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SentiSeries
Robotech II: The Sentinels
Attribution
Author(s)
Cover artist
Illustrator(s)

Jason and John Waltrip

  • Clem Robins (Lettering)
Editor(s)

Chris Ulm

Publication information
Publisher
  • Dave Olbrich
  • Eternity Comics
  • Academy Comics
Release date

November 1988 - December 1996

Robotech II: The Sentinels is the black and white comic book adaptation of the failed film of the same name, and the longest-running Robotech spinoff to date. Artists Jason and John Waltrip adapted the original Jack McKinney novels into comic books, though they diverged from the novels as the story progressed. The Sentinels comics were originally published by Eternity Comics, then Academy Comics. The storyline abruptly ended when Academy was unable to renew their license with the rights holders. The comics license passed to Antarctic Press in the late 90's, who published The Sentinels: Rubicon, which draws its name from the title of the fifth Sentinels novel. However, the Rubicon comic, instead of completing the Sentinels story, is set years after the end of the Sentinels Campaign, and was not illustrated by the Waltrips. It was not popular with fans, due to the poor artwork and the lack of connection to The Sentinels. It was cancelled after only two issues.

Plot summaryEdit

Ten years have passed since the near-destruction of planet Earth at the hands of the Zentraedi and the subsequent annihilation of the Zentraedi Grand Fleet. On Earth, civilization continues to mend in the wake of this global apocalypse; while aboard the captured Robotech Factory Satellite in orbit, the Super Dimension Fortress Three has been constructed to complete a mission vital to the survival of the Earth. This vessel, manned by the greatest heroes of the Robotech war and a new generation raised in the war's aftermath, is to travel to the homeworld of the Robotech Masters, the moon Tirol, in an attempt to prevent a second Robotech war--a war which the people of Earth fear their world would be unable to survive. However, when the fortress arrives in Tirolspace, Tirol is found to have been conquered by a new foe--the slug-like Invid.

The Robotech Expeditionary Force's peaceful mission ends in failure, and a battle between the REF and the Invid begins. Our heroes manage to drive the Invid from the planet, but at a great cost--the SDF-3 is crippled, unable to return home and stuck in Tirolian orbit until full repairs can be made. And the Robotech Masters are already on their way to Earth.

Enter the Sentinels, a group of revolutionaries from several nearby planets that have been conquered by the vicious Invid. They have banded together to free their homeworlds from Invid rule, but are in desperate need of assistance in waging their war. Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes, along with a contingent of their fellow REF personnel, agree to help the Sentinels in their fight for freedom.

DevelopmentEdit

As written by Jonathan Switzer, staying within the framework of Classic Robotech material, Robotech II: The Sentinels was originally developed as a 65 episode animated sequel to the original Robotech TV series, co-produced by Harmony Gold USA and Tatsunoko Production, slated to air in the Fall of 1986. Unfortunately, due to a chain reaction of sorry circumstances, the animated version of this storyline was never completed. From April to August of 1988, Del Rey released five Robotech II: The Sentinels novels by the writing team of Brian Daley and James Luceno -- two men who had previously, under the pen name Jack McKinney, adapted the original 85 episodes of Robotech into twelve bestselling novels. They were given the original concepts and outline for the Sentinels TV series and told to tinker with them to their liking. The end result was a product which bore a strong resemblance to the Sentinels story as outlined by Robotech story editor and producer Carl Macek but slowly diverged from the original course as the storyline progressed and unfolded. It was a few months after the five Sentinels novels were on bookstore shelves that the Sentinels story began to emerge in comic book form, written by Eternity Comics editors Tom Mason and Chris Ulm and drawn by newcomers Jason and John Waltrip.

Along with Ben Dunn's Ninja High School, The Sentinels became one of the flagship titles of Malibu Comics' Eternity imprint. Early on the story remained quite faithful to the original TV scripts, a fact that outsiders can tell only because Eternity published two books containing the first eight scripts in 1991 & 1992, but also included all-new ideas from Mason and Ulm. However, by the beginning of Sentinels Book II in mid-1990, the comic book series had veered more towards the course of the novels -- whether this was due to a lack of access to the remainder of the original TV series material, a desire to present a unified Sentinels front, or due to fan demand, nobody's ever said. Still, as the story progressed all-new elements still slipped in, including an entire new subplot revolving around an underground movement within the REF, featuring brand-new characters, at the start of Sentinels Book III in mid-1993.

Following the closure of Malibu's Eternity imprint in late 1993 and the Robotech comic book license's move to small publisher Academy Comics, even more new, original ideas from the minds of the comic book writers -- now the Waltrips, having taken over those chores shortly before the move -- started to appear in the storyline, freshening up the then six year-old epic.

