Get Started In ROBOTECH

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Jul 2019

Robotech began life in the United States in 1985 as an 85-episode anime television series produced by Harmony Gold, reworked from three visually similar, but distinct, Japanese anime series produced by Tatsunoko. Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances that humanity made--especially giant, transforming, robot mecha--from reverse engineering the technology of an abandoned alien spacecraft that crashed on Earth. When the aliens track down their missing craft and belligerently try to reclaim it, a young, untested crew use what resources and ingenuity they have to lure the aliens away from Earth. But that's just the beginning of this epic story of transformable mecha, apocalyptic battles, wartime romance, and catchy music that spans generations for the ultimate fate of Earth.

For many, Robotech holds a special place in their adolescence. While it could easily be grouped in with the other transforming robots of the day, appearing as both toys and cartoons, Robotech did stand apart. As one of the earliest examples of anime-inspired science fiction animation to appear in the United States (following the highly successful Star Blazers), the television series was also a pioneer in that it told an ongoing story with essential continuity--where the characters grew and changed with time--instead of an episodic story that reset to some baseline setup with each episode. This was a new concept to American audiences. Robotech was not a straight dub of the Japanese source animation into English either, it was rather an amalgamation of three different sources, woven together to make an apparently seamless story across generations. The animated television show was a runaway success with an equally popular line of comic books adapting the show, as well as a popular role-playing game based on the franchise. Over the years, Harmony Gold has had a quizzically difficult time parlaying the initial success of their import with follow-on material, not for lack of trying though, as there are more cancelled follow-on animation projects than realized ones.

The license to publish Robotech comic books has passed between several publishers since the 1980's. DC published a single 2-issue mini-series in 1984 based off the Robotech Defenders line of models, but Comico had the license to adapt the Harmony Gold cartoon series. The three main Comico series are foundational material and considered primary canon, but Comico never really expanded beyond the animated television series and unfortunately went bankrupt. At the end of 1988, Eternity picked up the license next and produced a plethora of material based off the Sentinels storylines from the Jack McKinney novels as well as the cancelled television series of the same name. This wealth of material is considered secondary canon material. It's not considered primary canon material, but it hasn't been officially overwritten by any subsequent canon material, so it could still fit into canon if left alone and acknowledged. The Robotech comic book license transitioned to Academy Comics in 1994, as Eternity (then an imprint of Malibu) was downsizing in the waning days of the black and white market and about to be acquired by Marvel. Academy published many one-shot issues vice ongoing series, although the ongoing Sentinels did continue. Harmony Gold revoked Academy's license in 1997 possibly due to the declining quality of the comic book material. Antarctic Press took over and produced some good material, although the timeline had become bloated and confusing by then. From 2002-2005 DC/Wildstorm obtained the license and made a quality attempt at reviving the franchise with new primary canon material in anticipation of new primary canon animated material, namely Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, a feature-length animated sequel to the original Robotech storyline. 2002 saw the wholesale de-canonization of almost everything that had come after the original television series with Wildstorm's series concentrating on the original material's era or directly after it. Comic material--as part of the whole franchise--fizzled out again after the sequel, although there was a Voltron cross-property crossover in 2013 from Dynamite. In 2017, Titan obtained the license for Robotech comic books and produced a loose remake of the original Macross Saga comic series from Comico which slowly diverged by introducing elements from all three original series. This series was followed by another in this new, re-imagined 'REMIX' relaunch. They also began an ambitious compilation endeavor with the intention to reprint much of the original material, long since out of print in any form.

Related Tags: CROSS-PROPERTY CROSSOVERSDC WILDSTORM [1999]ROBOTECHROBOTECH - PRIMARY CANONROBOTECH REMIX [2017]VOLTRONWHILCE PORTACIO (CA)

Current Series

This is a curated list of the current series to help you get started with Robotech comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

Titan's current series started out as a loose remake of the original ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] series from Comico (which is itself an adaptation of the original animated television series), but the comic series has diverged by introducing elements from all three animated television series, as well as obscure references to spin-off material.

