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voltronforceGrowing up I was as much a Voltron fan as I was a Transformers fan. I had the die cast lions and the larger plastic ones that you could fit the pilots into. I also had the Castle of Lions, which probably beat out my Castle Grayskull in terms of coolness. I recently binged on the Voltron Force series that came out a couple years ago. I remember trying the first episode when it aired and I must not have been in the right mindset for it because I never watched it again until I caught it on Netflix recently. Now that I’ve given it another chance with an open mind, I found that I really enjoyed the series. I enjoyed the background that it added to the Voltron mythos with the fact that multiple planets contributed to the creation of the giant robot. That makes more sense for a robot that is described as “The Defender of the Universe.” I also enjoyed the modification to allow Voltron form with any lion as the center. It’s too bad this series didn’t have a toyline. It would be interesting to see how that feature would have been engineered. The addition of the three cadets got off to a slow start, but turned out to be an interesting aspect of the series.

Unfortunately the series wasn’t nearly as strong visually. The backgrounds were strong, and the CG graphics mixed in with the traditional art was sufficient, but the art used for the character models looked crude in comparison. Many times it looked like the characters were animated using Flash. Other than that little quibble, I did enjoy the series. A nice touch was when the Voltron formation sequence changed from some new generic music to the classic music from the original series. I wasn’t expecting it and it was a welcome surprise. After watching the end of the series, I really hate that it wasn’t continued past the first season. I feel that Voltron is a property that could be really popular again given the right story and marketing. Hopefully the long rumored live action movie can one day happen. After seeing what is possible with Pacific Rim and the Transformers franchise, a live action Voltron film would be visually amazing.

If you wish to watch Voltron Force it’s The first 5 episodes are on the Voltron YouTube channel and the entire series is currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming. The original Lion Force Voltron series is on Amazon, with season 1 available on Prime Instant Streaming. The classic Vehicle Voltron series is available on the Voltron YouTube channel for free along with some of the Lion Force series and some Voltron: The Third Dimension episodes.

I go down to the Einstein’s Bagels in our building for a soft drink and chips to go along with my lunch. Their soft drink machine is out of service, but they have bottled drinks. I opt to go upstairs to the vending machines. All the machines are either sold out or won’t take my money (the clear front of that one mocks me with its available drinks). I end up back at Einstein’s for a bottled tea.

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More Than Meets The Eye #14: With Overlord on the cover you know that this is the issue where things stop being a fun interstellar cruise and starts to get serious. It kept me uncomfortable through the entire issue and builds up Overlord as an unstoppable bad ass (as if he needed the buildup). You get a lot of the history behind Overlord and you see that he hasn’t had the most pleasant life.

As usual for this series, the art and story in this issue were great. Recommended.

Spotlight: Bumblebee: This is set during the “Police Action” arc of the ongoing series. Optimus has taken Megatron and most of the Autobots back to Cybertron and has left Bumblebee in charge of rounding up the remaining Decepticons on Earth. It’s told from Bumblebee’s point of view and it shows how uncomfortable he is with the mantle of leadership.

I liked the story, but the art was great on some pages and not so good on others. The big splash pages or close up shots were pretty good. The wider angle shots or where you had multiple bots in the scene left a lot to be desired. Also the faces seemed off to me throughout the book. Recommended if you’re a completest or Bumblebee fan, otherwise I’d wait for the trade.

20130103-181236.jpgTransformers Spotlight: Orion Pax is the beginning of a new set of Spotlight books by IDW. The story takes place prior to Autocracy and we get to see Zeta Prime before he turned into the monster we see in that series. Orion Pax is sporting a new body (an attempt to retcon an older art mistake from what I’ve read) and he is sans faceplate. He isn’t happy about that either. The explanation of the body is that Zeta is sending Pax, Nightbeat, and Alpha Trion to the Rust Spot for a prisoner transfer and it will offer some protection.

I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but I had some issues with the art. Nightbeat’s alt-mode looks like an Earth sedan. This doesn’t make sense as its a pre-Earth story. Alpha Trion reminded me of Dark of the Moon Megatron, but this is his IDW design. Zeta looked off to me. You can’t even tell what his alt-mode is supposed to be. A big part of my enjoyment of Transformers is seeing bits of their alt-mode in robot form.

I do like that this book referenced some things that were in the main books recently like Zeta. It feels like IDW has started sprinkling a few things beginning in Shadowplay and continuing here that will eventually build into something big.

Overall I did like this book. I had a few issues with the art, but the writing was fun. I look forward tore of these pre-war stories. Rating:

  • art: 7/10
  • story: 9/10
  • overall: 8/10

TRON: Uprising has been one of my favorite new animated series over the past few years. With rumors of low ratings and being moved around on the schedule I’m not optimistic that it will get renewed for another season. It’s too bad because it’s an excellent show. For all of TRON: Legacy’s faults, it did modernize the TRON universe and provided a great envorionment for Uprising to flesh out. Uprising is set prior to the events in Legacy as Tron has not yet become Rinzler, Clu’s muscle in Legacy. In Uprising, Tron is training a program named Beck as a new Tron. Tron is covered in scars, which are explained in two parter “Scars.”

My fear is that the series won’t be allowed to finish up and answer questions that remain. After catching the latest two episodes on DisneyXD’s website I have even more questions. In Legacy, it’s clear that Tron becomes Rinzler. With Beck being trained in Uprising to be the new Tron, is it he that becomes Rinzler? If not, where is he during Legacy? What did Axel mean when he told Tron he didn’t want Beck to end up as “another of Tron’s mistakes?”

If Uprising is coming to an end, I hope that those questions are answered. If not, Hopefully Disney allows the universe to continue via comics. I’m hopeful that TRON 3 happens, but not optimistic.

Hello and thanks for visiting! This is going to be a repository for some of my thoughts and reviews on comics that I read. It will be light on superhero books. My comic pull list now contains the IDW Transformers books, the Voltron books from Dynamite Comics, and the He-Man and Masters of the Universe books from DC.
I had been a pretty big DC superhero reader up until the New 52. I couldn’t get into the changes that were made and restarting the numbering on Action and Detective Comics really offended me. I’m not complaining though. I am really enjoying the books that I am reading now. IDW is killing it on Robots in Disguise and More Than Meets The Eye. Voltron and the Voltron: Year One miniseries are both really good writing, though I have some issues with some of the art. Finally, I think the He-Man books by DC are great. I think I haven’t enjoyed all the comics I read as much as I have these series I am getting now.
So that’s my short introduction. I’m going to re-read some comics over the next few days and hopefully have some real content soon!