When last we saw our heroes, the Voltron Force ended up in a parallel universe, separated from Princess Allura while the Black Lion was being rebuilt by the Robotech Defense Force after it crashed into Breetai’s ship, destroying it and Breetai. Meanwhile the disappearance of the SDF-1 may be tied to the same Omega Comet that brought the Voltron Force to Earth. Back in the future/alternate timeline/whatever Lotor is looking to use the comet to bring Allura back. That’s the best I can tell of what happened because the pacing thus far has been terrible. Writer Tommy Yune decided to add in unnecessary scenes to flesh out the history of both Robotech and Voltron that we didn’t need fleshed out while not really explaining what’s going on in the present.
We come back into the trade collection at the second half of issue #3 before continuing through the last two issues. Will the pacing pick up or should I prepare to be more confused? Let’s find out.
It’s more like the last few pages and it’s all action. Khyron launches his attack on Earth, and the limited Veritech squadron is getting their butts kicked. Most of their fighters were lost with the SDF-1 and they’re being led by a pilot with one eye. I don’t know anybody who has flown a plane before much less fighter jets in battle but that doesn’t sound like a good idea. But help comes in the form of the modified Black Lion. In the altered present Hagar manages to take control of the comet only to see the arrival of the SDF-1. Lotor takes a “shoot first because questions are boring” approach and orders the space fortress attack, but its auto-defense system (which we didn’t see being used like in the first episode so apparently Yune would rather flesh out what we didn’t need to know rather than remind us what we did) kicks in and the main gun blows Lotor’s ships to space dust, with Sven worried that war has again come to Arus. Issue #3 ends there. If I had know there were only a couple of pages left I might have put them in yesterday.
We start issue #4 with Lotor learning his fighters were all destroyed and the SDF-1 noticing another ship out there, which somehow Claudia recognizes as Rick Hunter’s ship just to give us the exposition as to who he is. Rick wakes up in the hospital with Claudia waiting for him…and she immediately jumps on his case for taking his fighter out with Minmei. So if I’m to hazard a guess, this is where they ended up instead of the bowels of the ship after the hyperspace fold. Does that mean the time travel trip took more out of them than the hyperspace fold? It’s just exposition at this point.
Back in the Robotech universe, Edwards has the lions moved to the Alaska base. However, both Keith and Dr. Penn suspect he may be after the Lions for himself, which given Edwards’ history in the regular timeline is quite possible. In the Voltron universe, Claudia is apparently taking her frustration at Roy’s disappearance on Rick and Gloval calls her out on it, gently of course, before they are contacted by Coran and Sven. The Castle Of Lions has also been moved to colder climates, so everybody gets to freeze their blazing swords off I guess. A few pages later and Dr. Lang has apparently discussed things with Coran and debriefs Gloval. He thinks they can get home by conducting a hyperspace fold within the energy of the comet, but by contacting the SDF, Coran has unwittingly allowed Hagar to find them. There is talk about magic versus unexplained science which was neat, but short.
Back on Earth, Pidge thinks he’s located Blue Lion and hopefully the princess, but Edwards only allows Keith to go with Edwards as escort…for security of course. I don’t know why Keith and later everyone except Allura trade their helmets for a Veritech Fighter pilot’s helmet (with appropriate color trimming of course). Of course Edwards takes this opportunity to attack, not wanting to lose the lions and feeling they have enough data about the SDF-1 and not wanting to deal with Gloval. Lucky for Keith Roy Fokker managed to follow them and shoots Edwards’ down, knowing Edwards won’t squeal because he doesn’t want to admit Roy shot him down. Ah, T.R. Edwards. No matter what continuity you’re in, you’re still a big dumb jerk!
