Story 1: Skold is having a good day... until she stubs her toe and makes a big scratch in a wall. Terrorsaur laughs and shoves her down some stairs and she ends up locked in the brig, while the other Predacons watch on the security cameras laughing. In the cell, she's greeted by the Maximal Powerhug. He gives her a hug and asks what she likes about herself. Feeling good about herself again, she rips off his head to find a part to unlock the cell, leaving the Predacons still watching the cameras stunned.
This story could have really used more context. I'd guess this takes place around between issues #9 and 10. But there's no indication when the Predacons discovered and captured Powerhug. It would have been nice if they'd said Waspinator and Terrorsaur had found him when they were sent out to look for the stasis pods back in issue 9, only for them to be back at base in the next issue with no mention of having found anything. Maybe Powerhug could appear in a future issue and expand on this... But I have to doubt he will. Also find it hard to believe the Predacons would have still treated Skold so badly having witnessed this show of aggression. Not to mention, it felt redundant with how much we've already seen of Skold in the series.
Story 2: Rhinox is out looking for stas... er protoform pods when he comes across a trap set by Tarantulas and Blackarachnia. Hearing a voice calling for help, Rhinox makes his way through the maze to find... Waspinator, whom the spiders left behind as a test subject. They agree to work together to get out, but when they find an exit, Waspinator blasts it open and ditches Rhinox.
Not sure why the arbitrary change in calling the stasis pods "protoform pods" here. And... I mean there's really nothing to say about this. It's basically just Rhinox trying to avoid a bunch of traps the entire time. Waspinator, in a reversal of his cartoon counterpart, comedically avoids every single trap he inadvertently sets off. There wasn't even any tension between Rhinox and Waspinator when there should have been at least some animosity.
Story 3: Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor and Nyx are keeping watch around a camp fire (in robot mode no less, and they even point out they could be in the Axalon, but aren't because it gives them the view of the night sky) and Cheetor decides to tell a "spooky story".... Which turns out to basically be a Beast Machines story focused on Silverbolt, Nightscream and Botanica (the rest having been killed off) albeit with altered names. "Silverclaw" is infected with "morphlings" and dies while digging to find a new base. "Shriek" suggests using them against "Megasavage", but it turns out he'd reformatted them to use against the "Defiance" in the first place, and uses them to control "Shriek" and "Botanicus", ending the "Defiance". The Maximals reflect on if anything like that could happen when they get back to Cybertron, but Cheetor assures them it's just a story and couldn't possibly get that bad. The end?
I didn't expect a Beast Machines inspired story in this. The art is goofy (especially the "Servicons" which kinda remind me of grunt robots from Mega Man or Sonic the Hedgehog), it's pointed out how dark and edgy everything is in this setting, and in the end the good guys loose... I don't know if the writer is trying parody the series or just outright hated it. I mean, it has plenty of faults, but this felt overly harsh to me.
Yeah, I'd have to agree. I can't say I expected much with how the rest of this series has been written thus far, but... None of these stories really had any substance to be worth it. I was really disappointed by how short and simple they all were. And I don't get why they included a preview for the next issue. Seems like they could have use those pages to help flesh out these three a little more. Probably wouldn't have added much, but they could have used all the help they could get...andersonh1 wrote: ↑Fri Apr 22, 2022 11:14 amBeast Wars Annual - A waste of my $6. Three lightweight stories that are somewhat enjoyable, but ultimately mean nothing in the bigger picture, plus a preview of the next monthly issue. Feels like a quick "throw any artist we can find at it" cash grab before the license expires.