Transformers: Beast Wars #5 – Comic Review

The enemy of my enemy is my… friend? Or at least a temporary ally? Or maybe just someone who probably won’t immediately stab me in the back. That’s the dilemma faced by the crew of the Axalon as the Predacons mass for a sneak attack in IDW’s Transformers: Beast Wars #5 – Savage Landing Part 05.

In the last issue, Dinobot had requested to sign up with the Maximals. Not believing this for a heartbeat, they do what any sensible sentient being would do and toss him into their  makeshift brig. While Nyx questions him, trying to ascertain why he helped her escape, the Predacons mass for an attack on the disabled Maximal vessel. Outnumbered two to one, things look bleak for the heroic but outgunned Maximals. Will they let Dinobot help them? Will Rattrap escape Tarantulas’ ambush? Will Megatron ever stop ending his sentences with “yes”? I mean the answer to that one is obviously no, but as for the rest…

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This issue is a story of two halves. The first part of the comic focuses almost entirely on Dinobot, giving the reader a better understanding of not only his motivations, but the Predacons as a whole, as well as sprinkling in a little more lore. The latter part is all action. Megatron delivers his ultimatum, Optimus tells him to stick it where the sun don’t shine before squaring off against the Predacons. This first full scale confrontation has been a while coming and it doesn’t disappoint as we get to see Tarantulas in full-on mad scientist mode, Cheetor running rings around the competition and Waspinator, well, just kinda being there. He’s yet to develop into the butt of all the jokes that was his main role in the series.

And that’s it for this one, really. After the last three issues building up to it, we get our first face to face confrontation between the two factions. In terms of story content it’s quite simple to sum up, but there’s a lot going on to flesh out the characters and move the plot forward. The simple art style works well here for the fight scenes, conveying the dynamism of the fight without getting lost in motion blur.

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Looking at the comic as a whole there’s the usual array of alternative covers on offer to make comic completionists hot and sweaty, and this time it’s the Retail Incentive cover that’s the standout, showing an impressively hairy Tarantulas lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on Rattrap. Cover A is also rather good, showing a beast-mode Dinobot raging against the bars of his LASER PRISON. Because it’s so much more effective than regular prison. I guess? Anyway, all in all it’s a solid issue, but the series could really do with moving the story on a bit more quickly than this or they risk readers getting bored.

Transformers: Beast Wars #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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