The corporate licensing stars are aligning in just such a way that suggest the next piece of 1980s nostalgia to be reborn in a Tron-level event will be Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Believe it or not, a bidding war is taking place for the film rights to the classic animated series, and a brand new cartoon is on the way along with loads of ancillary products from a variety of licensees. Among them, new Voltron comics produced by Dynamite Entertainment.Dynamite Publisher Nick Barrucci has demonstrated admirable skill in securing comic book licenses in anticipation of major motion pictures. True, the Thulsa Doom movie, based on the Robert E Howard character, has yet to materialize, but Dynamite was successful in exploiting The Green Hornet in advance of that property's recent film. Additionally, Dynamite landed the comic book rights to the classic pulp hero The Phantom, who is also getting the movie treatment. In the case of The Phantom, The Green Hornet and Voltron, Dynamite was competing with Moonstone Books for comic book rights, ultimately winning each time (although Moonstone did win the rights to publish a coffee table book of Voltron artwork).

No release date or creative teams have yet been announced for Dynamite's Voltron comics, but it seems likely that there will be more variant covers than a person could reasonably be expected to count, and that at least one of them will be painted by Alex Ross.

Voltron comics have in the past been published by Devil's Due, the last of which released all the way back in 2008.

ICv2 reports that beyond the Dynamite comics (which will be limited to the "classic" Voltron characters), the new animated series, Voltron Force, will debut on Nickelodeon later in 2011. Mattel will produce toys based on both classic Voltron and Voltron Force; Viz Media will publish Voltron Force graphic novels; and THQ will make the video games based on the whole Voltron franchise.

Progress is quickening on a Voltron feature film, with Hollywood studios participating in a bidding war for the rights. In any event, New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports that the film will be in cinemas by 2013 or 2014, which will be very near Voltron's 30th anniversary.

[Via ICv2, Vulture]

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