Voltron: Legendary Defender Comics is a series of comic issues published by Lion Forge Comics. The first comic was released on July 13, 2016. Each issue is written by show head writers Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson, and illustrated by Digital Art Chefs. Each storyline of comic issues is compiled into a paperback volume (abbreviated "TPB" for "trade paperback") after all separate issues have been released.
This takes place in Season One after "Rebirth" and before "Crystal Venom". The first issue establishes the story while each subsequent issue focuses on a specific Paladin: Lance, Pidge and Hunk until Issue #5. Though Keith and Shiro don't have issues focused on them, they do play a critical role in Issues 1 and 5 respectively.
Corran takes the team to the Karthulian System, the ancient training grounds of the original Paladins which has a variety of extreme natural environments on the planets perfectly suited to each Lion. He instructs them to fly towards a gravy halo with a restaurant called "The Fripping Bulogian."
Once they enter, they encounter an old acquaintance of Coran's named Kythylian Mu, who owns the quadrant they're standing in. However, Coran has apparently amassed a large debt due to betting on a sports team 10,000 years ago and not paying back, resulting in a massive inflation and drastically increasing it. When Coran refuses to pay, Kythylian grabs him and challenges the Paladins to retrieve a Yalexian Pearl from Planet Krell in exchange for Coran's freedom.
The Paladins agree and fly over to Planet Krell to find it, but encounter a giant green monster that starts fighting them. They form Voltron when the creature proves too tough and when a simple blazing sword attack doesn't seem to dent it, Keith suggests ditching their shield and pushing the sword with both hands down the middle, which works and kills the beast. Afterwards, residents of a nearby town are panicking now that their guardian has been slain, confusing the Paladins.
The Voltron Paladins exit their lions to talk to the planet's bug-like citizens. They are berated by the town's leader Elderbug Blate, who is angry they've destroyed the guardian who was defending them from the beast known only as "Abomination". He also knows the location of the Pearl but refuses to tell anything to the Paladins. As the Paladins suggest defeating the Abomination themselves to make up for their mistake, Hunk is distracted by the food prepared for the Guardian feast. Blate at first refuses to accept their help, but after Hunk improves their dish, he becomes willing to tell them where the Pearl is after they defeat Abomination.
Abomination arrives on the planet, forcing the Paladins to form Voltron. None of the Paladin's heavy attacks appear to be working thanks to Abomination's regenerative abilities, but Hunk gets an idea after he realizes Abomination likes the smell of the town's food. He figures that the monster is hungry, so the Paladins can get him away from town by preparing a dish with their lions.
After disbanding Voltron, Hunk commands Shiro to distract the beast, Pidge to grab shrubbery from a nearby forest, Lance to gather water for the stew, and Keith to heat the stew up with his lion's fire breath. Hunk drags the guardian's body to the stew and tosses it in. The beast is satisfied by the meal and stops fighting.
The bug citizens thank the Paladins by offering them the food from their feast and resolve to prepare Abomination similar dishes to prevent any more deaths. Blate tells them he doesn't know directly where the Pearl is, but that Princess Malocoti knows and needs to be rescued from her captor.
This issue focuses on Lance and has a fantasy-esque narrative to it as Lance is determined to prove himself a hero and save the princess. Before leaving to her castle, they update Allura on what's happened so far. During the briefing, Allura snaps at Lance for his failed attempts at flirting with her.
The Paladins arrive at the castle and spot a woman on the top they assume to be Princess Malocoti, and discover she's being held captive by a giant, orange dragon surrounding the castle. They form Voltron and try firing Hunk's shoulder cannon, but the dragon counters it with fire breath. The dragon is swift enough to dodge Keith's sword and the crew try to come up with different strategies to defeat it.
However, after noticing that the dragon isn't trying to fight back and is yelling at them in a manner similar to Allura, Lance deduces that the dragon IS Princess Malocoti and tells Keith to put away the sword, confident she won't hurt them. The woman at the castle turns out to be an evil witch that unleashes powerful magic against the Paladins, forcing them back to their Lions. She manages to take down Keith, Hunk, and Shiro, leaving only Lance and Pidge left. Lance starts panicking when he can't find Pidge and dodges multiple attacks from the witch. Pidge manages to sneak up on the witch with her cloaking during the chaos and pin her down.
