Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles is a Robotech comic series released by WildStorm Comics in 2005. The series served as a bridge between Robotech II: The Sentinels and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.
Due to the cancelation of the Sentinels comic series back in the 90s, the storyline never had a proper conclusion with the final issue ending with the betrayal of T.R. Edwards, the kidnap of Minmei and the death of Lynn Kyle.
In 2005, Harmony Gold decided to end the Sentinels Saga within their new retconed timeline, starting where the last number left off in order to promote Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. The five-issue series would wrap up the storyline, and John and Jason Waltrip, the artists and writers of the original series, were even brought in to work on the series -- writing the script and doing the art for the climactic scene with Edwards.
Due to the reconnected Harmony Gold timeline, minor details were added or changed from the original. This mainly was represented in storylines not continued (including the liberations of all Sentinels planets) and continuity changes from the original comic series.
The series also introduced key characters from Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Daryl Taylor is illustrated being a close friend of Jack Baker. The final issues show Maia Sterling (replacing Aurora Sterling from the Books), Marcus Rush, (Marlene Rush's younger brother) and Alex Romero (Marcus's best friend) gaining their positions from the film, as well as establishing the Haydonites as future antagonists of the story.
- Vice-Admiral Rick Hunter
- Admiral Lisa Hunter
- Max Sterling (Mentioned)
- T.R. Edwards (Death)
- Lazlo Zand
- Vince Grant
- Jean Grant
- Jack Baker
- Daryl Taylor
- Karen Penn
- Breetai (Death)
- Exedore (Death)
- Lynn Minmei
- Lynn Kyle (Death)
- The Regent (Death)
- Emil Lang
- Janice Em
- Dana Sterling (Cameo)
- Maia Sterling
- Marcus Rush (Cameo)
While Prelude is made to be a direct sequel to the Robotech II: The Sentinels comic series, there are many differences between the two which cause great inconsistencies between the two series. Many of these are limited to design and style -- the Haydonites, T.R. Edwards, and Lynn Kyle all are greatly redesigned from the original series. Other changes include character backgrounds -- while T.R. reasoning in the original series was to simply control the universe, his plan now is to use the Regent's Invid to Liberate Earth from the Invid forces. Jack also seems to only know about the history of the Sentinels conflicts, but does not appear to have a personal connection with them. Yet another notable change is the lack of use of characters and storyline. Rebecca Nicks and Adams are both seen to be killed alongside Lynn Kyle in the original, but are absent in the new version. Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, and Jack Baker are all shown to be on Tirol, despite being illustrated as being at the orbit of Spheris in the next-to last issue of the original series. The plotline involving Tesla and his attempts to gain control of the Invid Forces is completely abandoned, despite being the cliffhanger of the original series, and Tesla is never seen or mentioned. Most notably, the storyline involving the liberations of Spheris and Peryton are not shown at all, but are rather mentioned to have happened in issue #1, which is set directly after the end of the original series.
The biggest inconsistency now contained is the dating of the stories. The original series ended in the year 2030 at the latest, with Recon One having just been sent off. The now-defunct timeline issue suggested that the fold that Recon One jumped four years in its travel to Earth, meaning that he would have been sent in a date closer to 2025. Miriya was also revealed to be pregnant at the end of the series, which would make this date more logical, as this was the birth date of Maia Sterling.
Prelude is lenient on date citations, but dates the last scene as being set in 2044, with that appearing to connect to the main arc directly. The main arc is said to be set a year after the beginning of the comic, which starts off where the original ended, apparently placing the events between 2040 and 2043. References are also made to the Invid Invasion of Earth and the failed Mars Division missions, two of which occurred in 2038 and 2043, and mecha such as the Cyclones are used; all things that had not occurred or appeared in the original series.
What these inconsistencies boil down to is that the comic series is both a sequel and reboot to the original comics -- it follows up where some of the story left off, but changes many story elements and details. Despite this, Robotech II: The Sentinels is still the closest thing to a valid source of the events which had been delivered.
- "Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles 1: The Enemy Within"
- "Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles 2: Retribution"
- "Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles 3: Necessary Evil"
- "Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles 4: Ghosts of the Past"
- "Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles 5: The Children of the Shadows"