Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 7:49am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 20,494

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Spotlight: Sludge
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis

THE WORLD BELOW! Deep beneath the surface of CYBERTRON, the last vestiges of life struggles to survive. Their only protectors: GRIMLOCK and his loyal DINOBOTS — who find themselves at the center of a dark mystery!

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
So dark, it's mostly shadows


Story

The first issue of this new series introduced us to some new characters and settings, all very different from the other IDW ongoings, and even from the Prime animated series. The Dinobots are in charge, Grimlock leading them, energon is scarce, and there are a lot of issues to be dealt with - including the piles of bodies found by Last Spark inhabitant Firestar.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
CSI: Cybertron


Even though the synopsis talks about Grimlock, it's Sludge that is the real protagonist here - and a well deserved spot it is - with Snarl in tail (ha! Tail!). Mairghread Scott seems to take some cues from Barber's style, working with previous continuity issues and patching them up, and also by having a running internal monologue through captions.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
He didn't die!


The tone of the issue, and the series so far, is a fairly dark and gritty one. A lot of deaths (though several off-panel), including quite graphic ones, talk of cannibalism and vampirism, betrayal and extreme survival. It's really quite engaging.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
Killing, not eating. Oh that's ok then.


I am very pleased with the attention given to minor characters in the Dinobot ranks, and it was time for Sludge to shine. Dealing with the Last Spark Autobots is also a really good idea, as it allows to work outside of the usual cast (who are currently engaged on Earth, as part of the animated series).

Art

The artwork is also really good, though at times it can look a bit overcrowded. Agustin Padilla, who also worked on Spotlight: Hoist as well as Rage of the Dinobots, does a nice job of adapting game designs to comics-style, in my opinion, and they all really fit the tone quite well. As I said, there is the risk of some panels feeling overcrowded, but overall, the result is good.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
And I mean good


The colours are faultless, but I was expecting nothing less from the likes of Priscilla Tramontano. They really help out those parts where the art may have been a little hard to manage. And Tom B. Long's lettering does its usual amazing things, too, with some really nice soundwords and font matching.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
Vertical chooming


The artistic team works really well with the storyline, and I think Padilla, while still having room for improvement, is definitely the best bet for the series. I would like to see him on other titles again, too. Colours and letters really help out too, in a complementary ensemble that conveys the full range of the story. The covers by Ken Christiansen are excellent, too!


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I really enjoyed it. I have yet to properly read its predecessor, but Beast Hunters has me intrigued to the point that I'm adding it to my must read list for the coming months. There are hints at the past, with the games, and hints at the present/future, with the animated series, but still lives and works perfectly well by itself.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review
Visual pun!


All in all, a very pleasant surprise. There are some minor flaws, but they can be overlooked in view of the full experience, and they really do not detract from the enjoyment of the issue. If you haven't read issue 1, pick it up as soon as you can, and sink your teeth into this well fleshed-out new series.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al


News Search

Got Transformers News? Let us know here!

Re: Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review (1494569)
Posted by Dead Metal on June 12th, 2013 @ 1:46am CDT
Va'al wrote:
Dead Metal wrote:Also, cool to see you're on the news team now Va'al! :D


Only just spotted this. Thanks! :D
I kind of took your place as the token European. :P

I was pleasantly surprised by this series, and I'll show it in the review coming up later today. I think you should give it a look.

Then I might take look, it does sound and look interesting.

You're my replacement? Do you also have violent outbursts on the forums every couple of days :P
Re: Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review (1494698)
Posted by El Duque on June 12th, 2013 @ 1:20pm CDT
The official Transformers facebook page has posted a Creator Commentary for Transformers Prime Beast Hunters #2 with series writer Mairghread Scott. We've mirrored the session below for those without facebook access.

Image
PAGE 1: What's your approach to Kickback in this series? How do you make him different from other versions of the character?

MAIRGHREAD SCOTT: I wanted to preserve the voice Kickback had in the FALL OF CYBERTRON videogame. It was a really distinctive speech pattern and a lot of fun to write. Beyond that, I just wanted to make him wheedle-y enough to be a fun Decepticon, but responsible enough to be a believable leader.

Image
PAGE 2: With so many fights in Transformers, how do you try and make each one a little bit different? Is it a big challenge?

MAIRGHREAD SCOTT: “Who is in the fight” and “where are they,” are the most important aspects of a unique fight scene. Can someone fly? Are there narrow places in the room to hide? Also, not everyone approaches a fight the same way. I think Kickback is happy to let others soften the Dinos up for him while he uses his speed to finish them off. Someone like Grimlock would never fight that way. Whenever I get stuck writing a fight scene I go back to those questions: who and where.

Image
PAGE 3: What’s driving Sludge this time, after events in RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS and the FALL OF CYBERTRON comics? How has he changed as a character?

MAIRGHREAD SCOTT: In “Rage” Sludge was the ’bot with no problems, which is odd ’cause he was left to die, twice. You don’t just “not mind” something like that. So in this story, I wanted Sludge to actually face his past and move beyond it. This fight is the tipping point for Sludge to do just that.

Image
PAGE 4: If you could pick a new alt mode for Sludge, what other Dinosaur would you pick?

MAIRGHREAD SCOTT: An Ankylosaurus. Sludge is a more defensive-minded fighter than the average Dinobot and I’d have his tail turn into a hammer in ’bot mode. It’s always fun to have design elements multi-task like that.

Image
PAGE 5: If we go back in time and give Sludge the same choices, do you think he would still become a Dinobot or choose to go a completely different route?

MAIRGHREAD SCOTT: Well none of the Dinobots had a choice in the matter. I know that Sludge would never have left his friends to go into a fight without him, but given the choice I don’t think that Sludge would have become a Dinobot. In fact, if it weren’t for the caste system and the war, I don’t know that he’d have become a soldier at all.
Re: Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review (1494811)
Posted by Henry921 on June 12th, 2013 @ 10:06pm CDT
Fascinating insight about Sludge... that is, as usual, briefly addressed and then never brought up again.

I realize Sludge is kind of a flat character, but Fall of Cybertron gave him a reason to be angry at Grimlock, and that's just being swept under the rug. As nice as it is to know Scott has thought about all this, it's a shame to see it resolved without ANY substantial character conflict.
Re: Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2 Review (1494943)
Posted by CaptainMagic on June 13th, 2013 @ 12:07pm CDT
Henry921 wrote:Fascinating insight about Sludge... that is, as usual, briefly addressed and then never brought up again.

I realize Sludge is kind of a flat character, but Fall of Cybertron gave him a reason to be angry at Grimlock, and that's just being swept under the rug. As nice as it is to know Scott has thought about all this, it's a shame to see it resolved without ANY substantial character conflict.


I think it's a bit of a leap to say everything is resolved now between Sludge and Grimlock. The first issue did a pretty good job of presenting Grimlock as massively unstable, even compared to previous Grimlocks. That means at some point in the future he won't be so understanding when Sludge doesn't listen, and then we'll see that anger come boiling over. Plus, it wouldn't really make sense for these two to come to blows this quickly just because an Insecticon makes fun of Sludge when they've been successfully keeping themselves in check for so long. Just give it time.

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