Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review

Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 9:49pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 35,407

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A Formal Request
A Review of Beast Wars #4


While the issue came out last week, we were only able to review it now. Only Spoilers ahead.

Transformers News: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review


I will start by saying that as with the previous issues, I did not find this to be all that good. It was not terrible, but there was very little in it that I found worthwhile to recommend to any Beast Wars or Transformers fan.

I had found this comic series' version of Dinobot's rebellion against the Predacons to be an unwelcome change from the original idea that he is a Predacon that chooses to team with the Maxmimals more out of hatred/rivalry against Megatron and slowly leans into their ideals. Instead, here, he really is just one note. Like to a T, as you can read in the panel below. If you are wondering if there is a lead up to that panel in this comic, not really. It's like it was written by a kid. "I like honour, but my colleagues who are known to be murderous phychos don't seem to have any, maybe you do. So can I join?". This is beyond amateurish. And a formal request no less, my good sir. Is Dinobot a warrior or a senior asking a father if he can take his daughter to prom?

Transformers News: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review


I did like some of the writing. Optimus has a nice moment of characterization here. As I had previously said, I don't mind changes if they make it worth my time. This version of Optimus is different and they have fun with it. I'm here for that. I would of course prefer that he only use his pop up forearm weapons in robot mode since him doing it in beast mode makes my eyes twitch, but that's just me.

After 4 issues, you'd think it would be best to just accept the art, but it is damn hard. There are shots that just highlight how odd the style is. Like this Megatron shot were his legs just go for miles. Plus I really could do without that underbite in the T-Rex head. These stylistic elements just undo any threat or presence he may have. And Nyx's Bat face is just really ugly and jarring as you can see from the picture I posted at the top.

Transformers News: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review


That isn't my biggest problem with the art in this issue though, we get some really messed up scale. A big chunk of the issue is dedicated to a confrontation with a seemingly alien beast (so, are we not on Earth? We'll see) and it's size compared to the bots changes from panel to panel. It seems colossal when fighting Nyx but Dinobot looks even bigger than it in another panel. Yet, while Nyx is small, Dinobot doesn't tower over her like the beast did.

Transformers News: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review

Transformers News: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review

Look, if anyone out there likes this book then I am glad. It means this book found an audience. It just didn't find it with me so far. In the end, it's just average with very little to offer me.


:rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstarhalf: out of
:rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar:

This issue is out now, and you can pick it up at the Seibertron.com eBay store or at your local shop, check here to find the closest shop to you.


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Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106451)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 3rd, 2021 @ 10:07pm CDT
Thank you for pointing out the alien creature. Somehow, I feel it's presence is going to be of pertinence to later developments.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106453)
Posted by ScottyP on June 3rd, 2021 @ 10:21pm CDT
^ Yeah, it was a weird sequence. Felt purposefully downplayed :-?
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106456)
Posted by william-james88 on June 3rd, 2021 @ 10:55pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:^ Yeah, it was a weird sequence. Felt purposefully downplayed :-?


How did you find this issue in comparison to the previous ones?

EDIT: Just want to add this quote from Josh himself

I know it seems like there's a lot of plodding around but, even Erik's eluded to this/said as much in interviews; its been more Hasbro's decision, i think, to start off like this ie 'familiar territory/broadstrokes the first few episodes of the show' but stuff starts to ramp up in these next couple issues. 5 has some great conversations between Dinobot/Nyx/Optimus about everything, that I think will speak to some "why's" i've seen asked, and 6 goes off in an interesting way that I think will intrigue people about the future. And future issues stray even further into our own territory that i'm really excited to explore; Skold gets some spotlight, maybe some new characters showing up??

Hopefully you'll feel encouraged to stick it out a little more. It is a little bit of a slow burn here, i'll admit, but the path ahead gets pretty interesting, I think, once we get passed this first arc "threshold," as it were.


