Robotech: The Macross Saga #5
Comico The Comic Company (August, 1985)
ADAPTATION: Jack Herman
PENCILER: Dave Johnson
INKER: Jeff Dee
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: L. Lois Buhalis
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
The residents of Macross City are just starting to get used to their new lives and trying to create a level of normalcy. Minmei even convinces her aunt and uncle to reopen their Chinese restaurant. However, in order to use the main gun the SDF-1 would have to undergo a modular transformation that might re-damage the city and Captain Gloval isn’t sure he’s willing to do that. Meanwhile, Rick is dealing with the destruction of his plane and the fact that after their time together Minmei only thinks of him as a friend. Both Minmei and Roy try to talk Rick into joining the RDF so he can fly again, but Rick and Minmei end up in an argument. While this goes on the Zentraedi attack the ship and things go so badly that Gloval is forced to order the transformation to fire the main gun, destroying the enemy but as he feared damaging the city in the process. Rick has to save Minmei from falling into a newly opened pit. When things calm down Rick decides that he will join the RDF.
What they got right: A one-to-one adaptation might not work as well given the page space available even for a 1980s comic. Herman does the best he can and gets all the important details of the story. This makes Gloval’s decision look a bit more rushed but you at least get why he did it, reluctant as he was. He also gets Rick’s reactions to losing his plane and his disappointment that Minmei didn’t return his attraction after the two weeks trapped together. (And apparently it was two weeks, even in this episode.) The art also takes advantage of not being limited by Macross footage, matching the intended emotion of the dialog better in a couple of spots.
What they got wrong: However there are times when dialog is given to the wrong person, perhaps a necessity given the space but it still needs to be pointed out. Minmei’s aunt and uncle are more easily convinced and take over some of Minmei’s arguments for reopening the restaurant. Breetai also takes some of Exedor’s dialog when it comes to going over the “hands-off” rule when it comes to micronians. On the show side I have to ask what happened to Jason? He’s missing here and barely shows up for the rest of the series. Doesn’t he live with Minmei and their aunt and uncle? He’s too young to work at the restaurant I guess but he doesn’t make much of an appearance.
Recommendation: A good story that mixes the action and human drama well. Worth looking into but I still recommend the show first if you can get the unaltered Robotech.