Robotech II: The Sentinels Halloween Special
Academy Comics, Ltd (October, 1996)
WRITERS/ARTISTS: John & Jason Waltrip
This is only near perfect timing. I’m swapping this week’s issue with this one for obvious reasons if you look at the post date. Otherwise I’d be reviewing it next week.
The Ark Angel has arrived as Spheris and a passing asteroid seems great for coverage so the Invid don’t spot them while the ship is still repairing itself after the battle with the Black Death Destroyers. However, L-Ron has misgivings based on how it appeared and reports he’s heard from Karbarran space miners. When they find some kind of atmosphere Rick leads a team to investigate and finds a gas that finds a way into their spacesuits. Later that night gas comes from the Haydon disks and take over Lisa, Karen, Bela, and Gnea. Lisa swipes information on the Ark Angel and SDF-7 while Karen, Bela, and Gnea take the gas sample they brought with them, then all four return to the asteroid. The others manage to wake their comrades just as the asteroid blasts off with the data sphere. Is this a potential new threat? Sadly we won’t find out because Academy lost the license soon after this.
What they got right: As a special Halloween story apart from the main series (and their interpretation of Macek’s plans for the show) this works rather well. It’s not gory but works on suspense as the crew tries to piece together what’s going one. We also get the creepy backstory in there to complete the tropes.
What they got wrong: It’s not really explained why of the group that investigated only Karen, Bela, and Gnea were taken over while the gas came out of Rick’s disk and somehow infected Lisa while Rick and Jack (who finally professes his love for Karen but while she’s under the gas’s control, which means she was sleep walking while possesses) who were actually there were just fine. I guess the gas beings hid in the disk, which is why they weren’t detected during the medical scan but we’re left to infer that they could only possess the women, which is why Rick’s stowaway went after Lisa. Though I wonder if that means Jack’s disk still has a passenger? There’s also a few times when they forget an “l” in all so they say “al” instead. The panel flow isn’t that great and in one panel they mix up Rick and Lisa’s dialog. It’s like they were in a rush to get this out because I’ve had to catch similar mistakes when I’m in a hurry.
Recommendation: Technical flaws aside the story itself is pretty decent if you don’t like your Halloween stories that scary (like me). Might be worth a read.