Taking Inventory ...

If you were to wander into a comic book shop, chances are fairly good that you could take a sneak peek at next week's first issue of Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. DC is sending it among its "First Look" titles, the books they really want to push out of next week's offerings, which is how Comics Continuum had the finished cover and first three pages up at their website yesterday; obviously they got their shipment of books from the distributor and immediately set about scanning in those pages for all the 'net to see.

I could have pushed my friends to swing me by the nearest comic shop yesterday to peer at the book myself, but I didn't. Obviously I am an idiot. However, reader Shane did manage to swing by and flip through, and in the interest of assembling the dramatis personae for the book, I will let slip a sliver of what he told me.

SDF-3 commanding officer Lisa Hayes-Hunter does appear in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. This makes her the second living, major Macross character to appear in the series in the present tense. I add all these stipulations because ...

A) Lynn Kyle appears, but he's dead.
B) Minmei has appeared, but only in flashback. (She is also mentioned, but does not appear in the unfolding events of the first issue, based on Shane's observations.)
C) Dr. Lang is confirmed as present in the series by the solicitation text for issue #3, and I believe Shane said he saw him somewhere in the first issue (don't have the e-mail in front of me), but in any case he's not a major Macross character.

So returning Sentinels mainstays include Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Jack Baker, Vince Grant, Dr. Jean Grant, T.R. Edwards, Dr. Emil Lang, Janice Em, and possibly Lynn Minmei. She appeared in the flashback, so I have hope. As I've been saying, a certain amount of the drama of the Rick Hunter-T.R. Edwards confrontation that will most likely be the climax of the storyline hinges on the fact that he's got Minmei in his clutches. Mind you, he then proceeds to throw oil on that fire -- hit your local comic shop and demand the FIrst Looks for next week to see what I mean -- but it's still a crucial part of the hatred Rick has for the man at this point. (I keep asking myself, "They can't kill her, can they?")

Oh, missed the Invid Regent. He's on the cover of issue #2. Wonder how he's gonna die if Breetai's not around. My guess would be Edwards kills him. That would make a lot of sense.

The characters I haven't recieved confirmation on that have me curious are the Zor-clone Rem, the Tiresian scientist Cabell, and the ever-evolving Invid scientist Tesla, who has been eating the fruit of the Flower of Life on each planet of the Local Group and continues to transform himself into a more and more human-like configuration. He had two fruit to go, that of Spheris and Peryton, when Sentinels ended, and considering his rivalry with the Regent (who he has now evolved beyond, to his delight), he's the other character I would expect to kill him. However, his subplot isn't so important, especially when you take into account the fact that the Waltrips weren't going to kill him off the way McKinney did in the final Sentinels novel, and they were just going to have this Invid that's nearly as evolved as the Regess get zapped away to Earth for New Generation. (Mind you, if you kept him as-is, that'd make for a great New Gen side-story ... Tesla setting up his own hive somewhere out in Asia, carrying on this parallel war, and the Expeditionary Force troops don't know they're fighting an altogether different foe. Or even better, he takes over but is really nice to the people after his time among the Sentinels, but then some Expeditionary Force freedom fighters charge into town. Somehow the light tone of the Waltrips' Sentinels comics has me picturing "Great Leader Tesla" propaganda posters all over the place ...)

More to come ...


  • Hmmm, so “Prelude” does indeed appear to follow closely the events of the final Sentinels comic. This still leaves the question, why are Rick and Jean so hot on Edwards’s tail? As you said, they should be light-years away.

    Perhaps HG is scrapping the actual Sentinels campaign storyline out of The Sentinels?! Or maybe just drastically shortening it? Because by either the Macek or McKinney/Waltrip timeline, neither Rick nor Jean will be anywhere near Tirol for Years after Edwards coup attempt, correct?

    By Blogger b4bobb, at 29 September, 2005 13:42  

  • I was just consulting the Macek timeline, and I had a thought. We all know that Macek & McKinney diverged more as the series progressed. Maybe “Prelude” picks up from the events in the last Sentinels comic (which was based on the McKinney timeline) but continues as if it were actually taking place in the Macek timeline? In that version, Rick and the gang return to Tirol for the final showdown with Edwards instead of fighting him on Optera.

    I must say that, even though I vastly prefer the McKinney version, I always liked the symmetry of the fist and last battles of the Sentinels campaign being fought over Tirol.

    Actually the more I think of it, I doubt my theory is correct. The cover of issue 4 seems to depict Rick commanding an assault on Optera, no? Those green twisty things look a lot like our brief glimpses of Optera in the first ep. of New Gen.

    I’m just pumped we’re getting anything at all. Lisa Hayes! The original, beautiful, crimson pseudo-Zentraidi SDF-3! The Invid brain! Edwards’s coup? Just give me a few 5-year folds, and I’ll be exploding with joy.

    By Blogger b4bobb, at 29 September, 2005 13:54  

  • Well, yeah, like I think I said a few days ago, from what the comics did, Rick should be sitting in his Kirk Chair on the Ark Angel while his Away Team goes down and clears a path through some Invid on Spheris. They've still got a whole Sphersian revolution to incite, and I seem to recall that taking some doing in the novels. Then it's off to Peryton, where they've got to deal with the big "never-ending war curse/machine" that Burak has to sacrifice himself to shut off. But I think "Prelude" considers all that over with by now. (I don't know, I still haven't gotten a chance to thumb through it. Maybe tomorrow.)

    All of a sudden I remembered ... I wonder where Jonathan Wolfe is. Has he already left for Earth? "Eulogy" always says he went to fight the Masters, and if my year estimate is right, the Second Robotech War is still three years off. (If it's NOT, then he's probably already gone.)

    Anyway, yeah, from the solicitation text and the image of issue #4's cover, I imagine we're having a more McKinney-like final battleground of T.R. Edwards-controlled Optera. This is why I keep saying, my money's on Edwards killing the Regent. We'll see.

    On the one hand, it is really fantastic seeing all this in a storyline that's more or less considered canonical that's written by two guys who have been away from the franchise for far too long. On the other hand, all the little bits that don't completely line up with their older work are really, really annoying. But I am certainly looking forward to all this. I'm positive it's gonna be one hell of a ride. If anything else, it's finally going to wash away that nasty taste that Antarctic's unfinished Sentinels Rubicon mini-series left in my mouth.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 29 September, 2005 17:15  

  • Think if I offer to "buy" the issue early for 10 bucks from a comic shop, I can get away with it?

    Also, if you get a chance to look at it, tell us if that "behind the scenes" stuff is in it. I'm guessing it would just be some of the slides from Tommy's panel.

    By Anonymous Darkwater, at 29 September, 2005 18:12  

  • Hell, I've heard of some stores just selling the first look copy early for cover price. All just depends on the store.

    I probably will get to see the book tomorrow. Seeing how my personal copy is being mailed to me next week -- I buy my comics off the 'net anymore -- I'll probably actually read the sucker and take some notes. ^_^

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 29 September, 2005 20:09  

  • No behind the scenes stuff in this issue.

    It's all art and story. And from what I can tell, at least from the first issue, Edwards and Rick won't be final-battling it out on Tirol...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 September, 2005 22:25  

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