If you don’t follow the daily comic reviews, Star Blazers: The Magazine Of Space Battleship Yamato was produced by Argo Press, a division of Voyager Entertainment. Voyager had been re-releasing the original Star Blazers dub of Space Battleship Yamato as well as the two Yamato movies The New Voyage and Be Forever Yamato. However, the comic didn’t sell well, first forcing them to drop the magazine section “Analyzer” to focus on the comic story, and then canceling partway through the adaptation of Be Forever Yamato.

Earlier this month, while I was setting up Christmas decorations I knocked over the little rack where I keep the comics I’m reviewing for that week and learned my copy of issue #10 has disappeared somewhere between getting out of the comic drawer earlier that week and that occasion. I don’t know what happened to it but I do have it somewhere and I needed to review it with the rest of the series now. So I went searching for a digital copy online. I figured I’d have to use a…legally questionable scan site to keep the reviews going but then I found Cosmo DNA, a Star Blazers fansite produced by Bruce Lewis and Tim Eldred, who worked on the comic portion of the magazine. I was happy to see they had a copy of #10 but I was in for a surprise.

Oh, I don’t like where this is going.

Lewis and Eldred were both fans of Star Blazers and each made a pitch to Comico to make a comic based on the series. Lewis wanted to make an original story and Eldred wanted to adapt the third season that had limited distribution in the US, the “Comet Wars” story arc in which Earth deals with a new threat in the form of the Comet Empire. Instead they worked on Robotech and Captain Harlock comics for Malibu’s “Eternity” imprint, which eventually allowed them to work on the Star Blazers comic magazine for Argo Press. Turn to a few weeks ago and I found their website, Cosmo DNA, and a section that featured PDF reprints of their entire run…and the unpublished 12th issue. Sadly, only a couple of pages were actually drawn, with no coloring. The rest of the file contains the script and some rough sketches of certain scenes and pages. Still, I got away with reviewing the info on the unpublished Transformers: Energon finale that had less than that available to me, so let’s see how this adaptation would have ended.

Also, I used the image they had there of the undressed cover art, small as the image file was, and images of other covers, to make a mock-up of issue #12’s cover, as seen on the left. Going through the book, all they need is a letterer and colorist and conceivably they could actually make the comic. Had I the time I might try to do just that for the practice, though it probably wouldn’t have been as good as what Eldred or the other colorists and letterers would have done, but I have my own project that I’m way behind on.

So here’s the page with all the scans. Scroll down and find the PDF file for #12 and check out the full history of Eldred and Lewis’s run while also seeing the issues you missed. Then you can search for my reviews here (I’ll help for this story arc:, then check out my review of the script. I’ll help for the reviews I’ve already done for this story arc, including the comic prelude story:

 

Now I haven’t seen the movie and the character names weren’t forthcoming or memorable in the previously adapted issues so forgive me if I don’t know who certain characters native to this story are. We open on some dude named Skaldart communicating with Dezaria. I’m going to assume she is the “Lady Below” that everyone in the Dark Nebula empire has been talking about, and she isn’t happy with Skaldart. The Yamato, or as they call it the “Ship That Cannot Die” hasn’t been destroyed. (So you want to make your own nickname a lie?) This is about payback for the events of The New Voyage, where the Dark Nebula Empire tried to strip mine what was left of Gamilon, and not surprisingly the surviving Gamilons weren’t having it since the planet was about to go boom. Then the Dark Nebulans went after Iscandar, but where taken down by the Yamato, or Argo if you’re going by the US dub. The script sticks with the US character names but is using the ship’s Japanese name, or the original name of the ship going by the dub.

Talk about burning mad.

Apparently there’s a prophecy that the Ship That Cannot Die will take her down and she wants to stop that from happening. Prophecies are a funny thing in fiction. Sometimes it’s a danger to be avoided, and sometimes it’s just something you can’t stop but they try anyway. So she shows her displeasure by torturing her servant, so she has some kind of powers. My knowledge of the franchise is limited but we do know that Starsha, and potentially her daughter Stasha, do have powers of some kind so it’s possible that Dezaria isn’t a deity but someone like them. Then again I’m writing this while reading the script for what would have been page “SB12.03”. That must be how they script because I’ve seen a few comic scripts and I’ve not seen pages marked that way in any of them. I go right from my head to the layouts because I’m lousy at scripts, so what do I know?

