Return to the classic era of Robotech in an all-new comic book title from Titan Comics.
Writer Brian Wood and artist Marco Turini are revisiting the franchise's most popular time period, keeping in mind the vision from Macross and that of Carl Macek. Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Roy Fokker, and an empowered Lynn Minmei come to a modern day version of Macross Island and its saga.
With Robotech #1 scheduled to debut July 26, Newsaraama spoke with Wood about this retelling of the classic saga, pulling from the cartoon and the various comic book titles that have come before.
Newsarama: Brian, what's your vision for Robotech?
Brian Wood: What we’re attempting here is a modern re-telling of the American television show, the one I’d wake up as a kid super early on Sunday mornings in rural Vermont to watch. But not a scene-for-scene rehashing... obviously when you adapt from one medium into another, and taking something that's decades old and relaunching it, you want to freshen it up, to streamline parts of it, to make it relevant. You want new readers to be drawn to it, not just serve existing fans.
Nrama: What time period does this take place in?
Wood: Same time period as the TV show - as I write, I'm watching the episodes all over again, and using them as a guide, as a path forward. We're not starting over from scratch, it is an adaptation as its core.
Nrama: What is Macross Island like when your story opens?
Wood: It's got a massive alien spaceship crashing down into it! Just like in that iconic, narrated opening to episode one of the series. No way was I messing with that.
Nrama: Where is everyone, like Rick, Lisa and Lynn?
Wood: They are all there, with slight tweaks. I wanted to take some of the edge off Rick's earnestness, and Minmei's excessive helplessness - she is probably the character who's not aged well, and I couldn't see a way forward for us where she is the giggling damsel in distress we see in the show. So, she'll be in charge of her own destiny, less passive and less inclined to let Rick take control of situations.
Nrama: You've done this kind of licensing work before - dropping into something with a lot of backstory and almost too many possibilities to name. After Star Wars, how do you get your arms around something like Robotech?
Wood: I've done this a few times, not just Star Wars, but the X-Men, and more recently Aliens and EVE: Online (possibly the most backstory of all of them). I think what's key is setting parameters early on, defining the area in which you'll tell the story, and sticking to it. Making it manageable. In the case of Robotech, again, I have those original episodes to guide me. The overall world of Robotech is so vast; we're sticking to the plan.
Nrama: The show is playing in your home now, but how else did get up to speed with everything there has been about Robotech?
Wood: The show's on Netflix, which makes it easy to have running in one window while I write in the other. Harmony Gold sent over some of the older comic book adaptations that helped me see how other writers have handled this in the past, which is useful from a creative standpoint, to see what approach works and what doesn't. But like I said, I'm a fan, so it’s been a pleasure.
Nrama: Given how much Robotech is keyed into the art, how are you working with Marco Turini to nail that down?
Wood: Marco needs no help from me - I try and write scripts that include as much reference as I think the artist needs, and the editors at Titan are obviously there as well, and Harmony Gold too. So aside from the scripts, I try and stay out of the way and let the whole art team do their thing. I think the book looks great.
Nrama: What are your big goals with Robotech overall?
Wood: I think Robotech is a great series - smart, diverse, engaging, and truly has mass appeal. My goal here is to show that, to prove that to people.