shall lie down with the kid. And we're all going to live happily ever after, right?"
Just then, Minmei screams. One of Edwards's men has stabbed Nicks in the back, and has Minmei by the throat. Edwards orders him to kill Minmei, and as the soldier's knife begins to draw blood, Kyle rushes at him, disarming him and knocking him out. As Minmei sobs, Kyle notices Edwards reaching back. Kyle leaps at Edwards, but Edwards draws a gun and fires a shot. Minmei screams, and Kyle tackles Edwards, but it's not enough. Lynn Kyle is dying. Edwards pushes him aside and stands as Minmei rushes to her dying cousin's side.
"Well," Edwards says as he dusts himself off, "that turned out better than I thought."
"The war was almost over," Kyle croaks out. "We'd won."
"Yes. We'd won. You won it for us, Kyle," Minmei says.
"Tell me you love me, Minmei. Let it be the last thing I hear. Please."
"I love you, Lynn Kyle. Now and forever."
Minmei kisses Kyle as Edwards barks orders into the comm link on his uniform collar. "That's right, Benson. Brain extraction is at south pyramid, but I want an A/B VT pick up at this location. Now move!
" He yanks Minmei away from Kyle's body. "Get up! Don't waste your tears on him, my sweet. He's finished with you ... but I'm just getting started." He forces a kiss on her and drags her away, cackling.
Meanwhile, over the planet Spheris, the forces of the Sentinels descend towards the atmosphere in a Haydonite flyer, approaching the planet's central Invid Hive. Jack Baker asks the Invid Tesla if he's sure he can control the Invid garrison there. "I wish you would stop asking me that," Telsa whines. "Of course I can. I am evolved now." Karen Penn asks what happens if they fire first. "They will not. I have already seen to it. My will is there. Get me closer."
Below, the Invid commander is informed of an unidentified object approaching the Hive. Commander Nazdak orders a wave of Shock Troopers to be deployed to intercept.
Veidt tells Tesla that they are now over the Hive and that he may now proceed with his orders. "Loyal hordes of the Invid race! Hear my voice and obey! I am Tesla, your master! You will do as I command!" Nazdak is infuriated by the challenge to his authority. As both Invid shout for the Shock Troopers' attention, the troops stand motionless. Jack shouts for Tesla to tell them to disarm, but Tesla tells him that he's concentrating. Meanwhile, Nazdak orders the planet's Invid Brain to go to full power.
"Assert your control over the Troopers! Destroy that usurper! Fire!"
Meanwhile, Tesla sends out contradictory orders. "Protect your master!" he demands. "Fire!"
The Invid Shock Troopers begin firing on one another, and several of those still under Nazdak's command fire upon the Haydonite craft. As the flyer shakes, Jack demands to know what's going on. "I thought you said you could control the garrison!"
"I am controlling the garrison!" Tesla snaps. "I'm controlling half the garrison! Unfortunately the Hive Brain controls the other half!" Jack orders Veidt to get them out before they're blown out of the sky, but it's too late -- a blast from a Shock Trooper knocks them out of the sky ...
- Modified Jack McKinney novels timeline.MAJOR CHARACTERS
Welcome to the end of an era.
Study that cover a moment. The golden logo and big red Robotech Defense Force fighting kite set against the black backdrop suggest that Jason & John Waltrip were aware of the layout and appearance of the first Antarctic Press ROBOTECH comic cover; it's a distorted mirror image of the first book from Academy's successors, which would be all the more effective if a stray "TM" wasn't hovering right above T.R. Edwards's crotch. In any case, though, it's both an interesting nod to the next comic license holder and a good stark "final issue" cover, despite the fact that it gives away the book's major plot point -- though I doubt there were many reading the title for whom Lynn Kyle's death would come as a shock.
Despite the fact that the Veritech squadron sent down by Raul Forsythe appears to be entirely made up of Alpha Fighters, when it comes time for the big two-page spread of battle, all the Veritechs that you can make out in the sky are VF-1 Valkyries. One of them lacks a gun pod; two have Skull Squadron markings on their FAST packs, and still another appears to be a VT-1 from Macross: Do You Remember Love?
However, given that this is the last issue of the series, I'll give the Waltrips a pass on this. Clearly they wanted to reach back and toss the classic mecha in for the climactic mecha battle of this final issue.
Note that the Invid commander on the crystal world of Spheris, Nazdak, is wearing a jeweled necklace and a variety of jeweled rings. That's a cute touch, I thought.
Honestly, of all the places the Sentinels
comics could have ended, I think this was a good spot. It provides a certain amount of resolution, just in case the Waltrips never returned to the story, but also gives enough of a cliffhanger that the fans still want to see what happens next according to the Waltrips' version of events. Sure, Edwards has the upper hand and the Sentinels are in a really tight spot, but nowhere else could so much false hope have been dangled in front of the readers -- it's just as Minmei said to Kyle, "The war was over. We'd won." That's just a beautiful note to end on. Everything almost ended for the best. Sure, Kyle's notion was simplistic, but he was caught up in the moment; he had the enemy at his mercy, and suddenly it was like he could see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if that light was something of a fairy tale ending.
While the storyline concerning T.R. Edwards was ultimately resolved to some extent in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles
, it was resolved with certain details changed -- his motivation and goals, for starters -- and others diminished, such as his twisted feelings for Lynn Minmei. Kyle's death appears in flashback in the first issue of Prelude
, more or less as it happens here, while the unleashing of the Inorganics on the REF forces, which occurred at the end of Sentinels Book IV
#12, is repeated in a slightly different sequence later. At the same time, the Spheris storyline that ends on a cliffhanger here was dropped entirely -- indeed, the entire Sentinels Campaign is resolved off-panel -- as well as the story of the evolution of the scheming Invid scientist Tesla. It's such a shame that it's unlikely we'll see him again.Previous issue