Zzzzzzzz, uh? What’s going on?
You miserable sack-about! We’re reading Void Rivals # 4 today! It’s Robert Kirkman, Lorenzo De Felici, and Matheus Lopes’ new sci-fi comic that tells the tale of two crumbling planets linked by a “Sacred Ring” (it’s not Halo), their peoples at war for generations. When a member of each culture are stranded together, the two find they must put aside their differences if they want to survive. This story takes place in the so-called “Energon Universe”, Skybound Entertainment’s new initiative to relaunch properties like Transformers and G.I. Joe within a shared universe that also happens to include the original characters and setting of Void Rivals.
Last issue, our two protagonists finally made it home after escaping the Skuxxoid’s clutches, only for Solila to betray Darak and prepare to bring him to her leaders as a prisoner!
Right, right… so, what happens now?
As Darak lies in captivity, Solila must appeal to her planet’s ruler- the Premier Zalilak, to recognize the seeming conspiracy behind the war between the Zertonians and the Agorrians. Of course, it won’t be as simple as revealing the truth, and perhaps Solila knows a little TOO much “truth” now…
This issue continues the strong narrative and characterization of its two leads, with Darak dealing with Solila’s betrayal and Solila attempting to figure out who she can trust. There’s a nice “shock” ending that further re-frames the new world our two leads have been thrust into. And of course, De Felici and Lopes’ art continues to impress with expressive characters (which is great considering how Darak and Solila are usually wearing helmets) and new alien settings.
And there’s still some of them there transforming robots in here, right? Or transforming robot-adjacent characters?
Yup. There’s a brief interlude featuring our friend the Skuxxoid attempting to unload his Quintesson prisoner for a bounty. And whom is he trying to sell Quinty to? It’s someone who is quite singularly familiar to Transformers fans, and another shot in the arm to remind us that this story takes place in the ENERGON UNIVERSE!
A’ight then, fill the cube for this issue.
Void Rivals # 4 is another good read, although not quite as action-heavy as previous issues. This is more of a slower-paced world-building issue, but that’s fine. As mentioned, the interlude with the Skuxxoid is welcome for Transformers fans, but may come across as a bit forced in terms of the overall narrative. I get that Kirkman wants to go whole-hog on this Energon Universe thing, but it’s starting to feel like the creators are scared that if readers are not constantly reminded of that inter-connectivity, they’ll slip away. Granted, that might be a real concern, but I am invested in the actual original characters of Void Rivals by this point and I hope there’s a little more confidence that they can carry the story on their own in the future.