In the last edition of Scanning My Collection I started looking at the three-part story that started Robotech: Invid War Aftermath‘s transition from Eternity Comics to Academy Comics (where it was just called Robotech: Aftermath). Let me see if I can summarize the crazy.
Aftermath takes place after the end of the Third Robotech War. Scott Bernard returns, having failed to find Admiral Hunter and the only remaining Protoculture Matrix. The group is split between the city of Belmont and a traveling ground train called Megaroad, both pursuing different ideas of what to do next. The first story of the Academy run starts with a three issue story following the “Belmont Chronicles” group. Lancer, Sera, Lunk, and an older Annie have a new former of power, a type of breeder battery that can potentially replace protoculture, despite being around 10 years passing between the end of the “New Generation” and this story. Annie ends up with cancer from protoculture exposure, but it’s just meant to show off some new group with technology way too advanced for this franchise. They’re called the Immuno Heredity Enigma (so a Japanese group given their addiction to weirdly named groups in anime and manga) or “IHE”. They managed to use a shield that protected them from detection and attack during all three Robotech wars…somehow, and have a virus that cures people by destroying and rebuilding their organs. Annie’s cancer was just an excuse to show this off I guess.
Meanwhile Lancer has come across a refugee from the IHE and her clone Vaudell-Sync…and her clone’s clone we’re apparently just going to call “Spleen” because why should we care since Sync just uses to replace her dying organs (or sometimes just for fun because everyone in this group has their own form of crazy) and she doesn’t appear to care about anything else. See what you missed yesterday? Oh it gets stranger. The IHE has their own Super Dimensional Fortress, the Mordecai, and they need antimatter to power it. The organic computer “Mordecai Mind” is a clone of his creator, Gilles Vaudell. Being a clone of his creator, the Mind assumed this gave him the rights to fool around with his creator’s wife, Demont. She disagreed so he used the clone to “prove” there was a problem with her cells, the very short version being that’s a death penalty offense. Yes, this is a lot of exposition to set up the Clone spin-off series. This is where, mostly through issue #8, that I dropped off because the article was getting long, not realizing I was only a few pages away. With that, let’s get back to the married creative team of writer Rosearik Rikki and artist Tavisha Wolfgarth for this sample of what’s to come in our Monday comic reviews for a while.
After being disappointed it’s not the cute guy in the room behind her interrogation (that’s our Mint), Annie is brought before the Mordecai Mind. Since she helped Demont and Sync escape that’s all he needs and just calmly sentences her to death, surprising Gilles. Granted he doesn’t know his wife is being framed by the clone who is upset she wouldn’t sleep with him (I should also mention he’s basically crucified to the wall to control the ship) but this is where you should start considering he might not be the good guy here. And yet he will continue into the next series.
Meanwhile, the Veritech arrives with Sera revealed as our mystery pilot. Apparently she too has something called the Inner Eye, something tied to protoculture. If you missed the last installment Demont is supposedly possessed by protoculture and can read minds. Annie apparently has this giftcurse as well because reasons.
Back with the Mordecai Gilles tells the Mind that killing Annie is against the law and she’s not a member of the group. Either way he doesn’t have the authority to issue a death sentence. Well, Mind is apparently out of his mind, first complaining about being part healing virus (called a “Xalon” virus for future reference) so he can’t feel pain, then talking about how cold he is, and then showing that he disabled the disable codes. With more of the usual spleen clone warriors (these guys could give the Robotech Masters evil lessons) he plans to kill all of them. Gilles manages to get everyone out of the room and blow up the spleens is a sentence I just wrote.
As Annie wishes for a heroic rescue we turn to Lancer and Demont heading to Mordecai as she brags about her tech some more and continues to invade Lancer’s head. Following them on the water is their vehicle, I’m guessing piloted by Sera as Sync starts messing with Spleen, promising she’s not going to remove another organ and then attacking her to remove an organ. Wait, unless Spleen is regrowing them at what point does she die of not having any more connected organs? Is she part Xalon as well? Or am I overthinking an excuse to watch an obnoxious woman’s clone torture her own clone? I keep writing sentences man was never meant to write, and yet one created the reason I have to so…am I part of the problem? Anyway, apparently Sera stayed at camp with Demont in her usual bitch fashion (calling what I see!) saying she should stay away from the IHE because she couldn’t handle it. A former Invid soldier. Who are we rooting for? Oh right, Annie needs rescuing and we still have Lancer.
So say good-bye to the rails as Demont uses her mental powers as jerkishly as possible to explain what Protoculture really is, and I promise you Carl Macek had no plans for this. Protoculture is an energy source not native to our world. There’s our universe and the protoculture universe. I guess the Invid Flower Of Life, which they need to not die, is somehow tied to this protoculture universe? I don’t think Rikki did any research about this stuff since what he’s got here is less science fiction and something closer to magic or at best science fantasy. I know the Regiss somehow used it as part of her evolutionary experiments and she and Ariel are both shown as being able to change into some energy firebird state but I think he may be stretching things a bit. Also, fun fact I just learned while checking on this guy, his full name is Rosearik Rikki Allen Simons according to the Robotech fan wiki (question the source) and was also the voice of GIR on Invader Zim as well as a comic writer. Is this true? Again, it’s a wiki. Question the source, but I don’t have time to confirm anything right now. Have fun with that. All I know is he is really expanding what Protoculture is and it won’t be the last time we see that. No matter the writer it seems this set of comics wants to have protoculture be magic. Again, wait until you meet the Protoculture Spider.
By the way, this series is not canon, and I’m okay with this. Robotech II: The Sentinels from the Waltrip Brothers not being canon still makes me sad though.
So the Out-Of-His-Mind continues to assume control of the clones (it’s bad enough “mummy” doesn’t have a proper name, I just not calling the clone troopers Spleens) and the ship. Gilles has one of the others, Rueis (the dude Annie wanted to be interrogated by) get Annie out of there, but not before she has some inner eye vision interrupted by the soldiers finding them. As Rueis and Annie fly off, they’re passed by Delmont and her clone brigade. Meanwhile Lancer, and this is where we learn he doesn’t have an Alpha or Beta fighter but an old style Veritech from the First Robotech War, shows up in the IHE airspace. The first thing he does when he gets the Mind on the line is to insult him. Angered, which is just what you want your ship’s computer mind to be able to do so thank goodness they cloned a human, the Mind opts to choose his death, and goes with good old laser fire. This is part of the heroes’ (or Lancer and the Demont party) plan however, as he transmits a code that fires the SDF’s main gun. With the power temporarily drained Sync is able to get in and kill the Mind (this whole set-up has been doing a doozy on mine) but for some reason when she tries to get away she falls into the water. Spleen is hopeful she drowned but we’ll see what happens in the series.
Well, evidence that the Mind is crazy makes it easy for Demont to plead her case and that’s all dropped. Lancer and Annie get the dudge out of fodge and all is something resembling well. Remember, Annie now has superpowers and apparently so does Sera. We have the most messed up crew of potential space explorers this side of the Lost Light from IDW’s Transformers about to take off into space and their own comic, and Protoculture is now a magical dimension that the Invid somehow feed off of despite being from this dimension. Unless Zor is dimension hopping now to find his experimental girlfriends.
This is basically what you can expect from reviewing the Clone and Mordecai comics while Aftermath is more of a depressing little story about how much life sucks now. Apparently three wars was the limit on mankind rebuilding their lives. I just wanted to give you a heads up to the madness before we started going over those, but It kind of inspired me to do a whole week of Robotech comics so tomorrow let’s look at a somewhat less insane look at our post-Invid life…with a few questions of their own lore wise.