Antarctic Press (September, 1997)
Robotech Masters: “Rolling Thunder”
WRITER/ARTIST: Fred Perry
COLORISTS: Patrick Thorton & Arnie
LETTERER/EDITOR: Doug Dlin
“Prototype 001: Tigercat” part 4
WRITER/ARTIST: Ted Nomura
COLORIST/LETTERER: Joe Dunn
The second Robotech war may be officially over, but surviving Masters’ forces on Earth continue to wreck havoc under the command of Khane. He believes the strong should survive and the weak should die. The 15th are sent in to stop the latest assault by his forces. Khane sees the now Major Dana Sterling as a strong rival but when she tries to protect a child, he considers the strong protecting the weak unacceptable and kills the little girl. With the rest of the squad unable to help her as Khane calls in his forces to dispense with her, they may only be able to avenge her.
What they got right: I can get behind the premise of the surviving Masters’ forces still needing to be cleaned up, like with the Zentraedi. (The Invid all leave Earth so that wasn’t an issue there.) It’s good to see the 15th in action again.
What they got wrong: I don’t know, this just didn’t connect with me. On the one hand, adding call signs makes sense but it wasn’t how they did things in the show. I kind of lean in the comic’s favor there but I thought all of the Tirolian forces were destroyed with the ship or joined the freedom movement? Killing a child will never sit well with me so hopefully she survived and Dana can still rescue her, and the “villain believes in culling the weak” trope is just dialed up way too high for me, especially given this is a Bioroid pilot and not a Zentraedi. I could buy this from the warrior race but not the secondary invasion army who never seemed this cruel.
For those of you who weren’t here all the way back for the first three issues (set during the first Robotech war), a back-up story featured TR Edwards stealing a prototype Veritech fighter or something. Apparently we’re dropping that story as Roy’s old mentor, who disappeared after waking from a coma following a plane crash, is back. And now he’s challenging Roy to a duel to the death. Again, there is so little space granted to this prequel tale (which is not in canon with the Return To Macross and Academy Blues comics by Eternity and later Academy Comics) that it’s tough to get into, though this cliffhanger if you know Roy Fokker works a bit better. However, what happened to the stolen prototype? Did Edwards steal it for this Focke guy to use?
Recommendation: Thus far I’m not very excited for this one. The Robotech Masters story doesn’t fit right for me and the back-up still is being poorly utilized. We’ll see what happens by the end but this arc isn’t off to a good start for me.