HomeBooksReview: IDW Beast Wars 2021 #1

Review: IDW Beast Wars 2021 #1

Early on in IDW’s publishing career, they created their own Beast Wars comics featuring characters not seen in the cartoon, however were cult favorites due to either Japanese versions or other mediums.

It was a great story and the artwork was fantastic. There were two series, The gathering and the sequel known as The Ascending. It was also a companion called The Beast Wars book which was composed in the same vein as the Marvel Universe source book with detailed biographies on all major and minor characters in the Marvel Universe and this was the case with the Beast were sourcebook even including the Japanese fan favorite characters. Of course they had my attention at Simon Furman writing. It was IDW who nudged me to give Beast Wars my long overdue attention.

I admit I was not a fan of Beast Wars when it came out in the 90s. I was born and raised on the original Generation 1 Transformers, Optimus Prime was a truck, Megatron was a Walther p38, Soundwave was a tape deck, and Prowl was a police car.

After Generation 2 came and went within less than two years, it left me feeling disappointment there wasn’t more to bring back the feeling of the original. Suddenly, in the mid-90s I found these toys labeled Beast Wars with the Transformers branding on it. 

I thought it was peculiar. Organic animals who transformed? Were these real or were these knockoffs? 

I only purchased a few toys but it didn’t catch my interest. The cartoon was good but it wasn’t until the second and third seasons where I found myself drawn into the story as elements of the familiar era of Transformers became present. 

Beast Wars has always been the one property I was never fully vested in, but in the back of my mind regretted not jumping in. 

Enough about my nostalgia trip.

Fast forward to 2021. IDW brings us a new Beast Wars comic featuring the writing talents of Erik Burnham and Josh Burcham. Try saying that three times fast. Of course can’t leave out letterer Jake Wood. 

This modern take on the original Beast Wars pivots in a little bit different of a direction. We get some more background into characters who played little role in the original cartoon series, and we are given more detailed background on characters who were not fully developed until seen in other media.

The main characters are all present with their personalities closely resembling the original fiction, and two new characters are featured, one new maximal and one new predacon brand new characters created by IDW for this series.

Based on the writing and artwork, this series appears to be a fun mix of lighthearted humor with the inevitable seriousness of the mission. Josh Burcham announced as the artist was the first thing to gain my attention I’ve seen his artwork before, notably in the Botcon Machine Wars saga, so I knew I was going to be in for something good.

This was a good fun read for the first issue. I’m definitely looking forward to what comes next.

Beast Wars 2021 #1 is now available at your local comic book retailer.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.

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