WildStorm Productions (June, 2003)
“The Gathering Storm”
STORY: Tommy Yune
WRITER: Jay Faerber
ARTISTS: Long Vo, Charles Park, & Saka of Udon
LETTERER: Jenna Garcia
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITOR: Ben Abernathy
Claudia visits Roy in the hospital and (of course) gets the wrong idea when she finds Jan playing nurse. After Claudia storms out, Jan tries to get Roy to quit the service and run off with her as her personal pilot, letting slip that the Veritech project has been shut down. Roy meets with the local brass, including Colonel Anatole Leonard, who put the funds towards his Destroid project. Roy finally meets with Claudia and tries to patch things up but they’re interrupted when the Anti-Unification League, whom fellow test pilot Shawn is a spy for, takes over an orbiting platform, with designs on destroying the Alaska base and the SDF-1 space battlefortress Roy’s just been assigned to under Captain Henry Gloval. Following Gloval’s suggestion, Roy works with Vince to steal the Veritech prototype and stop the space platform.
What they got right: Anatole Leonard isn’t the enemy in this story! He’s still an antagonist just to have him be an antagonist but at least he (unless this changes next issue) isn’t one of the villains and he is supposed to be an antagonist in this franchise. The art continues to impress and the story to hold attention.
What they got wrong: While Claudia gets a better moment we still have to have her misunderstanding and running off. Roy doesn’t even seem to want Jan around. The scene where Rick receives a letter about Roy’s accident (without the specifics of course) is just there because they need to flashback to Rick just like Leonard is an antagonist just to have him here and Jan is here because she showed up in the show that one time.
What I think overall: While still not replacing the previous early years stories that survived two publishers (three if you count Comico’s solo addition) this is a darn good story with only a few minor issues. It’s worth looking up if you haven’t seen the Eternity/Academy Comics stories.