Posts Tagged ‘Cartoons’

 

So I have those butterflies again. It’s not often that after years of reading comics, blogging, podcasting or whatever your vice is that you get that fresh burst of inspiration. Today however amidst everything that is happening in the world I am so glad you joined us to step outside of our current situation and just for a moment, read something (hopefully) enjoyable and fun. If you didn’t know today is June 24th and its #SuperBlogTeamUp day! If you are unfamiliar with our work we are a group of like minded bloggers who get together 4 times a year to blog on a singular topic and put our own spin on that theme!! Today our Bombastic Blogging Brigade has chosen to discuss “EXPANDED UNIVERSE’S”. (Thanks to BTP of Between The Pages Blog for this topic!!) What is an Expanded Universe you say? Well I am glad you asked!! When you think of Expanded Universes many peoples minds instantly go to such high profile topics such as Star Trek or Star Wars (Yes we will be discussing Star Wars calm down!!) but what many may not know is that these franchises are only the tip of the iceberg for Universes that started in a certain medium such as movies, comics, novels, TV, you name it but grew in spite of itself to become a far reaching universe on to its own thus reaching many pockets and facets of modern pop culture!

 

Transmission Date: June 24th 2020

So on this day, June 24 2020, Super-Blog Team-Up explores Franchises with rich histories and fascinating expanded universes in various media from movies, to toys, television, novels, animation, and of course comic books just to name a few. These universes further a character, story line, or a whole world adding texture and new history to a property unleashing worlds of new ideas a concept’s. With some properties these universes advance the franchise forward giving their legions of fans fun new concepts to digest while other properties sink once bright ideas to mere corporate shells of themselves. Super-Blog Team-Up is BACK to explore some uncharted territory as we open up the Universal gateway to expansion. God save us all. So with all that subtext out of the way its great to be back at the helm of this blog the long dormant Superhero Satellite!! I have set Satellite coordinates back of course to the mid-1980’s to September of 1985 to be exact! Strap in tight Heroes, we are headed back to the place I wanna be…Back To The 80s!!

It was September of 1985 and this writer was a mere 11 years old and at that time was headed back to school for the fall season. Now as a kid that was not something to celebrate but being a young chap going to Horwood High the one thing that I did enjoy was getting home via bus everyday and sitting in anticipation of the after school cartoon block on ASN (Atlantic Satellite Network). It started at 4:30 pm daily and was known to feature such shows as Snorks, Turbo Teen, Bravestarr, Transformers, Robotech, Jem and The Holograms, Centurions and the topic of today’s Superhero Satellite M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand). Satellite!! Cue the music!

MASK animated SBTU

Every season ASN would change up its after school line up which only on very few occasions did it produce mixed results. Usually it was something mind blowing to my 11 year old self and I loved almost everything I was fed. It was destination TV! On this particular occasion I was treated to a show that was brand new to me called Mobile Armored Strike Kommand aka..M.A.S.K.!!

For those living in a cave the show itself centers around corporate millionaire industrialist named Matt Trakker who discovers a criminal organization known as the Vicious Evil Network of Mayem…yeah you guessed it that spells V.E.N.O.M.!! Seeing the threat that V.E.N.O.M. poses around the globe Trakker recruits a group of colleagues to create a strike force to combat the evil criminal element. He brands his new team M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Command) which is an amazing name, however V.E.N.O.M. will not be toppled easily. Luckily Matt Trakker has been secretly developing a series of seemingly ordinary military vehicles “Masked” as everyday Cars, trucks, vans, and planes but with incredible hidden transformation and weaponry designed entirely to combat the evils of V.E.N.O.M. Of course my first taste of M.A.S.K. was from THIS commercial!!

Transforming everything was all the rage!! My Brother and I grew up on all things 80s and we devoured Go-Bots our transforming robots of choice! We also loved G.I. Joe, Transformers, Masters Of The Universe, She-Ra, BraveStarr, Star Wars..you name it we dug it!! So I started seeing M.A.S.K. Toys on shelves in 1985 after being bombarded by toy commercial’s during my Saturday Morning cartoon watching binges! Being at the height of my Joe collecting I had to track down these wonderful toys. The TV show was quickly becoming a favorite of mine and that theme song was infectious!! You can still catch me singing it from time to time as a 45 year old man as my wife likes to remind me but I don’t care I love M.A.S.K. It would be a Christmas at the end of 1985 that the tree was lined with generation 1 of the toy-line! I got three M.A.S.K.toys that Christmas along with a play set that I though was simply amazing that we will discuss in detail! Lets just pull up the Satellite archives and ill show you the pieces that made up my collection!

The pride of my collection was the Thunder Hawk that came with Matt Trakker action figure. I was always a fan of the lead characters and when it comes to M.A.S.K. Trakker was my guy! The Thunder Hawk was so cool its doors lifted up to become its wings and it had blasters mounted to the sides of the doors!! On the road or in the air this flying car was enough to sell me on the entire line!! A good guy is not much use without someone to fight and M.A.S.K. had just what the evil Doctor ordered in Miles Mayhem!

The ultra-cool Switchblade Viper helicopter was the main ride for V.E.N.O.M. super-bad Miles Mayhem! This toy featured pop out wings to covert from Heli-mode with a hidden propeller to a full on jet! Its slick dark purple design was every thing a super-villain could want in a ride!

Then there’s the “Beast” of the collection!! M.A.S.K.’s RHINO was the crown jewel of all the vehicles for me. This one featured many points of transformation, The front grill launched forward to crush bad guys in its path. The dual smoke stacks we movable side cannons! The back “Sleeper’ section of the trucks cab opened up to become a full featured missile launching computer lab! If that wasn’t enough the back half of the truck separated to becomes its own separate all-terrain vehicle!! My Rhino came with another version of Matt Trakker and Alex Sector!! Originally the vehicle launched with Matt and another character Bruce Sato but I was not lucky enough to grab Mr. Sato!

Of course a couple of the other great vehicles that rounded out my collection purchased at a later date were the super mean Blue flaming vintage auto the glorious Hurricane complete with Hondo Maclean figure was a sure fire eye catcher!

Last but not least the Firefly Dune Buggy with driver Julio Lopez!! This awesome vehicle transformed from an all terrain Dune Buggy to super flying machine!! With one click of the back button the front of the buggy separated to create another flying machine that would compliment the Thunder Hawk perfectly.

Now if you know me you know that no action figure collection is worth its weight in salt with out a play set! Boulder Hill was just that!! This was the ultimate command center for my toy Masked Crusaders who always worked overtime fighting crime!

Boulder Hill moonlights as a cliff side gas station only to covert into to a full loaded weaponized operations base! Tops of gas tanks became cannons, the store sign opened up to reveal blasters. The mountain top launched a projectile boulder at intruders! The side walls opened up to reveal the inner command center and place to hide your favorite M.A.S.K. vehicle!

Of course I could go on all day about my M.A.S.K. Toys on to the point. From this beautiful collection spawned the M.A.S.K. Animated series!! As mentioned above the series debuted September 1985 and lasted little over a year ending production in November of 1986. The series despite lasting that short period of time managed to produce 75 episodes in during its run. The show was produced by animation powerhouse DIC and ICC Production’s and they brought this world of Kenner plastic toys to an all new level. Around this time another DIC cash cow had earned great reviews for young viewers when they launched Hasbro’s GI Joe cartoon series from 83-86 so these new action adventure stars were destined to be a huge hit that would carry on for generations after that right!!? Well sadly you would be wrong.

You know the old saying, size is everything!! One problem with the toy-line at the time was cross compatibility. Toy companies like Remco built a company around cross compatible toys from other IP’s that would play well with popular toys of the time. For example If G.I. Joe was red hot they released Sgt. Rock toys. Mattel’s Masters Of The Universe drew record sales in the early 80s and Remco launched the very similar Warlord line of toys which were the exact scale of the He-Man toy line. There was synergy. That didn’t happen with M.A.S.K. unfortunately despite several unsuccessful attempts. The popular 3 3/4 inch action figure size was the popular go-to size of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero series. M.A.S.K. figures and vehicles attempted to launch in a more reduced scale to mixed results. The basic premise of M.A.S.K. was genius. It came out during the very lucrative era when the G.I. Joe and Transformer toy lines dominated store shelves. The action adventure and transforming toy craze was at its peak so M.A.S.K. spoke to both genres. It had the recipe for success with amazing action adventure characters AND transforming vehicles how can you lose right?!! It was sure to be red hot and initially it WAS!! Then came the size problem. The original series one of the toys were ordinary looking vehicles that transformed to showcase weapons and armor but they were all scaled to fit the two inch figure sets meaning that your Joe’s or Star Wars toys could not play alongside M.A.S.K. without an incredible amount of imagination.

