In this review of Void Rivals #4, we see the aftermath of Solila’s double-crossing Darak as the two make their approach to the Sacred Ring.
Void Rivals #4
Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art and Main Cover by: Lorenzo De Felici
Variant Covers: Yejin Park, Diberkato, and Karen S. Darboe
Page Count: 32 Pages
Release Date: September 27, 2023
Please Note: The Review Contain Spoilers
When I first started reviewing this series, I stated that some might find the build to be slow. For me, it is ok. Others, however, may have a problem with it. I would hope by now, as we move into Void Rivals #4, that fans are finding Kirkman’s and De Felici’s work exciting. At this point, Void Rivals is one of the comics consistently at the top of my stack to read when the book releases each month. The slow pace, that some might complain about is deliberate. It is vital with proper world building. And Robert Kirkman continues to show he’s one of the best at it.
As we departed last issue, Solila and Darak had finally made their way to the Sacred Ring. Right before Darak implemented their agreed upon plan, Solila turns on him and knocks him out with a blast. After looking over the first three issues of the series again, I’m actually not surprised that this happened. Through issues #1-3, Kirkman typically presented the Zertonian as untrusting of Darak, untrusting of everything. By trade, she isn’t a pilot. She’s a warrior, a soldier. One would imagine it’s in her nature to not trust anyone.
Despite the serious dram and action in each issue of Void Rivals thus far, Kirkman still finds time to throw in some banter that brings a chuckle from the reader. This happens rather early in the issue as Darak’s trusty Handroid attempts single-handedly (literally) regain control of the ship from Solila. while the attempt fails, the sight of Darak’s glove tossing his limp body across the ship was hilarious to say the least. the second time this happens occurs a little later.
Citizens of Cybertron Continue to Appear
Kirkman continues to meld the Transformers into the new universe. This time, Shockwave makes an appearance as Skuxxoid attempts to sell the re-captured Slizardo. This doesn’t work, however. Shockwave sends them both on their way. While it remains interesting that Kirkman continues introducing more characters for the Transformers universe, I personally feel that he no longer needs to. With the events of the first three issues, plus news of the upcoming Transformers series from Daniel Warren Johnson, I feel complete focus can go the Darak’s and Solila’s story until an incident requires the different worlds to cross path again.
Perhaps A Double-Cross Wasn’t the Best Idea
I mentioned there were several instances that brought genuine laughter to my face. The second occurred after Solila returned to Zertonia with the captured Agorrian. They give her a hero’s welcome of sorts. However, as witnessed through previous issues, Solila remains her biggest critic. She feels that she has failed her mission by not returning with the water her people desperately need. She maintains this feeling despite reassurances from her leader. However, the warrior would slip up.
As Zalilak gives his plans for exchanging Darak for needed supplies, Solila slips in revealing a little emotion in ensuring Darak’s well-being. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to tell Zalilak, that Solila committed a grave sin. She saw the Agorrian’s face. As punishment, he throws her into the cell with the man she double-crossed for her people. Darak burst into laughter. I joined him in laughing as well. Again, Kirkman does just enough of everything to keep readers vest in the characters. He gives us action, drama, AND laughter – all in one issue.
The Swerve Not Expected
I figured at some point that Kirkman would throw readers for a loop in this series. Everything thus far hinted as such. One might think that Solila’s double cross serves as that swerve. However, as I mentioned earlier, a closer read of her story leads to her doing what occurred at the end of the previous issue. Void Rivals #4, however, provides right I feel is the first big swerve. Personally, I expected Kirkman to reveal that Zalilak was actually an Agorrian under that mask.
This was not the case, however. As readers get to the final page, Kirkman reveals Zalilak speaking of Darak’s capture with Minister Dulin – Darak’s father. Readers were introduced to the patriarch in issue #2, where the scorn for his son was evident. He takes it to another level by telling his Zertonian counterpart that his son Darak is lost to him and has been for quite a while. Ouch.
Can you say family drama?
It’s Tough to Discuss the Art
It’s tough for me to discuss that art. I say this not as a complaint. It’s just that I have nothing new to add that I haven’t said already. The artwork from De Felici and colorist Matheus Lopes just fits. I can continue to saw how De Felici’s pencils are. However, I probably have a greater appreciation for the colors. It truly complements everything. There’s a bit of dullness in the colors, even during daylight scenes, that just make the experience easier on the eyes. I say this having read the series both digitally and with a floppy. There’s an easiness in the hues that just make the reading experience better.
Kirkman’s genius continue to shine in this Void Rivals. He continues to find ways to keep readers tuned in and interested. He accomplished this through various means. Whether it’s the great art from Lorenzo De Felici or the swerves we’ve already experienced, there’s something that leaves you waiting for the next issue. Ultimately, what Kirkman does is just tell a damn good story. He provides a perfect mixture of emotions in all of the involved characters. If you’re not invested in what’s next for the Rivals (now that Darak has coined the phrase), I strongly suggest you give this another read.
I previously stated that this was world-building at its best. However, let me add this nugget. Void Rivals is a lesson in world-building for any creator looking to do the same. After four issues, Kirkman’s pace as he’s introduced (and in the case of the Transformers, re-introduced) the characters of this world continues to be impeccable. Each issue provides enough drama, action, and laughter (and a little nostalgia for old folks like me) to have you wanting more. With all of this, plus some damn good art and colors, Void Rivals sits atop my stack each New Comic Book Day it’s released. The same should apply to you.
One Final Nugget
After the conclusion of Void Rivals #4, fans are treated to a preview to the upcoming Transformers series from Daniel Warren Johnson. Take a look and come back to see our review of it when it’s released next week on October 4th.
Enjoy this review of Void Rivals #4? Find more reviews here. Want to own a copy & support The Comic Book Spot? You can do so by purchasing this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.