Voltron. For many of us who grew up in the 80s, the name conjures images of epic space battles between robotic lions and monstrous alien robeasts. And, while I’m sure the epic battles will eventually appear, Dynamite Entertainment’s new ‘Voltron’ series brings the aliens, giant robots, and the heroes that pilot them down to Earth for a new twist on the classic cartoon’s origin tale.
[Warning: spoilers below.]
The issue opens in the year 2124 as pedestrians are watching the fully formed Voltron battle an attacking robeast in the middle of New York City. As Voltron battles the alien, we’re gradually introduced to the five members of the Voltron Force: Keith, Hunk, Lance, Princess Allura, and Pidge. (Fans of the cartoon will note the absence of Sven, the original pilot of the blue lion.) As the pilots are revealed, it becomes clear that none of them are actually inside their cockpits and piloting Voltron as they did in the cartoon. When the title of the first story is revealed to be “This is Voltron – The Sixth Pilot,” it begs the question… is there another pilot or is this Voltron a sentient being?
Meanwhile, in the year 2012, a scientist has been taken by the US military after a supposed terrorist attack that left half of California uninhabitable. The doctor is introduced to the President who tells him the truth. The attack wasn’t masterminded by terrorists… aliens have attacked Earth. Knowing that the aliens plan to return to Earth, the President asks the doctor to help create something to defend the planet. And thus the seeds are planted that this incarnation of Voltron was created on Earth to defend against extraterrestrial threats.
[End of spoilers]
Writer Brandon Thomas has brought Voltron from the planet Arus, where the cartoon was set, to Earth. It’s still unclear yet what part Arus plays in the new continuity since the next issue is titled “Beware the Man from Arus.” What is clear is that Thomas plans to take Voltron in a bold new direction with a new mythology that, even with only one issue under its belt, is clearly aimed at the fans of the original that have grown up now. The story is more mature and the motivations for the characters, especially the villain, is much more interesting than in the past.
The artwork from Ariel Padilla is great for this kind of book. His lines are very kinetic, which plays perfectly to the battle scenes between Voltron and the robeasts. The style comes across as a realistic version of a cartoon and that matches Thomas’ story so well that its uncanny.
If you’re a fan of the classic ‘Voltron’ television series, be sure to pick this book up. It’s a great interpretation of the characters so far. The television show has a hardcore following in certain communities and I expect that this title will be on all their lips as the new mythology builds over the first couple of story arcs.
Written by BRANDON THOMAS
Art by ARIEL PADILLA
Covers by ALEX ROSS, SEAN CHEN, and WAGNER REIS