 

Other toy lines got in on the small scale market as well such as Hasbro’s 87s Air Raiders, a Sci-Fi based air battle based vehicle line with the M.A.S.K. compatible 2 inch action figures as well. Air Raiders toys were a great compliment to M.A.S.K. and heavily featured air based toys that were unique in design  from the average flying toys. Air Raiders was also backed by the Marvel comics STAR imprint. It seemed to be popular in my home town but literally vanished from toy shelves seemingly overnight.  Kenner would not be left out in the cold as they thought there was still money left untapped in the 2 inch market and they produced the Sky Commanders line as well which again did not hit the heights of popularity that G.I. Joe or the Transformers were still doing at store check out lanes despite being backed by a Hanna Barbera cartoon series of its own. Other toy lines tried the formula as well with similar failed results such as the cartoon backed Tyco Dino Riders line which tried to incorporate the M.A.S.K. 2 inch figure scale paired with large Dinosaur toys. To make matters worse in 1988 a Dino Riders show was even backed by the Marvel Action Universe block of cartoon show but lasted only 14 episodes as the toy-line suffered a similar fate despite heavy Saturday morning commercial rotation. Point of this story..size mattered back in the early to mid 80s and if you didn’t stand at certain height you were discount bin fodder.

M.A.S.K. by 87 was suffering as well despite the deluge of compatible toys in the market. By the third wave of M.A.S.K. toys the air was out of the sales of The Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. By the time 1987 was ushered in the TV Series had been cancelled. The story of the show itself was a weird one. As stated before M.A.S.K. aired a total of 75 episodes 65 of which were done in the first season and surprisingly a mere 10 for season 2! The show had even switched themes from the action adventure based G.I. Joe clone to a Racing show in season two. The toy line’s 3rd wave even reflected the shift to the racing element as they toys started to become enabled with pull back friction engines which made them move. Much of what we remember of M.A.S.K. on Television and on Toy-shelves were memories of season 1 of the cartoon and waves 1 and 2 of the toy line. Distribution levels of wave three were sparse across North America making that last U.S. wave of toys much rarer to find for collectors. Toy production DID however continue in international markets with some great toys and figure produced but don’t think for a minute that you can rush out and get these with out owning a bank somewhere.

I loved the M.A.S.K. toys as well as the animated series but one of the other piece of M.A.S.K. lore that many fans remember were DC’s comics based on the TV series! The original series began in a popular format at the time as a four issue mini series which admittedly was crude yet popular enough for DC to revisit. The original series was written by Michael Fleisher and Michael Chen on pencils. My biggest gripe with the series is that they didn’t put an all-star creative team on the book. It seemed doomed to failure but the popularity of the cartoon and toy line kept these books moving on store shelves. I was excited to see the title on the racks and managed to grab the first mini however part of me felt a little disappointment about the whole deal as Chen’s loose almost McFarlanesque style didn’t win me over. Little did I know DC had MORE M.A.S.K. in store for us..this time a monthly title was in the works!

 

The monthly series was EXACTLY what I wanted. Fleisher was back on the writers seat while art duties were handled by Curt Swan who I absolutely loved as one of my all time definitive Superman artist’s. He was backed by Kurt Schaffenberger inks and this time the package was much tighter! The pencils looked sharp and professional and the story was allowed to breath unlike in the mini series where they were trying to tell one story over 4 issues. The monthly allowed single issue adventures which saw MASK crusaders travel all over the world in all sorts of adventure and hi jinks. The monthly M.A.S.K. book felt more like the cartoon and had a more enjoyable vibe and believe me.. I was all in. I could not wait for each issue to hit the stands! The only problem was M.A.S.K. the overall property had changed. The television series had just wrapped up its meager second season which as mentioned above had only a mere 10 episodes that took the series in a new and decidedly unfortunate direction as an adventure racing show. VENOM decided to call a truce with the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and to take their bitter feud to the race track. I am NOT making this up. To make matters worse the toy line had also slipped in popularity and distribution had moved across the pond where the TV series had legs in syndication. So as issue 1 debuted cover dated Feb. 1987 M.A.S.K. the property was for all intents and purposes dead. The kids had already moved on to the next big thing and yet DC proceeded with the first issue of its M.A.S.K. comic book despite a crumbling franchise in its wake.

 

DC’s M.A.S.K. lasted a mere 9 issues but with the M.A.S.K. property moved out of most mainstream cartoon line ups and into after school syndication time slots. At the time a third season of the animated series did not come to pass and as a result a decision was made abruptly to make issue nine its last issue.

For those wanting to know how the series sent our M.A.S.K. Comic book sent our heroes into the sunset we will break format and straight up do a poor mans comic book review! Our story begins in Istanbul where a group of radicals hold a airliner hostage but not before M.A.S.K. agents Bruce, Gloria and Ace pose as airline pilots and intervene on the flight and subdue the terrorists.

Meanwhile on the South Pacific seas Miles Mayhem and V.E.N.O.M. agents are on a boat and in search of a treasure beneath the sea. This is no ordinary treasure though as beneath the water lies the damaged robotic body of female samurai warrior JACANA who we met in issue 6. It is unknown what Miles wants with this robot but we are about to find out! JACANA was one of DC’s individual creations to dont waste a day on eBay looking for an action figure of our lethal femme fatale!

We head over the the Trakker Estate where M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker is getting dressed up for a big date. His son Scott and our favorite mobile robot companion T-Bob wonder about his relationship with a new love interest Audrey Isles who runs a non-profit organization set up to assist reformed ex-convicts get jobs. Scott warns his father not to run off and get married without his permission. RED FLAG Matt!! A person helping Ex-Cons to find “Work” hmmmmm…( Dont get excited..the series is canceled before Audrey is revealed as a V.E.N.O.M. agent!)

Meanwhile in V.E.N.O.M. Laboratories Miles Mayhem and his henchmen are fast at work rebuilding their secret find from beneath the ocean… JACANA.

JACANA as we discover was a product of an imprisoned Japanese Robotics engineer who created her to pose as his own flesh and blood daughter who was trained to seek revenge for his imprisonment and dispose of the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. In her first comic book appearance she discovered that she was indeed not a real person but a programmed robot something that changed her mindset against M.A.S.K. It would be V.E.N.O.M. who would cause her to fall to her watery grave that is until they recovered her and wiped her memory clean of the revelation. JACANA was now once again an enemy of M.A.S.K. but now an agent of V.E.N.O.M!!

JACANA attacks just as Matt is in the middle of his date with Non-Profit friend of the criminals, Audrey! Of course when it comes to “BLOCKERS” a flying samurai robotic warrior female trying to end your lives definitely puts a damper on Matt’s late evening plans! Despite Matt using the Thunder Hawk to elude JACANA sadly finds his date night is OVER with a captial “O”..and not the good “O” either.

JACANA is not done. While Matt is calling up his M.A.S.K. friends to assist with the latest V.E.N.O.M. threat the robot abducts Matt’s new girlfriend and her son! Mayhem of course projects all the chaos and the abduction LIVE over the air so M.A.S.K. now knows the stakes are very high. Trakker loads up the team and the M.A.S.K. fleet of vehicles and heads to V.E.N.O.M  H.Q. where Miles Mayhem’s men are awaiting them in a brand new repurposed weapons factory. Once Matt and team arrive they immediately surrender as the terms of an agreement to have the hostages released. Mayhem, ever the man of his word turns the tables by locking the M.A.S.K. team and their hostages in a room and setting a timer to flood the room with radiation that would kill them in seconds. JACANA calls out Miles on his rouse noting that the hostages were supposed to be freed upon the delivery of the M.A.S.K. Crusaders. Mayhem laughs at how gullible JACANA is and has one of his henchmen shoot her. The bad guy’s flee leaving our heroes and an innocent mother and her son to perish in radiation!

With only seconds at their disposal Matt show’s JACANA, who was left behind to die as well, that she is indeed a robot built by her Father who did commit crimes and was jailed as a result. JACANA is shocked. She has been stabbed in the back by Miles Mayhem and decides to help the M.A.S.K. team escape. With the radiation beginning to pour in under a door JACANA leaps into action using her robotic strength to muscle the door closed to stop the radiation poisoning but while in the act she literally melts away to a pool of liquid metal while saving the team. JACANA gave her robotic “LIFE” to do one final act of bravery.

The issue ends (As well as the series) with the teams discovery of a fallen JACANA and the team while upset, rationalizes that she wasn’t really alive and just a robot..However Matt Trakker being the ever resilient leader, pontificates that JACANA loved the “Life” she had and that there was nothing more heroic than her sacrifice. Yes kids…”Thats One To Grow On!”

DC however seemingly pulled the plug because well…they had better things to do? No joke. The cancellation announcement came in the letter pages without warning. Mike Gold broke the news by saying basically thanks for writing in and for the suggestions but we are moving on! Mike Fleisher is STILL working on Warlord (Which he had always been at this time so this was nothing new), Curt Swan was also occupied with projects including an adaptation of Superman 4 (no laughter please..I can see you!!) and a prestige format project with John Byrne. Dont forget Mike Carlin.. cause he’s working on all three Superman monthly titles!! Yep…everyone is too busy to bother themselves with M.A.S.K.!!