From there we go to our reluctant commander, Alphon. In captions of his thoughts we learn that he is not a religious man, but he’d rather serve the God that made earth rather than the goddess who made his nightmare of a planet. Everybody’s welcome in the Lord’s house, Alphon. Come on in! As we saw before we learned his name, Alphon isn’t exactly happy with these arrangements and seems to like Earth more. I mean, there’s a reason practically every alien in the multiverse wants to take us over, folks. We even learn a bit about their religious beliefs, and that they won’t go into the underground city for fear of the Earth gods getting mad for going into the “domain of the dead”. This is at least why the invaders haven’t going into the underground cities, but still doesn’t explain why they haven’t set off the bomb that only targets living creatures.

His thoughts are cut off because Nova has finally woken up. It’s been a week since the invasion and it’s now New Years Day, so she must have really been hurt. Alphon brought her her because he couldn’t send a beautiful woman to a concentration camp, but she falls apart when he tells her Derek was killed with the others (a trick to get past the enemy scouts), as she cries to God that it isn’t true. Alphon is jealous of her emotional response over her lost love. I’m hoping he switches sides at some point.

In the underground city General Singleton is briefed about the invader’s religious practices, even surmising that this is tied to why they haven’t set off their kill all living beings bomb. They also guess that this is a sort of holy war, but if the Dark Nebulans hadn’t attacked Earth–or Iscandar and Gamilon really–then the prophecy wouldn’t have happened. So nice going, lady. You doomed yourself.

These samples come from the PDF file of the unfinished pages. Note the Yamato in panel four isn’t even drawn in yet.

Through the framing device of a message back to Earth, Derek summaries what the Star Force has been doing. They found the enemy’s invasion base station and took it down and found the wormhole, possibly the “gates of Heaven” Desaria was worried they’d find…which again, if you left them alone they wouldn’t have bothered…and are heading in to stop the bomb from being used. On Earth, Alphon has opted not to tell the hopeful but grieving Nova about this, thinking that the news her love was still alive would hurt her somehow? He’s hoping Dark Nebulan forces fail to stop the Star Force but unless he thinks they may succeed and would be giving her false hope I don’t see why he keeps shut. Instead he looks at the picture left behind by Captain Avatar of him and his son. I’m not sure if he’s attracted to Nova or just wishing he could have the emotions she does. Maybe both.

I thought the story forgot about the idiots who left Earth defenseless with the robot army. General Aziz and Senator Mandella Chambers are arguing as to what to do next. Aziz thinks they’ll take what they want and leave while Chambers thinks they have other goals in mind. Chambers doesn’t believe in religion but Aziz does, and for some reason it’s this part of the conversation that leads her to shoot him dead, telling her subordinates to tell the “Inner Circle” that he was shot for treason, and she wants to meet with the enemy. I’m still calling it that she’s with the enemy.

Unfortunately this is where the issue ends. That means that since this comic was never done they didn’t conclude the story at all. This is when, according to Eldred on the download page, that the distributor wars between Diamond and Capital City, started when Diamond got exclusive rights for DC and a few other publishers while Capital City fell apart and Marvel started their own distributor service just for them, seriously hurt smaller publishers like Argo Press. The comic folded at issue #11, and I’m sorry they didn’t get to finish the story. I was rather enjoying this adaptation. Someday I’ll have to find a way to see the movie myself to learn how this ends. There are still so many questions. What is Aziz really up to? What narrative purpose was there for resurrecting Captain Avatar with the Cosmo DNA, and why just him? Will the Star Force complete the prophecy that the Dark Nebulans basically set in motion trying to stop? Will Nova and Derek have their reunion? Will Alphon join the good guys in the end? I want to know, so I guess add Be Forever Yamato to the Finally Watched list of movies I want to see.

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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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