As you can see the formatting is a bit different on this one. That’s because this special edition is less like a comic, unlike the rest of the series. While it does have a comic section to it this is more an introduction to Star Blazers so I’m using it in a similar way.
Star Blazers: The Magazine Of Space Battleship Yamato The Special Edition
Argo Press (October, 1996)
For the uninitiated, Star Blazers is the American adaptation of the anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Sadly we never got this show in my area in the 1980s but a friend of mine used to get the spinoff comics from Comico, the same company that adapted the Robotech shows. According to Wikipedia, Comico’s Star Blazers was an original story set between seasons two and three. The comic story, and the introductory piece done with “photos” of Earth before the Gamilons dropped a bomb on the planet that slowly killed the world with radiation. Then Earth is contacted by Starsha of the planet Iscandar, who offers a way to restore the planet using Cosmic DNA, but due to circumstances they must come to get it. The comic story shows the events leading up to the launch of the Yamato, an actual battleship sunk during World War II that was rebuilt into a starship using the Wave Motion Engine, another gift from Starsha.
Told from the perspective of Captain Avatar, the commander of the new ship (renamed Argo in the US but retaining the ship’s original name in the original Japanese) assembles his crew, including the brother of one of his former space squad who has issues with the Captain that could have easily been solved by “I did order your brother back but he and his crew chose to stay behind and cover our escape”. The comic, “Birth Of A Legend”, was written and drawn by Tim Eldred, with Albert Deschesne assisting him on coloring and lettering. Bruce Lewis, who seems to have improved since his work on the Academy Comics Robotech books, also worked on the prequel photo section “A World At War”. In between are drawings created for the first season of Space Battleship Yamato, including a cutaway look at the ship and designs for the bridge and other “sets” used in the show.
As an introduction to the series, who was getting a video release from Argo’s parent company, Voyager Entertainment (who own the rights to the Yamato/Star Blazers franchise in the US), this works quite well. Of course now you can check out the full series streaming if you know where to look (I’m not sure they’re approved uploads, mind you) as well as various sequels produced under the Space Battleship Yamato branding (and occasionally including the US name for audiences who enjoyed the show but maybe aren’t as knowledgeable about Japanese animation). I’ve seen a couple of episode that I managed to find legally on VHS years ago and it seem pretty good. Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing the comic portion of the magazines produced by Argo Press.