 

For all its cheesiness I loved DC’s M.A.S.K. series. Despite only getting nine issues it was at that time the ONLY way to enjoy the franchise. By 1988 the lights went off completely on M.A.S.K. If you were lucky your video store may still of had the M.A.S.K. VHS tapes which were “Interesting” compilations of the show. Kideo Video were the main tape distributors stateside but the international versions is where the gold was found. M.A.S.K. The Movie was the most curious tape to hunt down as it edited together several episodes together to make a “Full Length Movie”. There was even a second M.A.S.K. film which combined episodes from the ill fated last season from the “Racing” era of the TV series. These would be he last remnants of M.A.S.K. that you could hunt down for many years, Fans like me clung on to anything I could find but it became impossible to find anything M.A.S.K. related in stores during the pre-eBay era. Those last episode were amazingly bad and such a sad way to end the series..but don’t take my word for it!! Watch it HERE!

MASK VHS

Then the lights went out on M.A.S.K. for more than 30 years this franchise laid dormant. There were a few fan sites established such as Matttrakker.com and the episodes of the show made its rounds on video services such as Youtube ,Daily Motion not to mention the Torrent universe. We did managed to get various collections of the cartoon on DVD but that was it. Hardcore collectors hunted down M.A.S.K. related merch on their favorite online collection sites and auctions. It was a gem lost in time that was only a faded memory but one that fans still had very fond recollections of. Rumors circulated that a M.A.S.K. live action film would be released but as fans anticipation went through the roof noise dampened as finding a suitable team to create the thing was apparently a hard task. It would not be until February 2020 when an announcement was made that M.A.S.K. had found a Paramount studios film had been green lighted and written by Bad Boys for Life Co-Writer Chris Bremner and F.Gary Gray was set to direct!!…and then a virus struck and blocked all things Hollywood and there we were.. back to the unknown again.

One glimmer of hope came from a comic’s company named IDW. This company had touted some of the world biggest fandom franchises such as G.I.Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, ROM, just to name a few! Some of these books were highly reviewed by certain segments of the fan base but myself I never acquired a taste for IDW’s interpretations of these properties. My issue was that what made these properties special was that they once belonged to and were interconnected to the Marvel and DC Comic’s Universes. It seemed there was more than a little magic lost without the Marvel Universe in the backdrop. Of course that’s one mans opinion as many of these books are highly revered. In 2016 IDW announced that M.A.S.K. would be returning to the comics page with an all new series from the company. M.A.S.K. was different than the other books I had listed in the sense that its original comic interpretation was produced by DC comics but it did not interplay with the DC Universe so there would not be any real loss when it came to storytelling switching companies. With all things considered I could not wait to see my M.A.S.K.Crusaders back on comics racks to revisit my old friends and read great all new adventures! What could go wrong? Then…THIS…

IDW took my anticipation and threw it in the garbage. Its time for me to be the old man on the lawn. Visually the characters and vehicles looked great!! Art was NOT the issue with this title. Its just not M.A.S.K…. at least not MY M.A.S.K. I know there was some controversy when they changed Matt Trakker into a Black man but honestly it was the updated story-line and changes to the concept that really sent me running far from this book. IDW promised a crossover with all their Toy properties converging in what should have been the ultimate fan boy dream and that Revolution Crossover fell flat as well. I couldn’t understand it. Making M.A.S.K. a part of G.I.Joe should have been cool right? Making M.A.S.K. more diverse was a great idea right?? (despite the fact that the original team was super diverse to start with..but that’s good right?) Sadly…it was a no for me. It had a M.A.S.K. logo and had people in suits and cars that were part of the original concept but it left me cold. Now I do not want to discourage anyone from buying the IDW incarnation of M.A.S.K. because once you remove my fan rage bias it IS in-fact a good book. So check it out and never mind this bitter old man. I was resigned to the fact MY M.A.S.K. was never coming back. There was a vocal segment of the fan base who thought so as well…but all was lost. That is until someone did something about it!! Now on to better things I would like you to meet a friend of mine…everyone meet Kerowack!

As I waved the white flag of surrender I resigned myself to the fact that M.A.S.K. is now being handled by the youth of the world and would never see its 1985 roots ever again….that is until one of my Twitter friends would give me EXACTLY what I wanted. @gaulergolf aka Kerowack as per his pen name. Now I had seen some of his work on twitter and I was impressed with his style and the fact he covered classic 80s toys. I saw some of his M.A.S.K. work he was doing and had to write him to tell him a couple of things, number one how good it was to see classic M.A.S.K. again! Then he hit me with a bomb shell. He had not only drawn the characters in classic M.A.S.K. style but was not trying to mirror the Cartoon series but instead his designs stayed faithful to the TOYS!! They were exactly like the damn toys!! The art was bright and it popped off the page at me. I got to know Kerowack over time and Brian as he is actually named is a very talented artist who I am profiling here for a reason. You see like me, Wack has a very distinct love for 80s toys and cartoons and wanted to see what he enjoyed as a kid back on the comic page. Sound familiar? Brian took it many steps further as he self authored not one…but TWO amazing M.A.S.K. mini series!! The old saying goes if you want a job done right you do it yourself and the proof is in the pudding! Introducing M.A.S.K. 85-86!!

If you haven’t read these amazing mini’s stop reading this article and read them!!

READ M.A.S.K. 85-86 HERE!!! CLICK THIS LINK!

Go on! Scram!! Still here? Very well then we will continue. M.A.S.K. 85 centers around the origin of the team and sticks to what we know just adding some layers to the already amazing story without changing anything! See what he did!! Kids..Wack told a good story without breaking the furniture! Amazing I know! What caught me so off guard with this was the art itself  is that as mention previously it stays on track with the exact visual of the toy-line. This guy is just winning points from me all the way around! First when I got to know Brian I commented to him how much I appreciated the toy specific visuals.

 

Look at the image above and tell me what you see? If you are a M.A.S.K. Toy fan you will see that Matt Trakkers uniform is exactly as it was on the toy! The Boulder Hill Gas Station below is taken directly from the play-set!! Now the centerpiece of the image..The ThunderHawk. Look at the coloring of the decals on the car! The checkers on the cars spoiler!! Those are my toys on the page!! Brian, just take my money wont you!! As great as M.A.S.K. 85 was our artist friend didn’t have that itch fully scratched as he mapped out a sequel which of course was M.A.S.K. 86!!

M.A.S.K. 86 is everything you would want from M.A.S.K.. This 3 part mini takes the team across the globe as Trakker trys to stop Miles from attaining a powerful item. There will be no spoilers but this one takes M.A.S.K. in an awesome direction you may not expect!! Bottom line what I will tell you is that these fan made books do a better job of showcasing old school M.A.S.K. than anything the big companies have done since DC! I am so excited to introduce you to the man responsible for bringing MY M.A.S.K. back from death and without further adieu I present a Super-Blog Team-Up first! Welcome to Q& A SBTU Style where I ask the hard hitting questions (Basically just stuff I wanted to know..lol. You are welcome.)

Well here we go! First of all Welcome to Super-Blog Team Up Sir! Tell our Satellite Heroes all about yourself!

WACK: My real name is Brian Gauler, but most people online know me as kero wack.  Its an old aol handle that I made when I was 19 years old because I was obsessed with the author Jack Kerouac.  Once I became a teacher, so many kids were finding my social media pages online that I went back to it.  When I put my work out there I figured more people would remember WACK than Gauler.  

I grew up in Long Island, NY.  Ive been drawing all of my life and was always making comics or cartoons based on either my favorite toy-lines or just things I made up (nothing has changed).  When I was younger, I wanted to be a comic artist and ended up graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a bachelors in Illustration and Cartooning.  While I was there, I was lucky enough to study under some of the greats.  Joe Orlando,Carmine Infantino and Jack Potter.  So many different styles really had me playing around with my own work to find what made me stand out.  I ended up interning at MTV on the show Daria and on the last day, was offered a job as a production assistant.  I ended up working on the final two seasons and feature length films for that show.  After we got cancelled, I don’t know why, but I was burnt out on creating art.  I went back to school and got a degree in education and I am currently teaching art at the high school I graduated from.  I’m married with two kids.

Aside from art, I binge watch the same five shows and try to golf as often as I can (even though I am lucky if I stay lower than 100).

How did you come to comics? 

WACK: I was obsessed with comics as a kid.  I don’t know when I started reading them, but I started looking at them as soon as I found my uncles old comics at my grandmas house.  Tons of 70s DC and early 80s Marvel.  I was obsessed with G.I. Joe , the Fantastic Four and the Justice League.  As an adult, I still lean DC, but my favorite comics involving superheroes are probably Watchmen and Jeff Loeb DC stuff.  Kirkman’s Invincible will never be topped though.  Its the ultimate superhero story.

Tell us about your journey to become an artist?

WACK: I always drew cartoons and toys.  That’s what I was obsessed with.  For a while I drew mostly sports icons, but always ended up making my own comics involving their exploits or making reenactments of famous games.  I was weird.

Did you create your own characters as a kid?

WACK: When I was in middle school, I had a whole stable of characters that I thought would be the future of image comics.  When I look back, some of them still have a chance and others are basically straight ripoffs of characters I was into.

Who are your artistic inspirations? 

WACK: As a kid, my inspirations were my art teachers and cartoons.  As I got into comics, I was obsessed with the same guys everybody I knew was. Mcfarlane, Jim Lee, Liefeld and those early image artists.  As an adult, I’m REALLY into Jack Kirby, Darwin Cooke, Doc Shaner, Ryan Ottley, and Mike Allred.  Tom Whalen is probably my favorite working artist today though.  His prints are basically what my basement consists of.

