Smith World: Sabotage On Karbarra (A Worlds Of Robotech Book)
Academy Comics, Ltd (March, 1995)
WRITER/INKER: Jason Waltrip
PENCILER/TONER: John Waltrip
LETTERING: Alphabet Soup
Everyone thought the Invid were either chased off of Karbarra or hunted down by the “slughunters”. Then the sabotages of the shipyards began, threatening to cripple the Karbarra’s efforts to get back into the war with the Invid to free the other planets. When police find evidence of the Invid being involved detective Carnava Smith, one of the former slughunters, is put on the case, but alone to not spread panic of a potential Invid return. During his investigation he learns the Invid have found a way to alter their bodies to appear to be Karbarran, but lack a certain connection to the fuel source Sekiton. Now he has to stop the Invid plot without letting others know they’re still here.
What they got right: I love this just on concept. “Worlds Of Robotech” was meant to play with the various worlds of the Robotech saga, including the ones created for Robotech: The Sentinels. This is a good example of that concept done right. The Waltrips take cues from Blade Runner from Smith’s car to his narration to even having the chief mention Smith’s “old slughunter magic”, but it isn’t a direct ripoff of the movie. Smith is clearly a badass being both a former Invid hunter and a tough-as-nails police detective but he uses his brains as well as his gun and he’s never depicted as so badass that he couldn’t potentially be defeated or even have to sacrifice himself to protect his homeworld from a second Invid occupation. It’s too bad this is his only story.
What they got wrong: I’m missing most of the Karbarran arc so I don’t know a lot about them, but why does Sekiton only turn explosive for them and not the Invid? They play up the bear puns a bit much with a exclamation about honey pots and the victim being named Fuzzy. (They’re all fuzzy. They’re bear people.) Smith also uses a human expression and even notes that’s where he got it from, but when did he meet humans long enough to pick up on “wolf in sheep’s clothing”?
Recommendation: This is a really good story. Even if you aren’t following Robotech it might be one to check out.