Beast Wars (2021) ongoing series

"What? Transformers made from animals instead of vehicles and stuff? Doesn't sound so great, throw it to Kenner division, maybe they can make a quick buck or something."
Beast Wars, Machine Wars, Beast Machines... seeing a pattern? Coming soon: "Wars Wars"
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Beast Wars (2021) ongoing series

Post by Sparky Prime »

Issue 7

Megatron finally decodes a partial message from the Gold Disk. Surprisingly, it's a message from himself, warning that something will doom them all, but the transwarp drive can... do something. The file is corrupted, leaving Megatron even more frustrated not knowing what the message truly is. Terrorsaur thinks it wont be long before they'll need a new leader. However, Scorponok quickly shuts him down, knowing Terrorsaur isn't fit for the job. Instead, he says they need to stick to the plan. He's sure the Maximals would never attack them, and they can't make it past the Axalon's shields. With Megatron and Tarantulas busy with their work, he orders Terrorsaur and Waspinator to gather energon and leaves Skold to watch the base (with Terrorsaur openly mocking her, believing it'll keep her in her place).

Elsewhere, one of the stasis pods in orbit receives a transmission that is interrupted. The pod automatically lands and Blackarachnia emerges. Her computer reports receiving a partial code update, which will take some time to implement. She decides to look around while she waits, being an explorer after all, but is attacked by an alligator type creature, which I guess she kills. After, her computer detects a faint Cybertronian signal. Making her way to the Axalon, she's able to pass through the shield, but shortly after boarding the ship, her computer finishes the updates, switching her allegiance to a Predacon. Cheetor hears her talking to herself in the hall, and once again, no one believes him or thinks they should follow up on it. Cheetor decides to check it out anyway, grumbling about his crewmates not listening to him (and just like Tarantulas in the previous issue, Cheetor points out to himself that he's talking to himself...). Blackarachnia gets the jump on him, while Cheetor believes she's just a little confused after recently emerging from the stasis pod. When he tries to call for backup to help subdue her, she knocks him out with her cybervenom.

---

Winston Chan takes over the art in this issue. It's a little iffy in places, but I have to say, I like it a lot more compared to Josh Burcham's art style. I gather they'll be sharing art duties, with them both listed on the solicitations for upcoming issues.

It's good to FINALLY be getting some characterization for characters that were basically ignored in the first 6 issues. I kinda think it's a mistake that they're already introducing new characters, when they're only just starting to develop characters introduced in issue 1.

I really don't like how Blackarachnia's pod was able to receive a communication from the surface, even if it was interrupted. It again makes the energon fields on the planet feel like a non-issue in this series, rather than a major problem that should prevent exactly this sort of thing. And being able to remotely reprogram a protoform I also feel takes a lot of the drama out of the story, with no struggle from both sides simply to reach it first. It seems odd neither side was even aware of the pod landing, especially if it landed relatively nearby the Axalon.

It's odd that Blackarachnia and Cheetor both say that she's supposed to be an explorer, when the first issue had established the protoforms are not... Optimus called the protoforms "science experiments" and that the Axalon was simply delivering somewhere. I guess it's possible the protoforms could have been ultimately intended to be sent out on missions after the Axalon delivered them... But then, it wouldn't make sense for Primal to call them experiments. So which is it? Are they explorers or are they experiments? Could they be experimental explorers? :?

I think it's safe to say Tarantulas was the one that reprogrammed Blackarachnia's pod after discovering their existence in the previous issue, although there's no verification of it in this issue. I'd also have to guess he uploaded the beast mode templet? We never see the pod scan for one, and Blackarachnia emerges already having her black widow beast mode. And I can't help but wonder what the downside of having the transmission cut off may have been... Was it simply the reason it took so long for the computer to update Blackarachnia's programming? Could it be why she's not exactly the most loyal of Predacons, assuming she's like her cartoon counterpart? Or was it intentional? Allowing her to pass through the Axalon shield as a Maximal, just for the update to finish once inside to "further the cause"?

