If you're not familiar with Voltron, the main idea is that five kids happen upon five lion robots that can join together and become Voltron, who is a 'Legendary Defender.' This whole series was invented in the 80's but has seen a resurgence this year with a series on Netflix, of which these books (I will be covering, 1 and 2) are based upon. (Spoilers for the first issue)We begin with a splash page (that's a page with all art, no panels for all you newcomers) of a huge beast standing behind Voltron, with a single bit of text coming from one of the characters saying "this was supposed to be a training mission." We cut to the day before, and the 5 Voltron pilots are visiting with a princess, who is bed-ridden. They tell the princess to rest while they go out for a day mission. The pilots take off, and you are shown through different panels some of the varying planets that they will endure during training, each with different environmental hazards that will test their skill.
They decide on their first planet and head down. They enter what I can only really describe as an homage to the cantina scene in Star Wars. There's a scuffle, which is quickly broken up by the arrival of an old friend, but things turn sour as the man leading the Lions into training is reminded of a debt owed to this creature. It's revealed that the lion team must retrieve a treasure for the creature in order to get their trainer back. This takes them on a journey to a different planet where they fight some aliens to protect a village, only to find out that the aliens were actually protecting that village.
Issue 2 shows the arrival of the actual beast of this planet. The lions form Voltron and fight against the beast until they realize that they can't win. Thanks to the quick thinking of one of the pilots, they defeat the beast without even fighting it.
I never knew Voltron when I was growing up. It was before my time. I always thought that the joining of the lions to form this cool robot with a sword was a fun idea, though. Watching the new Netflix series of this show that came out fairly recently was a pretty good time, but I just didn't get a kick out of these books. Just to begin, the recap page at the beginning, 1. is a gross plug for the show; and 2. it doesn't change with the books, it only tells you what Voltron is about. I didn't like this laziness. The story itself was formulaic for the first issue. The second ended a little differently than I thought, but in that "here's an old sitcom ending" kind of feeling, where it just didn't make me care.
The art was fine. I like the redesign of Voltron as well as the different lion pilots, but everything else felt very generic. Quality was pretty level across the board, and I'm pretty sure the entirety of the art in this book is done on a computer, which always translates to cheap and not charming in my eyes.
Overall I was just not impressed. Maybe it's because I was never a Voltron fan, but I get the impression that this is simply a book pumped out there for younger readers to profit off of the resurgence of this series. I would avoid unless you're a diehard fan of Voltron.
[su_box title="Score: 2/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Voltron: Legendary Defender 1 & 2 Writer: Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson Artist: Digital Art Chefs Publisher: Lion Forge Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital