“Fine, I get it. You don’t like my jokes!”

Robotech: The New Generation #10

Comico The Comic Company (September, 1986)

“Enter Marlene”

WRITER: Mark Burbey

PENCILER: Reggie Byers

INKER: Tom Poston

COLORIST: Kurt Mausert

LETTERER: Bob Pinaha

EDITOR: Diana Schutz

Our rebel band finds an old RDF military base wrecked by the Invid. While the others go searching for supplies and additional mecha Scott has a crisis of faith until Rand and Rook return with an amnesiac girl in tow, found in one of the buildings. What the group doesn’t know is that there band has gotten enough notice from the Regiss that she planted a “simulagent” among them to learn more about them but what the Regiss doesn’t know is that the pod she was created from landed hard, the source of the girl’s mental state. They also find more Alpha Fighters and a Beta Fighter, which they use to escape the Invid, Scott coming out of his funk when he sees the girl in danger. Now with four aircraft and their cycles the group stands a better chance at victory.

What they got right: It’s not a Robotech story without at least one of the alien invaders learning from the humans as a spy, at least not for the original trilogy of wars. The Invid surprisingly managed to get her infiltration in, but some of it relied on luck in spite of her physical trauma, which the group mistakes for emotional trauma as the only survivor. We also get some more mecha to give the group a bit more advantage. From what I’ve heard the original Japanese showed a bit more of the girl naked, which of course wouldn’t fly on an American TV show even if it was intended for older kids than your average Smurfs episode. So good job hiding the banned from TV bits, one of the reasons I’m not interested in the special editions Harmony Gold put out. It ruins the nostalgia that separates it apart from the original Japanese version. Seeing Scott’s crisis when he sees the base wiped out only to be reminded of why he’s fighting by seeing the girl who resembles his dead girlfriend in danger was a nice bit for his character and believable under the circumstances.

What they got wrong: Rand, Rook, and Annie have never had flight training, even if we assume Lunk as a mechanic at least had some basic flight training. (We really don’t know about Lancer’s training.) So Rand flying the Beta Fighter, even with the crash landing, seems odd. Also, “Marlene” doesn’t get her name this issue, so spoiling it with the title seems like a bad idea. Then again I wouldn’t have straight out let the audience know that she’s an Invid agent right off the bat. Keep it a surprise to us as well, with hints of her true identity but nothing definite until the end. As I recall the episode (at least the Robotech version as I didn’t see this episode in the original Japanese) made this mistake as well.

What I thought overall: A very good story for what it needs to be, and important with the addition of Marlene.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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