Battle Beats #4 Review


The final issue of the mini-series, Battle Beasts #4 brings everything to a semi-satisfying conclusion. With a suggestion of a return to the series, has Battle Beasts developed enough to bear its own unique identity?

First, the official description from IDW:

Bliss and the Beasts have found the Dread Weapons, but someone has already claimed them… Dr. Ullin, Bliss’ boss! Newly imbued with incredible power, Ullin is nearly unstoppable. Bliss is at the center of the danger, and it’s her decision that will change the fate of the Beasts forever. It’s a climactic fight to the finish for the Battle Beasts!

Following from the last issue, things are definitely drawn to a conclusion. its not the most obvious of endings, but it might not be the most satisfying. There is no epic, drawn out battle; given the short run of the series, this might be for the best. The art itself does a great job, however, depicting the various beasts and the Dread Weapons themselves.

As for the design of Battle Beasts, I think the creative team ran out of cool ideas by Battle Beasts #4. The main cast look damn cool, even if they are a goat, hawk and walrus. Many of the other beasts have usually looked cool too; the art team has clearly been given some freedoms. Yet, in Battle Beasts #4, you can find an orca with arms and legs ( I know the birds have arms but they tend to look awesome), a toucan (hardly scary) and a kangaroo armed with, obviously, a boomerang.

As for the ending, there is a real sense of what could happen should the series return. Again, I’m questioning the technology level of the Beasts; they have spaceships but fight with swords. As the ending shows, there is a greater power behind the Beasts that really hasn’t been shown before; the entire series gives the impression that they fought amongst themselves and that there weren’t any definable sides.

However, with a unified enemy, the series has some hidden potential. Of course, the earth setting might not be the most suitable. Some of the previous issues showed some beautiful alien landscapes; given this larger playground available to writers and artists, it seems wrong to confine them to a strictly modern-earth based setting. When dealing with talking anthropomorphic beasts, realism isn’t always in such demand.

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