One of my favorite cartoons from childhood is getting a modern reboot in ROBOTECH #1 from Titan Comics. Veteran writer Brian Wood has been dipping his toes into franchise properties with great success lately and that trend continues in this adaptation of an 80’s cartoon that was an adaptation of three separate anime series from Japan. The plot remains relatively unchanged as we meet up with young and brash Rick Hunter and his older brother, Veritech fighter pilot Roy Fokker, ten years after the crash landing of the SDF-1. The massive spaceship has ushered in a new wave of technology for humanity and on the day it was suppose to launch Earth is descended upon by a strange alien armada. The action kicks into high gear as the SDF-1 seemingly fires on its own to clear the path. What is this strange ship? Where did it come from? How did it protect itself on its own? And why are the alien pilots the size of giants? If you are familiar with the series you probably already know the answers to all those questions but who cares, its awesome and transforming fighter jets are the coolest thing ever!
Fanboy nostalgia aside I really did enjoy this issue. Brian Wood is a great writer and he has taken an old cartoon that does not hold up too well these days and give it a more modern scifi approach to the material. I think we can look forward to less teenage antics and fewer space music videos while getting a deeper look at the story behind the SDF-1, its advanced technology, and its connection to the Zentradi. The core cast of character is all here with a look that reflects the anime while still being modern with a slightly more gritty atmosphere. Overall I found the writing and pacing to be very solid with only a slight misstep in the scenes involving Minmei and Rick Hunter. Having them converse in the heat of battle while one is on the group and the other in a fighter jet cockpit was a bit absurd and took me out of the moment but not enough to cast a negative reflection upon the entire issue.
The pencils from Marco Turini are really a sight to behold, especially his take on the classic Veritech fighter design. Slightly more bulky with a look that leans more towards modern military than sleek science fiction designs his new fighters just look mean and tough. As for the Zentradi, we have not gotten a good look yet but one is definitely coming in issue number two and I cannot wait. This was a fun first issue that laid the groundwork for the series, introduced the major players, and established the alien threat. I think anyone who was a fan of the American cartoon or the Japanese anime should pick this book up and recommend it to younger readers who might not be familiar with the franchise. There is an entire host of variant covers so grab all the ones you can from World’s Coolest Comics.