Ricky Church reviews Transformers: Beast Wars #5…
The Beast Wars officially kick off in the latest issue of IDW’s Transformers: Beast Wars as the Maximals and Predacons engage in their first full-fledged confrontation. Beast Wars #5 is exciting, action-packed and full of great art as Optimus Primal and his Maximals make a desperate stand against Megatron and the Predacons, all the while having to contend with an imprisoned Dinobot whose motives are still in question by the Maximals.
Eric Burnham writes a compelling issue, one that doesn’t let up from the first to last page as the tension continuously builds. His handle on the characters remains a highlight of the series as they sound very much like their cartoon counterparts while still allowing room for his own interpretations or new characterizations. Nowhere is this more apparent than Dinobot’s explanation for why he helped Nyx escape the Predacons and his view of Predacon honour, something he realizes Megatron and the rest lack in abundance. Burnham’s take on Megatron is also pitch perfect with the Predacon leader gleefully gloating and deciding the best way to attack the Maximals is simply to walk up to their base in an intimidating fashion. Burnham’s use of humour is also on display as its balanced pretty well. Instances of Rattrap’s sarcasm or Dinobot, in a nod to the original Beast Wars premiere, musing he maybe should have challenged Optimus for leadership given his inexperience with command and other such moments come naturally to the character’s individual personalities.
When it does come to the action, it really delivers. The action balances each of the characters to the point no one is left out or given more focus than any other. From Cheetor jumping around Scorponok and Waspinator to Optimus and Megatron’s first clash, the fights are really entertaining. Josh Burcham’s artwork of Cheetor’s speed around the Predacons is particularly well animated, but it’s Rattrap’s encounter with Tarantulas that is the most memorable of the issue. Burcham makes it feel straight out of a horror movie as Tarantulas stalks Rattrap, creating a creepy atmosphere with his dark colours that make Tarantulas look truly frightening. His use of body language is effective and the choreography of the battle is clear and concise, making it very easy to tell what is going on and who is fighting who. Out of the few issues so far, Beast Wars #5 may be the best looking of them all thanks to Burcham’s visuals.
Transformers: Beast Wars #5 marks a great and exciting penultimate issue to the ‘Savage Landing’ story arc. Burnham’s writing is on point with the balance of characterizations and action while Burcham’s artwork is detailed with his character movements and colours. Given the stakes and the pairings of the battle, Beast Wars #5 perfectly sets up the climax to the first shot taken in the Beast Wars.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk