Transformers: Beast Wars #6 – Comic Review

It’s the end of the first arc for our prehistoric Predacon pals and Maximal mates. Transformers: Beast Wars #6 wraps up the initial “Savage Landing” story arc in fine style. While the Maximals (and Dinobot) fight the Predacons outside the ship, Rattrap realises he is the only one standing between Tarantulas and their imminent death in nuclear fire when he sabotages the ship. Dispensing with Tarantulas he manages to raise the shields and give his comrades a moment’s respite as only Maximal-encoded bots are able to pass through it.

So… sucks to be Dinobot then, as despite his change of allegiance he’s still very much a Predacon. With him trapped outside the shield, there follows a fairly savage beatdown as he is first ambushed from behind before his erstwhile companions go all American History X on him. Optimus Primal, though, decides that he can’t just stand by and watch and with the Predacons eventually being driven off by the Axalon’s weaponry all’s well that ends well, with the wounded Dinobot agreeing to stick around and join the Maximals.

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It’s an interesting take on the character, to weaken him both physically like this, and to have him openly admit that he might not be the warrior he once was after a brush with death. He even suggests he is no longer worthy to join the Maximals, while the cartoon version’s path to changing sides was rather more straightforward, joining after fighting Optimus Primal for leadership. It is odd, however, that the Predacons would simply abandon him to then be rescued by the Maximals rather than killing him there and then, or dragging him off with them when they retreated. After all, Optimus didn’t specifically say anything about Dinobot, he just told them to scram. Still, that’s just a minor nitpick in what is otherwise a fun issue.

Cover wise there’s the usual three on offer, with the Retailer Incentive by Nick Roche remaining the standout offering, with the Maximals shown in both robot and beast modes, even including some (maybe) minor spoilers by showing Airazor alongside them. She doesn’t appear in the show till nearly halfway through season one but as issue #7 appears to be introducing Blackarachnia, it looks like we’re moving timescales up a bit.

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This arc has been a solid introduction to the world of the Beast Wars, and a concise retelling/reimagining of the first few episodes of the TV series. We’ve not seen hide nor hair of series antagonists the Vok, following a brief tease, so hopefully they’ll pop in and cause some mischief now that all the scene-setting has been taken care of.

This was a satisfying end to the original story arc. It captures the feel of the TV series while still successfully delivering its own version of the story. I’ve said enough about the art style at this point, you’re either going to like it or you’re not, but the writing remains top notch. Roll on #7 and the introduction of everyone’s favourite femme (bot?) fatale!

Transformers: Beast Wars #6 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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