Robotech: Academy Blues (Academy Comics Ltd.)
Story by Robert W. Gibson
Most academies have long histories and traditions. Ours is less than three years old. Most schools are built around famous historical sites and landmarks. Ours is built around something that dropped out of the sky. But the most important, most meaningful difference is that wheras most other military academies were formed between boundaries, ours was formed beyond boundaries. There are no countries here, no nationalities ... no borders. Just people.
THE LOWDOWNA spin-off of the ongoing Return to Macross title, Academy Blues follows the adventures of Lisa Hayes, Kim Young, Vanessa Leeds, Rolf Emerson, and other future war heroes in their days as cadets in the Robotech Academy, dealing with experimental futuristic machinery as well as everyday problems.
Not that there is such a thing as an everyday problem on Macross Island ...
BACKGROUND INFOMuch like Warriors before it, Academy Blues was a logical extension of the idea behind Return to Macross -- the tales of the Macross Saga cast before the First Robotech War. Where Warriors showed us Breetai and Exedore scouring the galaxy for the SDF-1 and Return to Macross covered Gloval, Fokker, and Dr. Lang fighting the forces that would destroy the Robotech project, Academy Blues turned its attention on Lisa Hayes and the rest of the SDF-1's bridge crew, along with future Army of the Southern Cross chief of staff Rolf Emerson, learning the ropes at the Robotech Academy. Consequently, this series held little room for high adventure, focusing more on the characters and their relationships.
While the six-issue series, written by former Eternity Comics Captain Harlock writer Robert W. Gibson, got a few minor points wrong (par for the course in the Eternity/Academy pre-Macross material), for the most part it maintained the feeling of the good ol' Macross Saga days, even more so than the series it was spun off from. This probably has a lot to do with the characters involved and artist Sean Bishop's early involvement in the series -- of any ROBOTECH comic artist, Bishop managed best to match the style of the original animation.
Unfortunately, as the series wore on the stories grew less and less about Lisa and company and more about side issues tying into Return to Macross, drifting the series away from its original remit. While that gives the appearance of cancellation due to low sales, ultimately it's unclear why Academy Blues folded so early. It is worth noting that Robert Gibson become the bimonthly writer on Return to Macross soon after Academy Blues ended, and the book's cast was integrated into the parent title for what would be its final story arc.
In the last month of Academy's ROBOTECH titles, a one-shot called Breaking Point ultimately tied up the loose ends of Academy Blues and the Robotech Academy storylines in Return to Macross, although it did this in a rather vague way due to poor lettering and rushed, unclear artwork by final Return to Macross artist Dusty Griffin.
- Issue 0 - Academy Blues
- Issue 1 - Tests
- Issue 2 - Roles
- Issue 3 - Tremors
- Issue 4 - The Calm Before ...
- Issue 5 - The Wind and the Wave
- Breaking Point: Cadet Lisa Hayes Special #1