The issue ends as Rick, unsure if he wants to return and doubting himself after losing Roy and Claudia convincing him he put Minmei in jeopardy, is suddenly contacted by the ghost of King Alfor, who convinces him to take a special journey. He doesn’t tell anybody he’s leaving and I don’t think Alfor told Coran what’s going on. Apparently Minmei did overhear Rick talking to Alfor…despite being nowhere in the scene at the end of issue #4 but is telling Claudia what she knows at the start of issue #5…but didn’t see him. Now Claudia’s accusing him of being a spy. Seriously, Grant, stop putting the kid down. He’s going to save all your butts a lot in the years to come and marry your best friend after you die. She wasn’t this nasty to him when Roy actually died. Or will die…darn time travel!
Keith and Roy arrive in Egypt and Keith just happens to stumble on Allura, living in one of the craters from the civil war that was going on when the spacefortress first crashed on Macross Island. It still fares better than the civil war in GoLion. Allura is also amnesic but knows her key is important and the Black Lion is familiar, even with the RDF logo instead of the usual crest of Arus. Speaking of Arus and the SDF-1, Lotor sends four doom coffins with RoBeasts smashing into the ship to cause havoc, planning to use it and the comet to conquer both realities. Meanwhile the Zentraedi attack Keith and Roy. It’s just one of those days. Allura runs off to the Blue Lion, saying she can’t leave it behind but Alfor’s ghost appears to her saying that she shouldn’t hide here, where she was found. Found by whom? I don’t know. The writer thought seeing Roy’s dad die was more important…for some reason. She sees Keith on the monitor, somehow recognizes him now as the man she loves and I have to think Alfor just magic-ed the amnesia away because he’s a powerful sorcerer now. Even with two Lions they’re in trouble until the rest of the force arrives thanks to Penn and Max. And so Voltron is back!
In the Voltroverse Hagar’s magic reveals this and she says she has one more plan to leave Voltron where it is, although this does mean keeping Allura there as well so we can presume Lotor isn’t aware of this. Meanwhile, one of the RoBeasts heads outside to attack the ship’s bridge, only to be stopped by a White Lion piloted by Rick. Wait, there’s a SIXTH Lion? Where did it come from? And would they have used it before? Rick says it can lead them home. As the SDF-1 arrives at the Comet in the Voltronverse, the Robotechverse Comet appears in Earthspace. Roy and Voltron work to smash the rings (and really, unless you really know your Voltron wouldn’t you be surprised at the voice that talks to Roy…and why is she talking to Roy? Just because the space goddess once talked to the Voltron Force when they were trapped on the comet?) while the SDF-1 executes their fold and then Yune rips off He-Man/Thundercats with a montage of mixed and altered realities.
There’s even one where Gladiator Voltron is with the other two Voltrons, plus one where Max and Ben join the Voltron Force for some reason. Another has Minmei and Allura as RDF crew, one where Khyron and Lotor are plotting something, one with a woman I don’t recognize off-hand, one with the Lions as part of the Airshow with Rick–who is in his plane instead of the Lion–and the best one, where Breetai is about to punch either an Invid or a RoBeast in the face! After this reality is restored with only Claudia, the Voltron Force, and Lotor even aware of the altered timelines. And thus our story concludes.
So did anything change my opinion of this crossover? Not really. From a purely critical perspective the story has some hits and some misses. Unnecessary scenes are added in, the Keith/Allura romance is never resolved, while the Robotechverse gets hit with the magic reset button. The White Lion appears and disappears just to have Rick piloting his own Lion and is otherwise unnecessary…and I still think the crossover itself was unnecessary. It feels odd for Robotech and really didn’t do Voltron any favors even if it didn’t necessarily damage either one.
That said, it’s not all bad. The art is fairly decent, the fights are really good, and there are hints of other, more interesting “what if” stories for both franchises. I didn’t hate the story but I also still don’t really care about it. I’ve enjoyed plenty of crossovers but this seems to have been done just to have an 80s crossover. Could either property get a decent crossover elsewhere? Well, if we’re sticking to the 1980s kids and sci-fi shows, I could see Robotech crossover with…maybe Star Wars or even Transformers. As for Voltron, I know exactly who I would join them up with:
Somebody make that happen! Or at least give me my Ghostbusters/Filmation Ghostbusters crossover!