Ultimately, with the end of Academy's reign as the Robotech comic licensee at the end of 1996, so ended The Sentinels with Book IV, Issue 13 and a dangling cliffhanger regarding the fate of the title characters, though there was at least a certain amount of resolution regarding events on the Robotech Masters' former homeworld of Tirol. Antarctic Press, the next comic licensee, made an abortive attempt to get the Waltrips to continue the series, but a satisfactory deal was never struck. While the Waltrips wanted to strike a deal with Antarctic and finish the series, the powers that be at Antarctic either wouldn't or couldn't pay them the same rates that Eternity and Academy did. Rumor is that Antarctic was more interested in giving the Robotech saga to their own staffers to play with and develop, but these rumblings came from a disgruntled former employee, so heaven only knows how accurate they might be.

In the end, Antarctic wound up publishing a series entitled Sentinels: Rubicon with a different creative team, but it was set in the post-New Generation era and had nothing to do with the novel of the same name, nor did it have much of anything to do with the original Robotech II: The Sentinels property outside of a few side references.

IssuesEdit

Eternity Comics RunEdit

First ArcEdit

Book 1 1: A New ThreatEdit
Book 1 2: A New Threat Part 2Edit
Book 1 3: PreperationsEdit
Book 1 4: The InorganicsEdit
Book 1 5: War ToysEdit
Book 1 6: The Best Laid Plans...Edit
Wedding Special 1: Wedding DayEdit
Wedding Special 2: I Do!Edit
Book 1 7: Good MorningEdit
Book 1 8: DepartureEdit
Book 1 9: Here, There, and EverywhereEdit
Book 1 10: StrandedEdit
Book 1 11: The MessageEdit
Book 1 12: First Date!Edit
Book 1 13: Old Friends, New FriendsEdit
Book 1 14: You Can't Go Home AgainEdit
Book 1 15: The Battle for FantomaEdit
Book 1 16: Victory?Edit

Second ArcEdit

Book 2 1: The Coming of the SentinelsEdit
Book 2 2: Smooth LandingsEdit
Book 2 3: Pursued!Edit
Book 2 4: The HuntedEdit
Book 2 5: The Invid Must Die!Edit
Book 2 6: Preperations AgainEdit
Book 2 7: FarewellEdit
Book 2 8: Seek and DestroyEdit
Book 2 9: KarbarraEdit
Book 2 10: Over Their HeadsEdit
Book 2 11: Battle RoyaleEdit
Book 2 12: ReflectionsEdit
Book 2 13: Cut OffEdit
Book 2 14: Missing PersonsEdit
Book 2 15: ...In The NightEdit
Book 2 16: Full Metal PlanetEdit
Book 2 17: Assault on KarbarraEdit
Book 2 18: Operation: Carbarran StormEdit
Book 2 19: Traitors in the MidstEdit
Book 2 20: Beware of the HandshakeEdit
Book 2 21: The Slow Death of the SentinelsEdit

Third ArcEdit

Book 3 1: The Dance of DeathEdit
Book 3 2: The Hand at WorkEdit
Book 3 3: A Ship DividedEdit
Book 3 4: When Worlds Implode!Edit
Book 3 5: Into the PitEdit
Book 3 6: Return of the NativeEdit
Book 3 7: Wild CardEdit
Book 3 8: Escape from TirolEdit

Academy ComicsEdit

Book 3 9: Into the Fire!Edit
Book 3 10: Of Enemies and AlliesEdit
Book 3 11: Where the Wild Things AreEdit
Book 3 12: Dream a Little DreamEdit
Book 3 13: Scheme a Little SchemeEdit
Book 3 14: None but the BraveEdit
Book 3 15: Unto the Breach!Edit
Book 3 16: Where Humans Dare!Edit
Book 3 17: A Portion For FoxesEdit
Book 3 18: Garudans In The MistEdit
Book 3 19: To Walk... Among GiantsEdit
Book 3 20: Destination: Earth!Edit
Book 3 21: The Predator And The PreyEdit
Book 3 22: A Clockwork Planet!Edit
Book 4 0: Special Zero EditionEdit
Book 4 1: World Killers!Edit
Book 4 2: No Man's LandEdit
Book 4 3: Specters in MidnightEdit
Book 4 4: Prisoners of FateEdit
Book 4 5: Monkey WrenchEdit
Book 4 6: Clockwork of DoomEdit
Book 4 7: Seraphim AvengingEdit
Book 4 8: Conquer and DivineEdit
Book 4 9: Disparate PathsEdit
Book 4 10: Dance with the DevilEdit
Book 4 11: SummitEdit
Book 4 12: CheckmateEdit
Book 4 13: Requiem for JusticeEdit

GalleryEdit

NotesEdit

  • The series diverged heavily from Carl Macek's original script and the failed film of the same name.

External LinksEdit


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