Friday, July 8, 2016


Words: Ken Siu-Chong with Tommy Yune | Pencils: Jo Chen
Inks: Alan Tamm | Colors: UDON | Letters: Jenna Garcia (#1), Doctor Layman (#2-3),
Jared Fletcher (#4), Nick J. Napolitano (#5-6) | Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Edits: Ben Abernathy | Special Thanks to: Erik Ko & Tom Bateman

Within the world of ROBOTECH, as the SDF-1 journeyed through the solar system on a two-year trek from Pluto back to Earth, the citizens of Macross City, trapped aboard ship, did their best to adapt and continue with their normal lives. One such diversion was the production of a motion picture, LITTLE WHITE DRAGON, aboard ship. This backup serial (originally printed alongside LOVE AND WAR), reveals the plot of LITTLE WHITE DRAGON for the first time, while interspersing movie scenes with "real world" moments aboard ship.

The film follows a young Shao Long martial artist named Kai-Fun, whose master and fellow monks are all killed when a meteorite falls from the sky in the year 999. Some time later, Kai-Fun returns to the his home island to investigate recent fishing boat raids and travels back to the temple with a guide named Wai-Lin. There they find a Zentraedi battlepod and warrior, which Kai-Fun duels.

In the real world, Wai-Lin is portrayed by Lynn Minmei, Rick Hunter's girlfriend, while the part of Kai-Fun is performed by her cousin, Lynn Kyle. The very brief out-of-movie scenes are both original and adaptations of moments from ROBOTECH, and depict Rick's and Minmei's relationship slowly deteriorating. At the story's conclusion, the Zentraedi watch a pirated broadcast of the film and take it as a historical document, which leads them to believe humans may be stronger than they have previously let on.

Where LOVE AND WAR was mostly rehashed scenes from the TV series with some original content sprinkled in, LITTLE WHITE DRAGON is the reverse: Ken Siu-Chong (of UDON's STREET FIGHTER fame) and Tommy Yune have come up with a novel idea -- giving a plot to the movie-within-a-series starring Minmei, which has long been a part of ROBOTECH/MACROSS lore. I can't say I've ever burned with any particular desire to know what LITTLE WHITE DRAGON was about, but I appreciate the originality of this concept, if nothing else. And the theme of the framing story, the dissolution of the relationship between Rick and Minmei, is a very nice reversal of LOVE AND WAR's retelling of the origins of the Max/Miriya love story.

That said, I wouldn't have minded if the real-world bits had delved a bit more into the actual production of the movie. in a brief aside back in FROM THE STARS, we were told that visiting actress Jan Morris (who is now also stranded aboard the SDF-1) had turned down the lead in the film, but nothing there indicates it was mean to be shot on location on Macross Island. Yet here we are with a full film crew, editing studio, and more in Macross City aboard the SDF-1. I can buy that the cast was assembled from random citizens -- Minmei herself was a waitress at her aunt's and uncle's restaurant before landing the lead -- but where did they get a director, a cinematographer, editor, etc.? Yeah, this seems kind of
nitpicky, but in all honesty it would've been far more interesting to me than seeing yet more scenes from the show re-presented verbatim here. LITTLE WHITE DRAGON could have been a character study from the civilian point of view aboard ship, as we see them searching for something, anything to help them acclimate to their new lives, ultimately resulting in the production of a motion picture.

Next time we'll look at the backup serial, MARS BASE ONE, which ran with the next miniseries, ROBOTECH: INVASION. I've shifted the backup to come first since it covers more material from the Macross era; thus we'll have a clean sweep of Macross material before moving along to INVASION, set in the "New Generation" period, and PRELUDE TO THE SHADOW CHRONICLES, set around the same time.

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