Robotech: The Macross Saga #9
Comico The Comic Company (February, 1986)
ADAPTATION: Jack Herman
PENCILER: Reggie Byers
INKER: Tom Poston
COLORIST: Rick Taylor
LETTERER: L. Lois Buhalis
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
The residents of Macross City try to get use to their normal life. The engineers create an artificial sky and the city creates a beauty contest, which the mayor enters Minmei into without asking her. (Nice guy.) As the city and even the soldiers prepare for the big night a stray advertisement reaches the Zentraedi, who send a scout ship to investigate. Rick tries to take the time off to see Minmei in the event but is called away to investigate, taking a prototype armored Battloid without approval and trying to still pay attention to the contest until he gets into a fight with the scout ship. Despite taking a beating he ultimately wins and the trio of scouts manage to escape. Rick is able to see Minmei win over a famous actress and worries she may be entering a world that he can’t be part of.
What they got right: This is the introduction of Rico, Bron, and Konda, three Zentraedi who become part of the supporting cast and occasional comic relief. I like seeing ship trying to make the best of the situation and attempt some form of normalcy in their new lives. And the pageant isn’t treated as a joke. It’s Minmei moving forward to her future.
What they got wrong: There’s a coloring error on Claudia’s outfit in one panel and the altered dialog makes the actress look bad instead of her worshiping manager. Rick really looks bad as well, as he was supposed to be on duty in the comic version but was called in for an emergency in the show. I’d also love to know how he was able to take the armored battloid that seems to be a prototype with the communications problem without permission. It also doesn’t seem to help much and works better as an unarmored Veritech fighter. There’s also the question as to how this advertisement reached the Zentraedi with no appearance of any of the other TV show signals escaping the ship. And finally..how is the prize for the winner a new mecha personal aircraft? Where the heck are they going to use that thing inside a spacecraft under constant enemy attack?
Recommendation: While I give them credit for not doing the usual commentary on being in a beauty pageant and the introduction of three important side characters to both the original Macross series and ties to Dana in the second Robotech war, the episode itself is just not very good and there isn’t much the comic can do to fix that. It’s not a must-own or must-watch unless you really want to see the entire series.