Princess Malocoti is returned to her normal self after the witch's defeat. She thanks the Paladins for breaking her curse from the witch, which prevented her from attacking the sorceress or telling anyone about it (as she couldn't physically talk as a dragon). She is especially thankful towards Pidge for defeating the witch much to Lance's displeasure. The Princess warns them Pidge will have to overcome a number of trials to retrieve the Pearl, which Pidge is confident she'll be able to beat. Lance only becomes frustrated even further when Pidge starts becoming the focus of the narrative.
Pidge's narrative is done in the style of computer coding. After being instructed by Malocoti, the Paladins go to a desert and find a ziggurat. When they find it and ponder where their next destination is, the pyramid transforms into a being known as the Great Universal Sphinx. The Sphinx questions which one of them is the most knowledgeable and they all agree it's Pidge. He tells her she will be tested in body, mind and spirit and forms back into the ziggurat for the Paladins to enter.
When they enter, the Sphinx releases spores to take control of Pidge's friends and tells her to proceed, as she must defeat all of them in combat. Though Pidge struggles at first, she reveals that she's been keeping a dossier on each of her teammates and knows their weaknesses. She defeats Lance up close because he specializes at long-range combat, knocks Hunk off of his feet because his weight throws off his balance, shoots a rock in the ceiling to knock down Keith since he isn't as aware of his surroundings and while she initially doesn't have anything on Shiro, she figures out his weakness by hacking his cybernetic hand and taking him down while he's distracted. Her friends (minus Keith) become more skeptical of her after she reveals she has been keeping track of their weaknesses.
In the second challenge, Pidge must win a game of chess. The Sphinx tells the group he's visited Earth before and helped the planet perfect the game itself. He then reveals Pidge is playing against herself as a spore appears and attaches itself to Pidge's head. The spore scans Pidge's mind so it can use her own skills against her, and she struggles to come up with a strategy. Pidge then figures out a way to win by taking advantage of the strengths of her teammates. She has Lance in charge of the rooks, Hunk in charge of the bishops, Keith in charge of the knights and Shiro to keep track of the pawns. The plan works when her teammates nearly run their course, allowing her to use the queen to win.
The Sphinx then reforms and knocks them out of the pyramid to begin Pidge's final challenge, a riddle. "What can be totally broken apart and yet reform stronger than ever?" Pidge says the answer is Voltron, but the Sphinx tells her it's incorrect and is "Hope." The Paladins think the riddle is not set up well, as it's applicable to a number of other objects and concepts. The Sphinx still refuses to give them the win, so the Paladins respond by forming Voltron and challenging him to a fight. When Voltron overpowers the Sphinx, he gives in and reveals that he makes the riddle open-ended so the challengers could get it wrong and he'd feel superior. He then tells them that the Pearl is in the Evershadow of the planet's moon. The Paladins leave, determined to save Coran.
Voltron flies over the planet's atmosphere to find the Yalex, but are unsure of what it is. They follow a four-legged creature into the Temple of the Yalex, where he explains that their people are bringing about the Yalex by growing grain and then drying, masticating and preserving it in the cuspidors to pour into the eye of the Evershadow to feed the spirit of the moon which will eventually destroy them all. He confuses the Paladins with defining what the Pearl is.
The Yalex arrives and destroys the area where the Paladins are standing in, but they manage to escape and form Voltron to take on the planet-destroying monster. It overwhelms the Paladins by shooting lasers out of its multiple eyes, but Shiro manages to locate the Pearl in the middle of the Yalex amongst its eyes. Using a strategy formed by Shiro, the Yalex is seemingly destroyed along with the Pearl.
The priests thank the Paladins for saving their lives and give them that the Pearl survived the explosion. Voltron takes the giant Pearl and delivers it back to the gravity halo. It is revealed Coran was actually in no danger and that their mission to get the Pearl WAS their training on the planet. While this made Coran win a bet against Kythylian, the true purpose was to motivate them into saving Krell from the Yalex as they knew Voltron was the only thing that could stop it, and now Kythylian can sell the Pearl to give himself defenses against Zarkon.
This takes place within Season Two after "Shiro's Escape" and ends prior to "Greening the Cube".
The Paladins of Voltron respond to a distress call and discover alien settlers on a mining planet under attack by the Galra. But the attempted rescue is only the beginning of more exciting adventures...