Robotech: The New Generation #1
Comico The Comic Company (July, 1985)
“The Invid Invasion”
WRITER/EDITOR: Carl Macek
PENCILER: Reggie Byers
INKER: Tom Poston
COLORIST: Kurt Mausert
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
After the events of Robotech Masters the Flower Of Life has taken over the planet, as has the Invid. With the last attempt to retake the planet ending in failure, Admiral Hunter sends a new advance force with updated Robotechnology to try again. It doesn’t go much better, with one survivor making it to the surface. Lieutenant Scott Bernard just lost his fiancé Marlene to the Invid’s blockade but he may end up picking up an ally in the young rebel Rand, who found a crashed ship and his own Cyclone cycle. Now the two prepare to make it to Reflex Point, the home base of the Invid Regis, in time to join the main invasion force of the Robotech forces.
What they got right: For the most part this is a good summary of the events of the episode. The art may be the closest to Tatsunuko’s art style for Genesis Climber Mospeada of the three Comico Robotech adaptations. It quickly defines the characters and the situation without giving away too much about the other two wars, which you may remember was being released in their own series at the same time so the adaptation would be done at some point in the same century as the show being on TV. Marlene’s pendant gift to Scott has the same speech rather than a long one that continues for Stick.
What they got wrong: I’ll go more into this in the next category but some of the changes made are rather odd given that Macek himself wrote this particular adaptation. The comic doesn’t have to be a slave to the footage, yet it is and with some dialog changes. This loses a few emotional beats, though that could be blamed on the amount of pages versus the time of the episode, which we’ve seen affect the other comics before. There are also a couple of things messed up in hindsight. If Scott comes from the Robotech Expeditionary Force and possibly the Sentinels wouldn’t he still know what rain and lightning are? This made more sense in the Japanese version where the survivors of Earth’s invasion by the also-named Invid recovered on Mars but is Earth the only planet to have weather?
What should be added: I’m trying to keep up the theme so this is the test for the renaming of “other notes”. I’m lucky enough to have some of the early episodes as part of the Robotech Perfect Collection later released by Macek’s Streamline Pictures, so when I have the chance I will compare the three version…since Funimation has stuck the series behind the pay wall and I don’t even know if they’re using the original TV edit or those unnecessary “Remastered” re-edits. (At that point just dub the original show.) So for those reviews when I have access to the Mospeada or Robotech episodes
What they changed: One positive change is the Invid messing with the atmosphere is changed to Robotech ships going in to fast or at the wrong trajectory to explain why the ships are heating up. As mentioned, Marlene’s message for Scott is shorter than her counterpart’s message for Stick (or possibly Stig and I’ve seen it translated both ways) and the comic does lose a few character moments possibly due to the page count versus the episode, but the episode drops a short bit from the anime that didn’t involve blood or boobs so I don’t know why it was dropped. Since no dialog was thus recorded I’m curious what the Remaster did with that using the Robotech audio. Also, Streamline refers to the Mospeada aliens as the Invid like in Robotech while other sources say they’re called the Inbit. This could just be a translation error or mishearing of the name. Finally, Rand is supposedly a rebel in the comic version, not completely clear in Robotech, but in Mospeada his counterpart Ray was just some kid who had to be convinced to join up in the next episode, as Stick was a bit more determined than Scott towards his mission…understandably given what he lost but getting on Ray’s case isn’t going to help his case.
What I think overall: This was actually a good start to the series. If you weren’t following the show this might get you interested. If you were it’s a rather close adaptation with only minor changes I could see being blamed on changes to the script by the time the episode was produced versus when the comic had to come out. We’ll see what happens as the series goes on, but I don’t have the whole series of either show or this comic so this won’t be a complete review either.