Outside “the big two” publishers, nostalgia tie-in comics are big bucks. IDW found success with Transformers and now Titan is trying the same with Robotech. But is this remake worth your time?
So a quick run down, Robotech is a anime franchise from the 80s and was one of the bigger forerunners for anime making it big in The West. The big origin story of Robotech coming to our screens is how three different anime series were dubbed over into one continuity with the violence heavily censored and characters names being Westernized.
This comic is based on the first series, The Macross Saga (the first season coming from the long running anime series, Macross) Fortunately for me, I recently picked up all three re-mastered and extended box sets of Robotech on DVD, so I’ve got a good comparison.
To sum up for outsiders, Robotech: The Macross Saga is like Battlestar Galactica but with mecha and clunky dialogue. Now looking at the comic, I’ve got to say, it’s quite hard to make a huge statement about this issue since so very little happens in it.
Then again a lot of first issues I read don’t tend to have a lot of meat on the bones but some kind of tasty seasoning instead.
The seasoning for this piece of meat comes from the art, the promise of a more synchronised continuity, which kind of lacks on the show itself almost feeling like the plot is made up on the fly.
Though if you think about it, the great things about these comics are the freedom they have. The Transformers comics have the freedom to be more adult, Power Rangers isn’t such a hard sell for toys, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a team of writers putting their own spin on something they enjoy.
Robotech doesn’t really do that. Not so far anyway.
You almost get a Batman Begins style reboot with the characters being quite stand-off-ish towards each other and where characters who were previously friendly, like Rick Hunter and ‘Big Brother’ Roy, now putting across a feeling of some kind of animosity.
In terms of story for this issue, it loosely adapts the first couple of episodes of the anime where Macross Island is invaded and the mysterious SDF1 has to take off because of an alien invasion. You get plenty of set up and a lot of promise for the series, though in terms of story it just lags and I fear that this Nolan style reboot could easily veer off course in a Fantastic Four (2015) reboot.
The art is promising, though the real test is going to be showing some of the great space battles that happen later on with mecha and spaceships clashing against each other. Though it’s not entirely anime, it does work and the more realistic touch sets the tone nicely.
Overall, the issue is thin, with some promise you’ll find lurking in the pages, though the promise of a new take on this series has yet to be realised.
Though I can say that it’s better than Robotech’s last outing in comics alongside Voltron, in terms of story telling at least.