The old joke’s punchline is something along the lines of “I think I can see my house from up here”.
On the opening page of Robotech #19, I can clearly see the crater where the house I grew up in was. The Zentraedi fleet, under orders from Supreme Commander Dolza, has wiped Los Angeles off of the map.
It’s a pretty staggering image.
Captain Lisa Hayes commands the SDF-1 to return to earth, knowing that her one battle cruiser probably doesn’t have a chance against the Zentraedi armada. To make matters worse, her ship is at least three hours away, with escalations between the alien invaders and earth defense forces escalating.
Simon Furman has been doing some interesting tweaking of the original Robotech story, with one of those tweaks coming into play this issue and last. Lynn Minmei appears to have developed the power of suggestion through her voice, most likely due to her exposure to protoculture earlier in the series.
This makes her inevitable inclusion in the battle to come make a whole lot more sense, since a mere pop idol immobilizing an entire alien fleet is a tad silly.
In issue #19, Minmei stops a fight between her “pacifist” cousin, Kyle, and three soon to be Zentraedi defectors. This is also an area where Furman’s take on Robotech rises above the source material, as Kyle is portrayed as a punk pretty much from the start, and Rico, Bron, and Konda’s defection feels more organic.
There’s a pretty intense face-off between Admiral Hayes (Lisa’s father), who commands the Grand Cannon project on earth, and Dolza’s crew in space. Shots are exchanged, to devastating effect, beautifully captured by Marco Turini. There’s a whole lot of battle action going down, and Turini captures every mech and battle pod in gorgeous detail.
Marco Lesko’s color work is fantastic, capturing the color palette of the original Robotech series, but muting it down just a bit to fit the gritty, lived in feeling of Turini’s art. It’s a great art pairing, and really carries the brutal impact of the battle in this issue.
We’re closing in on the final battle between the defenders of earth and the Zentraedi invaders, and I honestly can’t say how things are going to go down. So far, characters in play during the anime series are already dead, while others are still running around, but in stories completely unique to this comic series.
Plus, putting the Invid into play as a threat this early in the series was a bold move, but one that I can’t help but love. This comic is reminding me of every reason why I loved Robotech in the first place! Give it a shot, but keep an open mind- there’s a lot going on that might rankle purists, but so much to love once you get past that initial shock!
SUMMARY: Script: Simon Furman; Art: Marco Turini; Colors: Marco Lesko; Letters: Jim Campbell; Editor: Martin Eden; Publisher: Titan Comics; Publication Date: April 3, 2019; Cover Price: $3.99; 31 pages.