Now every first and third Thursday each month, ANIMATED INSIGHTS BY SHANNON MUIR takes you inside Shannon’s latest reflections on her passion for animation as a medium, and other animated insights about life. To catch up on all posts, check out the Animated Insights portion of the website! This week, as promised last year, Shannon returns with the first of a two-part analysis on VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER. Part Two will be posted in two weeks. This week sets up bridging the gap between Season 8’s initial reaction and an overall series review.
As I worked on my Season 8 initial reaction to the VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER animated series and read over what I wrote, I began to get a sense of having seen what I was writing before, and I knew I would need to clear this up before writing about VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER. It’s the part where I talk about an implied contract: “An iconic or evergreen intellectual property becomes so for a reason, because of something that resonates about it. Change around it or build upon it what you will, that core drive that has made it endure should not be touched.”
I couldn’t place my finger on where I’d seen an idea like that before at the time I’d promised the blog, so I released what I had, promising to return to the conversation in January 2019. After posting, I began to remember what it made me think of. During the run of the Devil’s Due comic of VOLTRON, I’d written a Letter to the Editor. I went and dug that up and have reprinted it below in its entirety.
“I do have to admit I was slow to warm up to the VOLTRON comic. I knew going into it that it would be a revamp as much as a retelling, but initially was not prepared for the new take I discovered. It did not mesh with my past knowledge, as a long-time VOLTRON fan who dealt with the rights holders, of how the property had been handled in the past. With each new issue I see the storytelling take shape in its own right. Dan Jolley has a difficult task staying true to the essence of what makes VOLTRON loved while telling a fresh story, and I believe rises to the challenge very well. May he continue to get the opportunity to do so, and have great help such as Mike, Clint, Clayton, Brett, and the rest of the Devil’s Due staff to bring it to life through art.
Los Angeles, CA”
as printed in the Letters to the Editor
VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE, Vol. I #5 (Image Comics distributed run)
I came to realize that it was my experience with the Devil’s Due comic situation that made me much more open to accepting VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER‘s revamp and retelling and initially embraced it with open arms. It allowed me to be all right with the idea of putting a certain level of expectation aside.
Yet, there still remained one continued expectation, the same one I placed upon the Devil’s Due crew: the “difficult task staying true to the essence of what makes VOLTRON loved while telling a fresh story” about the iconic robot.
So, why would my initial reaction to the end of the series be the complete opposite of my Devil’s Due comic experience – and what are my feelings now?
We’ll break that down in two weeks. See you then.