Honestly, it's kind of depressing when even the comic's creators don't think their output is great and hope we stay around waiting for better things to come later.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106458)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 3rd, 2021 @ 11:18pm CDT
Was it Hasbro's call to make Dinobot such a goodie-two-shoes?
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106460)
Posted by primalxconvoy on June 3rd, 2021 @ 11:28pm CDT
I agree with all of the points in this review. The art style, in particular, has been a huge turnoff for me.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106461)
Posted by william-james88 on June 3rd, 2021 @ 11:31pm CDT
Sabrblade wrote:Was it Hasbro's call to make Dinobot such a goodie-two-shoes?


I don't think so. People asked Josh what Hasbro's involvement was and his response seems to show that Hasbro is more involved with who they want in the comic and the the kind of general story arc (so repeating the initial show premise, for instance).

"When a series is pitched theyre usually brought a small handful of different approaches (basic premise/ rough outlines of story arcs/cast etc). They greenlight one, maybe have some notes on things they'd like to see or things in the pitch that they'd like adjusted/characters to use or not use. That type of thing. It's a collaborative deal/general approach kinda thing."

I would say Dinobot's one note personality is just a short hand the writer used to get Dinobot where Hasbro wanted him to end up asap. And I think the book, and more importantly this character, suffers for that.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106463)
Posted by JazZeke on June 3rd, 2021 @ 11:42pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:Was it Hasbro's call to make Dinobot such a goodie-two-shoes?


I don't think so. People asked Josh what Hasbro's involvement was and his response seems to show that Hasbro is more involved with who they want in the comic and the the kind of general story arc (so repeating the initial show premise, for instance).

"When a series is pitched theyre usually brought a small handful of different approaches (basic premise/ rough outlines of story arcs/cast etc). They greenlight one, maybe have some notes on things they'd like to see or things in the pitch that they'd like adjusted/characters to use or not use. That type of thing. It's a collaborative deal/general approach kinda thing."

I would say Dinobot's one note personality is just a short hand the writer used to get Dinobot where Hasbro wanted him to end up asap. And I think the book, and more importantly this character, suffers for that.

I still hold out optimism for this series, I want to love it, but I agree, this take on Dinobot has been pretty lame so far.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106471)
Posted by Verno on June 4th, 2021 @ 5:44am CDT
JazZeke wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:I would have loved for them to go beyond Beast Machines. To progress that narrative. Not rehash Season one with superfluous kitbashed characters.

Personally, I have always wanted a sequel to Beast Wars that ignored Beast Machines completely. Something like the Maximals coming home, getting hailed as heroes but at the same time grappling with secrecy as the shady Maximal Elders have classified the events of Beast Wars, and our war-weary heroes trying to fit back in with society and also expose the Tripredacus Council's planned uprising. Less war and more political intrigue.

Perhaps DEICIDE may appeal to you.

Image
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106473)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 4th, 2021 @ 7:48am CDT
william-james88 wrote:Honestly, it's kind of depressing when even the comic's creators don't think their output is great and hope we stay around waiting for better things to come later.



Agreed. If that quote had been out before this started, I wouldn't have bought an issue. "It gets better, honest" isn't a reassuring pitch, from what is already a far from inspiring book.

To reiterate my earlier point and why this characterisation of Dinobot fails so hard:

1)Dinobot didn't just join a Predacon gang, he is a Predacon.
2)He didn't become a Maximal, he allied himself with them.

Literally every word spoken by him in this issue I could read with McNeil's Silverbolt voice. That's the wrong McNeil voice I should be hearing in my head.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106475)
Posted by william-james88 on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:17am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
william-james88 wrote:Honestly, it's kind of depressing when even the comic's creators don't think their output is great and hope we stay around waiting for better things to come later.



Agreed. If that quote had been out before this started, I wouldn't have bought an issue. "It gets better, honest" isn't a reassuring pitch, from what is already a far from inspiring book.

To reiterate my earlier point and why this characterisation of Dinobot fails so hard:

1)Dinobot didn't just join a Predacon gang, he is a Predacon.
2)He didn't become a Maximal, he allied himself with them.

Literally every word spoken by him in this issue I could read with McNeil's Silverbolt voice. That's the wrong McNeil voice I should be hearing in my head.


