Once you get past the original gimmick, Battle Beasts #1 seems to show a surprising amount of depth. With what has the potential to be a well developed lore, the narrative has the ability to compensate for the less than believable concept. The awesome artwork helps sell this too.
First, the official description from IDW:
It’s just another average day for Bliss, an ignored linguist at the Department of Defense. However, when Bliss unlocks the secret translation of an ancient scroll, terror rains from the sky… in the form of the BATTLE BEASTS! Unstoppable creatures armed to the teeth, the Battle Beasts are determined to make Earth their own personal war zone. Nothing can stop their merciless carnage. Nothing except perhaps a gentle word from the one woman who can understand them—Bliss!
I’m not familiar with the Battle Beasts franchise at all, but the concepts behind the original toys is clear enough. However, after reading Battle Beasts #1, its hard not to compare the title to the Transformers series. Battle Beasts #1 quickly opens with a distant alien planet with war raged between two sides. The comparisons here are obvious and, quickly enough, Battle Beasts #1 moves the focus to Earth.
This is what I feel may be a downside, the opening scenes are beautiful, set on an alien desert plan with alien night skies, complete with various moons and planets. Similar to Transformers, you have to somewhat embrace the idea before getting into the background. If you can look past the talking anthropomorphic animals, there’a lot of work gone into this. Still, to me, I have no interest in Earth. Like Transformers and cybertron, there’s no need to constantly relate everything back to Earth, which could be a nagging issue for this series
First of all, this isn’t a straight forward good vs bad affair. The three main beast characters fight for neither side, and the war itself is suggested to have no clear protagonists. This, at least, offers a more refreshing diversion. Plus, the three main characters compliment each other well; a wise soldier, a large brute and an intelligent leader.
That said, the opening sequence still brings more disappointments or questions about the universe: why does this race of Battle Beasts have access to space ships and inter-stellar travel, but fight with swords and spears? It looks awesome, but it doesn’t many any sense. That isn’t to say it needs to, either.
In short, Battle Beasts #1 is a good opener. It sets up the series, offering enough exposition to understand the situation without going into detail. With decent art work to truly highlight the unique concept, this is a series for those who are willing to look past the less serious aspects of giant talking animals.