Void Rivals, Vol. 1

Image Comics. Feb. 2024. 136p. ISBN 9781534398184. pap. $16.99. SF
This initial offering in a new shared universe comprised of characters from Transformers and G.I. Joe, as well as original concepts, opens with a pair of pilots from opposing sides in a long-running intergalactic war engaging in a vicious dogfight, which ends with both crashing their starships on a desolate, seemingly uninhabited planet. Darak, the more easygoing of the two, is quick to point out that they stand no chance of surviving unless they work together. His fellow castaway, Solila, would much rather kill him and figure the rest out afterward. Luckily, the two eventually form an uneasy alliance and manage to cobble together a ship capable of getting them home. Unfortunately, that’s when their trouble begins. Branded traitors and sentenced to death for consorting with the enemy, Darak and Solila bounce between encounters with sleazy bounty hunters, ancient religious orders, freedom fighters, and the leaders of their prospective planets, who turn out to be heavily invested in keeping the war between their people raging until both civilizations are destroyed.
VERDICT Kirkman (Firepower) and illustrators De Felici (Oblivion Song Compendium) and Lopes craft a fantastic space opera centered on a fascinatingly complex pair of protagonists.
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