Robotech: Booby Trap
Academy Comics, Ltd (March, 1996)
WRITER/ARTIST: Sean Bishop
While Comic The Comic Company released adaptations of all three Robotech Wars back in the 1980s I own an incomplete set. “Booby Trap” is an adaptation of the first episode of Robotech titled “Boobytrap”, and is one of the issues I’m missing from the Comic run. So when Academy released this new adaptation I ordered it. Unfortunately it’s the only one produced, just as Academy was losing the Robotech license. From here out we’ll be doing Comico and a few other issues from other publishers set during this period but right now the early years are done and the Macross Saga begins.
Ten years have passed since the alien battleship dubbed the SDF-1 crashed on Earth, leading to the end of the third World War. Now they are ready to launch their newest defense against the original owners who may come looking for it and may not be all that friendly. Roy Fokker has invited his friend Rick Hunter to the celebration, and the younger pilot from the air circus manages to show up the pilots giving an aerial demonstration. However, the ceremony is interrupted when the Zentraedi folds into Earthspace, causing the main guns to fire automatically, the titular booby trap. Henry Gloval is forced to launch an attack and Rick is accidentally drawn into the battle. When his plane is damaged, Commander Lisa Hayes (who unknowingly sent a stunt pilot into battle) tells him to switch to “configuration B”, and Rick soon finds himself not inside an airplane but in a giant robot. Life as Rick knows it has just changed forever.
I went and watched the actual episode, which wasn’t easy since I wanted the original edit and not Harmony Gold’s “remastered restoration of nudity and blood from Macross but using the Robotech audio”. I think someone actually did release a proper dub of Superdimensional Fortress Macross so that seems unnecessary but even then the subs of all three shows should suffice. That’s one of the differences between Macross and Robotech, but I’m getting off-topic. I ended up using a fan made re-edit that took the remastered Macross and recreated the TV edit of Robotech.
The comic is an almost perfect adaptation of the episode. It’s not shot by shot since Bishop does occasionally go to a different angle for the sake of looking good in comic form, and an occasional line of dialog was mixed up, but for the space allotted I’ve never seen a more accurate adaptation. Additionally, the art is some of the best Robotech art Academy put out. When Comico put out their episode adaptations the Japanese art style was still relatively foreign to the creators. Most comics were done using more American styles in the west, but Bishop had the advantage of the “manga” style gaining in popularity in the comic world since then, and it’s even bigger now as a variety of art styles are being embraced in comics. Comico’s artists did okay for the time but Bishop really shows how far emulating Japanese comic art styles had come by the mid-90s.
If I had to log a few complaints, minor as they are, it’s that I kind of wish Academy had come up with this sooner so more episodes could be adapted. Additionally I know color costs more to print which is why they only did it for the covers out of necessity but I kind of wish they sprang for it with this one.
I would recommend trying to find the original version of Robotech if you can and save the gore and nudity for the proper Macross translation, but that’s up to you. This is a great adaptation if it’s your only option and worth checking out. I don’t know if it would be easier than the Comico version, which I hear Titan Comics is supposed to be doing trade collections of but if you’re like me and would rather have the individual issues (especially since I do have a bunch of the Comico single issues thanks to back issues and some I bought from a friend of mine) this isn’t a bad alternative if you can’t find Comico’s adaptation of this episode. Next week I begin reviewing what Comico issues I have.