Review: ‘Transformers Beast Wars’ #1 Reboots And Expands The Mythos
by Benjamin Hall
A group of Predacons steal the golden disk relic from their home world of Cybertron. It is up to a group of Maximals to stop them. Will they be able to do so, and if so what surprises await along the way?
The regular cover by artist/colorist Josh Burcham displays the same style of art as the interiors. So any potential reader who is a longtime fan of the cartoon has a decision to make (Beast Wars: Transformers [1996-1999]). This decision is whether they are willing to accept changes to the characters, and possible new twists in their mythos. Though some longtime fans may prefer the more similar to the toys art style on the variant cover by artist Dan Schoening and colorist Luis Antonio. However, its lack of background does make it look too much like a concept page from marketing. While the retailer incentive covers by artists Fico Ossio and Nick Brokenshire, respectively, are high quality pieces with mostly familiar design work.
When it comes to the interiors Burcham’s pacing would come across as insanely fast without text. However, thanks to writer Erik Burnham and letterer Jake M. Wood the pacing slows by a matter of minutes. Burnham does so by providing just enough exposition and character moments to make readers think. While Wood positions the text in such a way that things are in a clear reading order. Also Wood uses some colors to make certain text boxes more attractive. As for Burcham’s line work there is a sharp angular feel that is somewhat reminiscent of robots from the 1950s (such as the toy Robert the Robert). Yet, the aesthetics we see for most of this issue expand on the obscure visuals from Beast Wars: Transformers season 1, episode 1, ‘Beast Wars, Part 1.’
The characterization will feel, for the most part, familiar thanks to how Burnham and Burcham are able to evoke the original presentation. Yet, it is still debatable whether the newer characters, one of which appears on the regular cover, will appease enough fans of the show. Though reboots and re-imaginings do sometimes attract non-fans to properties. Although the entire reboot may fail if not enough readers pre-order what looks to be a well thought-out series. Finally while the price point is high for this first issue the inclusion of the supplemental material could possibly soften the blow.
Transformers Beast Wars #1 is now available from comixology.com and comic book stores.