PublisherFrequencySeries 
TITANOngoing - TransitioningROBOTECH [2017](loose remake of ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] diverges by introducing elements from all three original series)
TITANOngoing - TransitioningROBOTECH REMIX [2019](follow-on series to ROBOTECH [2017] series)

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Robotech. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Robotech.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
ROBOTECH #19
Quick View
Apr 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #19 QUAH CVR A  UNAVAILABLE$3.39
ROBOTECH #20
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May 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #20 QUALANO CVR A  UNAVAILABLE$3.39
ROBOTECH #21
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Jun 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #21 SPOKES CVR A  (EVENT HORIZON, Part 1 of 4 (start of a story arc))UNAVAILABLE$3.39
ROBOTECH #22
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Jul 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #22 SPOKES CVR A  (EVENT HORIZON, Part 2 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
ROBOTECH #23
Quick View
Aug 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #23 SPOKES CVR A  (EVENT HORIZON, Part 3 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
ROBOTECH #24
Quick View
Sep 2019ROBOTECH [2017] #24 SPOKES CVR A  (EVENT HORIZON, Part 4 of 4 (series end))UNAVAILABLE$3.39
      
ROBOTECH REMIX #1
Quick View
Oct 2019ROBOTECH REMIX [2019] #1 DAMASO CVR A  (series beginning)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$3.39

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Robotech comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Robotech. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

The Titan remake series is just getting started, and all previous series' editions are out-of-print. However, Titan is planning to reissue a plethora of Robotech material in a series of 20 trade paperbacks! (The release dates for these compilations are only estimates and in most cases are off by several months or more.)

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA VOL 01Quick ViewApr 2018ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA [2018-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA VOL 02Quick ViewAug 2018ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA [2018-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA VOL 03Quick ViewNov 2018ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE MACROSS SAGA [2018-TPB] VOL 03
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ROBOTECH VOL 01Quick ViewJan 2018ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH VOL 02: BYE BYE, MARSQuick ViewJun 2018ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 02: BYE BYE, MARS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH VOL 03: BLIND GAMEQuick ViewNov 2018ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 03: BLIND GAME
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH VOL 04: LISA'S REPORTQuick ViewMay 2019ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 04: LISA'S REPORT
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH VOL 05: SHOWDOWNQuick ViewAug 2019ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 05: SHOWDOWN
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ROBOTECH VOL 06: EVENT HORIZONQuick ViewOct 2019ROBOTECH [2017-TPB] VOL 06: EVENT HORIZON
  
PRE-ORDER$16.99
$14.44
      
ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE SENTINELS VOL 01Quick ViewAug 2019ROBOTECH ARCHIVES: THE SENTINELS [2019-TPB] VOL 01
  
UNAVAILABLE$21.24

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Robotech, if it's within your budget. As with many first appearances in comics, the first appearance of Robotech is open to a bit of interpretation. On sale in the exact same timeframe of what is considered to be the actual first appearance of the traditional Robotech series based on Harmony Gold's adaptation was a 2-issue mini-series from DC called ROBOTECH DEFENDERS based on the Revell line of plastic models which actually combines mecha designs from Macross, Orguss, and Dougram. Originally solicited as a 3-issue mini-series, the final two issues were edited into one issue, such that it became a 2-issue mini-series overall. Although Robotech is in the name, this series is not actually related to the popular Robotech incarnation. Robotech proper was introduced in MACROSS [1984] #1 from Comico, but was only titled this for one issue before it became ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] with issue #2. (ROBOTECH DEFENDERS [1985] #1 and MACROSS [1984] #1 have counter-intuitive series numbers based on their publication dates only because of the way different companies apply cover dates. DC gave a cover date of January to any comics it published in November of the prior year. Comico was using cover dates of the same month of publication. We apply series numbers preferentially based off of cover dates when available.) MACROSS [1984] #1 is considered the first appearance of the traditional Robotech series based on Harmony Gold's adaptation. ROBOTECH DEFENDERS [1985] #1 could be more correctly interpreted as the first appearance of any Robotech adaptation. Relative market values tend to indicate which issue the market gives more weight to in claims of first appearances. MACROSS [1984] #1 is ahead in value, but both issues are listed below for completeness.

