What's Past is Prelude Again: Examining the Shadow Chronicles Comic Preview (Part 4)

Sorry I didn't post some new panels yesterday. I'll try to bring it on home tomorrow, but I've got plans for the evening. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime ...

Panel #4 of page two, and ah, Blogger's not acting up tonight. Fantastic. Cyclones tear through the streets of Tiresia. Well, for one thing, last I checked, the Expeditionary Force on Tirol was using Hovercycles.

See? The same kind Dana & Bowie use in Robotech Masters -- and for that matter, the same kind Matchbox made a toy of for their 12" doll line back in the day. And the reason for that goes back to Daley, Luceno, and the fact that Scott Bernard calls it a "new emergency vehicle" in episode #61 of Robotech, "The Invid Invasion," when he pulls it out of that hatch on his Alpha Fighter. And gee, what year does that take place in the current timeline, 2042? My current estimate for Prelude, which I came to when doing some quick math this afternoon, is 2027, which by golly is the right year for these events according to Sentinels Book IV #0. But then, it was adhering to Daley & Luceno's timeline from the back of Rubicon and The End of the Circle -- the line about Sue Graham that I present is, I'm pretty sure, verbatim from the back of the McKinney novels -- just as it does here when it says that Cyclones didn't come into being for another three years.

Then again, I show you my favorite blunder from Sentinels Book IV #0, the portrait of Sue Graham. Ah. Just to show you all, obviously that source is not infallible. But then again, none of them are. Read on.

Obviously the current timeline isn't taking Bernard's remark in "The Invid Invasion" into account. In last year's Invasion #2, taking place in 2038 -- four years prior to Scott Bernard's arrival on Earth -- Lancer points out to the men under his command that all of their non-transformable space fighters are equipped with Cyclones in case of emergency, proving this shouldn't be a new concept to Bernard in 2042, especially if he has as much experience as he claims to in certain episodes -- his claims about being in the Wolff Pack in "Eulogy" spring to mind. Alpha Fighters, by the way, were allegedly "new" in 2038, according to Lancer during his mission briefing. Alphas keep appearing on the covers to Prelude, including that first one. If my year is right (it would make Rick thirty-seven years old -- any later, and his physical appearance in the preview pages is being WAY too generous), this is also a poor choice of words, because's own profile on the standard-issue green Alpha Fighter (VFA-6I) claims that, "The Veritech Alpha Fighter is Earth's premier third-generation transformable fighter, serving the REF through its mission in deep space and the reclamation missions to Earth." (Emphasis mine.) This suggests to me that it was around for a while prior to the so-called Third Robotech War. Of course, the model that appears on the cover of Prelude issue #1 has a profile that claims it was introduced late in the Third Robotech War, so go figure. Check it out.

Oddly enough, if you go to to brush up on the subject of Cyclones, there is no profile for the VR-052 Battler model, the one shown here and famously used by Rand in The New Generation. However, the VF-038, the light one Rook uses in The New Generation, is referred to as "one of the older Cyclone designs", and it is said that it "soldiered on throughout the 2030's." So I guess it's possible that, according to the current timeline, Cyclones could have been in service in the late 2020's -- that would carry them "through the 2030's," wouldn't it? The overall design of the VR-052 has always suggested to me that it's the oldest, but the model numbers don't seem to support that (it's got the highest of the three), nor does the fact that Scott Bernard arrives in it from space, the cache Rand steals one from appears to be from a more recent crash landing, and the other models are already in place when we arrive (Lancer's, according to Invasion, is the one from his plane). I will shrug at this right now and investigate further later.

As for the streets they're riding on ...

Looks close enough to me. *shrug*

The last three panels of page two feature T.R. Edwards in his current character design and a more Shadow Chronicles style uniform, complete with the new United Earth Expeditionary Force logo (the one you see behind the Shadow Chronicles logo) on his shoulder. The character design is based on Long Vo's tanned, muscular, nearly white-haired character design appearing in the 2002 six-issue mini-series From The Stars.

Interestingly, I glanced down and noticed a strong resemblance between panel #5 and the cover for Sentinels Book IV #12. Take a look.

Sure, Edwards is less freakish and creepy in the Prelude page, but really, that doesn't take much. It also makes me wonder if the three LEDs in his new cowl were inspired by that weird glowing red spot in this image ...

In the Book IV #13 panel, the one at the bottom right, notice how Edwards is bloodied and missing his cowl due to his brawl with Lynn Kyle. If he just shot Kyle dead in the new version of events, as suggested by the flashback panels on page one, his crisp, cool, clean appearance here makes sense. But if we're hewing to the way things happened back in Sentinels, he should be a little more haggard. His cowl was also destroyed in the fight, which is why I'm not losing too much sleep over the new one he sports here, except for the issue of the three LEDs, which I really hope are just there for intimidation purposes.

One thing in these panels sure as heck follows from the events of Sentinels. In fact, it follows from the order given in that very same Book IV #13 panel! Edwards has the Invid Brain on his side, and thus controls the Invid Inorganics in Tiresia. The Invid Brain, also known as "the Living Computer," is a device originally introduced in the New Generation episode "The Fortress." It's basically what it says on the wrapper, a giant organic brain used as a computer by the Invid. When properly hooked up, it can serve as the "mind" of the simple mechanical constructs known as the Invid Inorganics. While we don't see the whole thing in panel seven, it doesn't look massive enough to me -- as you can see in the panel to the bottom left, from Book I #16 (when Edwards first seized it) it's about as tall as he is. During the intial fighting to save the city of Tiresia from Invid occupation, Edwards engineered events so that he would be the one to bust into the Royal Hall, take out the Invid commander, and seize the glory of victory. Much later, in making his escape from the Expeditionary Force, he contacts the Invid Regent and asks for help -- he had opened a line of communication with the Regent to make the pretense of peace talks and to gain help in disposing of Rick Hunter and his friends and allies. The Regent points him to the Invid Brain and the inert Inorganics that weren't scrapped. Whoops -- Expeditionary Force should have scrapped those Inorganics when they had the chance, 'cause they're alive again! Ha-ha!

My only comment on panel six is that I hope that's not supposed to be the Brain's own control system. Perhaps he is lowering it into a holding area aboard his ship. You can clearly see the Brain's proper controls in the panels from Book I #16 and Book IV #12 (top left) -- they're on the big sphere in front.

OK, onto the big two-page spread tomorrow! Again, if you see anything I missed or have any comments to make, please do so either in the comments area or via e-mail.


  • Dude! Dude! Comicscontinuum just posted the cover and the first three pages!

    (thanks to BlaqChaos from

    By Anonymous Darkwater, at 28 September, 2005 11:32  

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