Friday, December 27, 2013
"Activate interlock! Dynotherms connected! Infracells up! Mega-thrusters are go!"
Children of the 80s remember Robotech and Voltron. The two franchises were bedrocks of many of our geek foundations and they offered up glimpses into both space and robots. It took a while, but a few decades later Dynamite Entertainment is crossing over the two in a brand new book called Robotech/Voltron #1. The issue is written by Tommy Yune, illustrated by Elmer Damaso, colored by Lariz Santos, Armand Roy Canlas, Sam Gelua and Melvin Calingo and lettered by Canlas and Calingo.
In the first of a five-issue miniseries, two anime goliaths in Robotech and Voltron are teaming up to face a pretty nasty menace. In fact, when the Lion Force teams up, Voltron's existence is threatened and King Lotor is lurking in the shadows, preparing to make what seems to be a pretty big move. Not to mention Roy Fokker and the Skull Squadron dealing with the menace on their own, while the Zentraedi loom over Macross Island. Got all that.
From a dialogue perspective, Yune really nails it. The script has that corny feel to it, with characters big on hyperbole and overemoting many things. It makes reading the book feel as if you're watching either cartoon. Where the story suffers though is that there's just too much story. Yune approaches the issue without the intent of altering the history of either franchise, but because of that, readers who aren't steeped in their history might have a hard time figuring out what's going on. It's not really a knock on Yune per se, but you can't help feel that maybe the issue should've slowed things down a bit so more people could latch on.
Damaso's art is very well done, effectively capturing the essence of both properties on the pages. Characters burst off the pages and there's a wide variety of panel layouts which keep the reader's attention. It's a very cartoonish style that is probably more faithful to the source material than anything which--again--keeps things rooted firmly in the respective universes. It's a blast of nostalgia to see all the familiar faces and Damaso does a fantastic job of maintaining the atmosphere present in the original cartoons. There are some staggeringly destructive full-page panels that offer a glimpse of what readers can expect as this series plays out.
Robotech/Voltron #1 is more or less written for fans of the two properties above everyone else. That's not to say that if you're unfamiliar with either work and you read it that you'll be at a loss; rather, it might take a few readings to get what's going on. Even then, you still might not understand all the character intricacies that are baked in, courtesy of the Robotech and Voltron histories. It's a pretty daunting task to do in crossing over the two properties and this series may not be for everyone out there. If you're a fan of either (or both) series though, then this is definitely something you'll want to pick up.
Robotech/Voltron #1 is in stores now with interiors below.