WildStorm Productions (April, 2003)
STORY: Tommy Yune
SCRIPT: Jay Faerber
ARTISTS: Long Vo, Charles Park, and Saka of Udon Studios
LETTERER: Jenna Garcia
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITOR: Ben Abernathy
As Rick is winning amateur pilot awards left and right, Roy is finally being introduced to the prototype for what we know as the Veritech fighter personally. However, the simulation tests have left him with a lot of questions that he can’t get answers to because he doesn’t “need to know”. He also meets up with some of Edwards’ other recruits, all mercenaries. Also arriving is one Claudia Grant, whose brother Vince is also working on the prototype, while Claudia has her introduction to fellow lieutenant and bridge controler Lisa Hayes. It…is not a warm first meeting. When outside pilots (whose markings Roy recognizes), possibly from the anti-unification front, attempt to shoot down a cargo plane Roy is in the prototype and flies off to help, later joined by his new friends. Roy and Claudia have a history, but as she goes to meet him the plane’s “cargo” turns out to be a famous performer who wants to thank her hero, which Claudia misinterprets and walks away before Roy can follow.
What they got right: We don’t get to see enough of Rick’s history prior to visiting Roy in the first episode, so even these snippets are welcome. There’s some good action and of course Udon’s art continues to shine.
What they got wrong: While the story itself is okay I have some minor nitpicks. I prefer Claudia and Lisa’s friendship in the Academy Comics books Return To Macross and Academy Blues better than this first meeting. Claudia jumps to one heck of a conclusion when Jan Morris comes to thank her savior, which is just a hug Roy is clearly not comfortable with. It was an aspect of their romance I was never a fan of and the comics seem to exaggerate it. Speaking of exaggeration, the German accents, including Dr. Lang’s, are far too exaggerated. Reading Lang’s lines in my head almost sounds comical compared to how he actually spoke. It’s more like Dr. Wily than Emil Lang.
What I think overall: I still prefer the Eternity/Academy stories to this as well as the Comico original story, but that’s not to say the story is bad. It’s just one I’ve already seen that I already enjoyed. This happens to have better art and I don’t expect a comic company to continue a previous company’s story…except that’s exactly what Academy did by continuing Eternity’s titles so they really should have. I just take this an alternate origin rather than the one considered “canon” to my comic collection. Unlike some of the Antarctic Press run I can’t shoehorn these in so they’re kept off to the “side” rather than part of my collection’s timeline.