Robotech: Excalibur #1 (A Macross Missions Adventure)
Academy Comics, Ltd (November, 1995)
“Desperation Deja Vu?”
WRITER/ARTIST: William Jang
Dr. Helen Lee is trying to convince the brass that upgrades are needed to the Battloids but she gets nowhere until Captain Gloval speaks up for her plan. A group is selected to operate the upgraded Battloids, with Ken serving as instructor while he recovers from the events of the previous Macross Mission story. This is how she learns that he’s a pilot, not a mechanic, and she’s not too happy about being tricked since she doesn’t like pilots to begin with. However, the events of last week’s episode adaptation comes into play as the SDF-1 heads to the planet after being attacked by Khyron. The plan is to use the upgraded Excalibur Destroids serve as gun emplacements for the Daedalus arm, with only one of them taking heavy damage. While the pilot is alive her Destroid is taking on water and with nobody able to get to her in time, Ken dives underwater to rescue her.
What they got right: The…I guess it’s more like association right now…between Ken and Helen makes sense given her dislike for pilots (although her colleague suggests she just has issues with men since she backs down when reminded one of the pilots is a woman). She is also someone who will fight for the needed upgrades to protect the pilots, like better armor, weapons, and targeting systems. She doesn’t let her anger at Ken keep her from doing her job right. Meanwhile Ken seems to have learned from his late commander the importance of his fellow pilots after the events of the previous issue. The Ken from Destroid didn’t seem as willing to do what Ken did, given the area is supposed to be hot from the SDF-1‘s splashdown.
What they got wrong: Which didn’t seem to be an issue in the show but I can let that pass. Once again we have Zentraedi battlepods attacking when Khyron had just sent his ships to attack the ship before Azonia stopped him. The timeline is again stretched out since we still have the ship orbiting the planet freely before attack when the Zentraedi actually dogged them all the way to Earth, the ship only getting through because Azonia had to get Khyron back in line again. Also, the “Excalibur” isn’t the right name for this mecha. As I mentioned in a review of the toy somewhere along the lines the Tomahawk was called the Excalibur. This really should be Macross Missions–Tomahawk then.
Recommendation: This was a good issue. I like to see some focus on the otherwise ignored Destroid pilots and there’s room for expanding the universe here. It’s almost too bad Jung didn’t try to tell the entire series from their perspective starting back to when the battleships were connected to the space battle fortress. There’s three issues of this story (the third we’ll be getting to) so give it a look.