1. New Artist N. Steven Harris
Seems only fitting that this new age of the book also comes with a new artist. N. Steven Harris is a name that many of you have no doubt heard before, as his credits span over a decade, and he’s worked on some of the biggest characters published by Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. It’s truly an honor to be working with someone whose work I’ve been buying since I was a teenager, and his pencil brings an entire new visual level to the book. The volume, the action, and the intensity only goes up from here, and Steven has been knocking it out the park since his very first sequence. You saw that if you saw the preview that hit a couple days ago but that is NOTHING compared to what he’s doing right now.
I think he might hate me sometimes, as all of the artists who work with me occasionally (often?) do, but the results are amazing thus far, and it would fantastic if the two of us could build a nice, sustained run on this. #7 feels like the beginning of a wonderful partnership and I think you’ll agree after checking it out.
2. Start of “Ten Lions”
Brand new storylines usually mean new jumping-on points, but that’s especially true in this case. With Zarkon dead (see below), the entire landscape of the universe is radically different, which allows for some familiar characters to take on new exciting roles as they attempt to define themselves for the future. Main guys to keep your eyes on are Keith and Lotor, who set out on bold, dangerous paths that you know, will probably lead to a major confrontation between the two.
It all starts here though with Ten Lions, Chapter 1: Long Live…
3. King Zarkon’s Really Dead
Sorry for the spoilers, but I really want you to read the book, which spoils it anyway. King Zarkon was gunned down at the end of the last issue (won’t say by who, cause that’s a surprise as well) and this story picks up roughly ten months after that incident. Was hard not being able to tell people outright that the reason so much of the first story was devoted to Zarkon and his secret Earthly origins, was because he was going to be dead by the end of it. Which now provides a glorious opportunity to take the mythos into new, exciting, and unexpected directions. And don’t think that implies everything that happened during issues 1-6 will go unreferenced going forward, because it supplied the first layer of foundation, and everything that happened there looms large not just now, but far into the second and third year (sales willing!) of the book.
4. New Evil Voltron
Can’t take sole credit for the idea of bringing new versions of Voltron into the series, as it was something put out there during one of our initial brainstorming sessions with the licensors. Think we were talking about Voltrons in different dimensions or something, and someone said something like “steampunk Voltron.” Probably Jeremy Corray, but as usual for me, once someone says a few critical words or phrases, they inevitably get stuck in my head, and I start thinking—“Well, what if…..?” Then it snowballs from there and it’s all harnessing and massaging the ideas into shape.
So the initial idea of there being different versions of Voltron quickly became the crux of everything that happens in the book following Zarkon’s assassination, and my “take” on Voltron will ultimately live or die on the back of things like—what happens when there’s more than one Voltron active in the same universe? What if some of them are completely evil and make the late King Zarkon look restrained in comparison? What if it becomes painfully clear that one Voltron under the control of the Galaxy Alliance simply isn’t enough anymore?
5. Keith and Allura’s Relationship in Big Trouble
Commander Keith and Princess Allura are to enter a very…interesting phase of their relationship. Will keep me mouth shut on this for the most part, but…secrets? Well, secrets can change everything…
One of the things you’ll likely notice right off the bat is that we’ve made some construction tweaks to our main Voltron unit, the idea being that after he got wrecked in issue #5, a few alterations were made. Upgrades, if you will. The shared cockpit is the main thing, and know for some this is going to be a big change, but every chapter of “Ten Lions” will have an example of just what can be done with them all sharing the same space. There’s simply more drama to be mined with them all in closer proximity to each other, especially if they’re already not getting along so well when it’s time to go into action. There’s also a security/protective justification for a shared cockpit, and a couple other surprises to be revealed, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s gonna be cool though, trust me.
7. What They’re Saying About Us
Here’s some of the flattering things reviewers have had to say about this book, and its companion title, Voltron: Year One in recent months—
“Brandon Thomas starts this story off with a bang and never quite lets up.” Aaron Duran, Newsarama
“Praise must go to Brandon Thomas for delivering a competent story that successfully evolves a two-dimensional villain into a full-fledged character.” Harrison Rawdin, Unleash the Fanboy
“Thomas, Cermak and Co. are leaving nostalgia at the door and blazing a new trail for the space explorers.” Steven Andrade, Ain’t It Cool News
“Brandon Thomas makes the Voltron Force more interesting than I thought possible, and Craig Cermak is already on his way to becoming another superstar artist.” Tim Callahan, Comic Book Resources