Ricky Church reviews Transformers: Beast Wars #3…
The Beast Wars take one step closer to formally beginning in Transformers: Beast Wars #3 as Megatron and his Predacons interrogate the captured Nyx for what she knows of her fellow Maximals while one particular Predacon now questions his stance in the faction. Erik Burnham writes a compelling issue that once again takes the familiar tropes and events from the original series and finds new elements to add or expand on. Combined with Josh Burcham’s artwork, the latest issue is another piece of proof for longtime Beast Wars fans to check out the rebooted comic.
Most of Beast Wars #3 focuses on the Predacons as they adjust to the planet and attempt to affirm their position. Burnham continues to capture Megatron’s voice perfectly as he gloats to Nyx and gleefully threatens her with further interrogation and even Tarantulas’ unsettling habits. As a newly created character to the franchise, Nyx is appealing as the youngest member of the Maximals, showing a lot of youthful spunk and attitude as she faces down Megatron, though she is not without fear as the thought of getting turned over to Tarantulas is enough to put her on more of an edge. For all her enthusiasm at being on a strange planet with lots to explore, as well as her ability to fly in her beast mode, she is in over her head when it comes to the Preds.
However, the Predacons themselves have a lot to overcome with each other. Burnham hinted at this in the previous issue, but Beast Wars #3 really explores the idea of how disparate the Predacons are. As fearsome as Megatron is, his emotions can easily control him while Tarantulas is more keen on his torturous experiments and own enjoyments while the other Predacons take just as much pleasure in Nyx’s torment or adding to it. It’s small wonder why Dinobot, who has already been shown to possess a stricter code than his comrades, would betray Megatron after fully realizing the scope of their cruelty. It’s played a bit better than the original series, but only because Dinobot’s betrayal has been built up since the first issue rather than the first five minutes of the pilot. Now readers have more context as to why Dinobot would so quickly betray the Predacons, though it is for more nobler reasons than the Dinobot in the pilot where he just thought he’d make a better leader than Megatron after their crash. Dinobot even points out the flaws Megatron has made with his “half-thought out” plans as well as his arrogant nature. Burnham even teases the possibility of further defections as Dinobot tries reasoning with the new Predacon Skold who, like Nyx, is the youngest member of their team and seems more idealistic as she believes Megatron and her comrades wouldn’t abandon her. Time will tell how quickly she may be proven right or wrong and what happens in either case.
The story was Predacon-heavy, but we did get a quick update for the Maximals as Cheetor was eager to find Nyx while the others got their bearings. Burnham’s Optimus Primal has been much younger and more of a rookie than he was in the animated series. This is nowhere more apparent than Rhinox noticing Optimus seems excited at the prospect of not only a mysterious new planet, but a missing crew member in need of a potential rescue. It is a take on Optimus Primal to get a little used to, but despite his excitement to scratch his wish for adventure he still made a wise call in holding off on a search until daylight when they could all participate and watch each other’s backs on the unfamiliar territory. Burnham includes a fair amount of humour during their scene to add some levity to the story, capturing the relationship Cheetor and Rattrap share alongside Rattrap’s quippy sarcasm.
Burcham’s artwork is nicely detailed throughout the issue. Megatron and Tarantulas really do come off as fearsome and creepy with Burcham’s work while he displays the action and Dinobot’s skill in a clear manner that is easy to follow and well choreographed. His colours are vibrant and pop off the page, particular during the climax with Dinobot’s fight against the Predacons. Burcham uses a nice mix of bright and dark colours to make the scene visually exciting, engaging and very animated with the movements of the characters and their facial expressions. With Burcham’s artwork and Burnham’s writing, the new Beast Wars continues its great start.
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