Review- Transformers: Beast Wars #3- Trapped In The Spider’s Web
IDW’s Beast Wars returns to us this month. As we last left off, the Predacons have pulled off the heist of the century by stealing the Golden Disk. With the Arc being the only Maximal ship in range and able to pursue, Optimus Primal and his exploration crew are in hot pursuit. As a result of combat, the Cybertronian factions have crashed on this primordial planet. As the Maximals and Predacons get a lay of the land, the Maximal Nyx has taken to the sky for a recon mission. Soon after Nyx is ambushed by Terrorsaur, a Predacon agent.
“Savage Landing Part 03”
Written by Erik Burnham
Art by Josh Burcham
Letters by Jake M. Wood
Nyx, the Maximal bat, has been captured by the Predacons during a recon flight. With her gone into the night, the Maximals debate staging a search party for her and Optimus Primal faces an early challenge in his leadership. Meanwhile, the Predacons have taken to torturing Nyx for information and sadistic fun. This does not sit well with the honor bound Dinobot and results in him turning on the rest of the Predacons in the name of what is right. As you can imagine this goes as well as one might think in Megatron’s ecosystem of a fascist, cult of personality leadership.
Burnham brings forth the first major departure from the established Beast Wars show with Dinobot’s rebellion being brought about over methods of leadership and honor instead of questioning Megatron’s plans. This break from the original series fits Dinobot’s character better as it is done in defiance of something he views as dishonorable and corrupt instead of just quality of leadership. It is fitting that we see Dinobot rebuke the atrocities instead of just sitting idly by as it is carried out. I do like when licensed comics deviate from their original forms in ways that are in line with character motivations.
Burnham continues to have a strong grasp on the voices of the characters especially the Predacons. This issue is the most Predacon heavy of the bunch and we get to see each character’s noticeable tics from the show carry over to Megatron’s menacing long winded dialog to Hannibal Lecter-esque, twisted vocabulary of Tarantulas. This isn’t to say Burnham doesn’t have a handle on the Maximals.
On the contrary, he brings out the essence of the maximal characters. One creative decision I am enjoying is really going in on Optimus Primal being a young leader and not having full respect of the team. They are playing up Primal’s more brash tendencies and youth in this series and I think it fits the character.
The art by Burcham is once again wonderful. As I stated the past few months, Burcham’s knack for animated character models and designs puts life into the characters and their emotions. It’s a very Transformers Animated style and it works great for the book.
This issue has the most beast mode transformations of the series so far and Burcham does the sequences quiet well in the book. One of the challenges of doing a Beast Wars series is doing believable animal designs that can carry out complex movement and action. Burcham overcomes this by not going for hyper realistic animals but instead going for believable designs that allows for more emotion and kinetic flow. The skirmish between Dinobot and the rest of the Predacons is great example of this.
I am greatly enjoying Beast Wars and how it follows similar patterns to the show while setting its own course. It has a different identity and one that I find to be entertaining and captivating. It is a series I look forward to each month. Burnham and Burcham have found a handle on the cast of characters and their new additions are a delight for long time fans. Beast Wars #3 keeps it up well.
Final overall 8.5/10
Past Reviews for Beast Wars: