Robotech: The Macross Saga #24
Comic The Comic Company (December, 1987)
ADAPTATION: Markalan Joplin
PENCILER: Howard Bender
INKER: Sal Trapani
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Maggie Brenner
Lisa tells Rick about her leaving…over the phone and just before the shuttle takes off. That makes Rick feel down but soon he has to help rescue her shuttle from a Zentraedi attack. He does manage to say a proper goodbye to Lisa and that he hopes she comes back. Things get worse for him when Minmei just calls him a friend at a meeting where Kyle sounds like he wants to propose to Minmei. Max tries to perk his spirits up by taking him to the arcade while Lisa learns from her father that the RDF is interested in negotiating, but only after they show off their Grand Cannon in the hopes of being in a position of strength, still believing they’re better than the Zentraedi forces and concerned about their warlike nature despite any genetic similarities with humans. Back on the ship Max runs into the girl he’s been seeing all over the ship lately (not realizing it’s Zentradei agent Miriya, and the rival he’s had in battle lately) and challenges her to a combat game in the hopes of getting a date with her. Miriya ends up losing…again…but she agrees to the date…in the hopes of killing her rival once and for all!
What they got right: The guest artists do a decent job of keeping up with the then unfamiliar art style. Lisa is not happy about the Grand Cannon being used but her father’s argument is treated as just his argument and you can agree or disagree as you wish. (Personally I think he has a point that the Zentraedi aren’t going to all drop their warlike ways just because a few defectors really like pop music. However, the Cannon isn’t exactly a negotiating tool.) Max and Miriya’s virtual battle is reworked into comics form as best they can and the result works well.
What they got wrong: The liberties have more hits than misses. Max wasn’t the one to warn Lisa about the attack and with good reason under protocol. The writer makes it look like Rick either thinks Claudia is talking about Lisa or herself (he did not think that and nothing in the conversation hinted at it). Some moments are a bit debatable, like whether or not they had to foreshadow Sammie’s error with the new codebooks or hinting Miriya is becoming attracted to Max, both of which aren’t in the episode, but the adapter keeps taking liberties that end up altering or hurting the characters, the big one being that Kyle is thinking about using Minmei as part of his anti-war platform rather than actually having feelings for her, but kudos to suggesting they may not be first cousins, which is only slightly less icky for an American adaptation.
Recommendation: Except for the smallest moments I think the episode did it better so go watch that instead, but the comic isn’t a bad read on its own.