Robotech: The Macross Saga #18
Comico The Comic Company (March, 1987)
“Farewell Big Brother”
WRITER: Markalan Joplin
ARTISTS: Mike Leeke & Mike Chen
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Rick is awake but still recovering, blaming himself for the accident while Lisa is blaming herself. Claudia can see she also has feelings for Rick and tries to convince Lisa to just go for it. Meanwhile, Roy is convinced what Rick needs is a visit for Minmei and arranges it, but she falls asleep in his hospital room. While that goes on Rico, Bron, and Konda attempt to steal an example of Robotechnology (a robotic Minmei doll) but come across their greatest threat ever…Sammy, Vanessa, and Kim out manhunting for disco partners. (Remember, Macross came out in 1970s Japan. Or maybe discotheques had a resurgence in their version of the 2000s?) All these hi-jinks and romance issues are put to the side when Khyron goads Miriya into attacking the SDF-1 in search of a great pilot, which she finds–and gets taken down–in the form of Max Sterling, the battle even going to Macross City right outside the hospital. However, during the battle Roy is hit, dying in Claudia’s quarters, which Lisa is forced to relay to Rick.
What they got right: Japan almost seems determined that at least one character beyond the main hero be killed in each action show, and Roy Fokker/Focker was it for Macross/Robotech. The death is handled well. It’s not a “blaze of glory” but it shows that a “senseless death” of a hero can be done right if you know how to do it. (Sadly too many writers don’t, leading to DC’s body count or Tasha Yar’s death at the hands of a lame tar monster.) While I should complain about the altered dialog, it’s only the arrangement of words changed, and sometimes the flow is better there.
What they got wrong: Not that they’re all good changes though. Rick bragging about the battle that put him in the hospital is odd for him normally but given his current depression it seems even more out of place, and it looks like he’s flirting with the nurse. When the bridge girls meet the infiltrators Vanessa doesn’t get a line (at least she talks before then), and Sammy actually gets her comments about “the handsome one”, only about Rico instead of Bron. I’m also jealous of Rico but that’s a whole other matter. I’m a bit old and non-fictional for her anyway.
Recommendation: A rare example of improving the episode being adapted. Worth picking up.