As the man once said “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”. Transformers: Beast Wars #4 – ‘Savage Landing Part 04’ – picks up with a reluctant and unimpressed Nyx once again being saved by the actions of everyone’s favourite chopper-faced Ex-Predacon. Not only did Dinobot help her escape from the other Predacons, he then steps in again to save her from some overly-excitable local wildlife that decides Maximal might taste interesting.
Meanwhile the Nyx’s crewmates are slowly beginning to wake up to the idea that something bad may have happened to her and begin to search for her, as do the now exceptionally angry Predacons once they manage to get past Dinobot’s little boobytrap, setting the stage for our first proper confrontation between the two factions since their crash onto this planet.
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This issue is really all about my main man Dinobot, he’s been the real driving force behind these early story beats and for me he’s always been the most interesting character in the Beast Wars series alongside Black Arachnia. Ruthless, but honourable in his own way, prone to acts that constantly confuse and confound his enemies as he refuses to act in the way they expect him to.
Dinobot has a code that he sticks to and by Primus he’s not about to break that code, even if it means turning his back on Megatron and requesting to join the Maximals because at least they still have some sort of honour. It’s an interesting little twist on this scene, which played out rather differently in the show with Dinobot challenging Optimus Primal to a fight to the death for leadership of the Axiom crew instead.
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The art style here continues to do very little for me, honestly. It’s scrappy, simplistic and kind of ugly compared to the lush designs you see in the mainline Transformers series, but it does the job well enough and there are some cute facial expressions in this issue. The cover art, though, continues to impress and while I’m not really a fan of Josh Burcham’s style, his cover art (Cover A) of a posing Dinobot is honestly really damn nice. Both cover B and the retailer incentive cover show him in his more show-accurate portrayal and I think this is probably my favourite of the cover lineups so far.
Complaints about the art aside, the writing and characterisation are still really strong. I can’t help but hear all the lines in the voices of the characters from the show, so hats off to Erik Burnham, he’s doing a great job here. In terms of story this episode was a mix of a bit of action and a whole lot of scene setting for what comes next. We’re still settling into this new environment, this new story, and things need to be given time to grow and mature, a tough ask for your writers when you only have around nineteen pages of actual comic to get in all your action, character growth and story progression and tough to ask your readers for their patience as you lay the foundations of this world that not everyone might be familiar with.
Transformers: Beast Wars #4 is out now from IDW Publishing.