Are you one of the millions that rushed home from school to watch Rick Hunter, Dana Sterling, and/or Scott Bernard climb into their transforming robot mecha and battle various alien invaders? Robotech was a popular 80s TV cartoon that was actually three different Japanese TV cartoons stuck together, airing across the US with a corresponding line of action figures, model kits, t-shirts, pajamas, flashlights, pencil cases, fashion dolls, and comic books. Robotech eventually went Roboteching away after a failed movie and the first of many sequel attempts. Their particular transforming marketing train ground to a halt, except for comic books, which kept right on going. Because you can't kill them. They're already dead. Robotech was on its third or fourth publisher by the time we get to today's installment of the thrilling struggle to either defend or defeat (I forget) the Robotech warriors!
Looks like the logo for Robotech II: The Sentinels is either a puddle someone spilled gasoline on, or is very, very high. Regardless, we are going to take off on this licensed character science fiction adventure, that now involves a lot of green furry people hollering and blasting away! Maybe we're all very high.
So let's get up to speed here with Robotech II: The Sentinels, Book Three, Issue 17. You remember Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes, well, they blasted off into space, they got married, they got together with some Sentinels, they got stranded on the planet Praxis, they looked "Praxis" up in the dictionary, they got rescued by somebody named Jack, and they learned the band REM has been taken to the planet Haydon IV. Caught up with all those planets and aliens? Let's go!
HA! Here's a totally NEW planet for you to remember. It's a backwater world, so you know it's very important.
Usually a geodesic dome and some hogans and yurts is a pretty good sign a drum circle is about to break out, and then Cosmic Joe here is going to tell us about Woodstock... again. Hooray.
So you know how when you're a kid and you get all your toys out on the floor of the den and you arrange them all very carefully and from then on it's all VROOM and ZZZOOOM and KABLAM and BOOM until dinnertime? This is that, rendered in comic book form.
I'm not kidding. Large parts of this narrative are taken up with sound effects, licensed model kits and/or diecast toys, and the unseen hand of a giant child at play.
see, not kidding.
You don't HAVE to put a halftone over your dialogue balloons, but it sure helps (to make those dialogue balloons unreadable)
Oh no, one of the space aliens took another space alien's hat off and that space alien is kind of a cutesy, big-eyed slug and then that slug got ZEER'd. I am honestly not sure who I'm supposed to be rooting for here.
Remember kids, that ZEER don't care who it ZEERs!
We're back BUD-DUD-DUD and SPIK SPAK SPOK as the toy properties from one Robotech line start blasting the toy properties from a different Robotech line. Can't we all just get along?
So ten pages in this comic finally delivers some recognizable characters we might have seen on the TV, where they were famous for being ace transforming jet plane fighter pilots. I guess we don't need to see them doing anything like that in *this* comic, though.
A planet where FARTS evolved from AIR? You MANIACS!
SHHHHOOOEEEEE that is one annoying sound effect.
"...*they're* still under the effects of the planet's microbe-laden atmosphere and *is* delirious with fever" because Robotechnology is NOT about proper grammar
And here we are at the part of the sci-fi epic where people on TV screens catch each other up on the story so far. Where would sci-fi epics be without viewscreens and exposition via viewscreen?
Whoops, here come the sound effects again.
BUB-BUB-BUB... BOOM... BRAP! Sorry, that last one was me, had Chipotle for lunch. Sorry.
I think I saw Sprak Braft do a live performance back in 2012, opening for Bup Bup Smash maybe
"We would have attacked sooner, but it took a long time to get us all in this perfectly symmetrical formation. We like a tidy battlefield here on Garuda."
Is Kami the leader of the furry green people? I guess so. Is he going to lead us into another orgy of destructive sound effects? I think he is!
TIMMY I said ENOUGH WITH THE NOISE now GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY because MOMMY has a MIGRAINE
I SAID THAT'S ENOUGH TIMMY! (sound of feet, child being yanked by the arm, door slamming, birds chirping. The warm, unfamiliar sun beats down on Timmy. Somewhere in the distance a dog barks. Up the street three children are jumping rope and two others do wheelies on their bicycles, their laughter carrying across the summer breeze. Timmy joins them, Garuda and bioroids forgotten. For the moment.)
What was that thing... it was like you got little pictures of X-wings or Superman or Fred Flinstone, and you had to place them onto a background... it wasn't Colorforms, no... it wasn't Shrinky Dinks...maybe it was Rub-Ons? Presto Magix, that was it. Presto Magix Action Transfers, the best way to distract your kid from running around the living room hollering BLADAM and SHH-BOOM with his action figures, if you don't feel like shoving him outside to play.
Anyway, that's what this looks like.
The hunters had become the hunted. The predators, the prey. The conquerors had been conquered. The winners were now the losers. The victors? Guess what! They're the vanguished! You will not BELIEVE what happened to the overthrowers - they themselves were overthrown. Instead of success they found failure! The tide had turned, a new day was dawning, they had found their destiny. And now everybody look out, because I think the winds of change are gonna start blowing the sands of time
"'It became necessary to destroy the planet to save it,' a Robotech Expeditionary Force major said today. This is Peter Arnett V, live in outer space, for the Macross News Network."
"My god what did the Invid do to them, those people that seem to be sleeping comfortably with no visible wounds? Those monsters. Now, let's get further inside what I can only assume is the lower intestine of some enormous creature."
See, I told you. Drum circles.
It's vital to ensure dialogue gets read in the proper sequence!
You know the important thing about word balloon placement?
Look, we need to save Rick and Lisa, sure. But lately I haven't been hearing good things about Karen. She's gonna want to speak to all our managers! Who knows who she'll report to whom for what? Be here for Robotech II: The Sentinels, Book Three, Issue Eighteen!
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