Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Marco Turini
Colors: Marco Lesko
Lettering: John Workman
Publisher: Titan Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
Manga has been quite popular in Japan for quite a long time. In that same amount of time publishers, executives, and network heads have tried to find ways to Americanize or make Manga more popular in the United States. Carl Macek was given the task to take Macross and adapt to for U.S. markets in the 1980’s. Through arduous work and editing, Robotech was born and became one of the most popular Mangas in Western culture. Now, Brian Wood and Marco Turini have come together to bring back the famous series under the Titan umbrella of comics.
Robotech #1 starts ten years ago as the technology used to launch the Robotech Defense Force comes crashing down on Macross Island. After a time jump, the Robotech Defense Force is established, and Wood begins to introduce all the major players.
The introductions are handled well as the roles of everyone is explained. You have Roy Fokker, the former greenhorn who is now the leader of the Skull Squadron. Rick Hunter is the new cocky pilot. Lisa Hayes is the First Officer who is known for her serious attitude. The team is getting ready to run some training mission before things go sideways. Anything more than that would give away more of the plot than I want to give away here.
Wood does an excellent job bringing the cast in and introducing them without overwhelming the reader, while also making sure that enough character is revealed to draw the reader in. Rick is obviously going to be the star of the comic. He gets the most development alongside Lynn Minmei, whose family gets caught in the crossfire of the attack. While Roy is not developed much in the first issue, we assume, with his connections both to the technology and other major characters, that he will have an influence moving forward. I would have liked to see a bit more development of Roy and Lisa, but being the first issue, it is something that I can let pass for now.
The action in Robotech #1 comes at the reader fast. The characters are quick to act and react, rather than wait for an explanation. The fight scenes are big and all encompassing. While containing some military jargon, Robotech #1 does not overwhelm with too many technical terms that may cause readers to begin to tune out.
Being based off westernized Manga, the colors in Robotech #1 are bright and colorful and, at times, over the top. The character designs are dominated by big hair and over exaggerated facial expressions, but for a book steeped in Manga tradition the art works. Backgrounds while bright and detailed do not take away from the action and instead enhance it.
Robotech #1 takes its source material and goes all in and doesn’t shy away from its roots. For that reason alone, if you were a fan of the previous 1980’s version you should pick up Robotech #1. The good news is that love for its source material does not mean that this series is not for new readers. Instead, a platform is created for new readers to join in the series without concern of missing out. So, for that reason, be it new to the franchise or longtime fan, everyone should enjoy Robotech #1