Issue 20 of Robotech opens with a pretty impressive space battle between the defenders of the SDF-1 and Supreme Commander Dolza’s Zentraedi invasion fleet. It’s a harried affair, with Rick Hunter leading a fresh offensive aboard the Skull-One, the veritech fighter formerly piloted by his “big brother”, Roy Fokker.
Captain Lisa Hayes is summoned to her ready room, where Zentraedi defectors Rico, Bron, and Konda are being held by Lyn Minmei and her cousin, Kyle. Minmei’s powers have manifested themselves, and she appears to be able to compel others to follow her orders.
Lisa realizes that there may be a way to stop the conflict that threatens to engulf the earth, and summons Rick back to the SDF-1.
The pacing of this issue is a bit frantic, which is understandable- Simon Furman is trying to wrap up the original human/Zentraedi conflict from the original series, and that didn’t exactly mesh perfectly on screen, either. Here, Furman is trying to make clearer sense of the defection of Breetai, Exedore, and Miriya while still staying true to this new vision of Robotech.
Aside from the last act of the book, which feels a bit rushed, the story is brisk and thrilling, and finally allows Minmei’s part in turning the battle against the invading fleet to humanity’s favor make a bit more sense.
The side story with Roy Fokker facing off against an army of Roy clones is really intriguing, since he’s very dead at this point in the original storyline. He’s also pitted against Dr. Lazlo Zand, who was created for the Del Rey Robotech books back in the day. It’s these little curves in the road that keep the story, once familiar and predictable, exciting to come back to month after month!
Marco Turini’s art is largely great, save for a few areas where the enemy battlepods look distorted, and some clearly digitally repeated pods in some of the larger battle scenes. It makes sense to duplicate those battlepods whenever possible (they really are tricky to draw), but maybe not so many copies of the same drawing in the same area?
Regardless, the battle sequences are thrilling, and capture the kinetic energy that made the original Robotech series space battles so much fun.
This is also a comic that I can honestly say carries a bigger impact with a physical copy- sure, the digital copies look great, but the gravity of the battle scene above is much stronger when both pages can be appreciated together, as they were intended to be.
The issue ties up with a massive victory, pretty much in the same place and time as the original series, but with one major twist- the energy deflected by the new Barrier Defense System has brought an unexpected foe into play much sooner than expected!
SUMMARY: Script: Simon Furman; Art: Marco Turini; Colors: Marco Lesko; Letterting: Jim Campbell; Editor: Martin Eden; Publisher: Titan Comics; Release Date: May 1, 2019; Cover Price: $3.99; 30 pages