In a reversal from earlier statements, LionForge confirmed today they will not renew their license for Voltron: Legendary Defender, effectively ending the comic series with the previously published third volume.
The move, while disappointing, is unsurprising. The comics were based on the Voltron: Legendary Defender television series by DreamWorks animation, and the final season of the show was broadly regarded as a stunning failure for the once-lauded property, earning a 5% score on Rotten Tomatoes, countless angry fans on social media, and over thirty-thousand signatures on a petition requesting a better ending.
The final season was widely criticized for, among other issues, its hurtful and marginalizing handling of queer characters (which we’ve covered in past articles), disabled characters, and characters of color. Given LionForge’s mission of accessible and diverse comics, and DreamWorks’ insistence that the comics licensee not deviate from the studio’s widely-hated ending, LionForge was in the unenviable position of managing a series, over which they didn’t have creative control, that had the potential to tarnish their inclusive brand.
While it’s saddening to see the series go, we look forward to the next iteration of Voltron, and, given the hurt expressed by fans Legendary Defender, hope the next series will be able to deliver a more inclusive story.
Here’s LionForge’s full statement to GeekDad regarding the cancellation:
“Voltron: Legendary Defender was a milestone for our company, both in terms of prestige and establishing a sales trajectory for Lion Forge across markets” says founder, David Steward II. “I grew up a fan of the original animated series and associated toys, so to have the opportunity to bring Voltron back to St. Louis was a genuine dream come true. When the series came to an end, we decided that it was the right choice to wrap up the comic book series with its third volume. We are very proud of our work with our partners at Dreamworks to expand the canonical story of this cast of characters with comics we believe have been, and will remain a vital part of this fandom.”