Robotech: The Movie #1
Academy Comics, Ltd (November, 1996)
“…To Destroy The Earth”
STORY: Carl Macek
ADAPTATION: Benny R. Powell
INKERS: Chi, Rich Perrotta, Chip Wallace, and Jerry Bacchia
no listing for a letterer
First some backstory. When Harmony Gold couldn’t get the rights to Do You Remember Love (which I reviewed under the Clash Of The Bionoids edit) they opted to take another anime movie, Megazone 23, and turn it into a Robotech movie, connecting it to the Masters war via shoved-in footage. I’m planning to do a video review of it if I can still find it online when I finally get to do the Robotech II: The Sentinels review. So I’ll just be going by the comic since I haven’t seen the movie yet.
The Robotech Masters have arrived near Earth. Nearly undetected, they send a scouting party to attack the planet and retrieve B.D. Edwards. (I’m not sure he’s related to T.R. but there is some thought that some behind the scenes inspiration may have occurred.) He returns mysteriously a few days later and soon takes charge of a new project, a computer retrieved from the SDF-1 they call the Enhanced Video Emulation, or E.V.E. What nobody knows is that Edwards is actually under the Masters’ control, but one of his men knows something is wrong and steals the Modat, a prototype mobile terminal motorcycle/mecha for the E.V.E., and gets it into the hands of his friend Mark Landry before he’s caught. Mark and his friends use it in a movie they’re making until he realizes that the Eve his friend wanted him to find was the famous singer, believing he wanted her to expose the whole operation. It turns out Eve is not only a vocaloid (the term didn’t exist back then) but is the E.V.E. and they go to stop Edwards from uploading her to the Masters. However, Edwards finds them first with his own mecha and defeats Mark while sending someone to get the footage and kill Mark’s friend. Readers who were around for the Friday Night Fights may remember this showed up in one of them.
What they got right: At the time the only way to see this movie was through bootlegs or this comic. For me, who at the time didn’t know a lot about conventions, nevermind if there were any in my state, it was the only way to see this famous “lost” story in the franchise. The “Megazone” side of this story is quite good at the start. It’s got intrigue, action, and the makings of good characters I hope had more moments in the movie. Being a two issue adaptation, even with bonus pages, there’s only so much they could get into the comic. I like the design of the Modat and Edwards’ Hargon. It also makes sense that the soldier (or simulated clone of the Robotech Masters with the same memories and muscle memory if you want to be specific) would have an edge over the young man who barely knew his new motorcycle turned into a robot until a few hours ago.
What they got wrong: It seems strange that this group of Robotech Masters made this attack before the series (I think they show why they weren’t in the second war) and yet when the main force arrives everyone’s not prepared and thought the REF would have already handled everything. You can tell they had to force the Southern Cross/Robotech Masters footage in there and I hear it’s worse in the actual movie since they tried to shove TV footage with its frame rate and aspect ratio into an actual movie with a different frame rate and aspect ratio. Again, I’ll get more into that in the actual movie review.
Recommendation: Nowadays you can find it online and I think they may have actually released it in one of the box sets finally but the comic is still off to a good start. Hopefully next issue gives us a good conclusion as well.