  • ROBOTECH DEFENDERS [1985] #1  (1st appearance of *Robotech Defenders*)
  • MACROSS [1984] #1  (1st appearance of *Robotech*)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. But, there is no origin story, per se, for the Robotech saga. The 1985 animated television series was adapted in MACROSS [1984] #1 and continued in ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] #2-36. Titan produced a new adaptation beginning in 2017 with ROBOTECH [2017]. Although not an origin at all, we list ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #0 below because it contains a timeline and summary of the events that occurred in the entire Robotech saga, from Zor's birth, through the Macross, Sentinels, Masters and New Generations sagas to the search for the lost SDF-3.

  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #0   (contains a timeline and text summary of the grand Robotech saga's major events)

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Robotech comic books. This is an exhaustive list of Robotech series from all publishers. The license to publish Robotech comic books has passed between several publishers since the 1980's. Comico, Eternity, Academy, Antarctic Press, and DC/Wildstorm have taken turns, and currently, Titan is producing comic material in a new 'remix' re-imagining.

  • ROBOTECH DEFENDERS [1985] #1-2   
  • MACROSS [1984] #1   (Comico publishing begins)
  • ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] #2-36   (continued from MACROSS [1984])
  • ROBOTECH MASTERS [1985] #1-23   
  • ROBOTECH: THE NEW GENERATION [1985] #1-25   
  • ROBOTECH THE GRAPHIC NOVEL [1986-GN]    
  • OFFICIAL HOW TO DRAW ROBOTECH [1987] #1-14   
  • ROBOTECH IN 3-D [1987] #1   
  • ROBOTECH SPECIAL [1988] #1   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1988] #1-16   (Eternity publishing begins; 'Book I')
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--WEDDING SPECIAL [1989] #1-2   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--THE MALCONTENT UPRISINGS [1989] #1-12   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1990] #1-21   ('Book II')
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--CYBERPIRATES [1991] #1-4   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--THE ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOK [1991] #1-3   
  • ROBOTECH: GENESIS--THE LEGEND OF ZOR [1992] #1-6   
  • ROBOTECH INVID WAR [1992] #1-18   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--SWIMSUIT SPECTACULAR [1992] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: FIREWALKERS [1993] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: RETURN TO MACROSS [1993] #1-12   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1993] #1-8   ('Book III')
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS--THE UNTOLD STORY [1993] #1   
  • ROBOTECH INVID WAR: AFTERMATH [1993] #1-6   
  • ROBOTECH: RETURN TO MACROSS [1994] #13-37   (Academy publishing begins (continuing several Eternity series); continued from ROBOTECH: RETURN TO MACROSS [1993])
  • ROBOTECH: MACROSS MISSIONS: DESTROID [1994] #1   
  • ROBOTECH [1994] #0   
  • ROBOTECH AFTERMATH [1994] #7-13   (continued from ROBOTECH INVID WAR: AFTERMATH [1993])
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #9-22   (continued from ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1993])
  • ROBOTECH: INVID WORLD--ASSAULT ON OPTERA [1994] #1   
  • HOHSQ'S STORY: A ROBOTECH ROMANCE [1994] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: WARRIORS [1994] #0-3   
  • ROBOTECH: AMAZON WORLD--ESCAPE FROM PRAXIS [1994] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: CLONE [1994] #0-5   
  • ROBOTECH: SMITH WORLD--SABOTAGE ON KARBARRA [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: ACADEMY BLUES [1995] #0-5   
  • ROBOTECH: CYBER WORLD--SECRETS OF HAYDON IV [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: MACROSS TEMPEST [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: MECHANGEL [1995] #0-3   
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #0-13   ('Book IV')
  • ROBOTECH: MACROSS MISSIONS: EXCALIBUR [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: SENTINELS--WINTER WONDERLAND SWIMSUIT SPECIAL [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: METAL SWARM [1995] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: FERAL WORLD--NIGHTMARE ON GARUDA [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: MORDECAI [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: BOOBY TRAP [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: CRYSTAL WORLD--PRISONERS OF SPHERIS [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: MACROSS MISSIONS: EXCALIBUR--QUAKING THUNDER [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: THE MISFITS [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: STAR RUNNERS: CARPENTER'S JOURNEY [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: THE SENTINELS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH THE MOVIE [1996] #1-2   
  • ROBOTECH: ROMANCE [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: BREAKING POINT: CADET LISA HAYES SPECIAL [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: CIVIL WAR STORIES [1996] #1   
  • ROBOTECH [1997] #1-11   (Antarctic Press publishing begins)
  • ROBOTECH: VERMILION [1997] #1-4   
  • ROBOTECH ANNUAL [1998] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: ESCAPE [1998] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: THE SENTINELS--RUBICON [1998] #1-2   
  • ROBOTECH: COVERT-OPS [1998] #1-2   
  • ROBOTECH: MEGASTORM [1998] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: WINGS OF GIBRALTAR [1998] #1-2   
  • ROBOTECH: CLASS REUNION [1998] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: FINAL FIRE [1998] #1   
  • ROBOTECH [2003] #0-6   (DC/Wildstorm publishing begins)
  • ROBOTECH SOURCEBOOK [2003] #1   
  • ROBOTECH: LOVE AND WAR [2003] #1-6   
  • ROBOTECH [2003-DIG]    
  • ROBOTECH: INVASION [2004] #1-5   
  • ROBOTECH: PRELUDE TO THE SHADOW CHRONICLES [2005] #1-5   
  • ROBOTECH/VOLTRON [2013] #1-5   
  • ROBOTECH [2017] #1-24   (Titan publishing begins; loose remake of ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] diverges by introducing elements from all three original series)
  • ROBOTECH REMIX [2019] #1-   (follow-on series to ROBOTECH [2017] series)