How would you describe your style?

WACK: I have tried to create a style that would let you know its me without seeing the signature.  I basically try to keep it simple like a classic 80s cartoon, but also with a hint of comic book detail and styling.

Describe your process and tools. 

WACK: I currently work on a Samsung tablet and use the Medibang app to do EVERYTHING.  I occasionally will draw the panels on paper, take a picture and clean it up with the digital pen. With the M.A.S.K. comics, I was literally holding the figures and posing them to get the outfits the way I wanted and would set the vehicles up like a still life. 

What is your best reference material?

WACK: My toys, myself and my wife.  I cant tell you how many times I ask my wife to pose her hand or take a picture of myself on the phone so I can use it as reference.  With the tablet, I see SO MANY artists just tracing photos and toys online and I tried that initially and everything looked stiff as a board.  So I basically keep my phone next to me and most of the pictures are of my wife’s hands or my toys.

You are a fan of Toys! Describe your history with Toy-lines and why do you use them in your art? 

WACK: If it came out from 1980-1987, I probably had something from the line.  I obviously use them in my art, because its practically all Ive drawn in 2020.

What Toy-lines did you have growing up?

WACK: M.A.S.K., Masters Of The Universe and G.I. Joe were clear favorites. Also I loved Kenner’s Super Powers collection and Mego super heroes.

 

If you could have one Toy Grail what would it be and why?

WACK: Ive owned basically every holy grail I ever wanted and sold most of them.  If I could choose ONE though, I’d have to say I own it and they are my Tom Servo and Crow T Robot prop replicas from MSt3K.

Describe your collection? 

WACK: My collection is NOW only vintage stuff with a few modern statues thrown in.  I cant collect new lines.  I binge on them and within three months I’m posting them on eBay.  They don’t hold the same feeling for me.

What are your favorite pieces in your collection?

WACK: I love every single M.A.S.K. toy I own. I love my Centurions.  My G.I. Joe….I feel like I love every one of them equally.  Put it this way, If I sold one M.A.S.K. figure, they would all go.  I wouldn’t be able to look at the rest without the missing one.  I’m not a completest, but I know exactly what I want.

Talk to me about your History with M.A.S.K.. 

WACK: Loved the cartoon.  Wondered why nobody else loved it as much as me and my brother did.  Kids were Transformers crazy and I didn’t even like them.  As a kid, Brad Turner was the man!

(Check out WACK’s own creation MASK-FORMERS combining our Mobile Armored Strike Command with Those Robots In Disguise!!)

Why did you choose M.A.S.K. to create comics for? 

WACK: I chose M.A.S.K. because its one of those properties that hasn’t gotten the motor running again.  I had the idea for M.A.S.K. 85 in my head YEARS ago.  I even posted about it on message boards with a synopsis of the plot and all.  One day I decided to challenge myself and put my work out there.  It had been years since I had drawn regularly.  I went in with the motto finished is better than perfect”.  So, I did finish 85, but its not perfect!

Why did you choose to do your own MASK books? Tell us about them. 

WACK:  M.A.S.K. 85 is my origin story for the team.  It doesn’t stray too far from what we know and just adds to it to give it more depth.  I always thought Matt’s brother Andy was a pivotal figure that connects Miles Mayhem and Matt Trakker and I wanted to show that.  I also found it fun to try to give each character a voice.  I based my designs entirely on the toy-line I was staring at on my shelf.  I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.  Mask 85 suffers from my lack of familiarity with the technology, my rusty art and it was the first time I had put a comic together entirely by myself since high school.  I would LOVE to redraw it, but I’m busy doing a million things so I’m gonna wait on that.  But when people read it, I hate that they see the rushed version of my art.  I did like a page a day fully written and colored.  Even when I wasn’t happy, I just kept plugging along.  With 86, I took double the time to draw it and I think it shows.  Plus, I was much more comfortable with the tablet and knew what I was doing.

What have you brought to the MASK genre and how has been the reception to your work?

WACK: I think Ive been able to please fans by giving them what they want…classic M.A.S.K.!  I kept it VERY FAMILIAR with 85 and told a story I thought was unique.  85s story is solid, its the art that is rushed.  With 86, the art is what I want it to be and the story came together.  When I started I only had the ending in my head.  And I wrote to it.  86 is MUCH riskier as far as what I do to the characters, but I said M.A.S.K. 85 is for the fan base and M.A.S.K. 86 was for ME!  Lol..I knew killing off a bunch of favorite characters was a lot to digest, but surprisingly, I’ve gotten nothing but love!

What have you added to the M.A.S.K. expanded universe? 

WACK: Andy Trakker getting much more screen time?  The cold war as an impetus for the creation of the technology.  86 I go nuts, but it would all be spoilers.

What were your favorite MASK toys?

WACK: CONDOR. CONDOR. CONDOR…and Vampire.

Were you a fan of the 80s Cartoon? 

WACK: The best cartoon to me was M.A.S.K.. And it still holds up.  Have you ever tried to go back and watch a He-Man episode?  It’ll numb your brain!

Will there be more M.A.S.K. related comics to come?

WACK: I think I’m done with M.A.S.K. but I’m not done with comics.

What other properties may we see you do comics for??

WACK: If I ever dive back into a fan comic about an 80s cartoon its definitely the Bionic Six.  I have a seriously awesome origin story that is a little like 86…dark, but uplifting.

What other projects do you have in the works? 

WACK: I have two graphic novels I want to finish that have NOTHING to do with superheroes or cartoons.  One is a coming of age story about a boy who lives on an island and the other is about a family who bonds after the death of their father.  So I basically have attracted a little audience who likes my 80s cartoon art and now I’m gonna swerve the pickup and hope some hold on!

Where can we contact you and what else can we expect in 2020? 

WACK: 2020 will be TONS of 80s inspired cartoon art. And I even want to set up a shop for prints.(Ive been getting messages lately and its time to stop dragging my feet).  I’m also looking into creating baseball card packs that feature my art and call them Wack Packs.  I just need to find the right place to create them.  But, I’m sure if you follow @gaulergolf on twitter you will see new art daily.  Follow or don’t!  I’m gonna draw either way!

Thanks!!

 

Well, I certainly hope you guys and gals enjoyed that interview but one last thing before we head out into the sunset. How would YOU like to see yourself as a M.A.S.K. agent? Our good friend and yours, Kerowack is taking requests for commissions. Do you have what it takes to save the day as a M.A.S.K. Crusader?? Check out the tweet below and join the team!!

Well folks…I don’t know about you, but that’s a wrap! I sincerely hope you have enjoyed our trip back to 1985-86 and our visit with Brian! I am very glad to be back writing on this blog as I have missed doing so and of course I missed chatting with my readers. I hope I didn’t disappoint!

That’s all for now Heroes, lets return to our chambers as we have another secret mission in store the NEXT time Super-Blog Team-Up returns! Stay safe and be well..Oh and don’t forget SBTU doesn’t stop here!! Join our many other contributors on the links below!! That’s…One to Grow On!

Transmission Ended…

 

Super-Hero Satellite: M.A.S.K.: The Road To Revolution.

https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/super-blog-team-up-presents-the-expanded-universe-of-m-a-s-k

 

Between The Pages Blog: Fantastic Forgotten Star Wars Characters

https://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2020/06/super-blog-team-up-fantastic-star-wars-characters-that-youve-completely-forgotten.html

 

Comics Comics Comics – The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones

https://comicscomicscomics.blog/2020/06/24/super-blog-team-up-expanded-universe-the-further-adventures-of-indiana-jones/

 

Comic Reviews By Walt: SBTU – Expanded Universe: Aliens and Predator

https://comicreviewsbywalt.wordpress.com/?p=17474

 

Dave’s Comic Heroes Blog: Logan’s Run Marvel Movie Adaptation

https://davescomicheroes.blogspot.com/2020/06/logans-run-marvel-movie-adaptation.html

 

Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: 2001: A Space Odyssey #3 & #6

https://crapboxofcthulhu.blogspot.com/2020/06/super-blog-team-up-expanded-universe.html

 

 

The Telltale Mind: Archie Andrews – Superstar

http://thetelltalemind.com/2020/06/24/archie-andrews-superstar/

 

Radulich In Broadcasting: Flash Gordon Universe

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/30676120

 

The Source Material Comics Podcast: TMNT/Ghostbusters

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/32535480

 

Unspoken Issues: Mad-Dog (Marvel Comics, 1992)

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/32550135

 

Bronze Age Babies: Seven Decades of Apes-mania, and We’re Afflicted! https://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2020/06/super-blog-team-up-seven-decades-of.html

 

Echoes from the Satellite – Tales from the Forbidden Zone – The Pacing Place

https://echoesfromthesatellite.blogspot.com/2020/06/super-blog-team-up-planet-of-apes-tales.html

 

Black & White and Bronze Comics – Beast on the Planet of the Apes Review https://blackwhitebronzecomics.blogspot.com/2020/06/super-blog-team-up-beast-on-planet-of.html

