By: John C. Mayberry
The Robotech story is a unique one in that the original 85-episode run was the American adaptation of three different and unrelated Japanese TV shows, combined to form a singular mythos that is still beloved by fans since its premiere in an era most insolent youth today would think is ancient…the mid-80s. So loved, that Titan Comics has started republishing the classic comic book in a series of volumes. I had a chance to check out Robotech Archives: The Sentinels Vol. 2, which will really take you back and immerse you in a well-loved chapter of the Robotech mythos.
Originally a series of novels written by author Jack McKinney, this comic series isn’t just another adaptation of a book, but also an expansion of the story that was first written, giving you more of the Robotech story to enjoy. The writing is great and keeps you engaged as well as maintains consistency with the tone of the comic and show. Although an adaptation of a novel, the artwork too stays consistent with the appearance of the show, even giving you the same sense of urgency in heavy action sequences in the comic as you’d see in the cartoon itself.
If any drawback, it may be in the contrast of the artwork. Presented in black and white, there may seem to be some pages where it may be difficult to make out visually what’s going on, and after a while may be hard on the eyes too. Despite this, this is something that every Robotech fan would love. Especially for those who love the novels, since now they get to not only see a visual representation of these stories, but get to see more of what happens after the story of the book ends. Robotech Archives: The Sentinels Vol. 2 is worth a good, relaxing read on whatever recliner or bean bag chair (hell, a fort even) you have and something you’re going to want to keep to your collection to read again at any moment’s notice.
Writing – The story is written fantastically, with great dialogue that give you a real feel for the characters and their relationships with each other, helping you to become more invested with them and with what they experience as the story progresses. Even if this happens to be your first exposure to Robotech, you’re given enough history of previous events, so you aren’t confused as to the events that are playing out before you.
Expansion of the novel – The comic book adaptation of The Sentinels story of Robotech takes you through the events of the novelization it was based on, and beyond that also. In reading this comic, you get the adaptation of the original tale and an expansion of it, so you get to witness the events that happen after the story of the novel ends.
Consistency – Some cartoon to comic adaptations unfortunately don’t go over so well, but be relieved kids, this one gets the translation of one medium to another just right. The art style of both the show and comic are consistent and remain within the tone of the overall story perfectly. Even just reading the dialogue instead of listening to it will put you right back in front of that TV screen, eyes glued and unable to look away.
Contrast in artwork – It is admittedly difficult to make out details on some pages since there seems to be little other tones used other than just strictly black and white. Reading through this comic, although close to the appearance of the show and definitely nostalgia inducing, can be uneasy on the eyes for some.
OVERALL SCORE – 9 out of 10
Despite the extra effort that might be needed to fully enjoy the visual representation, Robotech Archives: The Sentinels Vol. 2 is a true tribute to the original source material that it’s based on. Every bit as entertaining as the TV show is, fans of the Robotech novels, as well as the saga itself, will be greatly happy with this chapter of the mythos. For newcomers, don’t let the lack of contrast scare you off. This really is a read that’s worth your time.