Robotech: The New Generation #3
Comico The Comic Company (October, 1985)
“Lonely Soldier Boy”
ADAPTATION: JAck Herman
PENCILER: Jeff Dee
INKER: Rich Rankin
COLORIST: Kurt Mausert
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz
Scott, Rand, and Annie find another town devastated by the Invid. In a small club famed singer Yellow Dancer (who the episode tells us is following in the footsteps of Lynn Minmei in case you forgot she existed in the first war) is being hassled by some local thugs until the mysterious red Cyclone rider cause them trouble and Scott and Rand step in to help. So the punks turn their attention to chasing down Lunk and kidnapping his friend when Scott interferes again, as they move the fight to their turf. Our named characters head to the punks’ fortified ranch but the battle is interrupted by the Invid. It turns out Lunk was a former mechanic in the first war with the Invid and managed to restore a Veritech alpha fighter, which Scott used to chase them off. The Cyclone rider, Rook, and Lunk both join our heroes, as does Yellow Dancer, who turns out to be a man named Lancer. Sorry, Rand, I know you really liked her but at least you have a full party now.
What they got right: While most of the better dialog can be found in the episode there are two things the comic fixes. One is a quick explanation as to why Lancer was pretending to be a woman named Yellow Dancer, and we also learn Rook’s name. Neither version of the episode does this. The beats are good and many panels look like they were copied from the episode, though not good enough to be mistaken for screen captures.
What they got wrong: LIke I said, the dialog is better in the episode, especially the part where Scott and Rand debate who to blame for the state of the town.
What they changed: Lunk’s name in Genesis Climber Mospeada is Jim. I guess they saw Voltron and thought Jim was so much like Hunk they changed the name. Yellow Dancer/Lancer is called Yellow Belmont in both identities. “Girl Belmont” was voiced by a different actress than the actor playing “regular Belmont” and she provided the singing voice. In Robotech Cam Clarke plays the voice of both identities, while lyrical songwriter Michael Bradley provided “Yellow Dancer”‘s singing voice. In the Mospeada episode Stick doesn’t want Belmont coming along because she’s a woman, which isn’t just sexist but odd if he has no problem with Houquet joining and he didn’t even know her name. (That’s the Mospeada version of Rook.) Robotech fixes this with Scott not wanting to bring what he thinks is just a lounge singer along on the mission…though he is still letting a barely teenage girl tag along so I still don’t follow the logic. Speaking of Annie and her counterpart, she loses interest in Lunk because she won’t marry a soldier while Mint lost interest in Jim because she won’t marry drifters. Given her current traveling companions either is odd, but Lunk is the only one who points out the age gap. So either Mint is older than Annie or Jim…needs a talking to.
What I thought overall: The comic gives you the essentials and does actually give us Rook’s name and tell us Lancer is a former Robotech soldier, but otherwise you’re better off watching the episode. The Robotech version has better dialog but outside of missing out on Michael Bradley’s “Lonely Soldier Boy” Mospeada had better mood-setting music. In the end, I’d say catch the Robotech TV version of this story.