 

 

The Daily Rios – Little Shop of Horrors

http://thedailyrios.com/

Coming Soon




Lost N Comics Youtube – Expanding the Medium: Motion/Audio Comics

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJXEjtBJ-mkUVVaA5oOFNlA/videos



Pop Culture Retrorama: The Phantom Universe

https://popcultureretrorama.com/2020/06/24/super-blog-team-up-the-phantom-expanded-universe/

 

Cavalcade of Awesome – Jumper Universe

https://blog.paxholley.net/

COMING SOON

 

MichaelMay.Online: Treasure Island Universe

https://www.michaelmay.online/2020/06/treasure-island.html



DC In The 80s: The TSR Universe

http://www.dcinthe80s.com/2020/06/when-tsr-imprint-had-its-own-line-of.html

spaceages satellite

 

Welcome back Heroes. Today we are gathered in the Satellite briefing room for information regarding our next mission into days gone by. One of the small joys of being a kid in the 80s for me was getting to spend as much time as I wanted at a comic book spinner rack! I would love walking to the store with my hefty 20 dollar allowance and blowing every cent on a fat bag of comics, which, in my buying prime, were 65-75 cents each!! So I came out with everything I wanted. I hit Pharmacies, Drug Stores,  Grocery Stores and the occasional comic book store / Kiosk in my hunt of comic book treasures! One thing that always heightened that experience were Team – Up Issues! Marvel Team Up and Marvel 2 in 1 saw Spider-Man and The Thing team up with almost every famous Marvel hero at the time.  The thrill of seeing Spider-Man team with Captain Britain, Or The Thing and The Hulk were a fan boys wet dream!!I was a DC guy mainly in the 80s so while Spider Man and The Thing were teaming with Marvels best I was loving DCs versions of Team Ups. Batman and SuperMan were the Worlds Finest. DC marched their two biggest heavy hitters to team up with every major DC character in two classic titles created to explore the team dynamic!! DC Comics Presents featured Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. Brave and the Bold Teamed Bat-Man with everyone you could name INCLUDING the kitchen sink. DC reached for everyone you could think of from a team up such as A-Listers like Green Lantern to Z-Listers like Ambush Bug. Just when you thought there was no one else for The Man Of Steel To Team-Up with then came…THIS!!

 

cartlogo

 

 

 

Begin Transmission: Aug.11.2014

That’s right…Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. First some context is needed here. The era was the 1980s, DC had yet to streamline its massive continuity with its Crisis Event hence there was still room for `Funny Animal characters in its history..such as Captain Carrot and The Zoo Crew. Funny Animal comic books and newspaper strips had pretty much been a staple of the 50s and 60s but only small traces of those days in comics history still lingered in the comics medium of the early 1980s. Saturday Morning cartoons had retained a certain element of the talking funny animals on TV. Scooby Doo was a runaway hit, There were the Muppets, there was Mighty Mouse, and there were Disney’s Mickey and Friends. Harvey Comics still in its final days of publishing continued on the trend of funny animals books. DC not being one to buck a trend followed suit with what would be their final attempt at a Funny Animal book. Even the term “Funny Animal Book” carried a negative connotation even in the free for all early 80s. One of Comicdoms Godfathers, Roy Thomas along with Scott Shaw created The Captain and His Zoo Crew and Unleashed them onto the world in a special 16 page insert preview (Or Prevue as DC coined it!) inside the pages of the very popular Team Book New Teen Titans #16 in Feb. of 1982!

 

New Teen Titans 016-00fc

 

DC was experimenting with new titles at the time and were introducing new characters and concepts in various titles with 16 page previews wedged in the middle of their more high-profile books to provide maximum visibility to new properties! Such classic titles like Dial H For Hero, Arak Son Of Thunder, Night Force, Atari Force, Masters Of The Universe, Mask, Blue Devil, Amethyst, Flash Force 2000?? (Huh?), and Bat-Man and The Outsiders. (Damnit..thats when comics were comics..sigh..) Of course the most unusual title in the mix was Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!

Carrot PreviewI choose to talk about Captain Carrot because this book was an absolute favorite of mine. I loved parody comics. I frequently bought magazines like MAD Magazine and Cracked and loved that style of humor..just the style Cap and his Gang were projecting! There was a local Hardware store in my hometown called Handy Andy’s that carried comics on its magazine rack and didn’t update them frequently or rotate them so it was quite common for several issues of a title would stay on the shelf en mass. Their lack of rotation landed me Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #5-#8. I was hooked! I loved DC Comics Team Books so titles Like Legion Of SuperHeroes and of course The Justice League Of America of which Captain Carrot and his crew were inspired by! On to the team and their inspirations..Captain Carrot was “Inspired” by SuperMan, Pig-Iron by Frankenstein,and The Thing, Yankee Poodle was a combination of Captain America and Wonder Woman. Rubber Duck was clearly Plastic Man. Alley Kat Abra was Zatanna, and FastBack was The Flash. The Zoo Crew Were an anthropomorphic JLA!! (Yes for the Zoo Crew aficionados there were another group of JLA Animal Heroes in the Captain Carrot Universe called Justa Lotta Animals…J.L.A…get it? More on them later!)

 

 

As discussed, the concept behind the DC Prevue inserts was to introduce the characters to a captive audience on popular books. No bigger book in that day than New Teen Titans. DC went the extra mile with The Zoo Crew however by pairing them directly with The Man Of Steel. Yes the first appearance of Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew were in a Team Up Story!! How and why did such an event happen? Well..I am glad you asked..synopsis time!

Metropolis was experiencing an epidemic where citizens were acting like primates for no apparent reason. Superman deduced that it was the planet Pluto of which was emitting energy rays causing said effect on the people of earth. Upon investigating  the incident Superman is transported to an alternate earth know as Earth-C!!  (After Crisis it is determined that Earth -C is not a part of the Multiverse but rather a Alternate Dimension! Great backdoor DC!) Superman encountered a number of Animal inhabitants who as a result of being struck by radiated fragmented meteor! The creation of these beings were all as a result of Superman’s efforts..so in actuality it is Superman himself that is responsible for the genesis of The Cap and his entire altered animal world! After dispatching some low-level Animal criminals Superman teams with Rodney Roger Rabbit..(Copyright Check!!) aka Captain Carrot! Hell don’t let me tell ya all about it..Satellite..bring up Comic Archive..GENERATE. Now Heroes ..Enjoy!

Carrot Preview pg1 Carrot Preview Pg2

 

Carrot Preview Pg3 Carrot Preview pg4

Carrot Preview pg5 Carrot Preview  pg7Carrot Preview pg8Carrot Preview pg11 Carrot Preview pg12 Carrot Preview pg13 Carrot Preview pg14 Carrot Preview pg15 Carrot Preview pg 16

 

The result of this initial team up was almost a two year run for a “Funny Animal” book and in March 1982 Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #1 hit the stands! It was an instant hit with my circle of fans! The very end of the prevue DC introduced the Zoo Crew as all over the world Animals were being infected with super powers as a result of this mysterious Meteorite fragments! The Superman team -Up continued into the very first issue of Cap and The Zoo Crew! Superman and the team discover the sinister mastermind behind all these strange occurrences…JLA heavy..STARRO!! Starro for those who have no idea what I am talking about was a giant galactically intelligent Star Fish hell bent on de-evolutionizing  the human race! Of course the first villain of the zoo crew would be DCs Galactic Star Fish! Very appropriate! The team fought valiantly to defeat Starro but it wasnt until the team came together as a fighting unit!

 

After dispatching the giant fish Superman and the Zoo Crew thanked each other and the Man of Steel returned to his own dimension and the Zoo Crew became the official protectors of Earth – C! DC had the most unusual Super Team in the world with the Zoo Crew and I was hooked. I regret not getting every issue in the series but my unreliable comic shops did not carry every title so Carrot was one that didnt get great representation on the shelves! The issues I did have left a mark on me and I can proudly remember buying each issue! This could easily be the next great DC Cartoon series!! You listening DC…Zoo Crew in 2015..Get On it!!

 

 

 

 

In summary DCès attempt to use the Man Of Steel as a pole vault technique to launch a new series in the 80s was a recipe for success. Carrot lasted 20 issues and even returned for another mini series (The 3 issue Oz – Wonderland War!) shortly after cancellation.The Mini series alas was not my favorite Captain Carrot Story and I cannot in good faith recommend it to Satellite Readers. The Story centers on a villain called The Nome King who enslaves the world of OZ. It is up to the Zoo Crew to assist the storied land. Not satisfied with his conquest of OZ The Nome King then attempts to overthrow Wonderland..what ensues is an all out classic fairy tale cross over that should be a good read but does not work well in the context of a Captain Carrot comic. On a POSITIVE, THE ARTWORK INSIDE THIS 3 ISSUE DOUBLE SIZED MINI SERIES IS EXCELLENT!!

 

This was a special time. DC had a less serious approach to its continuity and embraced its silly past, and Superman or Batman could literally team with anyone! These days however such continuity has been all but erased however we know Captain Carrot still exists even in the NEW 52 as he was brought back in the ill-fated Threshold series as the space rabbit Captain K’Rot! It’s not my Cap but at least the leader of the Zoo Crew is still alive and well in some fashion.

