Before I start the review, apparently Funimation’s license with Harmony Gold over Robotech has started. Vudu no longer has the episodes available to watch (yet they’re still listed) in either original TV broadcast or the “remastered” editions. (That is just all the nudity and blood shoved back into the visuals but with the Robotech audio. It seems like a waste of time to me.) And yet as of this writing they aren’t up on Funimation’s site either. I had to use a technically illegal upload to compare the comic to the original episode. Get a move on, Funimation! Now…the review.
Robotech Masters #12
Comico The Comic Company (November, 1985)
“A New Recruit”
ADAPTATION: Mike Baron
PENCILER: Neil D. Vokes
INKER: Rich Rankin
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Believing time in a military unit may jog his memory and given the 15th’s history with him and Dana’s half-Zentraedi heritage, Zor is assigned to the 15th ATAC. This doesn’t sit well with the other members, except for Louie, who sees a chance to learn more about the Bioroid mecha and Dana, who gets to learn more about this strange alien she feels a connection to. It really doesn’t sit well with a guy named Eddie since Zor killed his brother, which of course Zor doesn’t remember. Thinking some downtime might help, Dana takes Zor to the amusement park, where a tunnel roller coaster starts to jog his memory until he has to save Dana. Further study with Nova jogs further memories and makes him near comatose while screaming about protoculture, which scares him enough that he doesn’t want to remember, especially after another confrontation with Eddie. An argument with Dana leads to memories of Musica. Worried Zor is remembering, the Elders decide to take stronger control of their spy, just as he overhears the RDF is planning another attack, now aware of what the Masters are after.
What they got right: Per usual, this is a truncated version of the episode, and all the important beats are here.
What they got wrong: However, there really isn’t time to let them breathe like the episode there. Eddie’s fight with Zor comes more emotional in the episode, Dana comes off less like a lovesick girl, and Zor’s fears about regaining his memory is better explored in the episode. Then there’s the flaw that comes with the version of Zor here. It would make sense for a former soldier like Seifriet (Zor’s Southern Cross counterpart–fun fact, the alien enemy is called the Zor) to be put back with a military unit but Emmerson’s plan here seems a bit harder to accept here. They don’t know Zor is a sleeper agent but he was in the enemy ranks. This is where the show kind of forced their hand once Macek decided to make him more important in the Robotech saga than he was in the original anime.
Recommendation: In the end the episode itself, if you can find it thanks to Filmrise losing the license to Funimation, is the better option.