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The Robotech Defenders are a line of scale model kits released by Revell during the 1980s. The line was meant to be tied to an ongoing comic book series of the same name. DC Comics agreed to publish a three-part mini-series in 1984 to test the waters, but the comic was of such poor quality, it was cancelled after only two issues.

The Model Kits

Revell went to Japan to look for suitable mecha models before 1984. They eventually licensed existing plastic kits from the Macross, Dougram and Orguss series. These were repackaged for a North American and European release. The mecha were given new names and functions, most of which were unrelated to the original names, factions and functions of the Japanese series.

This caused a problem for media company Harmony Gold, who licensed the North American video rights to the Japanese Macross anime series. Since Revell was already distributing the models, Harmony Gold could not support the show with merchandising. In the end, both companies decided to enter into a co-licensing agreement and the name Robotech was eventually adopted for the syndicated television show that the home video line had transformed into.

The Comics

The comic, a two-issue mini-series, was published by DC Comics in 1984. It was originally intended to be a trilogy, but was reduced to the first normal-sized issue and a 32-page second issue with no advertisement. The story followed the battles of a team of pilots who fight a savage race of aliens who have been given superior technology. The pilots are losing badly when their leader accidentally activates one of the Robotech Defenders. She then learns of the existence of the other machines, which are scattered on the other pilots' home planets. By the end of the first issue, the team have managed to recover all the robots and engage the enemy in battle, but are still defeated and get captured. They escape by pushing a big red button which releases the Defenders' minds, unleashing the latters' full combat capabilities. The pilots then track down the controller of the savage aliens. They defeat him by causing the evil alien energy siphon to suck the energy from the sun, causing their space ship to explode.

References

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