REVIEW: Voltron #1

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Over the years, a number of giant robots have risen up to fight the forces from beyond, who want to enslave mankind, and bring death and destruction across the galaxy. Voltron is back, and this relaunch reminds me why the original series only lasted one year.

VOLTRON #1
Writer: Brandon Thomas
Artist: Ariel Padilla
Colorist: Marcelo Pinto
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Covers: Alex Ross, Sean Chen, Wagner Reis
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Voltron: The Voltron Force is close to victory, but King Zarkon’s forces have come to Earth to claim the lives of innocents. But Zarkon knows something, a secret that ensures he will reign supreme.

GIANT ROBOT FORCE GO!

If you like giant robots fighting guys in giant rubber monster suits, then this issue has everything you’ve been waiting for since Saturday morning abandoned you, leaving you with Care Bear Stares and visions of My Little Pony dancing in your head. The battle on Earth at first looks like one that the Voltron Force can win with the help of their giant robot made from smaller lion robots, but as the issue progresses, it becomes more apparent that Earth is about to fall if something isn’t done soon.

Or at least I think that is what is happening… The problem is, readers are dropped in the middle of a fight, with no real backstory. The last time American readers were privy to any Voltron comics was way back when Devil’s Due had their hands on the property – and there is no clear indication that Dynamite’s series is in anyway connected. Considering the Devil’s Due series was cancelled because of low sales, the number of readers who might even know what was going on when that series ended with issue eleven are few and far between.

We don’t get to see lion robots forming Voltron, we don’t get to see Princess don her swan costume become the heart of Symbionic Titan turn from Pink Ranger into television star before our eyes do anything. In fact, we don’t get to see the Voltron Force do much in this issue besides delivering chit-chatty dialogue that seems more forced than anything that drives the plot forward.

The only real surprise seems to be in the implication that Zarkon created the Voltron robot one hundred years previous during Earth’s “first” encounter with an alien force.

ART?

Even with a poor story, the art usually makes up for it, but I can’t say that about this issue. You may absolutely adore what Ariel Padilla has put on the page, but it looks like a color by numbers job gone bad. Composition is mangled due to poor layouts, and facial expressions are lacking, with each character’s expression seemingly locked in place for the duration of the issue. From the first page, this doesn’t look or feel like something Dynamite Entertainment would put out. Instead, it the art feels like it belongs in the pages of a biographical comic put out by another publisher.

BOTTOM LINE: SKIP IT, BUT IT’S PROBABLY TOO LATE

Knowing this review is a tad later than usual, it’s probably too late to warn you to skip this issue on the stand – especially considering Dynamite Entertainment has announced the book has sold out and is going back to press. I wish the story was better. Though I don’t mind being dropped into the middle of the action, there needs to be a reason for me to fear for the life of the team members and the fate of the Earth. There’s no frame of reference, save for the fading memories of hard core fans, and in an age when companies are scrambling to bring new readers into the fold, this issue falls as flat as the Voltron does when the rubber monsters jump on it. If you haven’t purchased Voltron #1, skip it – there’s a lot of potential, but it never comes through on the page. Sadly, Voltron #1 earns 1 out of 5 Stars.

[rating:1/5}