 

 

 

So before we depart to other ends of the galaxy in search of retro 80s transmissions I just want to talk Zoo Crew one more time!! Who was your favorite? I was strictly an original Zoo Crew fan. Sorry Little Cheese and American Eagle but this guy keeps it old school! Sporting The Yellow and Red with a Carrot Emblazoned on the front of his suit Captain Carrot was the undisputed leader of the Zoo Crew!

 

Of Course The Captain may have been my favorite but I could not but hold a special place for the two-fisted ever loving Pig Iron! Cap was a comic book artist something I always wanted to be, but Pig Iron simply put bad guys on their asses!! Pig Iron was the reason I bought Zoo crew in the beginning! Look at a cover gallery of the best Zoo Crew issues and Pig Iron is always front and center! Frankenstein meets the Thing and BAM..Its Pig Iron!

No team is complete with out the magician character! Always wondered what a NEW 52 Zoo Crew Dark would be like? Hey DC its worth a shot! Alley-Kat-Abra would be a shoe in for that group! Doctor Strange meets his cat, meets Zatanna. Alley -Kat is a foundation member! As many of you know I am not a huge fan of the mystic arts in comics so Alley Kat was never on the top of my list for favorite Zoo Crew members but a lot of her inter-dimensional magic was heavily lifted from the great Steve Ditko run on Doctor Strange..and thats pretty damn cool.

I was always a Plastic Man fan, Rubber Duck filled the gap. Part Elongated man, Part Plastic man RubberDuck maintained the humor of Plastic man while bearing the sensibilities of old Ralph! Rubber Duck is the only member of the team who is a celebrity! His list of Funny Animal movies is great! His character is actually based on 70s and 80s celebrity Burt Reynolds. They even gave RubberDuck a celebrity buddy named after Reynolds real life best friend Dom Deluise! Thats attention to detail!

 

Fastback has probably my favorite look of all the Zoo crew even though he is underutilized in the comic. The more I think of it, if Flash inadvertently caused Flashpoint to create the goddamn horrible DC New 52 maybe Fastback is our only hope to reverse that mess! He is also the only Turtle who is just as cool or maybe far cooler than a certain group of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

 

 

Then there’s Yankee Poodle, based on 80s gossip writer  Rona Barrett , dimension’s Cs Rova Barkitt! After the incident with the meteor Barkitt gain the powers of magnetism and joined RubberDuck as he joined the Zoo Crew. Wonder Woman meets Captain America and you have Yankee Poodle. This character was more than filler but was also an antagonist for the other female character in the group Alley-Kat Abra!!

 

END TRANSMISSION..

 

 

 

WARNING HEROES…we are encountering a distress signal from the rest of The SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP gang…we need to immediately change course…For ETERNIA..Home of THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE...

 

SUPER-HERO SATELLITE and The All New..All Powerful SBTU returns for the next big Crossover Event on September 24 2014. Join the team for Team-Up Tear Down where, like the transmission post above we all jump into to explore the best, most unusual and peculiar Team Ups in Comics History,..This is one you Do NOT want to miss..

 

If you liked this post then by all means let us here at the Satellite know by leaving a comment. Maybe even follow me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the Conversations at #SuperHeroSatellite and #SuperBlogTeamUp or #SBTU

 

Please Visit our Super Blog Team Up Hub Page for all previous editions of the Mighty Marching SBTU!! Click here!!  SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP HUB PAGE.

 

 

SBTU4 Teaser

 

 

 

 

Superherosatellite header

Flash Transmissions #4 Sectaurs: Warriors Of Symbion!

Transmission date: April 22 2014

 

Intercepting a faint transmission from a distant planet. Lock on target..destination the Insect Planet Symbion..Home of the Forgotten clan of Sectaurs..

“On the distant planet Symbion™, a genetic experiment fails. Frightening changes take place that cannot be stopped. The result—a world where insects grow to frightening proportions. A world where the inhabitants have taken on the awesome characteristics of insects. Where the noble citizens of the Shining Realm are locked in mortal combat with the denizens of the Dark Domain. Telepathically bonded (telebonded) in combat, Sectaur Warriors join with their insect companions in the ultimate battle for survival.” Credit Sectaurs.com

 

When you think of Coleco many instantly think of gaming. Well as a kid I remember a friend of mine who had a Colecovision console which I wanted badly. Coleco also manufactured many of my favorite childhood video games and were highly regarded for their efforts in the early 1980s hand held sports gaming market!. Anyone remember Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man?? Coleco was behind the launch of these 80s classics! I was lucky enough as kid to have several Coleco Table top Video Games such as Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Galaxian! That’s another post for another day! The gaming Giant also had significant wins in the toy industry as well..such as it was with their profit explosion with the giant Cabbage Patch Kid craze Coleco also tested the lucrative boys toy market with one of the often forgotten Warriors of Symbion..The Sectaur’s! I had no idea what in the heck these things were as my only exposure to the toys was on a TV toy commercial which was enough to sell me on the line and as it was one awesome Christmas at my house was dedicated to Symbion’s best Warriors, The Sectaurs!!

 

My one Sectaur’s regret is that I never owned a Dargon figure!! One of my friends at the time had the fancy silver series 2 figure that I always secretly lusted after but alas I never acquired the central figure to the entire collection..instead I had the second stringers..Zak, Mantor, Pinsor..and No Dargon!! The toys themselves came in cool windowed packaging and the deluxe figures came with highly detailed fur covered insects that the Sectaur’s could ride on!!

The insects were mounted on a black glove that you could put on your hand and it was your fingers once inserted that would resemble the insects legs!! The insects design were very well done! In-fact if you were stumbling through a bin of old toys it would be the Sectaur’s insects that would stop the common man dead in his tracks. The deluxe sets were amazing and if any of my subscribers has one to give away (Shameless plug) Old Charlton Hero here will certainly help a brother out!

 

 

As with all cool toys of the day they also were backed by Marvel Comics and had a short but great Comic Book series! I collected several of the comic books but I was unfortunately not living in a community known as a hotbed for comic collecting and missed several issues that I later grabbed at a “Nice Price”! Issue #1 was like salt in the wounds with a full blown Dargon cover!! I still love this cover to this day and wonder would Sectaur’s last if released today? I guess we will never know..This writer says YES!

 

Satellite Extra: Even though this is a Flash Transmission not intended to be a long post..for the hell of it I will include all 5 episodes of The Sectaurs mini cartoon series!! Take care Heroes! Enjoy!!

 

 

aSuperherosatellite header

 

Super excited heroes to have you all on the command deck on this day. We are about to get briefed on one of the biggest recorded alien invasions the cartoon world has ever seen…but dont worry..today we have the technology! Robotechnology! (That’s your hint!!)

 

 

Begin Transmission: April 1 /2014

 

It was 5:00 p on a weekday 1980 something and I was enjoying my regular after school cartoon block on Canada’s Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) waiting patiently for one of my afternoon favorite cartoons, BraveStarr to begin in its regular time slot. To my surprise another show was beginning on this particular day a show I would grow to love. The animation was different it was not your typical Hanna Barbera fare rather it looked a little like Battle Of The Planets, or Astro Boy..the only real Anime that I had given any of my time to in the past. Regardless I watched on. The theme music was pretty cool but I still missed BraveStarr. The main character was Rick Hunter a cocky young pilot with crazy huge hair who seemed badly dubbed in english. However it had a charm to it. It connected from episode one. By the time Rick stumbled into his giant transforming Veritech I was along for the ride. The show was known as Robotech.  Anime enthusiasts know it better as Macross..but this post is not about Macross..its about the english dubbed chopped and spliced space opera epic that I love passionately..My Robotech..more specifically my favorite of all generations ..The Macross Saga!

 

 

Made in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.AGaAjRF6.dpuf
ade in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.AGaAjRF6.dpuf
Made in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.AGaAjRF6.dpuf

Robotech was a show created by Carl Machek and had an extensive run of 85 episodes. Produced by Harmony Gold USA it began its North American run in 1985. Our Americanized version of Robotech was more or less a mish-mash of three completely unrelated Japanese Television Series: Macross,  Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA.

Made in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.AGaAjRF6.dpuf

I knew these three series as :

The Macross Saga

Robotech: The Macross Saga by far the favorite of all of my Weekday afternoon favorites in the mid 80s! This chapter tells the story of a group of humans and their trials and tribulations, loves and losses in the face of ultimate destruction against a race of aliens known as The Zentradi!

The Macross Saga part tells of humanity's first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins
with them to stop the invaders. Lynn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. He is destined however not to be with MinMei but with Lisa Hayes. A love triangle, mixed with full on 
intergalactic war.Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. 

Southern Cross: The Robotech Masters.

 

The original war is over and the fight continues as the daughter of Max and Myria , Dana Sterling and her group of Southern Cross Calvary members to defend against the coming of The Robotech Masters who’s plot is to harvest the world of the Flower of Life that produces protoculture that essentially drives Robotechnology! Sets the table for the final chapter The New Generation! Masters, In my opinion the worst of the three but still has a great ending and the last several episodes of this series are must watch for any Robotech fan!!

