Voltron: A Legend Forged #5
Devil’s Due (April 2009)
WRITER: Josh Blaylock
PENCILER: Julia Bax
COLOR ARTISTS: Wes Dzioba, Digicore Studios, & Bill Crabtree
DESIGN: Sean K. Dove
COVER: Tim Seeley & Jose Aviles
EDITOR: Mike O’Sullivan (with special thanks to Rob Peak)
[from the original review] The Voltron Force arrives with their lions, ready to give Voltron’s younger self life. Strife is put in prison, but is able to create a magic portal for Jain to sneak into the Castle. During the ceremony, she attacks and is able to pull Allura out of the Blue Lion, attempting to give Sarga her body. With most of the wizards out cold, the villianesses are stopped by Azahki, who turns out to be Jain’s daughter, and by Lotor. Then current-time Voltron comes on-line and appears to have stepped on Jain. Instead, both she and Azahki have been spirited away by Sarga, who takes Azahki’s body instead of Allura’s. At that point, a device sent by Galaxy Garrison arrives in the past and takes the time-displaced heroes and villains into the future. They do arrive on Earth–but in the early 21th Century.
What they got right: They finally wrapped up this nonsense. It’s been so long since I read any Voltron comic, that I can’t even remember if Sarga in Azahki’s body is important or just a “shock” ending. Our heroes get to travel, but I’m seriously hoping they’re going for a “funny” ending instead of setting up the next series.
What they got wrong: Where do I start? The whole time travel thing was a bad idea to begin with. This should have been a prequel story, since there was no reason for the Voltron Force, not to mention Lotor and Strife, to be there. They serve no real purpose when what little purpose there is isn’t forced. It would have been a cleaner story without them. Not to mention the fact that with that many people working on, why did this comic have to wait until April to come out? It was supposed to come out in either December or January. Such a long time on such a mediocre story would turn off a lot of people, especially the ones like me who had to buy the stinking Omnibus to see how the previous (and if you ask me superior) arc ended. Devil’s Due has really dropped the ball on this series, and frankly I expect a better story from Blaylock.
Updated Thoughts: Also missed from the original review, they gave Vehicle Voltron commander Jeff a last name for the first time I recall, but they screwed it up. In the first panel they call him Kogane, the name they gave to Keith which is now multiversal canon, and the next panel call him Dukane, which I guess is the last name they came up with for Jeff. When I originally reviewed this, I had read the previous chapters but hadn’t yet reviewed them. This was one of the first comics reviewed here since I just started the website in November 2008 and I don’t think I started the weekly comic reviews at that point. I’d have to double-check but I was still building the foundations of my site at the time. My thoughts haven’t changed. The time-travel aspect bothered me (at least as presented), and I thought the story would be better served without it. I called Azahki being Sarga’s new host body, which is sad because I thought she was an interesting character and wanted to see what they could do with a Drule who wasn’t part of the usual conquering variety. Additionally, I don’t know how the time recalling drone thing stuffed Allura back in Blue Lion when Voltron was transported to modern day, which I believe WAS the plan for the next story arc. I don’t miss not having it. The revelation that Azahki was Jain’s daughter could have useful as well but it feels like it was tacked on.
Had this been the catalyst for a separate series that explored the early years of Voltron and dropped the time travel aspect (especially the time paradox where Voltron had to bring his past self to life) I might have enjoyed this more. Sadly that didn’t happen and overall Dan Jolley was the best writer Devil’s Due had on the Voltron reboot and I’m sorry he left. There was a few years gap between their last series and this one and as happy as I was to see more Voltron from them, I ended up disappointed at the execution while I liked most of the concept.
Recommendation: If you’ve been waiting for the trade, don’t bother. If this is the direction the next arc (if there is one) takes, I won’t be getting it. Just enjoy the first two volumes and bypass A Legend Forged altogether. This also ends the Voltron reviews. Will I ever discuss Voltron again? Most likely, but between the comic reviews and the Saturday Night Showcase Voltronathon (plus the historical pieces) I’m all out of Voltron for now. I’ll have to find something new for Wednesdays until I can complete the next phase of the comic organizing project, but I hope you enjoyed the Voltron content.