Growing up, I loved Voltron: Defender of the Universe! It’s my very first memory of completely falling in love with a cartoon series. The idea of cool, color-coded robotic lions coming together to form an even bigger robot sparked my young imagination. I eventually moved on to the Transformers, but without the human element, I couldn’t get as excited about it as I was for Voltron. That human element is on display in these very cool Voltron illustrations.
Indiana-based freelance artist Josh Burns has created life-like renderings of the Voltron Lion Force, including Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk, Sven, and Princess Allura, along with their royal advisor Coran. The Voltron villains are also on hand, including King Zarkon, Queen Merla, Prince Lotor, Commander Mogor, Commander Yurak, and Haggar the Witch with her cat Cova. They look really evil, with an almost textured feel to their scaly Drules’ alien skin.
The artist’s renderings of the Voltron characters are eerily life-like and well made. Burns created the portraits to update and make a more realistic version of the Voltron Lion Force team and their enemies. It’s good to see that Burns captured the individual team member’s personalities and Lions in these portraits. There’s also an appearance from Sven, the Blue Lion’s original pilot. Sven was brutally injured during Voltron’s first mission. With Sven out of action for the team’s next mission, Princess Allura took over pilot duties for the Blue Lion.
It seems like Voltron was the pre-cursor to The Power Rangers, which oddly seem very similar, replacing robotic lions with robotic prehistoric beasts like Mastodons, Saber-toothed Tigers, and Pterodactyls. If the giant robot movies Pacific Rim and Gaiking become smash hits among general audiences, it probably won’t be too long before some Hollywood producer manages to reboot Voltron to cash in on the trend.
You can watch the original Voltron: Defender of the Universe opening title sequence with Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime) doing the narration below: