Robotech Masters #10
Comico The Comic Company (August, 1986)
ADAPTATION: Mike Baron
LAYOUTS: Neil D. Vokes
FINISHES: Chris Kalnick
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Thinking about both George and the alien pilot that she has a strange draw to, Dana is unaware that the pilot, known to us as Zor Prime the clone of Zor, has been found by Nova in the wreckage of his bioroid. Emmerson orders all info on the pilot’s capture kept secret even from Supreme Commander Leonard in the hopes of keeping this prisoner alive, and when Leonard somehow finds out about him has to defend his actions, which he does successfully for now. Meanwhile, Sean tries to get in to see Marie at the hospital but the nurse isn’t falling for his charms and won’t let him in. Then Carpenter’s ship arrives, and tries to attack the Masters from behind, managing to destroy one ship at the cost of his own. Leonard isn’t happy about this being the only help from the Expeditionary Force and Dana is worried about something he overheard bringing Carpenter and his aide back to base. While this goes on the pilot has nightmares tied to the man he’s cloned from.
What they got right: I’ll go more into it in the “other notes” section but this issue uses the advantage of not being restricted to “stock footage” to bring the story closer to the merged lore that Carl Macek was creating. Instead of Zor Prime in an outfit similar to the usual Southern Cross RDF uniform (in an American show it would be ignored as a simple animation error anyway) the memory is altered to something more in line with Zor’s old memories, which it makes sense the clone would have given how cloning works in this series. Dana is also thinking about George from the previous episode/issue, something the show didn’t even think about mentioning, focusing instead on her partial genetic heritage and ties to the Zor clone. There is some minor dialog changes that also help (Rolf doesn’t just drop by because he can’t sleep but because he’s called in when the clone starts having nightmares) or at least summaries things for the sake of the page count.
What they got wrong: Well, with the exception of Sean and Dana’s (lack of) interaction on the way home. I’m also not sure when Marie and Sean developed something but for some reason the episode acts like there was always a connection, though not necessarily signs they’ve dated yet or anything.
Other notes: In light of how this series works I find it interesting to look at the continuity angles of this. I would think Carpenter (whom we saw on his way here in later comics) would know the Sterling name, yet he doesn’t ask if she’s related to Max and Miryia. Maybe he’s too distracted. He also seems surprised at the durability of the Masters’ ship. He has been exposed to Tirolian technology even if the Masters had all left by the time the Robotech Expeditionary Force (not named that until much later on so neither the episode nor the comic calls them that, instead referring to the SDF-3 as part of a “pioneer expedition”) so I would think he at least has some idea. Yes, I know that’s not what happened in Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross; work with me, people. The limitations are what I find fascinating as Macek tried to merge these shows. The most interesting is Zor himself. In the original series he was a brainwashed human but Macek used him as one of the connecting points of the Robotech odyssey, as the one who got the power source from the Invid and betrayed the Masters. We don’t get to see that last part of the show but Baron takes the advantage of the medium change to replace Zor’s memories of war with Zor Prime’s work to escape the Zentraedi as seen in Robotech: The Graphic Novel, which Macek plotted and Baron wrote. It’s the only original story from the Comico run but a very important one in the Robotech saga and the connection is made well here.
Recommendation: This issue uses its adaptation well in order to further connect the saga without the baggage of the Southern Cross footage. This is an issue to check out for that alone but it is also a good adaptation of the episode itself and should be read alongside watching the episode.