Academy Comics, Ltd (August, 1996)
WRITER: Robert W. Gibson
ARTIST: Ryan Shelley
Private Madalyne Hyser must have really screwed up somewhere. That would explain her being sent to join the 19 Armored Tach Africa Corp, because you don’t get there without screwing something up. They haven’t been labeled The Misfits for nothing. She makes a connection with Corporal Brian Steir, who tried a little too hard to get into space and now maintains their AI Battloid. (I think that’s what Harvey is.) Then there’s Sgt. Nestor Reagan, who pissed off a mecha designer in with Leonard, Donald Banks, who can’t stay out of aircraft whether he’s allowed in or not and is obsessed with his jetpack, Corporal Kirwain, who has an unhealthy fixation on Nova Satori (we’ll meet her soon enough in these reviews) and Leonard already doesn’t like Zentraedi in these comics, and their commander, Colonel Tremaine. Rounding out the crew is local civilian Ahkeem, who uses the base to set up his telescope, noting that something is off. The Robotech Masters have arrived and sent a relay station into the group’s backyard.
What they got right: This is a rather bizarre crew of screwballs, but it isn’t necessarily played for comedy. It’s certainly sporting a lighter tone as these are the oddballs but they’re all likable characters and it’s too bad we don’t get to see more of them.
What they got wrong: I’m not sure if Gibson was trying to feel these guys out but we don’t really see them do much of anything. It’s all introductory. Maybe introduce them some time during the Masters attack instead of just before and maybe they could do something interesting. Also, assuming Harvey is an AI program in their bit security robot battloid thing that’s not something we really see in Robotech. This thing is smarter than the camera robots and mobile vending machines seen in the first war but we see nothing like it in the second or third war.
Recommendation: It’s a fun little story but not really a must-read because nothing happens and this never became a series. It feels like a failed test run so only look for it if you’re curious or a completest. And come back later for more Robotech as we’re about to begin the Second Robotech War, but it requires a special article to review the Robotech special.