 

Mospeada:Robotech  The New Generation

3rd Gen did not let us down and made up for the lull in Southern Cross Masters series with an all out War! Amazing Series!! Scott Bernard and team dodge incredible odds as the Invid race invade earth in search of the same thing The Masters had attempted to achieve in The Masters series. High drama and intense battles..I was big into this series but had to wait a long time to see how it wrapped up!! More on that later!!

The Earth must fight a devastating second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The New generation gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing 
force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, Scott Bernard who is  taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of 
destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York.

 

Before you jump in just watch the entire series here!! prerequisite to reading this post!! See ya 85 episodes from now..click on the following link! http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/

You are back? See I told you how good that show was..on to the post!

 

 

Made in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.gnHVE95V.dpuf

The Macross Saga was definitely my favorite of the bunch. Macross told the story of the Earths battle against an Alien Race known as the Zentradi. It is much more than a simple transforming robot show. Its the  story of Rick Hunter and his journey from being a side-show carnival pilot to become the best most revered space captain in the universe. His love triangle with Lynn MinMei and Lisa Hayes was true space soap opera material and was genuinely fully realized Their relationships were more complex and to my teenage eyes were very realistic.

ade in America from three unrelated anime. The first part tells of humanity\’s first contact that ends in a war. Rick Hunter is a pilot who gets dragged along with the SDF-1 and joins with them to stop the invaders. Lyn Minmei is a singer who Rick rescues and falls for. Together they try to save the Earth and end the war without fighting, but with love. The second part deals with children of the first, the rebuilding complete; we send the SDF-3 to attack the masters. While it travels out in hyperspace to their worlds, the masters crawl into our solar system. The Earth must fight a devesting second war for a secret prize. Someone else wants the prize, the Invid. The third part gives us a world controlled by the Invid. The SDF-3 sends a probing force that is destroyed upon exiting hyperspace. A single survivor remains, a man taught to fight, with the will to free Earth. He forms a resistance with the goal of destroying the Invid hive at Reflux Point, aka New York. – See more at: http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/#sthash.AGaAjRF6.dpuf

 

Robotech is very much the story of Rick Hunter and how he lives, loses and loves in the face of the all out threat of human annihilation! Ricks journey from being love struck with the celebrity that was Lynn MinMei , to finally realizing that his heart belonged to Lisa Hayes the entire time is an incredible piece of story writing. It is the very centerpiece to the show as spoiled and rich musical superstar Lynn MinMei whom Rick had known from her early days as a young immature girl to the biggest pop star in the world. Minmei  distances herself from Rick once famous.

 

 

Rick however longs for her affection ad meets with disappointment at every turn. The Rick / Lisa storyline is the best in the show and is actually the underlying theme consistent throughout the series. Rick a cocky sure shot pilot who is immature in his own way crosses paths with the daughter of war commander and primary leader of the command deck of the SDF-1. Hayes, is Ricks superior is at first reviled by Ricks immaturity and defiance of orders but somehow begins to develop feelings for him. Both from different places in life somehow find each other in the face of all out world / galactic warfare and go on to be the couple who would one day stop the war.

 

 

rick-hunter

The supporting cast of Roy Fokker, Max Sterling and Ben Dixon made up Ricks cast of fellow Robotech Defenders, the infamous Skull Squadron. In the episode “Farewell Big Brother” Ricks little brother /big brother relationship with Roy Fokker in particular was very well presented and when Roy meets his eventual fate its one of the few times a cartoon hooked so realistically it drew tears. No joke. I am man enough to admit it!

Roys Death

 

The journey of Rick from boy to adult is fully explored as he is hardened by war and becomes a leader to mankind. In one of the best episodes of the show is “Rainy day”. It’s an episode short on Robotic warfare and space adventure rather this episode centers around a simple conversation between Lisa Hayes and her Co-worker and friend Claudia Grant who is suffering the loss of her man Roy Fokker. It is a heart-felt episode that fully develops the supporting cast and strengthens the main romance story line between Rick and Lisa as Claudia challenges Lisa to take down her walls around Rick and finally let him in her life. Amazing 10/10 episode and potentially one of the best of the series!!

The story of Rick and Lisa was a journey the viewers of Robotech got to enjoy episode by episode!

 

Max Sterling was actually Ricks superior in regards to piloting an aircraft. Sterling is the blue haired ace pilot who falls in love with a female Zentradi warrior named Mirya. She is sent by the Zentradi to infiltrate the humans colonized aboard the SDF-1 and learn their secrets. What she finds is an emotion she did not know she had..love. In one of the better episodes entitled “Showdown” Max and the gang are visiting an arcade on board of the SDF-1 when Max sees Mirya who he instantly is entranced with. Max ends up going head to head with Myria in a game resembling actual war flight simulator. Max beats her to the shock of all present and to the sheer humiliation of the Zentradi warrior. However they eventually see eye to eye and fall for each other and even have a child that would be important to the next arc of Robotech..The Masters. Dana Sterling is born the daughter of Max and Mirya and represents the first-born half human and half Zentradi.

Humans meet Zentradi..Max and Myria the first inter race couple on Macross!

The antagonists of the show are the race of mega giant aliens are the Zentradi who race to gain possession of Robotech technology. Led by the hand of Lord Dolza, Bretai Kyrhon, and Exedor wreak havoc on Earth and the human race with a massive full-scale invasion that leaves the earth in ruins and a unimaginable body count. These were not your typical Saturday Morning Cartoon bad guys that were easily subdued with a spiderweb or a batarang, The Zentradi were vicious and unrelenting in their attack. It was  one of the first shows where characters actually died. Many of Ricks friends do not make to the end of the series as the Zentradi leave their mark on our heroes.

 

 

The Zentradi were unique in that they had no idea what to make of human emotions, music and actually feared it! Some stories involved the Zentradi soldiers actually defecting to the human side after being micronized to explore the novelty of music and love. These bad guys were fully developed and quirky unlike cookie cutter villains of the day. Watch one of the final episodes of the series as Kyrhon does a suicide run on the SDF-1 something never seen in American cartoons of the day! These villains were extreme and thus the conflict in the series always felt real. You felt legit fear your favorite characters would be killed off!

 

The ending of the series wraps up the love story of Rick and Lisa while leaving no question of who wins the war between the Zentradi’s and The Human Race. The episode “To The Stars” ties up all loose ends as the war ends and as does Rick and MinMei’s relationship as Rick and Lisa finally get together. A great scene at the end of the show when Lynn MinMei sees that Rick and Lisa are meant for each other is a very well conceived conclusion to this chapter of the series and sets up the next coming two generations of Robotech.

In a blip on the Robotech radar it is important to bring up the obscure Robotech The movie: The Untold Story. Seen by some American Robotech fans as NOT being considered cannon but this thing did exist and did relate directly to the Macross Saga hence its inclusion. I , while being a die hard fan have watched this only once and that is quite enough for me. It deals with Rick Hunters relative Mark Landry, who uncovers the government cover up about The SDF-1 s computer that is being hunted down by the Robotech Masters. The Movie itself is a collage of Masters footage and another unrelated series Mega Zone 23. The movies original test run was disastrous as promotion was almost non-existent and it faced the release of Transformers :The Movie. The fact that production struggles disallowed the production team to use any tangible connection to the Macross Saga but only the Masters series. As a result this landed with a thud in theaters and lasted only several weeks in total. It is not available on DVD or Blu ray as the original negatives for this movie were washed out in a flood in the early 90s. But for those wondering about it..for what its worth..here it is for your viewing displeasure.

 

Robotech: The Untold Story *CLICK HERE TO WATCH*

 

Classic love triangle Rick, Lisa and MinMei!

 

One of my favorite Christmas memories was getting my set of Robotech action figures and vehicles. Sears published a Christmas catalog every year and the “Wish Book” as it was known was the BIBLE of a child’s X-mas wish list. This particular year they featured Robotech toys for the first and only time!! Also comic book ads pumped these toys hard as well..I had no choice..I HAD to have em!

 

Robotech The Toys.

Matchbox Released figures for all three generations of Robotech figures and they were great!

 

They were in the line of 3.75 inches  in height and went very well when combining them with my collection of G.I. Joe and Star Wars. I hit pay dirt on Xmas 1985/86 with a fine load of Robotech figures. I was the recipient of Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Roy FoKker, Max Sterling, Zentradi Soldier, Bioroid Warrior , Zor Prime, Scott Bernard, and many many more!!

 

The crown Jewel of my collection!! Rick Hunter was always my favorite Robotech character and figure!

Lisa Hayes! This figure was spoiled due to the fact that they could not emulate Lisa’s long hair as you can see on the box. The toy Lisa comes with very short cut off hair and translates into a bad-looking figure!

Ricks best friend and mentor Roy Fokker! Second favorite figure of the series!! Great rendition of Roy but once again comes up short with hair!

Max Sterling gets points for the best likeness on a figure. Max’s cool blue hair makes this figure!

The most played with toy in my Robotech collection! Scott Bernard! The figure with helmet on looks amazing..but sans helmet I am not sure who they were even looking at when making this figure. This is the furthest away from the characters basic look of them all.

