Comic books in the Voltron franchise are pieces of fiction that extend the multiple canons. Over the three decades since the debut of Voltron: Defender of the Universe in 1984 there have been multiple publishers that would produce their own separate series for the franchise.
Among them were continuations of TV series (with the exception of Voltron: The Third Dimension) that would run alongside the airing of its respective series. Other publishers would produce their own universe separate from any canon established by a TV series or would be loosely based off of it as a reboot.
Terebi Land (1981 - 1984)
Terebi Land (also known as Television Land or TV Land) was a Japanese children's television magazine that focused on various anime and tokusatsu. In it were interviews, artwork, and individual manga chapters of TV series that were airing at the time.
Terebi Land would publish many of Toei's super robot franchises including Beast King GoLion, Armored Fleet DaiRugger XV, and Lightspeed Electroid Albegas. Tsuchiyama Yoshiki, of Cyborg 009 fame, would be the illustrator for Beast King GoLion's manga, whereas Tsuhara Yoshiaki would illustrate the latter two.
Like the tie-in comics for series as recent as Voltron: Legendary Defender, these manga chapters would run alongside its respective anime series as it airs. However, they would have different plots while using the same characters. For instance, Shirogane dies in both incarnations but would he would die under different circumstances in both versions.
Art styles would also vary vastly depending on the artist. Whereas the Voltron Force comics would have different artists drawing each issue, they would follow the animation models as close as possible. In contrast, Tsuhara Yoshiaki's work for both Armored Fleet DaiRugger XV and Lightspeed Electroid Albegas would bear a vastly different art style where the character models wouldn't exactly match their anime counterparts. This is most pronounced in how he draws Aki Manabu and Daisaku Enjoji, the protagonists of their respective franchises.
Like most manga chapters released in Terebi Land, they would not receive a full manga volume compilation of the chapters.
Super Robot Wars W (2007)
Super Robot Wars is a Japanese franchise by Banpresto, a subsidiary of Bandai. Each entry in its franchise would be a crossover of multiple unrelated series through the license of their rights holder. Golion and Albegas have been featured in separate Super Robot Wars games. However, the latter is not owned by World Events Productions but rather remains an IP owned by Toei who provided the license for both franchises to be featured in their respective games.
Each game would have their own set of tie-in standalone manga published by multiple companies. For example, one would release manga that covers a story arc that would resemble a game whereas the other would release a comedic four-panel strip manga that parodies the game and its included series.
The following manga released for Super Robot Wars W are
- Super Robot Wars W 4koma Front by Action Comics
- Super Robot Wars W Comic Anthology by Kobunsha
- Super Robot Wars W 4koma KINGS by DNA Media Comics
Super Robot Wars W and its tie-in manga would also be the last form of Beast King GoLion media that was officially licensed by Toei. Following the release of the game, WEP and Toei would have a lawsuit over the legal rights over the franchise due to the live-action movie being produced without prior negotiation between the two.
Modern Comics (1985)
Following in the footsteps of Transformers, Voltron would follow its campaign of having a TV show, toys, and a comic book to promote the franchise. Voltron's debut in comics would be Voltron: Defender of the Unvierse by Modern Comics, a division of Charlton Comics, in 1985. The mini-series spanned three issues, all of them covering different stories that do not conflict with each other or the events of the TV show. Because of the fact that they do not diverge from the main series, it is assumed that they take place in that canon at any point.
Devil's Due Publishing (2003 - 2008)
After almost a 20 year absence in the comic book industry, Devil's Due License acquired the license to be the producer of their own line of Voltron comics. They produced Voltron: Defender of the Universe, the very first reboot in the franchise. While sharing the same name with the original 1984 series, it would borrow many concepts and modernized them into a new story.
For the first volume, named Revolutions, the comics were published by Dreamwave Comics and Image Comics. By the start of volume 2, named Paradise Lost, Devil's Due would be the sole publisher of the series. Due to low sales, it was ended early with it's true ending released in the Omnibus. Voltron: A Legend Forged would be the short sequel to the series written by a new author.
The Devil's Due reboot of the series would prove to be influential in the succeeding comic book series and in Voltron Force. Elements such as the robotic mice and the adoption of "Kogane" as an official surname for a few incarnations of Keith would be present in other canons.
Dynamite (2011 - 2016)
In 2011, Dynamite Comics would be the next license-holder for the Voltron comics and release the second revamp.
VIZ Media (2012 - 2014)
VIZ Media, and its subsidiaries VIZ Kids and Perfect Square, published comics specifically for the Voltron Force franchise concurrently with Dynamite Comics. Whereas Dynamite Comics had their own separate canon timelines, VIZ's comic license was specifically for media that directly related to the TV series.
Lion Forge Comics (2016 - Ongoing)
With the debut of Voltron: Legendary Defender by DreamWorks Animation, Lion Forge became the next and current license-holder for Voltron comics right after Dynamite's license ended. The Voltron: Legendary Defender Comic is a series of comic issues published by Lion Forge Comics, drawn by Digital Art Chefs, and written by show head writers Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson. The first comic was published on July 13, 2016. Once all separate issues are released, each storyline is complied into a paperback volume (abbreviated "TPB" for "trade paperback").
Beginning June 15, 2017, the comics were released on the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel as "motion comics" with animated panels and voice acting from the main series cast.
|"When Team Voltron takes on a dangerous training mission in deep space, Coran, Princess Allura's majordomo, is captured by an ancient enemy. It will take teamwork, smarts, and, of course, Voltron, to save their friend's life.|
|"When the Voltron Paladins respond to a distress call, they discover a group of alien settlers on a mining planet under attack by the Galra. The five daring pilots must then escort the convoy of rescued settlers to their new home. To succeed they must cross into increasingly dangerous territory, successfully navigate amongst frightening predators and colossal beasts, and battle the evil Galra!|
|"The Galra have long held a number of slave planets in their grasp, and the Paladins have devised a plan to free them. To do this, Allura must first find a way to infiltrate SPRAWL, a group of closely guarded planets that are mined for many of the Galra's construction materials. Cutting off these resources is the first step toward bringing down the Galra. But the key to successfully finding a way in is to break the bond of the mysterious force that holds these planets together|