REVIEW: ‘Transformers: Beast Wars,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Transformers Beast Wars #2

Transformers: Beast Wars #2 is written by Erik Burnham, illustrated and colored by Josh Burcham, and lettered by Jake M. Wood. It is published by IDW Publishing. Part 2 of “Savage Landing” features the Maximals and Predacons accumulating to life on Earth while attempting to fix their damaged ships. While the Maximals-in particular, newcomer Nyx-revel in their new animal forms, Megatron obsessively pours over the Golden Disk he took from Cybertron.

This issue explores the team dynamics between the Maximals and the Predacons, and under Burnham’s pen the differences between the two couldn’t be more stark. The Predacons have no respect for each other: Dinobot and Tarantulas butt heads, Scorponok takes out his frustrations on Waspinator, and Terrorsaur breaks off from the group. The only thing keeping them together is their respective fear of Megatron-who doesn’t take too kindly to being disturbed, as Scorponok finds out.

On the flip side, the Maximals work together as a team (except for Rattrap, who is content to sit back and eat fruit, but that’s expected.) Everyone has their own part to play, and in contrast to the fear the Predacons have of Megatron the Maximals have respect for Optimus Primal. The feeling is mutual, as Primal advises Nyx to literally stretch her wings and fly so that she can get the lay of the land. Nyx is the character the issue spends a great deal of time on, and Burnham perfectly captures her utter joy with flying and unease at breaking protocol in a strange new world.

On the art side, Burcham’s illustrations continue to feel animated in all the best ways. Every Transformer’s face has an angular design, yet still manages to feel expressive, especially where their mouths and eyes are concerned. Continuing the contrast, Primal’s eyes and mouth are warm, inviting and turned up in a smile while Megatron’s face is fixed in a fanged grimace. The Predacons also tend to have more inhuman faces-especially Tarantulas, whose face is literally comprised of fangs. Considering he’s a giant spider, that’s utterly horrifying.

Burcham also smoothly draws the transformations of every character, accompanied by Wood’s lettering, which finally puts into words the classic Transformers sound effect. Burcham’s animals feel like real animals; Optimus Primal has the thick fur one would associate with a gorilla, Rattrap has the gray fur and diminutive statue of an actual rat, and Nyx has the long snout and beady eyes of a bat. Even in their robot forms, the Transformers also have animal attributes such as Megatron’s right hand literally taking the form of a Tyrannosaurus’ head.

Burcham’s colors also help to sell the differences between the Maximals and Predacons. The Maximals are usually depicted in clear light or in the bright sunny day, where fans can see them. In contrast, the Predacons are mostly holed up inside their ship, with the dark violet background giving off a menacing background-and matching Megatron’s armor.

Transformers: Beast Wars #2 continues to shape the new era of Beast Wars, clearly drawing the lines between Maximals and Predacons. Considering where the issue ends, both factions may end up doing battle sooner than expected-in effect, kicking off the titular Beast Wars.

Transformers: Beast Wars #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Transformers: Beast Wars #2
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TL;DR

Transformers: Beast Wars #2 continues to shape the new era of Beast Wars, clearly drawing the lines between Maximals and Predacons. Considering where the issue ends, both factions may end up doing battle sooner than expected-in effect, kicking off the titular Beast Wars.