Ricky Church reviews Transformers: Beast Wars #6…
The opening arc to Transformers: Beast Wars concludes as the Maximals and Predacons engage in their first battle and Dinobot makes a choice that changes his destiny. Beast Wars #6 is an exciting and action-packed climax which shows what this series can be capable of with its character work and visuals along with its teases for future storylines. Fans of the original Beast Wars cartoon will be quite pleased with how Erik Burnham and Josh Burcham have developed the new comic’s introduction.
Picking up directly from the previous issue, the Maximals and Predacons are locked in battle as Dinobot and Nyx arrive to provide much needed reinforcements while Tarantulas hunts down Rattrap aboard the Maximal’s ship with the intention of destroying it. Burnham writes a compelling issue that balances the character moments with the action, such as Megatron’s constant gloating and grandstanding compared to Optimus Primal’s more serious demeanor during their fight or Terrorsaur musing about Megatron’s chances so he can take over the Predacons. Even with the large ensemble cast, Burnham still finds time for several one-on-one matches that flesh out each of the characters and plant the seeds for future rivalries. It really nails the characterizations of the bots which is best presented by Optimus and Dinobot’s final conversation where the Predacon formally joins the Maximals.
Burcham’s artwork displays the action quite well with his panel layouts and positioning of the characters. The action is easy to follow as he shifts from one fight to the next or shows off the larger battlefield with multiple characters in a single image. He is very detailed with the choreography of their movements and facial expressions. His colours are also vibrant as the fighting is contrasted by the sunsetting sky and green scenery surrounding the factions. His work inside the Maximal ship as Tarantulas hunts Rattrap plays off its dark atmosphere well as Tarantulas’ sinister and traitorous nature are emphasized and even includes a fun nod to Aliens as Rattrap takes on the spider. The artwork all round is dynamic and arguably contains the best visuals in any of the issues thus far.
While the focus is on the battle and the pacing is pretty quick, Burnham still plants more into the story as the Predacons discover the protoform statis pods, a recurring plot device in the cartoon to introduce new characters, in orbit as well as other points that could develop in future issues. The most intriguing of which is the revelation the original Dinobots from the Autobot/Decepticon War have long been missing, potentially leaving the door open for Grimlock and his Dinobots to join the series should that mystery ever be solved. The character development also advances nicely as Optimus ponders whether or not he did the right thing in not taking out Megatron when he had the chance and some of his other mistakes, allowing him to grow more into the leader the Maximals need.
Transformers: Beast Wars #6 is a very entertaining and positive closing to ‘Savage Landing’ that showcases the potential IDW’s reboot has. Burnham and Burcham make a great team with the writing and artwork with the blend of new concepts alongside familiar ones, giving a fresh appeal to the series for longtime Beast Wars fans.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.