Sunday, June 19, 2016


Once upon a time, I was a ROBOTECH fanatic -- though not so long ago as you might think. Even though I was a child of the eighties, I missed ROBOTECH the first time around, when it debuted in 1985. It wasn't until thirteen years later, in 1998, that I tried the show out when it joined the Toonami lineup on Cartoon Network. I fell for it hard, and within a year or two I'd picked up and read all the novels and many of the comic books, which stretched back to the mid-eighties across multiple licensees.

Mostly, this ROBOTECH "expanded universe" was consistent across all platforms, notwithstanding some awful deviations by Antarctic Press's comics in 1998 or so. But when Wildstorm acquired the license in 2002, it was decided by ROBOTECH licensor Harmony Gold to reboot the franchise, and the company's creative director, Tommy Yune, took on this duty.

In 2002, I was a bit miffed to learn that all the stuff I'd just finished reading "didn't count" anymore, but it didn't take too long to buy into Yune's new vision for ROBOTECH. In truth, he kept a lot of what had come before while dumping some of the more questionable aspects presented by previous writers. I eventually came to really enjoy Wildstorm's ROBOTECH comics, and was disappointed when the license lapsed into inactivity only a couple years after the relaunch.

Now the time has come to revisit these latter-day ROBOTECH tales and see if they hold up. Over the next few weeks, I'll be covering all of Wildstorm's ROBOTECH material and then wrapping up with the most recently published ROBOTECH series, a "What if?" tale crossing over with VOLTRON (and that series, I've never actually seen). The breakdown will be:
  • ROBOTECH: FROM THE STARS (Wildstorm's first mini-series)
  • LITTLE WHITE DRAGON (a backup serial originally printed with LOVE AND WAR)
  • MARS BASE ONE (a backup serial originally printed with INVASION)
This project won't be as long as my past two "Summer of..." series, which each averaged roughly twelve weeks each -- but will the lack of quantity be counterbalanced by quality? Let's find out starting this Friday.


  1. I remember watching a few ROBOTECH eps on CBS 730AM before the regular Sat morning line-up. I believe it was the year of THE BERENSTEIN BEARS, THE WUZZLES, MUPPETS, BABIES, & MONSTERS (the 'MONSTERS' part proved short-lived), EWOKS/DROIDS HOUR, and the last seasons for SUPERFRIENDS (known here as THE SUPER POWERS TEAM: GALACTIC GUARDIANS) and SCOOBY DOO (The 13 GHOSTS version with Vincent Price). I wondered why the robots looked like my brother's Skyfire Transformer figure. I do remember the series killing off characters, although I wasn't as shaken up with it as I was with the DC casualties in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and Optimus Prime.
    I ignored the Cartoon Network broadcasts, although I was big on Anime like SAILOR MOON. Summer of 2002 I rented the entire Macross Part 1 series and had my first full run of the season (I avoided the two series retconned into being part of the continuity). Late millenium I got the MACROSS redub with Minmay's Japanese VA playing the english dub version as well.

    1. Funny, I really remember that exact TV season you're talking about! I was not into STAR WARS at that time, so I never watched EWOKS or DROIDS, though I recall seeing the final couple minutes of DROIDS each week before SUPER POWERS TEAM started. And I think 13 GHOSTS aired right after SUPER POWERS, if I recall correctly.

      (The other stuff was too early for me; I was never a morning person, even as a small child.)

      I've actually never watched the original MACROSS, though I own the soundtrack/score CD set. I think I was somehow exposed to the original score and I really liked it, so I mail ordered the CDs many years ago. It's great orchestral music (with some electric guitar mixed in for good measure).

  2. I more or less missed ROBOTECH - I vaguely recall seeing a few episodes as a kid, but it never really caught on for me, for whatever reason. I'm pretty sure I read at least a few of the Wildstorm reboot series from the early 00s you'll be reviewing, just as part of a general effort to support the first wave of 80s nostalgia boom at that time, but lacking the personal nostalgic connection to the property, I don't think I stuck around for long.

    Now VOLTRON, in terms of imported Japanese animation, that was my JAM! But just the lions. Not vehicle Voltron.

    1. A lot of people love Voltron. I had one of the lions as a kid; I think the green one, though it was a gift from a relative who didn't know any better. For whatever reason, I never had any interest in it -- not even when it aired on Toonami, which was, as noted above, when I finally got into ROBOTECH.