At least it's better than the voice I heard in my head at the end, which was in AOE's Drift's voice. Not that they are similar characters, but these one note samurai-like lines of honour felt like what a hollywood producer would want Ken Watanabe to say.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106476)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:22am CDT
Sounds like another reason I was better off tapping out of Bayformers with Dark of the Moon...
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106477)
Posted by ScottyP on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:30am CDT
william-james88 wrote:
ScottyP wrote:^ Yeah, it was a weird sequence. Felt purposefully downplayed :-?


How did you find this issue in comparison to the previous ones?
Not as strong. I liked it, but objectively, "average" is an appropriate assessment. It did a lot for Nyx, the parts with her lost in the wilderness did more for her character than the earlier parts with her captured by the Predacons.

I think what this first arc trade paperback is showing is a lack of confidence that the general audience has familiarity with the basic setup for Beast Wars. What that leads to is this decompressed five issue run that's retreading a story that doesn't take five issues to tell if you're familiar with Beast Wars, and I'd bet 99% of us talking about it here are. I'd be extremely curious to hear an opinion about it from a reader that had never watched the Beast Wars show because I feel like that's a big chunk of the intended audience for this first bit.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106479)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:50am CDT
And yet, there's those fan letters at the end of issues 2-4 that have, so far, done nothing but sing praises to this series as if it were the best thing since sliced bread, most of which always begin with "OMG, I adored watching Beast Wars as a kid and now it's back in this amazing comic series!" or some such.

I almost have to wonder if these published fan responses are even real. But then again, the Facebook crowd did eat up Machinima's rubbish Prime Wars Trilogy like it was the best modern TF cartoon EVAR!!, so there might very well be a similar audience of yes-men for Beast Wars out there.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106481)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:58am CDT
Honestly, I didn't get the slightest hint of sincerity from those letters. Having seen years of letters pages in DC and Marvel books, it doesn't have that kind of honesty to it. Possibly an extreme level of cherry picking?
There may be some people seeing something positive from this book but, to that extent, the expression 'laying it on a bit thick' comes to mind.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106495)
Posted by JazZeke on June 4th, 2021 @ 11:17am CDT
My letter got published in this issue. So I can confirm mine is legit. But I did write it after the first issue, which I still think was pretty good. And I still have hope for this series because I want good Beast Wars content again.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106510)
Posted by william-james88 on June 4th, 2021 @ 1:09pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Honestly, I didn't get the slightest hint of sincerity from those letters. Having seen years of letters pages in DC and Marvel books, it doesn't have that kind of honesty to it. Possibly an extreme level of cherry picking?


Well we now know that those letters are based on their response to the first issue which was better than the latest one. If they are now at issue 4 and still choose to show letters from the response to issue 1 then yeah, cherry picking. But still legit responses.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106553)
Posted by Verno on June 4th, 2021 @ 8:18pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:To reiterate my earlier point and why this characterisation of Dinobot fails so hard:

1)Dinobot didn't just join a Predacon gang, he is a Predacon.
2)He didn't become a Maximal, he allied himself with them.

Literally every word spoken by him in this issue I could read with McNeil's Silverbolt voice. That's the wrong McNeil voice I should be hearing in my head.

The writer only watched Beast Wars for the first time last year. Perhaps he's getting the characters mixed up.
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106559)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 4th, 2021 @ 11:16pm CDT
Verno wrote:The writer only watched Beast Wars for the first time last year.
Source?
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106560)
Posted by primalxconvoy on June 4th, 2021 @ 11:19pm CDT
Sabrblade wrote:
Verno wrote:The writer only watched Beast Wars for the first time last year.
Source?


https://tfsource.com/
Re: Transformers Beast Wars #4 Review (2106564)
Posted by Verno on June 5th, 2021 @ 12:18am CDT
Sabrblade wrote:
Verno wrote:The writer only watched Beast Wars for the first time last year.
Source?

Erik Burnham stops by and talks Transformers Beast Wars form IDW!

"I was, a year ago, just before my birthday last year, in February, I was bored and flipping through to find something to watch on all the streaming channels. I flipped over to one of the free ones, Tubi, and I saw Beast Wars on there. And I said, I've never seen this, I think I'll check it out."

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