The efforts of the Defender of the Universe have apparently been recognized by the good people of Earth.
Carrie Keegan, a host for G4 and moderator of Thursday’s “Voltron Resurgent” panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, started the festivities off with a bang as she slowly revealed the Princess Allura costume she was wearing under her large cape. Excited whistles and claps echoed from the large hall as she exclaimed, “Twenty-six years in the making, Voltron’s very first Comic-Con panel!” From there, Keegan quickly introduced her large group of panelists: World Event Productions Supervising Producer Jeremy Corray, “Voltron Force” Story Editor Todd Garfield, Nicktoons General Manager Keith Dawkins, Dynamite Entertainment comic writer Brandon Thomas, THQ’s Adam Affronti, comic artist Jacob Chabot, Viz Media Editor Traci Todd, Mattel Design Director Steed Sun, Mattel Design Manager Michael Montalvo and artist/designer Brandon Sopinsky.
Corray began by describing his fellow creators on the panel as “creating things for fans by fans. These are the guys who as kids ate Cocoa Puffs and watched ‘Voltron’ in the morning.”
Keegan — or more appropriately, Princess Allura — took a moment to ask if Keith (the leader of Voltron Force) was single. And with the crowd laughing, she asked everyone, “Mullet or no mullet?” The reaction from the crowd indicated the mullet was the clear fan-favorite depiction of the character.
The future of Voltron in comic books were discussed next, as the first issue from Dynamite will be out by the end of the year, with covers by Alex Ross. Writer Brandon Thomas described the comic book as a celebration of the original show, and promised “There’s a lot of Keith,” to Keegan’s delight. The new series will recast the Voltron Force as a highly trained special-forces team.
The panel continued to move along as there were a lot of people to get to, and THQ’s Affronti took a moment to describe the upcoming Voltron game for Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, out in October. The game will feature three different play modes, top-down lion battles, side-scrolling boss bottles as players control Voltron, and a human survival mode that occurs when the lion is so damaged the pilot ejects until he dies and respawns in the lion.
The upcoming game will integrate scenes from the classic ’80s television series and features a remastered series soundtrack. It will feature local two-player co-op and up to five-player online co-op. A funny little detail shared is that every time you pause the game, it says in the original show announcer’s voice, “Voltron will be back after these messages.”
Also, already available on Xbox Live are Voltron items and clothes for your avatar, everything from forming a blazing sword to a simple shirt to a little Voltron toy.
Nicktoons’ Dawkins then discussed the genesis of the new “Voltron Force” television series, describing how he was hanging out with a colleague and mentioned his favorite show as a kid was “Voltron.” It just so happened his friend knew the people who owned the rights, and from there, Nicktoons quickly began to develop a new series.
Dawkins continued to talk about the show, sharing, “It’s an ensemble buddy show with good versus evil. Kids of any era enjoy that.” Even though their primary job is creating a show for 6- to 11-year-olds, Voltron certainly possesses a multi-generational fan base.
A teaser trailer for upcoming episodes was then shown, featuring an evil Robeast version of Voltron and new customizations of the Voltron robot, with the yellow and blue lions each taking a turn as the body and head. The trailer also teased to an ecstatic crowd the return of Sven, a beloved character taken out of action early on in the original series. The show will air at 8 p.m. Thursdays on Nickelodeon, and is also available on iTunes and Nicktoons.com.
The toys were up next, as Mattel’s Sun discussed the upcoming Club Lion Force from Mattycollector.com. The first lion to be released will be red, followed by yellow, green, blue and then black. Each lion comes with a piece of the blazing sword, and when combined as Voltron, stands at 23 inches. Each lion comes with an auto-transform feature, a pilot that actually fits inside and a key that activates the auto-transform.
The panel was running out of time, so Todd could only quickly plug Viz Media’s upcoming original graphic novels based on the new “Voltron Force” series. There will be six in all, and the focus will be on the new kid characters recently introduced. Art will be provided by Jacob Chabot (“X-Babies”) with a script by Mike Raicht (“G.I. Joe: Infestation”).
A special announcement was then made as Executive Producer of World Event Productions Bob Koplar came out onto the stage to announce that Relativity Media has officially signed a deal to make a live-action Voltron film. “It will have all the elements that make it unique…but fresh for a modern audience. It’s a done deal!” The big announcement was all he could say, but stay tuned to CBR News for more on this developing story.
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