Comics, Reviews

Void Rivals #2 Review: The Truth is Out There

Explore the fascinating story of "Void Rivals," the first chapter of Image Comics' new "Energon Universe."

Void Rivals #2 Review Cover
Image: Skybound
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:05 AM

Void Rivals #2

Review
Rating
8
Good
Void Rivals #2 Full Cover

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Lorenzo De Felici

Publisher: Skybound

Release Date: July 18, 2023

Page Count: 32

Format: Comic

"Void Rivals" continues on its path of telling a compelling, original story about two unlikely partners trapped together in the middle of a war-torn universe.

Robert Kirkman had the comic book world buzzing again over the debut of “Void Rivals.” To the surprise of many, the comic served as the official launch of the “Energon Universe,” the new shared universe involving the Transformers and G.I. Joe. But as shocking as the reveal was, “Void Rivals” delivered an original comic set within an intriguing world filled with compelling lead characters and overflowing with incredible artwork by Lorenzo de Felici. Now on its second issue, we get more of what made the comic’s stellar debut.

The Sacred Ring

Story overview

Pilots Darak and Solila both crash-land on a deserted planet. The two come from opposite sides of a never-ending, intergalactic war between planets Agor and Zerton. After realizing the dire reality of their situation, they agree to work together to find a way back home.

Darak describes to Solila how he saw a vision before landing on the planet. An unknown voice told him how Agor and Zerton used to be united. Until time slowly ripped them apart. It spoke of how if the two cannot join together again as one, then their paths only lead to destruction. That’s when the two realize there’s more at stake than their lives. The two pilots then put their skills together so that the secret of the universe does not die out with them.

Repairing the ship

Review

This latest issue slows things down a bit to focus more on world-building. Central to the story is how the Agorrians and Zertonians are so different yet so similar. In the opening pages of the comic, we get a brief glimpse into the Agorrian’s seemingly militaristic society. That rigid structure contrasts how the Zertonians are more spiritual, as mentioned by Solila in another scene. Then through just a few carefully structured conversations, we get a clearer picture of how both planets are struggling to survive on the resources they have left.

The issue also expands the dynamic between Darak and Solila. Even though this is only the second issue, it’s fascinating to see how differently the two leads interact with each other compared to when they first met. While they both acknowledge how their partnership is taboo in their societies, especially in Solila’s case, there’s a distinct air of comfort now in their banter together. It’s still too early to analyze if romance is brewing somewhere in there. But for now, it’s fun seeing the two work together as a cohesive unit.

Interestingly, this issue makes no mention or hint of Cybertronians, despite their revelation being the big talking point from the last issue. This direction solidifies Kirkman’s vision of “Void Rivals” being its own thing. The comic stands strong enough without needing connections to the Transformers name as the core attention grabber. With how this latest issue ends, we’re only just starting what is going to be one long and crazy adventure across a vibrant universe.

Preparing for take off

Final Thoughts

With all the hype around the Energon Universe and the involvement of the Transformers, it’s refreshing to see “Void Rivals” continue on the path of telling its own unique story. As easy as it could have been to lean on one of the world’s most beloved franchises, Kirkman and de Felici are carefully setting up the pieces for a crazy space adventure filled with many strange alien races along the way. This decision will pay off in the long run, as we’re seeing how the Energon Universe has much more to offer already than just Cybertronians. Void Rivals is a series to read and a must-have on any pull list.

Why You Should Read Void Rivals 

  • The two lead characters have a compelling dynamic that develops with each issue.
  • There’s plenty of intrigue to unravel about the two warring planets.
  • Lorenzo de Felici’s robust artwork makes the world feel unique. 
  • There’s potential for the adventure to extend to different parts of the Energon Universe.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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