Robotech: The Macross Saga #17
Comico The Comic Company (February, 1987)
ADAPTATION: Markalan Joplin
PENCILER: Harrison Fong
INKER: Chris Kalnick
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Recovering from his injuries Rick has a dream where he has to save Minmei from Breetai. After numerous and embarrassing failures (including one on a magic flying bicycle) Max, Ben, and Lisa offer to help him sneak aboard the Zentraedi ship they eventually find her only for Breetai to be revealed as Kyle, who won’t let Minmei date soldiers. By quitting BreeKyle is destroyed and Rick crashes with Minmei somewhere in the ship. They discuss marriage and the direction their lives have done (when Minmei isn’t asleep) but as they go to kiss Minmei turns into Lisa as she, Breetai, and Dolza insist his world in now in the military. Rick awakens from his delusion.
What they got right: The guest writer doesn’t stick completely to the story that’s told but some of the changes he makes are just different interpretations of the events as Rick dreams them. For example instead of the usual announcer guy for the ship mentioning over the radio that Rick’s flight suit was sold off after his first failure we see a woman take it from him and start the auction. We also see the flying bicycle shot down (by a giant hand with a giant gun…this is a dream after all) rather than being told it was shot down. The comic doesn’t reuse old art the way the episode did with as much reused footage as they could get away with for the story.
What they got wrong: Not all of their choices work as it sometimes switches dialog to different characters, like Rick reciting Minmei’s line about her fans being her friends, which made more sense for her to say it than Rick knowing she was going to say it. Some scenes also work better in the original episode than here, while others work better here than in the episode since the art team isn’t bound by stock footage. However, most of my problems are with the episode itself. There are some neat moments, like Breetai turning into Kyle and how he’s defeated, and plot holes can just be waved off as “dreams don’t make sense” (if Rick quit the military so Kyle can be defeated why would his military service get in the way of Minmei’s career?). The point of the episode though, besides saving animation budget to make an episode without doing another clip show so soon, is for Rick to sort out his feelings between Minmei and Lisa, or at least that’s how the episode is previewed. Yet Lisa is barely a part of this, so when Rick mentions he has feeling for her to a sleeping Minmei we don’t see evidence of it based on the dream world. It’s all about Rick being in love with Minmei with Lisa being an afterthought. She’s barely in the story as we don’t see them have a connection like dream Rick has with dream Minmei.
Recommendation: I guess it’s worth getting for the complete series but the story itself just isn’t all that necessary unless you like watching Rick fail time and again.