Nostalgia often leads us down roads that we know are best left untraveled. We all have been fooled into watch one too many Michael Bay films. I am a child of the 80’s, ripe to have my childhood sold back to me regardless of the quality. Hope springs eternal, however and I picked up the new Voltron: From the Ashes comic by Dynamite.
Voltron is hallowed ground for me. I had all the lions. I remember saving up to get the final one as child and assembling Voltron with choleric enthusiasm. It was envied by friends and a companion while watching the series. Then, the show ended. My Voltron toys meeting the same fate that my He-Man, Ninja Turtles, and Transformer toys met: garage sale. While picking up this comic, I hoped it wouldn’t meet the same fate as Image series during the early 2000’s.
After reading it, I am hopeful.
What the comic has going for it:
It’s written by Cullen Bunn, who in my estimation, is the best comic book story teller out there. Bunn pulls a villain from Voltron’s illustrious history and sets her up as a foil to a new generation of pilots who have known nothing but peace. The Galaxy Alliance, despite their constant training, will be unprepared to face this old foe. Flashbacks maybe conventional, but Bunn makes it feel necessary when the reader is faced with something as dated as Voltron. The dialog is completely in keeping with the 80’s motif and I half expected a transformation sequence to occur every other page.
What the comic has to overcome:
The art styling is in perfect lock-step with the old animated series. This is wonderful for those who hold those images dear, but they don’t transcend the original medium either. Blackly Shepherds art is perfectly fine and the colors by Adriano Augusto breathe life into each cell; but that is not enough to separate the comic from a myriad of other niche titles that do it better.
Should you buy it?
I will selfishly say yes, because I want to see more Voltron comics. This has the potential of greatness. If we can all tap into the inner five year old that was transfixed by giant robots and monsters we can help make it great. It may be, however, that this nostalgia well has been all but tapped over the years.