Drip, drip, drip goes the story.
Voltron is an exercise in patience. Those seeking a wham bam thank you giant lion robot will be incredibly frustrated with the pacing of Voltron. Writer Brandon Thomas is trying to deepen the story of everybody’s favorite space avenger by taking his time with what he reveals. Thus far, we know enough to keep the interest going but nothing concrete. There are as many questions as there are answers, which seems to be how Thomas wants it.
So far Voltron has been a mix of mid-tempo pacing and high action. Issue 3 is where that ends. This will separate the true fans from those looking for a quick action fix. There’s no action here. This is all plot. It’s a great issue, one that really starts to bring out the subtext of the series, but action-wise it’s a big goose egg. We start in the year 2124 at King Zarkon’s secret lair. This is Zarkon as we remember him, alien looking and evil. Chained in his lair is Voltron, and Zarkon is embroiled in an argument with the robot’s consciousness.
That consciousness ties back into the flashback section, where Zarkon is still human and the consciousness of Voltron is an alien named Alec. Alec has come to warn the human race of an impending enslavement from a race so evil it’s not to be believed. Thomas brings a new element into Voltron by introducing magic. Alec is a sorcerer as well as a warrior and his powers are without question. After exposing an alien traitor with the US Military ranks, our magic alien produces a hologram of the one thing that can save humanity. A lion robot that will form into the greatest fighting force ever. The current Voltron team only makes a casual appearance, one that doesn’t do much to foster their story.
Issue #3 is all about setting up who Alec is as well as bringing in the magic element. Thomas is asking a lot of Voltron fans so he makes sure everything works within the framework of the original Voltron story. He also doesn’t give much more away than the details within the issue. We still don’t know what finally turned Zarkon or how Alec became locked within Voltron. There’s no clue as to the formation of the original team or how they’ll rescue our hero. Like I said, with so much given to us, there’s a lot we still don’t know. For some, that will be excruciating, for me it’s good storytelling.
The art from Ariel Padilla is solid. I’ll be the first to admit that the American/Manga art hybrid isn’t a favorite of mine. It makes things look too basic, characters start looking the same and they always seem to have the same expression. On the plus side, it makes for great movement, something that really helps in an issue where the action is minimal. While many may see Voltron #3 as not enough, I see it as another well-written piece of an interesting puzzle.
CraveOnline Rating: 8/10 (5 Story. 3 Art)