 

Zor Prime..my ONLY Robotech masters figure..and I am okay with that! Kinda liked Zor though. He was a savior for the show and the Southern Cross Action figure line!

 

 

The Zentradi, These were supposed to be giant-sized figures but obviously were not made that was and were rather only 2.3 inches taller than their human counter parts. Great toys though! Tie for fave villain!

 

The toys shown above showcasing the vehicles  were released by Matchbox in 1985, there were a number of variants released later by Harmony Gold themselves of which I purchased several years later scoring a great Myria and alternate Max Sterling! The SDF-1 Playset was only released under the Matchbox line in the 80s and could be used with both the 3 3/4 and 6 inch figures.

The Elusive SDF-1 Playset!! Anyone want to send me this one free? Feel free!

 

I was not fortunate enough to grab this set as it was unavailable at the time of the order! This collection was delivered en mass on Xmas day and I had more than an inkling I was getting these toys as many evenings when my parents did their thing, I snuck into the guest bedroom in my house and sneaked a peak at my incoming toy grab for Xmas! I didn’t expect so many in one haul but I was a lucky boy on this mid 80s X-Mas!

 

Coolest toy Motorcycle out there! The New Generation Toys were amazing and I had this Armored Cyclone Cycle and have it to this day!! AWESOME!

Though my loyalty lies deep with The Macross saga, I had a passion for Robotech: The New Generation as well!! Scott Bernard and Company battling an Invid Invasion was must watch TV! It didnt matter what was on my plate, friends be damned, I would drop everything to rush home to catch Robotech every weekday!! I was a SuperFan and didn’t miss a show! In a weird turn of events good old afore-mentioned ASN loved to show the episodes in succession and in full chronological sequence but always during the late episodes of New Generation ASN would restart the entire series. So I watched the entire thing again to see if they messed up and sure enough it would cut off at the same point! I actually had no Idea what happened in the last few episodes of the series..never the less I would be victorious in my pursuit of finishing this series!! More on this later!!

More New Gen Toys!! This Invid Trooper was amazing!!

 

The Dud of the collection!! The Bioroid hover craft was very difficult to hold a figure on its base as a result a bit of a crappy toy!

 

In an interseting side note Matchbox were unable to sell the 1/55 VF-1 Valkyrie toy originally sold in Japan by Takatoku Toys due to Hasbro leasing the property as the Autobot Transformer named  Jetfire as part the Transformers toy line. Because of this, they had to  settle with distributing a non-transformable Veritech Fighter that could fit the line of the 3 3/4 inch action figures.

The Coup Des Gras of Robotech toys and I never owned it! Boo this man!

 

Toys were only part of my Robotech collection. AS STATED earlier I had yet to complete my viewing of the 3rd Robotech Generation and it haunted me. Well, as I graduated from High school years later in 1992 I did not let go of my search! Attending University brought me to the big City in our Province which meant tons of comic shops and places to search! After wandering downtown on one fateful after noon I stumbled into an old Video store named Alan’s Video which housed a cornucopia of VHS tapes..among them  Robotech Macross Saga video tapes that encapsulated the entire series!!

The big three. A bombshell discovery during my University years deep in the bowels of Alans video!

 

I rented the crap out of these things and watched the entire 1st gen once again! It did not quite have the same feel as the videos were highly edited to make each tape one super long episode minus intros and end credits and even stripping out some narration. Still it was all that was available!! I tried to buy these tapes but the owner being a glorified dick refused even though I was seemingly the first renter of these tapes for several years! So one of my tech savvy uncles rented all the tapes and pirated the days lights out of them making me two monster 8hr VHS tapes with the full series in SLP mode! It wasnt the best version, but finally I could lay claim to owning the series!! Other copies of Robotech VHS circulated around the city off and on usually containing one or two episodes per tape. I received a sweet copy of Robotech episode one Booby Trap!!

 

My Quest for video ended abruptly when I made my first visit to my Cities main comic book store, the immortal dungeon called Time Masters. After sifting through several back issue bins of comics in the corner of my eye I spied a video wall..and friggin ROBOTECH videos!! I do not recall the exact amount that I paid for these tapes but remember them being expensive (15-20 bucks was big money in 1992!! )The Paladin Books collection series had collected the complete saga on VHS but Time Masters did not carry them all but with all moons aligning they carried the COMPLETE Robotech The New Generation series!! I didn’t have the funds to buy all 6 tapes..but I damn well grabbed the last three tapes!!

The final piece of my VHS Robotech Collection were the last three VHS tapes as shown here!!

 

 

Finally I had the last piece of the Robotech puzzle!! These tapes were loaded and featured better edited versions of the series than the original F.H.E. (Family Home Entertainment) series. I ingested these videos in no time flat and completed the elusive series!! That would not be it. Yes we had toys and video tapes but my lust for Robotech would not waiver as I jumped on the barrage of novels!!

I managed to grab all books shown above with the exception of the Sentinels books. Author Jack Mckinney did an amazing job of covering the series and adding layers to the characterization of the cast of Robotech. The books elaborate on certain scenes and take the reader on parts of the Robotech story that are simply touched upon in the TV series!! PLus as an added bonus aside from being priced decently these books sport excellent post Robotech TV series art work. Symphony Of Light the final chapter of the New Generation is probably the most enlightening of the bunch as the book is able to elaborate on the eventual arrival of Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes and provide more of a back story than originally provided on the series. Due to the TV shows being originally three unrelated series at times the narrative was cheated to make sense of the connection between the shows. None more painful than the anticipation of the return of Rick and Lisa at the end of New generation. I wont be a spoiler here but you will see what I mean!! Myself not being a huge reader of regular novels..I was however a HUGE fan and religious reader of comic books!! As a Robotech fan in the 80s we were SUPER SERVED!!

What the hell was this? It was the painful first American crack at Robotech and the”Inspiration” for DC comics to launch the pathetic “Robotech Defenders” comic mini series.

 

DC took the first unfortunate crack at Robotech with a 3 issue Mini Series called Robotech Defenders. It predated the television series and was based on a collection of Models from the Revell company. This series was a very painful read with a poor excuse for art. It however was American comics first taste of Robotech Mecha..and it sucked. Gleefully unrelated to the TV series the Earth is attacked not by Zentradi but the very horrible looking Grelons. Grenlons were a “technologically advanced” alien race who used their mecha to over power the earthlings. A small team of rebels activates a Robotech Defender and inadvertently unites mecha from around several planets to assist in the defence of the planet! It is only when our heroes unlock the Robotech Defenders minds that the full strength of their warring capacity is unleashed and they defeat the enemy race. The only redeemable note from this lump of crap was the fact that each Defender had a “speciality” based on their home environment and had each different set of attacks that coincided with their home world. Example Defender Thoren was enabled with Heat and Magma powers.The only decent concept in this other wise unacceptable piece of crap.

The best part of this 3 issue limited series was that it sold so poorly that DC pulled the plug and cramped the last two issue into one ad free issue number two! Others have cited that it was Harmony Gold wanting to have all channels clear of any residual Robotech confusion as they prepared to launch the Robotech series States side. Seriously you could not have done a worse job with the franchise than with this mini series.

 

Comics would not go without Robotech however as a little while after the series roared onto the airwaves indy publisher Comico released an official adaptation of the entire three Generations at once! I was hooked! At times the art would be a little sketchy to say the least but Comico published slick-looking brilliantly colored books that wet my appetite! My 20 dollar a week allowance only stretched so far so I was only able to collect scattered issues when I could concentrating mainly on The Macross Saga, and New Generation! They matched the stories perfectly with the exception of The Robotech Masters series which was edited to avoid spoilers in the other books!

This series actually begins with issue number two as issue one was an adaptation of the Japanese series, Macross..but then jumped into straight continuity of the American Robotech series with issue two! The Robotech comics from Comico were the closest to anything that I wanted out of an adaptation! They are by far the best Robotech series in my opinion as they were faithful (With one exception) to the source material!! Below is a massive cover gallery for my favorite of the set The Macross Saga!!

 

In conclusion..my journey through Robotech was a big part of my childhood..and this post is a big reminder of that lest I forget one day! Hope everyone gets the same enjoyment out of this post and the show as I did. I have only scratched the surface on Robotech and one day I will be back with another follow up Robotech post!! Let me know what you would like to see discussed?!

 

Hope you have enjoyed our walk-through the galaxy and Robotech! If you would like to continue the conversation you can contact me on twitter @charlton_her0 and use the #SuperHeroSatellite before we go here are some great links!!

NewWaveTraders.com  For vintage toys like Robotech and for the Retro Video Game fan in your home look no further than the great folks at NWT!! follow them on Twitter @newwavetraders

Love the comic books shown in the cover gallery? Check out http://www.mycomicshop.com/  For all your comic book and Robotech comic book needs!! They have a huge selection at great prices!

Watch every episode of Robotech right now at http://www.waoanime.tv/anime/robotech/

 

See ya next time Heroes!! Strap in Heroes…next stop Symbion? (Hint!!)

End Transmission:

 

Satellite Extra: Complete Comico Robotech :The Macross Saga Cover Gallery