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Robotech, any one of which can be a good place to get started.

Key Storyline cover 1 for ROBOTECHKey Storyline cover 2 for ROBOTECHKey Storyline cover 3 for ROBOTECHKey Storyline cover 4 for ROBOTECH
1984MACROSS [1984] #1; ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] #2-5   (first story arc sets up the entire Robotech epic)
1988ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1988] #1-16   (a 10-year run with 72 issues, specials, a prequel, spin-offs of its own and a sequel...Sentinels is a solid continuation of the original material, regardless of its canonicity)
1992ROBOTECH: GENESIS--THE LEGEND OF ZOR [1992] #1-6   (satisfying origin of the Robotech Masters)
1992ROBOTECH INVID WAR [1992] #1-18   (one of the better-written spin-offs with great art)
1998ROBOTECH: CLASS REUNION [1998] #1   (fan-favorite one-shot from Antarctic Press with an 'in-Universe' feel)
2003ROBOTECH [2003] #0-6   (origin of Roy Fokker from DC/Wildstorm)
2003ROBOTECH: LOVE AND WAR [2003] #1-6   (explores the ace pilots, Max and Miriya's, relationship)
2017ROBOTECH [2017] #1-5   (first story arc in Titan's reimagining of ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA)

Media Source Material

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Robotech, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. But, with Robotech, movies and other media are typically not produced from comic source material. Comic book adaptations and comic book spin-offs are produced from movies and other media.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Robotech, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags. Many of Academy's comics are scarce, particularly toward the end of their license tenure. We include a bunch here in case you discover them in bargain bins.

Key Issue cover 1 for ROBOTECHKey Issue cover 2 for ROBOTECHKey Issue cover 3 for ROBOTECH
  • MACROSS [1984] #1   (1st appearance of Robotech)
  • ROBOTECH: THE MACROSS SAGA [1985] #18   (death of Roy Fokker)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #17   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #18   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #19   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #20   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #21   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1994] #22   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #0   (rare issue; contains timeline and descriptions of entire Robotech saga events)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #1   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #2   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #3   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #4   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #5   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #6   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #7   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #8   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #9   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #10   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #11   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #12   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)
  • ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS [1995] #13   (rare issue; adapts unproduced animated television series)