Void Rivals #4 is interesting, predictable, with some odd choices

Void Rivals #4

The climactic return to the SACRED RING! Thrown before the highest authority for their crimes against the Sacred Ring, will Darak and Solila’s newfound alliance hold strong? Void Rivals #4 takes us deeper into the Energon Universe with choices that are far too predictable and others that are just plain odd.

In general, I’ve enjoyed Void Rivals. It’s an interesting series and interesting idea to introduce us to Skybound’s Energon Universe. The issues so far have teased the greater connection to Transformers so far, but also has relied heavily on surprise guest appearances to do so. Void Rivals #4 is no different but its teases are jarring as far as the narrative goes, taking readers out of the flow.

Written by Robert Kirkman, Darak and Solila are now at Solila’s home after her betrayal. With a prisoner in tow, Solila must balance the war their people are fighting with the alliance for survival she forged with Darak. She also must hide the fact she has seen Darak’s face, a punishable offence. Kirkman takes us through the motions for these two with predictable results and reveals, nothing is surprising unfortunately.

What is surprising is the narrative flow choice. Out of nowhere, the comic switches its focus in the middle of Darak and Solila’s story to the Sleestack and his prisoner. The couple of pages just come out of nowhere and while there’s an interesting juxtaposition between that story and Darak and Solila’s as presented, it just doesn’t flow well. Like the previous three issues, Void Rivals #4‘s connection to the Energon Universe is another surprise guest appearance. But, it doesn’t end with that one segment. The comic also features pages from the upcoming Transformers #1. Again, another transition that doesn’t flow and feels a bit out of place. All of it could have worked but here, it just doesn’t unfortunately.

The art by Lorenzo De Felici continues to look solid. With color by Matheus Lopes and lettering by Rus Wooton, the comic feels like it fits in the Transformers style but in its own way. It doesn’t, and hasn’t attempted to copy what has come before and delivers a sci-fi look in both design and color that works well for its world.

Void Rivals #4 works as a piece of the puzzle. But, on its own it’s a bit too easy to guess what will happen. The writing is entertaining and art is great, but its only surprises are weird transitions in its focus, not the story itself. With some small changes tying its to plots together, the comic might have been stronger, but as is, it’s one for the hardcore Transformers fans who want to get first appearances and key issues in what Skybound is laying the groundwork for.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Lorenzo De Felici
Color: Matheus Lopes Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics/Skybound provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus ComicsKindle