The Robotech Archives is the first in a four-book series, originally published by Eternity Comics, now compiled by Titan Comics. It was written by Tom Mason and Chris Ulm, illustrated by brothers Jason and John Waltrip, and lettered by Clem Robins, Gary Kato, and Steve Haynie. The original series was first published from 1988 to 1990.
The Robotech Archives is a black-and-white adventure taking place in an alternate near future where humanity has been made technologically advanced and globally unified after an alien spaceship crash-landed on Macross Island. Utilizing tech from the alien vessel, humanity makes huge leaps forward and knows peace before facing an invasion from aliens, but manage to come out on top. Much of this future tech is seen in the form of giant mecha war machines, some of them, like the Veritech Fighter plane, are transformable.
Robotech first began as a popular anime back in the early 1980s and this comic was a deal to continue the story after a planned anime sequel more or less fell through. All of this is explained by the artists in the opening sequence wherein they detail how they got involved with Eternity Comics, their artistic process for the series, and their thanks to Titan Comics for reprinting it thirty years later.
I, for one, am glad they did! As a kid, I caught a few episodes of the anime and it greatly piqued my interest, and years later indulged in Robotech when it had a brief stint as a tabletop roleplaying game. I was unaware the anime had a comic book successor back in the day, and so was delighted to read Book One.
First off, for those who abhor black-and-white comics, this may not be for you. The only color is on the cover, but for me, I was fine with it. The artwork and gray shading had me laughing, not for a bad reason, but because it so perfectly captured the look of 1980s anime. I rarely get a feeling of nostalgia, but this book did it for me. Those who love anime but are not well versed in older styles of it may find this cheesy, but for me, it gets the job done and appears to be a great sequel to the animated version.
The story is well-paced, detailed, and starts up ten years after humanity won the war. Anime regulars such as ace pilot Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, and others are all involved. There is an equal portrayal of space battle story showing what’s to come, personal interactions, and drama between the main protagonists on Earth as they set off for their next encounter into the far reaches of space.
One war ended, but another is right around the corner. The first war involved giant, purple beings known as the Zentraedi. Now, these aliens are on Earth and allied with humanity. The Robotech Defense Force, led by Rick Hunter, seeks to find the Robotech Masters, who the Zentraedi served. However, the Masters are having their own problems in the form of a vicious species called the Invid. Aside from their personal problems, the Robotech Defense Force will be unknowingly flying straight into a war zone.
Kudos to Titan for bringing this back, not just for old fans like myself, but for younger anime lovers looking to get into a piece of history with a fine lineage and big story. I really want to see what happens next!
Robotech II: The Sentinels
Kudos to Titan for bringing Robotech back, not just for old fans like myself, but for younger anime lovers looking to get into a piece of history with a fine lineage and big story.
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships, and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek, and the fine art of the introvert.