Robotech Masters #8
Comico The Comic Company (May, 1986)
ADAPTATION: Mik eBaron
LAYOUTS: Neil D. Vokes
FINISHED PENCILS: Reggie Byers
INKER: Keith Wilson
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: David Cody Weiss
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Dana and Louie are called to join a meeting discussing the captured Bioroid. The pilot dies but the scientists, and later Supreme Commander Leonard, are convinced they’re either clones like the Zentraedi or an advance form of android. However, the bioroids themselves respond to living stimuli, and after seeing the civilians aboard the alien ship has her doubts. Meanwhile, the Masters decide to capture humans to study how they think and sends a unit of bioroids to invade the city. Dana orders her troops to aim to damage rather than shoot the cockpits. In the end they chase the enemy off, but humans are taken prisoner.
What they got right: In a way some parts of the story are improved, most notably the discussion of how to attack the enemy and whether or not they’re living beings or android clones. All sides (though we do see a bit more of the Leonard we know and loathe near the end of the issue) make a good point, while in the episode we’re obviously supposed to side with Dana. The comic therefore adds more depth to the discussion. Dropping the episode’s idea of turning the humans into soldiers in favor of just wanting to know how they think (granted, probing their minds for info on protoculture would make more sense) was also a good thing.
What they got wrong: Outside of Dana worried about hitting the civilians during the escape the battle is better handled in the show. We get to see more of Dana’s tactical side. In the meeting with the scientists Dana and Louie seem to know more about the bioroids than the scientists because they’re stating the findings it makes more sense for the scientists to be saying, like they did in the episode. Granted the discussion made more sense to me in the comic but it should be coming primarily from the scientists with Louie adding in observations from his experience and technical knowledge and Dana from her military expertise, like they did in the episode. I also don’t think Musica’s harp need to “control the motor-nerve reflexes of the clones”, which was also stated in the episode, while both versions try to soften the Robotech Masters when we know they’re not the good guys due to their experiments. I don’t see the Masters caring that much about attacking humans in light of how they come off later in the series. (Note that I’m not taking expanded media that didn’t exist yet into account.)
Recommendation: Both the episode and the comic do things better than the other so I would suggest watching the episode AND reading the comic. Between them is a better story.