Evil Geek Book Report – Robotech/Voltron #1-5
When Dynamite Entertainment first announced a 5 issue Robotech/Voltron crossover I was thrilled. I have a love in my heart for Voltron like few other cartoons from my youth; the concept alone had always been endlessly fascinating to me. Robotech on the other hand is something that I found in my adulthood and it was refreshing that it could fit neatly alongside the cartoons of my youth but also be much more sophisticated. I was hoping this miniseries would be a fun 80’s style crossover, which is not exactly what we got.
First things first, if you’re not overly familiar with both franchises you’re going to have a problem getting through these 5 issues. They give you small recaps here and there but author Tommy Yune is writing this with the idea that you’re likely a super fan of both series. The story involves a plot device called the Omega Comet which I’m still not 100% sure of what it does, but it fucks things up. It somehow takes Voltron and throws it into Robotech’s 2009 Earth while simultaneously transporting the SDF-1 into Voltron’s reality.
The timeline in the Robotech Universe seems to be at the very start of the Macross Saga cartoon and the First Robotech War right as the SDF-1 is launched into space. We follow two camps; one is pilot Roy Fokker on Earth and the crash landed space explorers made up of Keith, Pidge, Hunk and Lance (Princess Allura was with them but has not been located). Although it’s Keith and Roy that really get all screen time. The other story follows the launched SDF-1 and its crew mostly focusing on Captain Gloval and Claudia, Lisa Hayes barely exists and Minmei and Rick Hunter have minimal roles.
Where this story takes place in the Voltron continuity is a little trickier to pin down (especially since I’ve never read any of Dynamite’s Voltron comics). At the very least, we know that it’s post Sven, since Allura is piloting the blue Lion. Although it’s safe to say Voltron continuity is less important in the long run, especially in the American version where most episodes beyond the first few and last few actually mattered.
There’s another storyline that involved a possible future of the Voltron world where Prince Lotor goes to a battle damage Planet Aura and finds the Lion’s castle in ruins and stain glass windows of the Voltron force in a saintly manner. I think we also catch a glimpse of an older bearded Sven and Coran, but I’ll be honest I had no idea what was going on in this subplot.
Back on Robotech Earth Keith finds Princess Allura in the Egyptian desert afflicted with amnesia. Meanwhile Captain Gloval and the crew get a little help from Planet Arus and Coran after fending off an attack from Zarkon’s army. Rick Hunter who after the events of the first few Robotech cartoon episodes had stowed away on the SDF-1 finds himself visited by the ghost of King Alfor (Princess Allura’s father) who tells him of the location of a 6th white lion that he’s able to obtain a pilot. In theory this would be cool, you’re getting to see the hero of the Robotech cartoon pilot a Voltron lion. Yet in the comic, it just kind of falls flat, which is the way to sum up this whole miniseries.
Ultimately, both franchises get back to where they once belong (get back Jo-Jo!) and all is well. Voltron uses some weird blazing bow and arrow that I never saw before, so that’s cool I guess. The thing this series doesn’t seem to understand is that people were expecting lots of giant transforming robots. I don’t want to sound like a simpleton here, but with two franchises meeting like this, it just seems like a given. This is sorely missed here. You get some of Roy’s Valkyrie in a dog fight side by side with lions and eventually Voltron. The SDF-1 disposes of some of Zarkon’s fleet with the aid of Rick Hunter’s white lion, but that’s about it. I thought we’d see Voltron going up against a transformed SDF-1 for the finale or something equivalent.
If you have any reverence for either TV series, avoid this comic. The story was so-so at best, if it wasn’t for Elmer Damso’s spot on classic anime art, I don’t think I would have stuck around till issue #5. He absolutely nails it though. This lackluster series did do some good because it directly led me into something else, which you’ll be able to read about on here shortly.
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