Despite still having some shortcomings, I actually felt this was one of the best issues of this series thus far. If not for introducing Blackarchnia, I almost think this could have made for a good 2nd or 3rd issue, rather than the 7th. There's some good character interactions from both the Maximals and Predacons that allows us to start getting a sense of who some of these characters are, which we really should have gotten earlier in the series.

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andersonh1
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Re: Beast Wars (2021) ongoing series

Post by andersonh1 »

Finally picked up my comics yesterday, and I agree with Sparky that issue 7 is probably the best issue of the series, certainly the best since issue 1. I get irritated at how passive the Maximals are, but apparently it's deliberate since the Predacons are also aware of it in-story. I don't think that characterization works very well for me, but it is what it is.

The guest artist is okay, nothing stellar but not poor either.

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andersonh1
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Re: Beast Wars (2021) ongoing series

Post by andersonh1 »

Issue 8 - the book continues to improve, though it's still miles behind the main Transformers book in terms of quality and characterization. I can't decide if Blackarachnia looks smart, or the Maximals look stupid, or some of both. At least Optimus Primal has finally decided to get proactive, which is the only rational course of action given their situation. Some of the dialogue in this book is pretty painful to read.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Beast Wars (2021) ongoing series

Post by Sparky Prime »

Issue 8-

Blackarachnia begins downloading the Axalon's database, but realizing it'd take too much time before she's discovered, aborts and moves on to reprograming the rest of the stasis pods instead. Rhinox quickly finds her however, and she causes them to crash to the surface to distract Rhinox and makes her escape. Rhinox reports she got away with 10% of their database, and over half of the stasis pods have been reprogrammed. Optimus, angry at himself for his own failures as a leader thus far, decides it's time to change tactics and go on the offensive. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia meets up with Tarantulas, who doesn't realize at first she's the result of his earlier attempts to reprogram the stasis pods. When he tells her to bow to him however, he finds not all of his new programming was successfully uploaded. Still, he's happy to have a new Predacon on their side, to which she offers some more good news...
andersonh1 wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:41 am
I can't decide if Blackarachnia looks smart, or the Maximals look stupid, or some of both.
I feel that the writer wanted Blackarachnia to look smart but did so by making the other characters look stupid. Like when she tricks Cheetor into running back to the Axalon to warn them about a possible second trap... Why didn't he just radio that information back to base? Given Blackarachnia could remotely reprogram the stasis pods in orbit, the energon fields continues to be a non-issue in this series, so I don't see any reason why he had to run back to the Axalon. Same thing with Tarantulas... I get he'd be surprised to see someone new just walked into his lab, but why does it take him so long to realize she came from a stasis pod? She has to remind him he programmed her with access codes to the Darksyde and tells him to put the pieces together.

I do like that the interrupted transmission Blackarachnia's pod received was answered with this issue, explaining that the loyalty to Tarantulas he'd intended is missing. And since Blackarachnia used the coding she'd received, it means any other new Predacons will be lacking this specific loyalty programming as well.

I'm a little conflicted on the status of the stasis pods. On the one hand, I kinda like the idea that about half the pods are now Predacons, while the other half are still Maximals. So now, we don't know if the new protoform will be a Maximal or a Predacon. On the other hand, I don't like that they've all crashed to the surface. The whole point of keeping the pods in orbit in the cartoon was so that they could slowly introduce new characters. Granted, with the distance the pods crashed that's still a possibly, but as in The Gathering, this means we could get a bunch of new characters showing up all at once. And in a book that's already struggling with its characters, I feel this is a mistake.

Interesting that Cheetor uses a tail whip weapon from his Kingdom figure. Although he holds it backwards, where the hook part is in his hand, using the tail to grab Blackarachnia's arm...

Overall, I felt this issue was somewhat of a step back from the previous issue. Still better than the first 6 issues, but felt a bit more lacking than what we got last issue.

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