Comics, Reviews

Void Rivals #3 Review: Mysteries of the Universe

Explore more of Image Comics' Energon Universe in the latest issue of Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo de Felici's Void Rivals!

Void Rivals #3 Review Cover
Image: Skybound
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:07 AM

Void Rivals #3

Review
Rating
9
Good
Void Rivals #3 Full Cover

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Lorenzo de Felici

Publisher: Skybound

Release Date: August 15, 2023

Format: Single-issue

Void Rivals delivers its most action-packed issue yet while developing the dynamics between its two lead characters. This adventure through a strange new cosmos is quickly picking up from here.

Void Rivals surprised plenty of readers with its connection to the Transformers as part of Image Comics’ new Energon Universe initiative. But the real surprise about the series is that it stands strong enough on its own without having to rely on its connections. Robert Kirkman and artist Lorenzo de Felici, the incredible team behind Oblivion Song, are meticulously crafting a new sci-fi story about an unlikely duo that comes from opposites sides of a never-ending, intergalactic war. In this latest issue, the story picks up the pace to deliver its most action-packed chapter yet. Let’s get into my review of Void Rivals #3!

Darak and Solila fight Skuxxoid

Story Overview

After escaping from the dead asteroid, Solila and Darak find themselves in the clutches of a menacing bounty hunter named Skuxxoid. While the two adventurers manage to fend off the ruthless alien, they quickly realize they are not the only captives inside the massive ship. It takes the combined tools and skillsets at their disposal to barely make it through alive. Solila, in particular, shows she’s more skilled than your average pilot than she initially put on. Regardless of what she’s hiding behind her mask, the duo would be dead in the water without her abilities.

After stumbling upon another nameless jail cell, the pair of survivors make one very unexpected ally. That deal serves as the key to them making their way back home. But are they ready to face the reality that’s waiting for them upon their arrival at the Sacred Ring?

Darak and Solila trap a beast

Review

In a much-needed change of pace, this latest issue hits the ground running. By the comic’s opening panel, we see Solila and Darak ready to face off against a ruthless alien, and the story doesn’t take its foot off the gas pedal from there. The action scenes throughout this issue show artist Lorenzo de Felici spreading his wings more. From the stylish moves performed by Solila to the brutish strikes of the monsters they face, every panel of the comic feels dynamic and full of energy. It's a kick seeing even Darak get some action-hero moments despite not being as physically skilled as Solila.

But the beauty of this issue is that the action sequences showcase a different side of the dynamic between the titular Void Rivals. If I were to break down the two leads into classic sci-fi tropes, Darak is the tech expert of the crew, while Solila serves as the fearless soldier. We see how each of them approaches high-tension situations and solves problems using the different gear they have. As much as their abilities, personalities, and outlook on the universe contrast, we see them working together as a cohesive team ready to face whatever dangers that stand in their way. Neither character feels like they are overshadowing the other because both come off as very strong and capable in their own ways.

Now, onto the juicy bits that are definitely going to have long-time Transformers fans talking. If there’s one thing fans love to geek out about, it’s references to the things they love. While the series has not had to rely on its connection to the Transformers to tell a compelling story, this issue shows that the creative team is diving deep into Transformers lore to add depth to the comic’s world-building. The most notable reference in this issue is the appearance of a Quintesson, the strange alien race from the Generation 1 cartoons and movie. Like Jetfire in the first issue, the Quintesson appears only briefly. Its surprise appearance is a nice treat for long-time fans to enjoy without taking too much spotlight away from the bigger story. Without revealing too much, there are a few other subtle references sprinkled throughout the issue that diehard fans will surely spot. But even if you’re just getting into the comics, these references are handled in a way that makes the setting feel more robust.

Darak and Solila discuss plans about going home

Final Thoughts

Void Rivals continues to show plenty of promise with each new issue. While connections to the Transformers are becoming more prominent, the story of Darak and Solila remains the focal point of the series and why it's such a compelling story to follow. After another massive cliffhanger of an ending, it blows the door wide open on where things go from here. Kirkman and de Felici definitely have another great series on their hands.

Why You Should Read Void Rivals

  • The pace of the comic is quickly picking up
  • The dynamic between Darak and Solila continues to grow
  • More strange races throughout the Energon Universe are starting to show
  • Lorenzo de Felici’s art is stellar
TAGGED: Image Comics
A new home for fans and creators of comics, manga, webtoons, and more
© 2022 MASTERFILE CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. GONKBONK AND ALL RELATED TITLES, LOGOS AND CHARACTERS ARE TRADEMARKS OF MASTERFILE CO.