In this review of Void Rivals #2 from Skybound, we begin to learn more about the warring planets and what caused the two to find themselves trapped on the same planet.
Void Rivals #2
Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art and Main Cover by: Lorenzo de Felici
Variant Covers: Nick Robles, Mindy Lee, Karen Darboe, and Jason Howard
Page Count: 32 Pages
Release Date: July 19, 2023
Editor’s Note: This review might contain spoilers
When I picked up the first issue of Void Rivals, I did so for two reasons. First, it was a new #1. It’s always a great starting point to get into a comic. Secondly, it’s Robert Kirkman. After the likes of The Walking Dead and Invincible, seeing Kirkman on a title should always be an automatic pick-up. I had yet to read the release about the new Energon universe he created, which includes the Transformers and G.I. Joe. Woulld the same be the case for Void Rivals #2?
Needless to say, by the time I reached the end of the first issue, I committed myself to the long haul of picking this up. In typical style, at the end of the first issue, Kirkman revealed that our two main characters – Darak the Agorrian and Solila the Zertonian – were actually more alike than they could have ever imagine. Picking up Void Rivals #2 when it released turned out to be a no-brainer.
Void Rivals #2 picks up with the two former sworn-enemies-now-colleagues. They continue their efforts to find a way of the rock they crash-landed on. But before we get to that continuation, Kirkman provides us with a backstory of how Darak’s adventure began prior to the panels of issue #1. I truly loved this because you don’t always see titles do this. Writers jump right into the story. It may be issues and or arc before readers receive a mention of a backstory. Considering the Energon Universe coming from Skybound with the Transformers and G.I. Joe, Kirkman needs to establish the main characters of Void Rivals since they have no history prior to the release of issue #1. This issue presents on part of it. I assume we’ll learn a little about Solila in an upcoming issue.
Despite knowing nothing of Solila, Darak’s story reveals a good bit about Solila’s people. We also see why Darak and the Agorrian’s hate them. I appreciate learning about Darak before Solila. As the individual having visions, Kirkman needs to establish him first. At some point, we needed to know more about the vision Darak revealed having in the first issue. He got it as he slept during his journey through the Sacred Ring as he revealed to Solilia. The Agorrians and the Zertonians were one and the same. If they were to survive, they needed to become one again.
As they work on one of the damaged ships, the two realize that they also share similar technology. Because of that – and a little ingenuity – they repair a ship in about 20 days. Solila feels like a traitor to her people for what the two have accomplished. Darak, however, expresses some weird confidence. He believes they’ll be getting off of the desolate rock that served as a temporary home. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe they’ll get far. He expects them to die in space.
Expanding the Universe
The two finally lift off and head… somewhere. They’re in uncharted space and don’t know if they are heading toward the Sacred Ring or not. They take a chance and turn on their transponder. Handroid doesn’t think it will work before they run out of air. However, their sensors pick up something coming at them – and it’s coming fast. What they see astonish them. It’s an asteroid – with thrusters and mechanical tentacles. It pulls the ship in. The begin to explore the environment and they marvel in the technology around them. But it all might be for not. As the issue ends, they find a gun pointed at them. They must surrender to Skuxxoid.
The universe-building continues from Kirkman. During issue #1, we met the Autobot Jetfire. This issue, Kirkman brings in Skuxxoid, another character from the Transformers animated universe. It’s clear that Kirkman is looking to quickly integrate as many members of the new expanded universe as quickly as possible. Granted, readers shouldn’t expect to see Duke or Cobra Commander just yet. However, it’s great to see that Kirkman continues to introduce established characters to the new ones I’m excited to see what comes in issue #3. The Energon Universe is off to a decent start.
One Final Thing…
I have seen the art of Lorenzo de Felici before. Unfortunately, I haven’t had extensive exposure to the artist to truly give a comprehensive idea of his style of storytelling. What I can say from these last two issues is that he has a great handle on the style. It looks simplistic, but I don’t believe it is. I think what makes it appearance as simplistic as it does is due to the colors from Matheus Lopes.
The art style also brings a different feel to the characters from the Transformers. I have read plenty of Transformers comics in my day, including the most recent iteration over at IDW Publishing. What de Felici gives us in these classic characters look so much softer and subtle than I’ve seen before. Again, maybe it’s the colors. Perhaps a different artistic team will bring back the vibrant – and sometimes loud – colors that I’m used to.This, however, works for me.
Two issues in, Robert Kirkman has once again sucked me in. I’m on board with Void Rivals. Void Rivals #2 provides a decent back story while the main story continues to move forward as well. It will be interesting to see if Kirkman provides more back stories of the characters. While some might consider this slow, this is great universe building.
Enjoy this review? Find more here.