Robotech: The Macross Saga #11
Comic The Comic Company (May, 1986)
ADAPTATION: Jack Herman
PENCILER: Mike Leeke
INKER: Chris Kalnick
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Breetai single-handedly defeats all three Battloids, Max’s getting sucked out of the ship when Rick’s explodes. While Max manages to make his way back into the ship, Rick, Lisa, and Ben are taken prisoner and interrogated by the Zentraedi. Meanwhile, Roy has to tell Minmei that Rick is missing, but she’s sure he’s dead, and just before her big singing premiere. Back with the Zentraedi, the aliens are shocked by their own reactions when they force Rick and Lisa to kiss, the concept coming up during the interrogation about where Micronians come from and how they’re born. They lock the trio up as Max stumbles upon them. Supreme Commander Dolza is sure this is the result of protoculture, a lost process that turned the Zentraedi into warrior giants and the key to Robotechnology. He’s not convinced the SDF-1 has the secret to protoculture and he’s even more determined to get it.
What they got right: I think the comic actually fixes some of the dialog. Lines make more sense here and they even remember that Minmei was the one who convinced Rick to join the RDF, which she now regrets in the comic but doesn’t mention in the episode. We also don’t see how quickly she shifts to missing Rick to performing. I know the show must go on. I’m faulting the delivery more than Minmei herself. Herman does keep in the altered protoculture explanation, here not the pre-war society the Zentraedi used to be part of but the early ideas of it being the source of Robotechnology and various genetic experiments that we’ll see it become as we get into the Robotech Master and Invid wars. Or given how my collection works when we get to Robotech II: The Sentinels. (Although when it comes to further protoculture lore I’m sadly missing the best issues, like how Zor stole it from the Regis. More on that in the future.)
What they got wrong: Some of the balloons point to the wrong people according to the show. It’s really the only thing worth mentioning beyond one panel where Rick’s hair is colored brown like Lisa’s instead of black despite being the only character in the panel.
Other notes: Lisa has a small video recorder, which at the time Macross came out was not smartphone-sized like it is in the episode. Now we have recorders that size and smaller. Good prediction, guys.
Recommendation: This may have actually turned out better than the episode it was adapting. I still recommend the series but this is a good issue to check out.